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Super Hero Cape with Chest Plate (shield template included)

Connor has suddenly become some sort of Super Hero FANATIC!!!  He hasn’t ever seen any super hero shows.  And he only has a few super hero figurines.  Oh yeah, and I gave him a little Eye Spy super hero book several months ago, just for fun.  But that’s it.  However, he will sit and stare at that little 12 page book for hours, letting his little brain figure out what’s going on in each busy scene…………and will fight his little figurines until the good guy wins.  Very funny to watch. :)


That’s why, for his 5th birthday this month, we gave him more super hero stuff.  And actually, I was wanting to make this little project for his birthday (which I originally saw a similar idea at the store)…..but, well, we just ran out of time. 


So here it is:







And let me tell you……….he was STOKED!!!!!






I mean, come on…….a cape and shield make you jump higher, fight stronger, and look tougher.






Yeah, you can just make a little old cape…….but adding on a shield is twice as cool.  And don’t worry, it’s nice and stiff (made from plastic canvas inside) and won’t get crumpled with frequent use.


To remove, there’s velcro on one side of the neck……





……and around the waist.  Easy on/off.





It makes that protective shield nice and secure.  Even when jumping off skyscrapers!!!






Run on Mr C……you’ve got villages to protect.  And goblins to crush.





Perfect for his big imagination.  And perfect for those little boy Super Heroes! :)




Want to make your own Cape/Shield???



Let’s get started already……your super hero needs a cape! :)



First, gather a few things.



  • 1 yard of cape fabric (I used a polyester blend that was nice and flowy….but the fabric choice can be anything, really.)
  • 1/4 yard fleece
  • scraps of felt
  • velcro
  • 2 plastic canvas pieces (12 x 12 inches or bigger)
  • 1 inch wide ribbon (at least 2.5 yards)
  • Glue gun/sticks
  • and yeah, you’ll need a sewing machine! :)

**The amount of supplies will vary on what size cape you make, but this is what I needed to make this for my 5 year old son.



Trace your shield shape out onto a piece of paper.  (Shield Pattern Piece found here.)  And then use that as your guide to cut it out in the canvas.



Cut 2 of the shapes out in canvas, for extra durability.



Place the 2 shields on top of some fleece, and cut the fleece around it, leaving about 2 inches or so around all the edges.



Then, fold each of the edges down and glue them down with the hot glue gun.



Keep it pulled nice and snug as you glue the edges down, all the way around.



Now, time to personalize.  Cut out shapes, letter, designs out of felt…..and hot glue them down.  Be sure to glue nice and close to the edges, so they won’t ever get pulled off.



Set the shield aside for now, and onto the cape section. 


There’s no set rule for how full or how long you need to make the cape.  But the more fabric you gather together, the more full and flow-y the cape will be.  (However, if you have thicker fabric, it will be harder to gather and sew through.  So you may want less, depending on your fabric.)  And the width of the gathered section of the cape that sits around the shoulders is also variable.  I draped some fabric around Connor’s shoulders to get an idea how wide I wanted the cape to sit and went with that number, which was 10 inches.


Then, it was time to cut fabric.


For my 5 year old Connor, I cut a piece of fabric that was 47 inches wide and 32 inches tall.  Along each 32 inch side, I folded the edge (towards the wrong side of the fabric, if you have one) a 1/2 inch, then another 1/2 inch…..then sewed in place.  (Remember, repeat with the other 32 inch side.)  Iron flat.



Then, I folded the very bottom edge up a 1/2 inch, another 1/2 inch…..then sewed it in place as well.  Iron again.



Now, along the top edge, I sewed a basting stitch a 1/2 inch from the edge.



Then I gathered it in until it was 10 inches wide, like I mentioned (above) wanting the gathered section of the cape width to be.  (Need help with gathering fabric??)



Then, I cut a piece of ribbon that was 1 inch wider on each end (12 inches) and placed the gather cape on top.  (The right side of the cape is facing up.)  Then I pinned the gathered edge right to the ribbon, slightly lower than the top edge of the ribbon.



Then, I sewed the gathered fabric right down the center of the ribbon.



Then I folded each end of ribbon over and sewed them in place.



Next, I placed an even larger piece of ribbon over the top of the gathered ribbon.  I let the ribbon overhang 2 inches at one end and about 8 inches at the other end.  (You’ll see why next.)  Pin the ribbon in place, matching up the top edges of both pieces of ribbon.



Then, sew along the top edges of the ribbon first and then the bottom edges.  And then along both sides.  Now, your gathers are all enclosed.



Next, grab your shield and lay it face down in front of you.  Place the cape with the right side facing down as well.  Grab the longer ribbon end that’s connected to the cape and glue it down to the back side of the shield.  Leave about 2 inches of ribbon between the shield and the cape.  (That part of the ribbon will sit on the shoulder.)  Then, cut another piece of ribbon and glue it down to the shield as well, leaving a 2 inch tail hanging off the edge of the shield.

***When you’re hot gluing the ribbon in place, make sure to apply a good amount of glue to the edge of the ribbon where it meets the top edge of the shield.  You don’t want it to ever peel back.




The extra ribbon piece you added and the ribbon that’s connected to the shield should be the same length.  Also, the placement of these ribbons should be wide enough to sit on shoulders and not squeeze in too tight on the neck.



And instead of hemming any ribbon edge, just heat seal it with a lighter (or candle).  This will slightly melt the edge and keep it from fraying.



If you’re making a different size and aren’t sure how long to make the ribbon pieces, have your subject hold the shield in place and then place the cape around the shoulders.  Then extend the ribbon out as far as you think it needs to be.



As for the other shoulder, the piece of ribbon that’s hanging off the cape should be twice the length of the ribbon coming off the shield…….but then when you fold the end under in half, it will be the same length.



So, go ahead and fold over the 4 inch ribbon end coming off the cape, under 2 inches.  Then sew a piece of velcro to the BACK side of it.  Add the coordinating piece of velcro to the other end of ribbon coming off the shield, but sew it to the FRONT side of the ribbon.



And now, you’ll need a piece of ribbon to attach to the bottom of the shield to keep it in place on your little super hero.  I cut my piece 31 inches long.  Then I glued it down to the shield, about 2 inches from the bottom.  On one side (the right side), I let the ribbon hang over about 5 inches……and then the rest hung over the other side.  Hot glue it in place.

 ***When you’re hot gluing the ribbon in place, make sure to apply a good amount of glue to the edge of the ribbon where it meets the top edge of the shield.  You don’t want it to ever peel back.




Then heat seal both ribbon ends with a lighter.  Then, fold under the longer ribbon end 2 inches…..and then attach velcro to both ends.



Lastly, place the shield face up on another piece of fleece and hot glue it down, with generous amounts of glue.



Cut around the edges, trimming away the excess fleece.  Then, add more hot glue around any edges that weren’t sealed closed.



And that’s it!  Your little super hero is ready to conquer the world!!!!! :)



Have fun!






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Ashley Johnston

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

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