o my halloween: lorax costume tutorial

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It was the morning after we had watched The Lorax movie as a family that it hit me. OBoy stepped up onto a bench in the playroom and declared “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees!” and I knew exactly what we would do for Halloween.

You should also know at the outset of this tutorial that I do not fancy myself a seamstress. I don’t say that so that you will excuse the crooked hems seen below (but please do that too), but to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it. Sure, there’s some sewing involved, but nothing scary or complex. Really, I could have done the sewing on this costume by hand. I also frequently reminded myself throughout the creation of it that he will wear this for a total of 2-3 hours of his life. No need to be a perfectionist here.

Another great thing about this costume was the price and time it took. $10 and time spent was less than an hour of hands-on work. Boom. Quick and cheap costume.

Materials needed:

Craft Fur (9″x12″ sheet) :: $1.99 @ Joann’s

Rit fabric dye in Golden Yellow (I used the liquid version) :: $2.99 @Joann’s

1.5 yards orange stretch fleece (may need 2 yards for an older child. OBoy is about 38in tall and 30lbs.) :: $4.50 @ JoAnn’s

Half a yard of 1/2″ width elastic band (I had in my stash) :: around $1 purchased

Lorax mustache template from here :: free!

Supplies needed:

Fabric scissors

Sharpie in a dark color

Needle and (orange) thread or sewing machine

Hot glue gun or E6000 adhesive (optional – can use needle and thread)

A hat that fits the child (to trace)

Step 1: dye the mustache


Craft fur, meet yellow dye. Yellow dye, meet craft fur.

The directions on the Rit bottle say that it’s not for synthetic materials, so I actually wasn’t even sure that the yellow dye would work on the fur (which is 100% polyester) but since I couldn’t find a yellow fur I liked, this was my best shot. I also didn’t want to do the hot dying method (which involves putting the fabric and dye together to simmer on the stove) because I didn’t know if the fur could handle the heat. Instead, I basically filled up my sink with enough as-hot-as-it-can-get water to cover the depth of the fur (an inch and a half or so) and then dumped in about half of the dye bottle. Very scientific.

At this point I panicked because the water was positively ORANGE and we all know that the Lorax does not have an orange mustache. But, on went the great experiment. I submerged the fur in the orange water and rubbed a fork through/over it to make sure the dye was in contact with all of the material. The bottle said to let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. After checking it at 30min, the fur had hardly pulled any color. Cue second panic. I decided to leave it sitting in the dye for 2 full hours and sure enough, 2 hours was enough time for the fur to turn yellow!

AllisonO, 1. Rit Dye and synthetic fabric, 0.

I rinsed the fur until the water ran clear, then set it on paper towels to dry.

Step 2: make the bodysuit

While the fur sits in the dye, it’s a good time to cut and sew the body of the costume.

moving collage.jpg

First, I wrangled my kiddo. Hardest part of the whole process.


((He’s clearly thrilled. “It done yet, Mommy? My Lorax cos-koom done now?”))

I measured for the bodysuit by literally wrapping the fleece around my son’s whole body at the torso and marking the width of fabric I’d need. I made sure not to use the material’s stretch while measuring, keeping it nice and loosely draped. I did not add any seam allowance to this width because (as you can see above) his arms were wrapped inside the material and after arm holes, they would not be in there, obviously. I did it this way because one, it was easier and two, we live in Minnesota and I wanted to leave extra room in the body suit should he need to wear a heavy jacket on Halloween night. Two arms’ worth of padding was plenty for both the seam and a potential coat.

While the fleece was wrapped around him, I noted how much I needed to trim off of the length as well so that the suit would mostly cover his pants but still leave him flex room to walk.


Next I cut the width where I had marked, then eyeballed the length I needed to trim (I took off 6 inches or so).

I then folded the fabric in half  vertically, as it had been wrapped around my son, and sewed shut the long side and one of the short sides – making something of a bag.

sewing collage.jpg

This is the basic construction of the body suit, and from here I just added head and arm holes. First I found the middle of the short-sewn side to put the head hole there. I folded the suit in half vertically, then cut a curved hole in the middle (at the fold) of the short sewn side (bottom-left picture below). To get an idea of where I should put arm holes, I turned the suit right-side-out (seams on the inside) and wrangled my kiddo into the “straight jacket”  (bottom-middle picture below). I realized by doing this that really, cutting off the corners would make a good arm hole location (bottom-right picture below).

After cutting the arms and head holes, I flipped the suit back inside out and reenforced the seams a bit where they had been cut into.

What you have as a result is a very, very basic jumper for the body suit.

head and arm holes.jpg

 Step 3: make the hat

This step is as easy as can be.

I laid out spare fleece fabric, folded in half. I set a hat that currently fits my son an inch from the base of the fabric to trace. Leaving about a half of an inch cushion between my pen and the hat, I traced the shape of the hat onto the fleece.

Then I cut it out, both sides of the fabric at once.


(Again with the not being a perfectionist.)  I pinned the two sides together and ran them through my sewing machine with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I will note here that after first tracing a smaller hat, then not leaving enough room at the base of the fabric for a hem on a second hat, I learned by the third hat to err on the side of too big. 

IMG_1755.jpg IMG_1761.jpg

Leaving the hat inside out, I folded up and pinned the bottom half inch of material to make a hem at the base of the hat. I then sewed this hem on my machine in a zig-zag stitch so that the material and stitching would be able to stretch over the head (as opposed to a straight stitch which does not give when stretched). And then I forgot to take a picture of this last step, but the zig-zag hem can be seen below.

Step 4: make the mustache and eyebrows


Using the template from here and a dark sharpie, I traced the mustache shape onto the back side of the fur, at the bottom of the sheet. I placed it on the bottom for maximum hair-hanging-down-ness. Then I cut the mustache shape carefully, avoiding trimming any extra hair that I could. Again, for the maximum hairiness. I did end up skipping a couple of the zig-zag cuts in the mustache pattern because I realized they wouldn’t matter (see below in elastic picture).

cutting mustache.jpg

Once the ‘stache was traced and cut out, I attached to it the elastic that I measured to fit around my kiddo’s head with a needle and thread. Measuring the elastic consisted of having my son hold up the mustache to his face and me wrapping the elastic, slightly taught, behind his head and from edge to edge of the ‘stache. I chose the top peaks of the mustache shape as the best spot to attach the elastic – mostly because of the width of my son’s face, these corners were about at his temples.

mustache elastic.jpg

Using the (plentiful) remaining fur I cut out two small tear-drop shapes, again being careful not to trim extra fur when I could avoid it. I tried the hat on my son and marked on the hem above his eyes, then I attached these two eyebrows to the hat at those marks. I used E6000 adhesive, but a hot glue gun or needle and thread would work for this, too.


The very last step was to find a long-sleeved orange shirt to wear under the body suit – Target for $5 – in case it’s warm enough to leave our coats home while trick-or-treating.

full costume.jpg

OBrother? Well, he is going to be a truffula tree. If my crazy idea for his costume actually works (think: purple puff above his head) I will be doing a how-to on that costume soonly. Happy Halloween!

31 Responses to “o my halloween: lorax costume tutorial”

  1. Theresa

    Super cute! Nice work, and it’s great to see a tutorial for a costume that doesn’t include a billion steps and tricky techniques :)

  2. Jaclyn L.

    Thank you so much for this! My son has been obsessed with reading the Lorax lately and the idea just came to me, so I was very excited to see that you’d already done all the hard work. I too was going to make his 5 month old sister a truffla. I’ll send pics when were done. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Rochelle

    This is AH-dorable!!! Awesome costume & what a cutie patootie OBoy is! Contemplating learning how to sew…any advice on starter machines/books?

  4. Darlene

    Thank you so much! My son wants to be the Lorax for Dr.Suess day. I’m a crafter but NOT a person that sews. I actually found an orange king sized pillowcase to skip most of the sewing. I still had to make the hat. Thanks again for the idea!

  5. Andrea

    My son wants to “speak for just one tree” this Halloween!! I’m going to give this a try!! Thanks for being so detailed…I’m hoping I can make it work!


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