Wednesday, November 11, 2015

DIY Ewok Baby Carrier Costume

Ocean's Ewok costume is quite versatile and can be adjusted depending on the age of the child. Since  Ocean is still quite small, I attached the Ewok to the outside of the carrier. If he was larger and facing out in the carrier, he could have worn the Ewok or had it attached to the carrier around him. And if he was walking, he could have worn the Ewok costume.

When I was searching for inspiration for this costume, I found several ideas. The chief one was to use a teddy bear costume for the base of the costume and add embellishments. I did consider doing this for Ocean, but decided it would be less effective since he would be in the carrier, facing me. Since his costume needed a face, I decided to use a stuffed bear as the base of the costume. This was a bit problematic though, as I couldn't find any of a decent size. Since I couldn't find a bear the right size I went on eBay to see what I could find there. 

I found an Ewok backpack that I thought I could use, but even the used one I bought cost $30, which I thought was a bit pricey.

So when we were in IKEA several weeks before Halloween and saw this bear for $15, I decided to use the IKEA bear and re-sell the backpack on eBay.

The first thing I did was to cut the snout off. Ewok's have much flatter faces, so a bear's snout was the wrong look.

I'm guessing the white and red strips are to stabilize the snout and help it keep its shape. I left those in place.

To get a flatter look, I used needle and thread to pull the edges of the hole together.

The Ewok still needed a mouth and nose, so I folded the snout in half and sewed it back on upside down. The nose is still visible but the original mouth is against the stitches I used to flatten the face. I folded the edges under until I liked the look and sewed everything in place by hand. I used a scrap of the face material to make lips to go around two felt teeth that were also hand sewn on.

The mouth looks a bit goofy, but if you look at the Ewoks in the movie, their mouths also look goofy.

After the face was finished I carefully cut up the back seam and removed the stuffing from the body cavity. 

I left the stuffing in the legs and arms and removed some from the head. I loosely sewed across each opening to keep the stuffing in place. I wanted the head a little flatter than it was originally since it would be resting against Ocean's head and didn't need to be fully rounded. I didn't do anything to close the cut in the back of the bear, but just left it open. I ended up using the opening to store my phone and keys since I didn't have pockets.

Once the bear was deflated a bit, it was time to make it look more like an Ewok. I found some brown knit fabric in my stash and I draped it around the bear to make it look like an Ewok's headgear/poncho thing. Once it was how I wanted it, I used embroidery floss to give it rustic stitches. The stitches held the fabric folds in place while also being decorative.

When I had the fabric how I wanted it was time to add some bling. Ewok bling isn't shiny though, it's made of leather, wood beads, and feathers :) The leather lace, feathers, and wood beads were all purchased from Michaels. Thread and small dabs of hot glue attach the feathers to the lace, with a bead covering the thread.

I attached the leather laces to the headress.

The last thing I did was attach some webbing to the bear to act as straps to attach it to the baby carrier. I happened to have a length of webbing with a buckle already attached, so I just used that. I hand stitched the strap to the back of the bear's neck, then used a small piece of webbing to make a loop. I stitched the loop under the bear's tail and ran the strap through it. This gave the bear straps kind of like a backpack.

I used the straps to attach the bear to the front of the carrier, looping it around the carrier straps. The buckle allowed me to tighten the straps so the bear didn't sag too low.

You can see the black strap looping through the purse strap of the Boba carrier. I also used a large safety pin to pin the back of the bear's head to the hood of the carrier. Without the pin the head sagged forward too much.

In the pictures above I had Ocean sitting in the carrier with his legs tucked under him, which raised his head high enough that it could be seen. In the pictures below I positioned Ocean so he wasn't sitting on his legs and was lower in the carrier. So his head wasn't showing, but his legs were. It's a trade-off.

I'm fairly happy with how this turned out. If I'd used the backpack, I would have attached it to the carrier in pretty much the same way, using the backpack straps and a safety pin, though it would have been a bit smaller than the IKEA bear. The straps made it really easy to get the bear on and off the carrier- much easier than the baby carrier owl costume I made for River when he was a tiny baby.

If you have an older baby in a forward facing carrier, the bear would still work. Just cut the face out, pull all the stuffing out the back, and fit the bear around the baby (baby's face in the bear's head, arms in the arms, etc). The bear's body would cover most of the baby carrier this way. Add a couple ties to the back/shoulders to tie around the carrier straps to make sure the bear doesn't slide off or open too much.

There's also the potential of being able to use this costume next year, depending on how tall Ocean grows. If Ocean's short enough I can cut the entire face off and open the feet and paws. He could then wear it like a teddy bear costume (which I could purchase, but if we already have this and it fits, why spend more money?). We'll have to wait and see though.

You can see this year's family of Star Wars characters here
Last year's family of Star Wars characters can be found here, including the Yoda baby carrier costume I made
The owl baby carrier costume I made two years ago can be found here

No comments:

Post a Comment