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DIY Tomato Costume

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young girl wearing DIY tomato costume

By Bonnie Gue

Ah, fall! I love the smell of pumpkin pie, the leaves falling on the ground, and the cool weather. It just so happens it’s also time to get your juices flowing to make a terrific Halloween get-up, like this DIY Tomato Costume. It’s easy, inexpensive, and sure to win any costume contest around. Here’s how to do it.

And hey, once you finish, be sure to post a photo of your creation on Bonnie Plants’ Facebook wall—we’d love to see it!

materials needed to create DIY tomato costume
Chances are you’ve already got a lot of these materials lying around at home. Be sure you look before you head out to buy anything!

DIY Tomato Costume

Estimated time 1-2 hours
Estimated cost Under $25

Items needed
1 cardboard box
1 tomato cage
5-10 red balloons
1 yard burlap (approximate)
Green construction paper
Safety pins
Green t-shirt
Brown t-shirt
Duct tape
String or rope
Stapler
Twist ties or bread twisters
Scissors
Wire cutters
Black marker
A cup of tea (for that cozy feeling while you create)

hands flattening piece of cardboard on edge of table
1. Take the cardboard box and rip the seams apart so it lays flat on your table or floor. Measure the box around the wearer’s waist (allow some extra room for comfort) and cut to size. Rub the cardboard back and forth over the end of a table to make the panels more pliable.
string suspenders attached to costume "container"
2. Staple the cardboard together to make a circle. Cut enough string or rope to make suspenders, then staple them to the container or cut small holes in the container, thread the string through, then knot tightly. (Tip: Crisscross the strings in back to help keep them in place when worn.)
stapling burlap to cardboard "container"
3. Cut the burlap to fit, then wrap it around the container and staple at the top and bottom to secure.
finished "container" portion of tomato costume
4. Stretch or cut the neck hole in the brown t-shirt, making it big enough to go around the wearer’s waist comfortably. (This will serve as the “dirt” in the container.) Staple the outer edges of each shoulder seam to the inside of the container, then staple the rest of the shirt around the top inner edge, making sure to bunch the fabric up a bit so it looks more dirt-like. Trim any extra t-shirt material that shows below the bottom of the container.
cut-out tomato leaves
5. Search online for “tomato leaf” and print out your favorite to use as a template (you may need to enlarge it a bit). Cut 24 leaves from the green construction paper—try layering the paper and cutting up to 6 at once to save time. (They don’t have to be perfect!) Use the black marker to draw veins on each leaf. Next, blow up the balloon “tomatoes,” twisting them tightly to make them round.
tomato cage with some wires clipped
6. Carefully snip up one side of the tomato cage with wire cutters, leaving the top two rings uncut. (This will allow the cage to fit around the wearer.) Tape all sharp edges with duct tape.
cutting holes in fabric for tomato cage
7. Place the tomato cage on top of the brown t-shirt and cut a hole for each cage leg.
homemade Bonnie Plants sign
8. Create a Bonnie Plants sign out of construction paper (or copy, enlarge, and color print the logo from the Bonnie Plants home page), then duct tape it to the container. If this costume is for your child, let him or her make the sign!
young girl wearing bottom of tomato costume
9. Have the wearer dress in the green t-shirt, along with brown pants and brown shoes. Put the container on the floor and have her step into the middle of the brown t-shirt; bring it up around her waist and put the suspenders over her shoulders. Have the wearer reach her hands to the sky, then slide the cage over her head, making sure the cut portion is at the back. (You may need to pull the wires open slightly to make it fit.) As you lower the cage, guide the cage legs through the holes you cut in the brown T-shirt. Secure the suspenders to the cage wires in back with twist ties.
tomato and leaf hair decorations
10. Carefully pin the tomato leaves and tomatoes onto the front and back of the green t-shirt with safety pins. If desired, place a leaf and a tomato in the wearer’s hair by pinning them to a hair band or taping them to a hair clip.
harvest basket with candy
11. And you’re done. Don’t forget the harvest basket for trick-or-treating!

Bonnie Gue

Bonnie Gue (no relation to the “Bonnie” of Bonnie Plants!) lives and crafts in Auburn, Alabama.