Awesome Jellyfish Costume DIY

It’s Halloween night and my teenage daughter still does not have a costume. She’d been thinking about making a homemade jellyfish costume but had made no progress toward that end.

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A quick search on Pinterest produced many tutorials on how to make jellyfish costumes with umbrellas. That’s a problem. Living in Southern California means that I haven’t seen an umbrella in years. I wasn’t about to scour every store in town to find one, especially a transparent one. Maybe if you live on the East Coast you can just go to Walmart, but here, an umbrella is a specialty item.

She also wanted to have her hands free to grab all that sweet trick-or-treating candy, so holding an umbrella all night wasn’t going to cut it.

Fortunately, I saw some Halloween jellyfish costumes made with a sombrero. We don’t have a sombrero but we had an old gardener’s hat. Actually, we have several old gardeners hats In various conditions. It happens that my husband is a hopeless scrounge and that no hat flying off any gardener’s truck is safe from his grasp. Highway, hillside, ditch, he’ll retrieve ’em all. I guess I’m grateful. His hoarding came in handy this time.

After a quick trip to the store to pick up some plastic tablecloths that we didn’t have on hand we were ready to start. Other than the tablecloths, we used only items we had already at home so the total cost for us was $3.

We also put this costume together in under an hour. Winner!

I will show you how easy it was to make and how you can do it too.  The costume ended up being very popular on the streets, we got lots of oohs and aahs while trick-or-treating.

This light up jellyfish costume would work great for an under the sea theme party too.

Easy Jellyfish Costume Tutorial

  • An old big hat
  • A transparent punch bowl
  • 3 plastic tablecloths, one white one light blue and one teal.
  • Clear packaging tape
  • Two strands of battery powered LED lights

First, place the bowl upside down on top of the hat and tape it securely with the packaging tape. Keep in mind that the LED lights will have to go in between the hat and the bowl. Our sorry excuse of a hat was so old that it already had some very convenient holes on the top so we could tuck the lights in at the end.

Then you will want to wrap the bowl-hat in a double thickness of the light blue plastic tablecloth. We just secured the tablecloth to the insides of the hat with more packaging tape.

Now it’s time to cut strips from all three colors of tablecloths.

Leave the tablecloths mostly folded and cut several 2-inch strips.

Unravel the strips. You’ll want to hold the strip in your hand and pull with your thumbs on each side of the plastic. Proceed in this manner about every 1 to 2 inches all the way down the strip. It will make the plastic look wavy, like tentacles. It’s a trick I learned from our amazing Under the Sea decorations for Vacation Bible School.

Look at the pictures below for a visual.

Do this for every strip of plastic. You will need about 30 to 40 strips in all. Making strips of various lenghs adds to the wavy effect.

You can see the strips of plastic looking like a beautiful wall of seaweed as well as many other Under the Sea decorations in my VBS post.

Now just tape your tentacles to the underside of the brim of the jellyfish hat with more packaging tape.

You’re now ready to install the LED lights between the hat and the bowl.  If your hat has not been scrounged by the side of the road and does not already have holes in it, you may need to create some to be able to tuck in the lights and batteries.

I’m sure you could figure out some other way if you don’t want to sacrifice your hat. But the “pre-installed” holes allowed me to turn the lights off and on at will.

My daughter crammed a bandana on the inside of the hat so it would fit her head better and stay put. And she put together a green outfit to match the jellyfish costume.

Now turn on your LED lights and get out trick or treating.

I promise a lot of stares and thumbs ups along the way.

The costume fared well all night. And a year later, it’s still intact and my daughter’s choice to wear again this Halloween.

Let me know if you make this costume. I would love to see your pictures.

If you’re looking for more easy Halloween costume tutorials, check out my homemade ghost, bat, and butterfly costumes

And don’t forget to pin it for later.


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23 thoughts on “Awesome Jellyfish Costume DIY

  1. Sherri says:

    Love the costume! We are doing an under the sea theme for trunk or treat and this goes along perfectly! Could you wrap the lights around the hat then place the bowl over that?

    • Press Print Party says:

      Thank you Sherri. Yes, you could wrap the lights around the hat first. You just need to figure out a way to turn them on and off if you need to. That was why having an old hat with holes was so helpful.

  2. Grace Amstutz says:

    Our troop (Frontier Girls) is going to be the characters of the “Finding Nemo” movie. My youngest daughter is going to be a pink jellyfish! This is IDEAL for her costume & much easier than a clear umbrella! We didn’t know how to do the tentacles, especially if it drizzled here in PA; the plastic tablecloths are SO much better than the crepe paper we were thinking of using! I can’t wait to make it & have her show it off for our local parade & others around the area! Thank you so much!

  3. Cornejo says:

    This is awesome and looks really cute! One question though, how exactly do you put the led lights in? The instructions didn’t go in much detail and I want to make sure I do it right! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Beth says:

    With the days getting shorter around here (NH), I’m starting to get the itch to work on some Halloween costumes! Love how you put this jellyfish costume together!

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