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October 10, 2019
Slinky Dog Costume DIY, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial
Disclosure: This tutorial was sponsored by Primary.com and they provided clothing to create this costume. This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase anything through these links I receive a small commission that helps support this channel and allows us to continue making content like this.
When we decided that we were going to do Toy Story costumes for our family visit to the Halloween party at Disneyland, I instantly knew that I wanted Hamm and his cousin Audrey to be the slinky dog from Toy Story. After months of brainstorming and trying to figure out how to make this crazy idea a reality, we were finally able to make it work. The slinky dog costume was definitely a hit, and the video I created went viral and was viewed hundreds of millions of times on various social media platforms.
After this video went viral I began receiving several requests every day with people asking me “How do I create this Toy Story Slinky Dog Costume?”. In this tutorial, I will be showing you step by step how to create this Slinky Dog Costume inspired by Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story. This DIY costume requires a little bit of sewing but is simple enough for anyone to complete. If you prefer to follow along with a video, you can watch the video below or click here to be directed to our YouTube video.
This DIY costume is especially popular for twins because it is made for two children. However, this costume was originally created for my son Beckham and his cousin Audrey. This costume works for siblings, twins, cousins or even just friends. Because of the size of the actual slinky, this DIY works best for children, but really you could create this costume for children and adults of all ages. Just note that for bigger children or adults, you will need more of the materials listed below.
We will be creating two bodysuits, one for the front/head of the slinky dog costume and one for the back/tail. Take a moment to decide who will be the front and who will be the rear in the costume. Make sure to account for any difference in measurements when proceeding with the next steps. The two bodysuits will be basically the same, but we will add some finishing touches later to set them apart.
Measure the height of each from shoulder to mid-thigh. Measure the waist of each person and note these measurements down.
The image above shows the basic shape we are going for when cutting out the suit. We will fold the felt in half and cut along the fold which will prevent us from having to do a shoulder seam. We will start by cutting a rectangle shape. The width of the rectangle should be your waist measurement divided by 2 and then add three inches. (Example: If my waist measurement was 22 inches my width would be 14 inches. 22/2 + 3). The height of the rectangle is the height (shoulder to mid-thigh) measurement.
On the folded seam cut out two curved armholes, one on each side. We will also need to cut out a neck hole on the folded seam as well. These don’t need to be perfect, so just use your best judgment based on the shape shown in the picture above. Now on the side opposite of the fold, we will want to curve the edges in and round out the corners. On that same side, we need to cut out two leg holes. You will want to cut the holes in an oval shape with a steeper curve if the model has bigger legs.
You will now need to repeat these steps to create another suit with the other person’s measurements. After completing these steps you will have the suit cut for both the front/head and the back/tail.
You will now sew along the edges of the bodysuit. Just make sure to not sew the neck, arm or leg holes. Once all of the edges are sewn you can then flip the suit inside out. This will put the sewing seams inside of the suit, giving it a nice clean look. The last step is to cut a 4-5 inch slit down starting from the middle of the neck hole of each suit. This allows the suit to open enough for the children to get in and out of the suits. Add velcro to the top of each slit to allow it to close once the child is inside.
Adding the collar to the Front/Head BodySuit
To create the green collar on the front/head bodysuit, take your green felt and fold it over the neckline of the bodysuit. Round the bottom of the felt to match the curve of the neck hole about 2 inches below the actual hole. Now cut out the actual neck hole out of the green felt. This should leave you with a 2-inch green ring that will be the collar. You can now sew the collar to the bodysuit.
Creating the slinky dog coil
For the slinky coil of the costume, we will not need the entire slinky. I recommend cutting about 12 loops/coils off of the slinky to use for the costume. We will then be wrapping the slinky in grey fabric tubes.
To create the fabric tubes, cut out strips of grey fabric that are 3 inches x 44 inches. Fold the fabric strips in half and use pins to hold the fold in place while you sew along the seams of each strip. Use a wooden dowel to turn the strips inside out. This will put the sewed seam on the inside of the fabric tubes.
Now start sliding the tubes over the slinky coil. On the two ends of the slinky just fold over a little bit of the fabric and use hot glue to close the seam. We also found it helpful to hot glue the edges of each fabric tube to the slinky once they are in place. This prevents the tubes from sliding around and uncovering the rainbow slinky.
Making the slinky dog Hat
Measure the circumference of the head that will be wearing the front bodysuit. Divide that number two and draw a dome shape on your light brown/tan felt. The base of the dome should be that head circumference measurement divided by two. The height of the dome should be about 6 inches.
Make sure you have another piece of brown felt underneath so that you can cut out both sides of the hat at once. Cut about ½ inch around the dome line through both pieces of felt. You will then sew the two pieces together along the line. You can now flip the hat inside out so that the sewed seam is inside the hat.
Cut out two teardrop shapes for the ears out of dark brown felt. We recommend the ears be about 6 inches long. Now cut a slit on each top corner of the hat. The slit just needs to be big enough to slide a tab of the ear in and hot glue it in place.
Making Slinky’s Tail
Cut about an 18-inchlong piece of craft wire. Take your left-over fabric tube from when you covered the slinky and slide that tube over the wire. Fold over and hot glue the ends of the fabric tubes to hold it in place.
Cut two small tear-shaped pieces of the dark brown felt and glue them on one end sandwhiching the wire with the two pieces.
Now cut two circles out of the tan/light brown felt. On one of the circles cut a slit to allow the wire to slide in and come out of the middle. Glue the two circles together sandwiching the wire but make sure the wire is using the slit to come out the center of the top circle. You can coil the tail into a spring-like shape. The last step is to add a piece of velcro on the bottom of the circle. This will allow the tail to attach to the bodysuit. Note: The velcro will attach right to the felt so you can move the tail around wherever you want.
Attaching the bodysuits and Slinky together
There is one last step before we can attach the slinky dog costume together. On the front top middle of the back/tail bodysuit, we will want to cut a small slit. This slit will allow us to slide in the slinky dog coil when attaching the suits together. I highly recommend you reinforce this slit with a small scrap of felt. This will just prevent that slit from tearing.
Now for the fun part of bringing it all together! I have created this video on YouTube that will show you exactly how to attach the pieces together.
The first step is to get each person in their bodysuit through the top neck hole and slit. You can then add stuffing, we used a mini pillow in the front and back of each child.
Now start with the back/tail bodysuit and slowly slide in the slinky coils twisting them into the bodysuit until there is at least one full coil inside the bodysuit. Now you can simply set a couple of coils into the neck slit on the back of the front/head bodysuit and then close the velcro to keep it in. Starting with the back and then just setting the front in prevents the slinky coil from getting all twisted.
To make the slinky dog costume extra fun at night you can wrap the slinky dog coil in little LED lights. See the link above in materials for what we used. We used two strands of lights and set one battery pack in each of the bodysuits.
Thank you so much for reading this tutorial and we hope that you found it useful! If you end up making this costume we would love to see the finished results. Make sure to tag @toystorydad on Instagram on your final pictures. Have a great day!