Basketball Player Costume, On the Cheap

In 3rd grade at my kids’ elementary, they get to participate in a wax museum.  Each kid reads a biography and then dresses as that person for an oral report.  The parents (and the rest of the school) get to come see all the kids in costume at once, posed and holding still.  There’s the “wax museum” part of it.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a really, really long time (hint: my mom), you might remember Macy’s Helen Keller ensemble.

Keller came home and announced that the biography he’d selected was for Steve Nash.  Um, OK?  The next sentence was “So you can just buy me a jersey or something…”  Sorry, no.  I love you but this is a book report.  I’m not spending that kind of $$$ for a book report costume.  I knew I had to get creative.




2 cheap-o t-shirts.  Mine came from Michael’s and were 2 for $5.  One was an adult size small and the other was an adult size XL.

Avery Personal Creations InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers, White, Five Sheets per Pack (03279)
(I used 2 sheets out of the 5 sheet pack.)

You’re going to make the shorts from the XL shirt.  Fold it in half and use the existing hem to save yourself some time.  I traced a pair of Keller’s shorts and then just cut a little bigger for seam allowances.  (Who am I kidding?  This is a costume that will be worn for under 2 hours.  I didn’t trace.  I just cut.)


Be sure to include an extra 2” or so at the top for the waistband casing.  Sew the inner seams on each leg and then sew the crotch seam.  Make the waistband casing, insert some elastic and you’re done.  Seriously…5 minutes.

For the “jersey”, I cut both sleeves off the size small shirt about where the (really wobbly) yellow line is in the picture below.


I pressed them under along the seam and stitched them in place so they wouldn’t flip back out. You could hem the t-shirt at this point if you want, but I just made my kid tuck it in (back to that whole “wearing it for less than 2 hours” thing).

For the Suns logo, I used the print and cut feature in my Silhouette Studio software.  You can ABSOLUTELY do it without, you’d just cut out the shape with scissors.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  My Silhouette has made me lazy.  Open-mouthed smile

Here’s a brief how to if you have a Silhouette and want to do it that way:

Find an image of your team’s logo.  Open it in Silhouette Studio.  Display your registration marks now so you don’t get all the way done and discover you made it like a millimeter too big.  Trust.  Once you’ve done that, you’re going to want to use the TRACE function (red arrow) and then select an area to be traced (green arrow).

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Adjust your trace settings (bottom right hand side rectangle) until you get a good outline and then select the “TRACE OUTER EDGE” option (yellow arrow).

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I’ve moved the logo out of the way so you can see what you just did a little more clearly.  You can leave it put if your eyes are better than mine.

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That line will cut precisely along the edge of the logo.  I wanted a little white border, since my shirt was dark, so I used the “OFFSET” function.  It’s under the “OBJECT” menu in the upper left hand corner.  You can then change the thickness of the white border (blue arrow).

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I still have the logo out of the way for the sake of tutorial clarity, but you’ll want to leave it put in real life.  The last step is to change the inner most line so that your Silhouette will not cut it.  You use the “CUT STYLE” menu (orange arrow) for this.

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Change the inner line to “no cut” and leave the outer line as “cut”.  Here’s what your finished design will look like before you print it from Silhouette Studio.

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Print it on the Avery transfer paper and then put it on a mat and run it through your Silhouette.  I used the medium cardstock settings.  Apply it to your shirt following the package directions.


Put your name and number on the back, if you want.


Not bad for around $8, right?



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The secret to big old Frankenstein shoulders…


A pool noodle, with a neck notch cut into it.  I used a serrated bread knife.


Happy Halloween!

Quick reminder that today is the last day to take advantage of the current Silhouette promo…$299 for a Cameo and your choice of starter kit (vinyl, heat transfer, fabric ink, or rhinestones).  Use code “CRAP”.

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The details

You know…in case any of you ever get crazy enough to want to make these same costumes.

Macy’s “cute” vampire:

  • Black shirt and leggings she already owned
  • Sparkly red shoes – reused from last year’s Dorothy costume, originally purchased at Target.
  • Tutu – used this tutorial
  • Cape from Simplicity # 5927 – The pattern called for 13.25 yards of trim. There were also supposed to be horizontal lines of sequins and some on the collar, but there was no way that was happening with the 13.25 yards. FabriTac worked way better than the hot glue gun for attaching the sequins.
  • Long black wig – found at the grocery store
  • Creepy make up from a kit and cheap vampire teeth

Keller and Campbell’s Mario Brothers:

  • Overalls from McCall’s #4644 – I lengthened the back straps and squared off the front bib part. I also added facings (the pattern is made for fleece) and the chest pocket.
  • White magic stretch gloves – I bought mine on Amazon.
  • Long sleeve tees in bright red and green – I bought mine from
  • Baseball caps from Oriental Trading – I had to buy a dozen. If anyone needs a freaking ugly hat in red, green, yellow, orange, black or blue…let me know! I free handed the M and L circle logos and then used Wonder Under to make them. I used FabriTac to glue them to the hats.
  • Mustaches – also from Oriental Trading
  • Wigs – found at Dollar Tree, they were originally red and yellow striped. I spray painted them black.

Bennett’s Toad:

  • Toad hat – modified from this idea in Family Fun. It’s basically a sombrero and bubble wrap. I glued on the red circles with more of the FabriTac. That stuff got a work out this year.
  • Vest – made from red felt with yellow felt trim. I looked at a pirate vest from several years ago and figured out how to shape the pieces from that. It took 3 tries, but felt is cheap and wide, so I had plenty.
  • Pants – white knit. I traced a pair he already owned and made them puffier and put elastic at the bottom.
  • Shirt – I used a long sleeved onesie I already had and dyed it. I used Rit Liquid in tan and just dipped it ’til it looked to be a good skin color.
  • Brown shoes – we already owned, but they’re Pedipeds if you think you need some.
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