Browsing Costumes

Jack Sparrow Costume Part 2 – Adding the Dreadlocks to Your Swashbuckling Pirate Wig


Now that the dreads have dried, we’re ready to add them to the wig!  When you’re all done, you should end up with something like this:

Jack vs. the Kraken

Jack vs. the Kraken…okay. Not really.











Here’s a list of the items you’ll need:

  • 1 dark brown wig, preferably medium length.  You will be cutting and altering this wig, so be sure to use one you don’t really care about. Ours came from a discount Halloween bin, we used this one, which had to be thinned a bit and trimmed to the proper length.
  • Kuchi pendant with beads. This was kind of hard to find, and although it’s not exactly the right one, it looks close enough.  I searched ebay until I found one similar to the one used for the films
  • 1 black or dark brown ponytail holder (for the mini-ponytail thing on the top of jack’s head)
  • Chinese coin pendants
  • Seagull Coin pendant (we found an arcade token that was about the right size, which I painted)
  • String of black and red beads with white dots
  • Reindeer shin bone (ours was just a wooden clay forming tool that was sanded down and then painted to resemble the one worn by Jack Sparrow)
  • Paint to customize beads if desired. If I couldn’t find a bead, I made it out of Fimo and painted it to look more like the original
  • Twine, leather strips, or other type of string for attaching elements to wig
  • Large red bandanna
  • Small strips of the red bandanna for tying to the ends of the dreads

Please note that you may add as many or as few of these accessories as you like.  As stated in my previous post, I did go a bit crazy with the details.

With the front of the wig facing you, make a small ponytail on the top left hand side about 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the front edge of the hair line. Once this is done, trim the ponytail so that it is only about 5 inches long and make it a bit layered.  There should also be a tuft that is much shorter than the rest of it.  Like this:


This is the ponytail. Notice it is to the left of the center part of the wig.









If your wig doesn’t have shorter layers in front, the front and top of the wig need to be chopped unevenly.  I can’t really describe this part, as each wig will be different, but I suggest looking at several pictures of Jack Sparrow’s hair for a reference.  Be sure to leave the back nice and long for the braid.

The dreads should be placed along the bottom edge of the wig, along the sides, and up to the side-burn area. In addition, you will need to attach 2-3 dreads near the top of the wig “scalp” so that they can be incorporated into large braid on the back of the wig. Here are some images of the underside of the wig:


Notice the strings on the wig lacing. This is where the dreads and accessories are attached.









A closer look at the strings.

A closer look at the strings.









To attach the dreads to the wig, place the ends of the string in the middle of the dread into two adjacent holes on the lace wig scalp. Tighten with a double square knot. Attach the accessories to the desired area of the wig in the same way.

Here are some close up photos of the decorative elements we chose to attach to the wig:

The faux "reindeer shin bone" with the black and red beads

The faux “reindeer shin bone”. I really just sanded down a clay shaping tool until it looked close enough to the original. I painted it white and then used a rag to rub off some of the paint. Then I added a patina using black and brown artists ink. I also coated the whole thing with a matte sealer to protect the finish. Also note the Chinese coin near the bottom of the photo.











Kuchi Pendant

This gets attached to one of the dreads on the right hand side of the wig. All of the beads (except the pendant and the top most bead) are made of fimo, which were then painted to look like the ones worn by Jack.
















Jack's iconic pieces of 8

The coin at the bottom is fimo…until I can find a better one, anyway. The red one was hard to find, so I painted a plain wooden bead to look like Jack’s.










Hand painted coin

I found a coin that was about the right size and color, drilled a hole at the top and then hand painted the waves and seagulls. Note the red piece of bandanna wrapped around the dread, too.










Again, you can use as many or as few of these as you like.

I couldn’t find an affordable bandanna that looked like Jack’s, so I bought an over-sized cotton kitchen towel and dyed it red. I drew on the scrolling vines and flowers with a fine tip fabric marker, and the flowers were painted with medium blue acrylic paint, trying to stay as true to the original pattern as I could.

Here are more pictures of the finished wig:


Jack caught "borrowing" Vader's Light Saber

Jack caught “borrowing” Vader’s Light Saber













Jack meets Jango Fett

Jack meets Jango Fett












If I can find the images without the hat, I’ll be sure to post them, but these will do for now.

Let me know if you decide to make a wig like this one!  I’d love to see it!

Jack Sparrow Costume Part 1 – DIY Dreadlocks for a Proper Swashbuckling Pirate Wig



It’s August, and that means there is a lot of talk about Halloween in this house.  Last year, my son was Jack Sparrow.  I made his entire costume by hand, from the felted wool pirate hat to the boot covers and buttons.  Hopefully we’ll get more into that later, but for now I thought I’d post a tutorial for making this salty, dreadlocked pirate wig:

Salty Pirate Dreads.

Salty Pirate Dreads.

Before we begin though, I have to confess…I went a bit overboard making this wig, because I saw that an investment of about $50 could transform a $3.00 wig I bought years ago at an after Halloween clearance sale into a high-quality costume accessory that could be used many times in the future. To customize this project to your budget, you can use as many (or as few) accessories for this wig as you like.

Make sure to purchase enough wool roving to make several (at least 18) dreadlocks. I bought 10 oz. of wool on Etsy (the link to the store will be posted at the bottom of the page), and I still have plenty left over, even after making a set of 12 dreadlocks that ended up looking more purple than brown and were unusable for the Jack Sparrow wig.  A word of caution:  RIT dye doesn’t seem to work very well with wool, so unless you want to end up with strange purpley brownish colored dreads, use gel food coloring .  I used Wilton colors, and the final product matched the original wig  color very nicely.

What you will need for this portion of the project:

1 dark brown wig, medium length
8-10 oz. hank of wool roving
Large bowl of warm, soapy water
A towel, wooden cutting board or other rough, clean surface for rolling out dreadlocks
A 5″ length of string for each dreadlock you plan to make
Assortment of black, brown, and yellow food coloring pastes
White vinegar
Glass measuring cups
Oven-safe baking dishes or bowls



Prepare your bowl of warm, soapy water.

For each set of dreadlocks, cut the wool into 2-foot lengths. (This seems long, but you’ll be folding each dread in half to attach it to your wig, so you’ll actually end up with two 12″ long dreads.)

Jack Sparrow Halloween Costume Wig DIY

Hank of wool roving waiting to be divided

Next, separate the hank of wool you just cut into 1/2″ to 1″ wide sections. Fold each dread over on itself and match the ends. This creates a loop at the top, like this:

This is the loop...

Making the loop…

Do the same thing to one of the pieces of string. Lay the looped end of your dreadlock over the loop of string. Bring the ends of the string around wool and through the looped end of the string. Pull to tighten.


Lay one of your pieces of wool over a string, like so…

Jack Sparrow Dreads, Step 2

Later, you’ll use the string to tie the dreadlock to your wig!

For added security, tie string in a regular square knot. Your wool should now closely resemble a long white mustache.


Tie a square knot at the top…

When you finish securing the string to a piece of wool, drop the whole thing into the bowl of soapy water.

After all of the dreads have been added to the water. agitate them gently with your hands or a spoon.

Lift dreads out one at a time by the string at the top. Squeeze excess water from the wool and straighten the dreadlock. On the surface of the towel or butcher’s block, roll each dread from the center out toward the edges. The friction from the rough surface will cause the wool to felt, creating a look that is very similar to dreadlocks.


Roll out from the center moving toward the ends…

Set your new dreads aside for a few minutes to prepare them for the dyeing process.

Preheat your oven to about 170 degrees.  After the dreads have air dried for a bit, prepare a dye bath by mixing together vinegar and one or more of the food colorings.  Take care to try to mix the colors to match the wig you’ll be using.  Pour vinegar and dye mixture into a non-reactive glass casserole  dish that is large enough to accommodate your dreads without crowding them.  Place the dreads into the dye bath.  Make sure that there is enough of the dye mixture to completely cover the dreads and that they are completely wet before placing them into the oven.  Place the dreads into the oven and let them “bake” until the liquid in the bath is clear.

If the color isn’t quite right (like it was in this photo), you can always dye the dreads again  in a new dye bath:



These are completely the wrong color. But never fear, they can be fixed!

As with any other type of dyeing, start with a lighter color until you get the hang of it, because you can always go darker if you need to.  Removing the dye once it has been set is probably possible, but I wasn’t able to find a method that removed all of it..

Coming up next:  How to attach your dreads to the wig and add the accessories.


Wool Roving can be found at:


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Home Made Mario and Luigi Costumes


These costumes were made very inexpensively. I purchased the hats on Ebay for about $5.00 each. I used some white felt that I had in my craft bin to cut out a white circle, and cut out an “M” on one, and an “L” on the other. The letters were then attached to the hats with fabric glue.

I also purchased two pairs of plain denim overalls from Ebay, for a cost of about $20.00.

For the large buttons on the overalls, I rolled out some yellow Fimo ($4.00) to a thickness of about 1/4″. Using a 1 1/2″ diameter cookie cutter, I cut out four circles. In order to get the buttons to have a dome shape, I used a paper egg crate (styrofoam egg crates will not work). Lay each circle inside an egg “cup”. Press each circle lightly around the edges and the center with fingertips until they take on a slight cup shape. Leave circles in egg crate and bake according to the directions on the back of the Fimo package. Allow the buttons to cool completely before removing them from the egg crate.

To attach the buttons to the overalls, you must first make sure that the overall straps are hooked in front. Next, fill the “cup” of each button with hot glue. Allow to sit for about 20 seconds, so glue isn’t too runny. Press Fimo button onto the overall button.

I already had a long sleeve red shirt for Mario, but was unable to find a green shirt for Luigi. I purchased a white long sleeve shirt from the thrift store ($2.00) and two boxes of Rit Fabric dye (golden yellow and kelly green) for another $6.00. Using half the packet of yellow and the entire packet of green, I followed the instructions for bucket dyeing method listed on the back of the package.  I was able to achieve a color that was similar to the color of the hat.

J. thought he wanted to use a stick-on mustache ($3.00 for two), which ended up being way too big for him. We opted to draw on his mustache with face paint instead, and he was much happier with it than the adhesive one.

Mario and Luigi’s white gloves were $2.50 per pair at a local costume shop.  For a total of about $45.00, I created both the Mario and Luigi costumes.

Here are some photos of the whole Super Mario crew!

Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi

Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi Halloween Costumes

Mario, Luigi and Peach

Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach Costumes

See our Princess Peach costume tutorial here!

Mario Costumes

Princess Peach Costume


My daughter wanted to be Princess Peach for Halloween this year. If you’re not familiar with the Super Mario Brothers franchise, this is Princess Peach:

This is a train wreck of a dress.

Originally, I thought I would purchase a horrible 80’s puff sleeve prom dress from the thrift store and make a few alterations. Despite the fact that they were a dime a dozen back in July, this month there were no ugly pepto bismol pink 1980’s prom dresses to be found.

I searched for patterns at the fabric store, but quickly realized that I would need to buy two patterns and alter them. Instead, I opted to draft my own pattern and use some fabric I had on hand – a light pink taffeta for the body of the dress, and some hot pink fabric for the peplum that I picked up from a remnant bin at the fabric store.

I was lucky enough to have been given the pink taffeta by my Mother in Law when she was weeding out her sewing cabinet a few years ago. I really didn’t know what to use it for, and I almost gave it away a couple of times. Who knew it would eventually come in handy?

I didn’t take pictures of all of the components of the dress, but here it is in progress:


The bodice.

Neck trim.

Bodice with neck trim in place and brooch placement test.

Pinning the pieces together.

Pinning the pieces together to make sure they fit properly.

Peplum pinned in place.

Skirt with peplum pinned in place.

bodice pinned to skirt

Finished bodice attached to skirt.


The finished dress!

The complete Princess Peach Costume.

The finished Princess Peach Costume.


See our Mario and Luigi Costumes here!

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