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Our Last Minute Adult Costumes: Pregnant Skeleton and Matching Husband

My husband and I usually scrape up scraps of something to wear as a costume before going to any Halloween party each year.  We love to dress up and we love to celebrate……but any costumes for us just seem to get set aside until the very last minute.
I was thinking that being pregnant for Halloween could be a fun thing to work around.  So I googled ideas a couple of days ago……looking for something that would be easy enough to do last minute.  Then I remembered that last year, I had seen a particular homemade costume online (one was even in the virtual costume parade last year……..thanks Wendy!) and wanted to give it a try.
So, then, the hard part.
Finding a template.  Or some sort of tutorial.
Aaaaggh, nothing…….so much for saving some time last minute. ;)
So I sketched something out, tried my hand at freezer paper stenciling (now I understand the craze of freezer paper stenciling) and came up with this:
The pregnant skeleton costume.
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Complete with a little baby skeleton…….and her sweet little bow.

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No more hiding, baby girl…….we can all see you now.
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And of course, my husband wanted in on the fun. 
(Darn him for being at school while needing some photos of him in it.)
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So, we of course added his favorite thing to put in his belly.  Mmmm.
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(This husband of mine is not a steak and potatoes kind of guy.  He prefers a big ‘ol hamburger.  Ha.)
So, a skeleton costume for a pregnant lady…….
And a costume for her “wanting to match” husband……..



Now we have a little “last minute” something to wear to our little party tonight.
It’s all the more fun to enjoy Halloween with the kiddos.


Want to make one too?
Try your hand at some freezer paper stenciling and make a skeleton costume too…
(And depending on how detailed you make your stencils, this can become a lengthy project to cut out all of those pieces…..and then painting it and letting it dry.   Keep that in mind.)
First, I bought a roll of freezer paper (by the tin foil and saran wrap at the grocery store) and sketched each of my skeleton parts on the paper side of the freezer paper.
I looked at the adult skeleton image here and the baby skeleton image here for help. 
(I just used those images as a guide and sketched it out.  You don’t have to make it perfect……just a general skeleton shape.  Sorry, I don’t have the actual sketches to share.)
Then I used a razor blade to cut out the shapes (placing a rotary mat or large piece of cardboard underneath the paper)……making my template.
Then I placed the shiny side down onto the clothing and positioned it right where I wanted it.  Then I pinned it down while I carried it over to the ironing board………
…….then ironed the freezer paper down, without using steam.  Also, be sure to iron really well around those inner edges of your shapes… don’t want paint to seep under.
And if you have any extra pieces that aren’t connected to your main piece but will complete your image, make sure to position them where they need to go and iron them down too.
Then, lay your shirt down flat and slide cardboard in between the shirt layers, to keep the paint form seeping down through both layers.
Next, you will need permanent fabric paint.  I bought mine at Michael’s, along with a fabric paint brush.  They were selling it right there with the fabric paint and it has short even bristles that are nice and stiff.
Then I blotted the paint on for the first layer, making sure to get an even line of paint along all of those inner edges of the freezer paper.  Then I applied a second layer, brightening up the white paint.  (In the bigger spaces I could use brush strokes but for some of the little holes and slits, the blotting technique worked much better.)
Then I let it dry overnight (instructions said at least 4 hours) and then peeled off the paper…..leaving the stenciled image behind.  It leaves such nice precise lines.  I love that freezer paper stuff.
Lastly, I placed a thin piece of fabric over all the painted sections on the shirts and pants and heat sealed (without steam) the images right to the shirt with my iron.
(And for the baby skeleton, I just tied a bow out of ribbon, heat sealed the ends with a lighter, and sewed it right to the skeleton head.)
And that was it.
Happy Halloween!
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  2. Pingback: 25 DIY Family Halloween Costumes That Are Cheap to Make
  3. Cayla says:

    Sorry to nitpick, but I look at human bones everyday and your arm bones are not anatomically correct and it is KILLING ME. First, the head of the humerus doesn’t have a protrusion like that, and there is no weird bone between the humerus, radius, and ulna. You basically just redrew your version of the leg bones as arms. ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY.

  4. marias says:

    Thank you for taking the time to post the how-to on your skeleton costumes. I want to say thank you and share a bit. We used this tutorial heartily to create a skeleton costume for my son Halloween 2013. It turned out great :) Freezer paper was killer cool, wow, we had no idea it worked like that for a stencil. So efficient. Every single time we pulled back the freezer paper stencil we had clean lines. We used a fabric paint from and your technique with dabbing a layer first with s blunt short bristled brush, then filling in layer upon layer with a regular paint brush. Think I fell in love with my hubby all over when he sketched and cut out all of the stencils. Even with less detail, we found it to be a time consuming part of the project for sure. Wanting to see symmetry between laying out the two sides of the skeleton took time and tweaking. His artistic side was definitely called upon to draw out the bones. We checked out your pictures and info a TON and a ton of basic human skeleton picture from Google:Images to reference and a helpful scene on youtube from original Karate Kid movie. The scene is a teen costume dance and fight scene and Johhny and his skeleton posse are a great reference for building your own skeleton stencil.A project for sure, but our son’s costume rocked and he loved it and liked to help the teamwork effort by painting in the bones as well. And he’s wearing the shirt and pants pieces separately as part of his every day wardrobe. Total score. Thanks again for sharing :) M Yap

  5. Janine says:

    Thank you for such clear directions. I followed them and am excited to wear my costume at 35 weeks pregnant with my 4th baby! I’m hoping that the glow-n-the-dark paint will actually work as my top layer of paint! Happy Halloween!

  6. teresa says:

    I love this! I am so doing this but I hope it turns out this cute for me because I am not that good at drawing lol. I have a 2year old and tight on money with another one on the way, but I really wanted to dress up this year because I wasn’t showing yet with her and this hopefully is our last so I really wanted to do something fun without spending a bunch of money! Thanks for the great idea and easy to understand directions! Again, I love it!!!

  7. Samantha says:

    I’ve been looking for cheaper alternatives to the iron on’s of this costume that I’ve found. Racking your brain for a fun Halloween costume is tough enough, then falling in love with something that will only be worn one time that is $35 is tough, lol I love that I found this!!! I’ll be 36weeks and 6days this Halloween. This is perfect!

  8. Peter says:

    This is amazing – such a unique idea. I just love the twist you’ve added to the typical skeleton costume!

    I thought you and your readers would be interested in learning about the creative costume contest over at – there is a $250 grand prize.

    There is a lot of talent here (with some clever ideas), so keep up the great work! Halloween is right around the corner.


  9. Laura says:

    I made this for Halloween this year as a “reveal” costume. These instructions are so great! Our costumes turned out exactly as we thought. Thank you so much!

  10. Kelly says:

    I just finished this tonight! I’ll be 37 weeks this Halloween. Can’t wait to wear it! Thanks for the step by step instructions.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I just used glow in the dark duc tape instead of paint- it worked great! Thanks for the idea!

  12. pokie07mom says:

    Love this been looking online but to close to halloween for shipping I’m going to try this thanks for the instructions and confidence :-)

  13. Brittani says:

    This is AWESOME. We don’t really celebrate halloween, but this is good enough to maybe make me change my mind … I’m not sure I can bring myself to pass it up, being pregnant and all …not like I can do it next year! lol

  14. Erin B says:

    Awesome thanks for the great idea! I love it and its cheaper than any costume.

  15. Amy says:

    I just found out that I am having my first and my husband loved this idea, so we’re going to try it out as the way to share the news in a few weeks with friends and family. So excited! Thanks for the idea of the bow and the daddy tummy. I hadn’t seen that before this. And the freezer paper is brilliant, I’m hoping I can find some!

  16. maryanne lapinta says:

    omg…will you make me one!

  17. Larisa says:

    This was such a cool idea! I am 32 weeks right now and there is a month to Halloween… I am definitely barrowing your idea! And the one for my hubby too. Its so perfect! Thanks so much for the step by step instructions!!!

  18. Candace says:

    I would buy the stencil from you! Is that an option?

  19. Krystal says:

    I Plan to announce my pregnancy this way, now I just have to get pregnant :)

  20. halloween chick::) says:

    how did you make the belly??? i rly need to kno becuz im going this year so could u plz tell me how??

  21. halloween chick::) says:

    wait how did you make the pregnant belly? cuz im going as a pregnant girl for halloween and i dont kno how to make a pregnant belly..:( plz ttell me how

  22. Adelaide says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I read your blog regularly, and this year for Halloween, I made the pregnant skeleton costume… a huge success!
    Thanks for the tutorial and thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas with us !

  23. Crystal & Co says:

    Most clever pregnant costume I have ever laid eyes on!

    Sharing a link on my Crystal & Co Facebook page.

  24. Allie says:

    Made it, loved it. I adjusted my boyfriend’s costume and made the hamburger a slice of pizza. They came out amazing! Thanks for the tutorial!!!

  25. Chelsea Peruskie says:

    I made mine lastnight!! Thanks for sharing!!

  26. Bridget says:

    I just made this and used sticky felt instead of painting! It was really easy! Thanks for such a cute idea!

  27. Momi says:

    So cute! I can’t wait to do this for Halloween!!! ;) Thank you!

  28. Corey says:

    What do you mean when you say “Lastly, I placed a thin piece of fabric over all the painted sections on the shirts and pants and heat sealed (without steam) the images right to the shirt with my iron.”

    I have a hard time visualizing. What type of fabric and why did you put it over the painted sections?


  29. val says:

    This is an awesome idea, and so nicely executed! You really did a fantastic job with it. I am making this costume with your help!

  30. zaneta says:

    in making the costume i did a t-shirt with a spider that i painted with fabric paint and i have a question about how do you keep the cardboard from sticking to the back of the tshirt on the inside. I’m gonna wait and then wash the shirt to see if the cardboard residue comes off ………….but all in all my project turned out great and i am so excited that i think i will try and make more and this will be my gifts for christmas this year

  31. cj savage says:

    thanks SOOO much for sharing this great tutorial!
    i’m gonna get started on mine today! : )

  32. Kristin says:

    This is the greatest idea. I am in the process of making it now, it’s drying overnight I can’t wait to see the outcome. I am wearing it to work to announce it to my co workers, I’m only 11 weeks. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  33. Karisa says:

    Hi Ashley! I LOVE this idea–so clever :) I just wanted to let you know I’ve included it in our DIY Halloween round up on FaveCraftsBlog:

    Please let me know if you’d be interested in publishing craft projects/tutorials with us! I’d love to have them on FaveCrafts!

  34. Jesy says:

    saw this online today and remembered your post from last year, i still like yours better :D

  35. Emily says:

    Love this!! I am heading off to the store right now to get supplies to make it!

  36. april's craft nest says:

    love this idea! i am preggers right now too and just may have to give this a try! thanks!

  37. zaneta says:

    this is such a cut idea i will totally have to use this , i love making a costume on a budget love it

  38. debbie says:

    I love this idea,, my daughter will be 31 weeks on Halloween and this would make a great costume for her. Ill be sure and share pics with you if I get around to making this for her. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Karla says:

    You should send martha stewart your idea im pritty shure she will love to see it.
    log on to to hwer web pg.

  40. Karla says:

    great idea… love it!

  41. Anna M. says:

    It’s kind of cute, the itty bitty baby skelton.

  42. Allison says:

    I missed this the first time around and am due in a month. I’m so excited! Can’t wait to make it for our neighborhood party! :) Thanks so much for sharing. We just love your creativity!

    1. Sara says:

      This is SO cute! I love it and want to use it to announce the sex of our baby – we should find out about a week and half before our big Halloween party (which is also my 30th birthday party)! So excited! One question – what kind of fabric did you put over the painted sections and heat sealed? Did you actually cut fabric strips out and seal them onto the shirt on top of the paint? I couldn’t figure out what that meant. Thanks!

  43. Kim Johnson says:

    You should win Best Costume!!!! Thanks for sharing your great idea!

  44. chari says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! That is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!!! Now I’m wishing I get pregnant over the next few days so I could make something like that LOL….if not this year, maybe I”ll be pregnant at Halloween another year! Too bad I didn’t have this idea for last year!

  45. Whitney Mathes says:

    I absolutely love this!!! Only problem is, I am so not crafty!! I have looked online and can buy shirts that are similar but not nearly as cute. Is there any way you could make me one and I’ll pay you for it?

  46. Kimberly in NC says:

    This is great! Would you consider selling it, if so how much?

  47. Lacie says:

    I am currently making this! My pregnancy has been a topic of discussion at school (I am a teacher) a LOT this year amongst the kids and adults! I plan to wear this (shirt only) to school the week before Halloween. Since I am having a boy, I asked my facebook friends how to make it boyish instead of the pink bow for a girl. We are thinking ball cap and possibly a soccer ball (Daddy is a soccer nut). It also gave me an idea on how to make lines on a costume for my daughter (with the freezer paper). The spray idea is a fine idea, but the fabric spray paint doesn’t work so great! Hopefully I will have pictures soon! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Jessalyn says:

    Oh my heck. I am prego and my kids all have clothes that look like this that they love so I thought up this unique idea for a halloween costume and just 2 weeks later here it is staring me in the face on my pinterest! You made it way cuter than anything I would have ever come up with on my own! Thanks for pioneering the way, now all I have to do is copy :)

  49. Marina says:

    You could cut the pattern out of iron-on paper stuff and then just iron it on… might be easier than painting! :) Love the idea, though!

  50. JOY A COOPER says:

    Thank you for sharing. My Daughter is pregnant with her first girl and is due next February, she already has two beautiful boys. I guess we have Mommy’s costume figured out!

  51. evedroid says:

    this is buff! i have to make it for this halloween… only to pray not to pop by then, im due with my first (baby girl) on the 6th of november, exactly a week after halloween weekend.
    do you recommend white spray paint then? i dont want it to wash out, want to wear the tracksuits for home :) was thinking of using bleach but its tricky with the fine lines :/

  52. Katie says:

    This is BRILLIANT… I LOVE it!!

  53. chelsea says:

    Hello, the links are not working for me, I am wondering if it is possible for you to post your stencils so that I can print and cut them out please/ this is such a great idea!

    1. Molly K says:

      I too am looking for the stencils. I was going to use this for a craft group that I am in. Hopefully we can find the templates some where.

    2. Ashley says:

      The links were just showing an image of a skeleton online. I found a new link and linked it over to a skeleton……..however, I just used that to sketch out a skeleton shape and used that. I don’t have the actual stencils to share, in fact, I threw those papers away after I used them last year. You sketches don’t have to be perfect…..just a general skeleton shape. Good luck!

  54. Tanis Marble says:

    Where can I find a pattern or template for this?

  55. Lauren says:

    Oh my goodness, I’ve just seen this post… How insanely adorable! Too bad I don’t have any buns in the oven currently, perhaps again one day in the future, and if I’m lucky enough to be preggers during Halloween, I am SO doing this!

  56. hazel says:

    goddamn you for being so adorable (:

  57. Jenny Richins says:

    So cool! you are so creative!!

  58. Sunni says:

    I absolutely love dressing up for Halloween, so much that I start thinking about what to dress up as months before October even hits. I absolutely love this costume idea, and, as I will be in my 8th month in October, I think this will be a fantastic idea for my and my husband's costumes. Thank you!!!

  59. mags897 says:

    Hubby and I are trying for baby number 3,and if we are able to conceive around now, we'll be finding out the sex of the baby around halloween, so this is how we'll do the big reveal for everyone! Such a cute idea!

  60. bethanndodd says:

    Hi! I linked back to this post on my blog. If you prefer I remove it just let me know. Thank you for all you share with us!

  61. Anonymous says:

    That is absolutely adorable! Love the little baby skeleton. =D

  62. meire says:

    It´s so cool… Amazing blog…
    In Portuguese – seu blog é muito fofo…

  63. PeaceLoveApplesauce says:

    This has got to be the cutest thing ever! So creative.. and the bow just tops it off!

  64. Jody and Amy says:

    So creative, I love it!

  65. Susannah says:

    What an amazing idea!!!! I hope I'm pregnant during Halloween one year to do this, too! Sounds like so much fun.

  66. The Johnson's says:

    Very cute. This is how we announced we were expecting last year, complete with a bow too, because we had just found out the day before it was a girl! I took a much harder longer way of making them. Hand painting by eye. I chalked on my outline first, then painted to that. Total time was about 3 days straight of labor, funny pun. The little preggy skeleton is catching on, so glad everyone is having fun making them!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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