October 16, 2014

Homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Costumes

My son's latest obsession- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I remember dressing up as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was little!  Perhaps that's part of the reason (and the fact that I'm cheap!) that I just couldn't bring myself to paying so much for the expensive turtle costumes and accessories in stores.  So here are some cheap and easy ideas of how to help your child transform into a ninja turtle!

Leonardo- blue bandana and 1 noodle cut in half.  Leonardo's actual weapons are knifey sword things... I think's that's the actual name.  :)  Ok, maybe they're actually known as twin katanas. I found foam swords at target in their dollar section that looked good, however, as my 5 year old even observed- the foam swords break easily and aren't as good for actual playing.  So we like the noodles since they hold up well as we've learned from past experience.

Rafael- red bandana and twin sai (forkey things).  For Rafael's weapon, I just cut the fork shape out of a card board box and then wrapped it with silver duct tape on top and black duct tape on the bottom.  I used 2 pieces of cardboard in each one to make it more sturdy.

(Here's a picture of the sai before I added the black duct tape)

Michelangelo- orange bandana and nunchucks.  I got lucky and found these nunchucks at the dollar store.  Before finding these dollar nunchucks, we used baby linking rings for our nunchucks.  (You can spot them in my daughter's belt in the pictures below).

Donatello- purple bandana and bo staff (noodle with black duct tape).

Turtle shirts- I found the turtle shirts at kohls for about $6 each.  (Target also had similar shirts).  You could also get plain green t-shirts if you're looking for something a little cheaper.

In my browsing, I did see several turtle masks (ranging from cheap paper ones for a few dollars to plastic masks for $10) but I passed on them and went with bandanas instead.  Not only were the bandanas cheaper and reusable, but they are far more comfortable for kids to wear and play in.

3 Happy Turtles :)

I was tempted with my son's birthday around the corner to purchase the $15 TMNT shell I saw at several stores.  But that didn't even come with a weapon and would cost another $10-20 for that. So instead I grabbed a free cardboard box from my garage and started with that.  :)

I turned the box inside out and used an x-acto knife to cut slits into the back so I could pull a ribbon through for arms straps and then knotted the ribbon on the inside.  (Wears like a backpack).  My son's favorite turtle is Leonardo, so we cut 2 circles in the top so he could store his weapons in his shell.  (This was one of his favorite parts.  I also thought of putting a belt through the shell to hold the weapon, but my son loved the idea of having slots in the shell for his weapon).  Then I taped the box shut.  And my son drew lines on the box to make it look like a shell.


Not quite as flashy as a TMNT shell you can purchase at the store, but for my 5 year old, he thinks it's the coolest thing ever.  And the next day, he wanted to make another one for his sister so she could be a turtle too.  :)

I recently heard the quote- "If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money."  I could definitely see how spending time together on this project was far more valuable than if I had just purchased the toy from the store.  My son and I had a blast making his turtle shell.  I loved hearing his creative input as we constructed it, intermixed with stories about him and his friends playing turtles at recess.  It was a fun project to do together, not to mention it saved me at least 20 bucks that I can put towards the next thing he's obsessed with.  :)  

Click here for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Birthday Party Ideas!

1 comment:

  1. That's a really neat quote and I love the technical terms of knifey swords and forkey things. :) Great ideas!