strong man costume DIY

Halloween will be here before you know it, and if you’re planning to make costumes, you know that the time to get started is NOW!  This is the costume I made for my son when he was two years old:  a carnival side show strong man.  I lost track of how many compliments I received on this strong man costume!  It was incredibly easy to make, and by using several items from the dollar store, like the t-shirt, I saved a bundle over a store bought costume.

This post first appeared at Dollar Store Crafts, where I am a contributor.

Strong Man Costume Supplies

  • Black T-shirt
  • Paint
  • Styrofoam balls (2)
  • Dowel Rod
strong man costume made from a t-shirt

Step one:  Use a black t-shirt that is large enough to go from the child’s shoulder’s to mid-thigh.  Turn the shirt inside out.  I used a one piece romper as a pattern, otherwise you can measure your child to determine where to cut.  Mark your pattern with chalk (as pictured) and cut.

Step two:  Leaving the shirt inside out, sew where the white chalk lines are in the photo above.   Flip the shirt right side out for the next step.

Step three:  Paint a buckle and belt onto the costume.  I use washi tape (or use painter’s tape) to help make straight lines.  I used glitter paint to make the belt stand out.   Let the paint dry.

Step four:  Now to make the weight for muscle man to carry!  First, carve out a small hole in each styrofoam ball, and push the dowel rod in.  You can use a small amount of hot glue (not too much or you’ll melt the styrofoam) to hold the hod in place.  Paint everything black with craft paint.
make a strong man circus costume for kids

I added a tattoo sleeve, found at Dollar Tree, to the costume, but he did not keep that on.  Draw on a loopy mustache with face paint, and your muscle man is ready for the carnival….I mean, Halloween!  I live in Central Texas, where it’s still pretty hot at Halloween, so during the day he wore the costume as is, and at night I just had to put a shirt underneath to keep him warm.

family circus costumes strong man bearded lady

If you’re going as a group, you can add lots of side act characters to accompany your strong man.  I went as the bearded lady, and my husband was a sword swallower.  Who says Halloween is just for kids?

Looking for more Halloween inspiration?  I have lots of DIY costume ideas HERE.

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