Friday, December 17, 2010

How To Make a Superhero Cape {no sew!}

So in my post HERE about my daughter's 4th birthday party, I told you how it was a Batman-themed "Superhero Academy". And as part of the whole "transformation" into a Superhero, each kid got to put on a ~cape~. I mean, c'mon, who doesn't love wearing a cape???!!! 

Now initially, I went to my good old stand-by, Amazon. But it seemed that they wanted about $15 per cape! WHAAAAAAT???? Um, yeah, I don't think so!! Not when I've got 10 kids coming to this party!!

So, I thought... hmmmm... maybe I could MAKE the capes...

Ha! This from a woman who doesn't sew.

But, the more I thought about it, and the more searching I did on the internet for examples, the more I thought... yes, I can do this! I found a great template available for free HERE at Serving Pink Lemonade and started out on my quest!

Tutorial: How to make a no-sew superhero cape

So I headed out to Joann's Fabric and bought a whole lot of black fleece. I chose black to stick with the yellow and black "Batman" theme I had going. And when I say I bought a "whole lot" I mean "way too much"! LOL. Given that I have never bought fabric before I really didn't judge properly how much I needed - d'oh - but I am hopeful I will be able to find a use for it in some future project. Even though I had bought waaaay too much fabric, I only spent about $12 since it was on 60% off sale.

Anyway, I brought it home and, after a little trial and error with my daughter, I cut a piece of fleece into a 20" x 28" rectangle (you may want to adjust your size depending on the height of your child - mine were just right for 4 year olds). I learned that fleece won't fray so it was perfect for this project!



Then I folded it in half and placed my template on it. I have to admit that it took me a minute to figure out which direction to place the template. In case you are as pattern-challenged as I am, the fold is on the right in the below photo with the 2 open edges on the left.


Then I simply cut around the edges of my template. (I didn't even pin the template down - I just held it in place while I eyeballed my cutting). Then I cut some squigglies (yes, that is the technical term) along the bottom.


And here is what it looks like when you open it up. Don't worry if your two ends don't touch. When you put it around the child's neck, it will close just fine. Besides you want it to have plenty of room and not be too tight.



To enable easy closure around the neck, I applied some self stick velcro (about a 1" x 1" square) to each end of the skinny part at the top. Keep in mind that you want to place your velcro on opposite sides of the fleece so the two pieces of fleece will overlap when closed. Again, I had some trouble with this so I'll try and explain it clearly. In the picture below, you'll only see one side of the velcro (on the right) because the piece on the left is on the underside of the cape. When you close it, you'll essentially place the left piece on top of the right piece. 



Next it was time for the "applique" on the back. Be reminded, I DON"T SEW, so I had to improvise. I bought sheets of felt at AC Moore (a local craft store similar to Michaels) for 29 cents each. I used yellow for the boys and pink for the girls. And white for the letters. I cut them out using the templates I found HERE at Tip Junkie and applied them to the back of the fleece with Permanent Fabric Glue. Now, if you're like me and have never used this product before, be advised that this stuff takes a loooooong time to dry. It does say on the back of the tube that you need about 24 hours for it to cure, but I admit I was a little worried when it wasn't sticking AT ALL after about an hour. I'm used to the instant gratification of a glue gun and crazy glue, so that delay really threw me! LOL. But the next morning, that felt was glued on TIGHT! Here is the final product.




You can see my glue "star" a little in this pic
 
As an FYI, I did find that, because the felt was rather thin, that the Fabric Glue showed through when applied (and stayed that way when it dried) so I made a point to apply it in a star-like pattern so it wouldn't look too "messy" underneath the trapezoid.

I have to tell you that all of the kids were thrilled to get their very own personalized capes. I am still hearing from parents a month later about how often their child wears their cape around the house. One has even insisted on wearing it to the store!

They even look good with bedhead and pajamas! :)

Obviously you can do this with any color fleece and felt. The nice thing about the fabric glue is that the capes can be washed without damage! (I'll be honest that I don't know how the self-stick velcro will hold up in the wash as I haven't had to wash ours yet, but you can always add a few hand stitches with a needle and thread if you have troubles with it sticking).

And the best part, each cape cost less than $1 to make!! Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!!! :)

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35 comments:

  1. Thanks for linking to me. Your capes turned out great! Way to go.

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  2. What an awesome mommy! Great job! I'm making some for my girls for Christmas, but I had planned on sewing them...you may have changed my mind!

    Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka,
    charlie

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  3. WOW!!! That's great! And only 1 dollar, even better! :)
    Bonnie

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  4. I found you through Polly Want a Crafter and I love this! I wanted to invite you to enter my $50 American Express gift card giveaway that ends in a few days! I also have a link party going on this week! Keep up the good blogging! -Dana

    http://danajeanward.blogspot.com/2010/12/50-american-express-giveaway-ends.html

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  5. I made a cape for my son last year and he loves it! Still wears it daily! You did such a great job! Hoping you'll visit me at Sew Chatty and link up to Made With Love Monday! The party will be open until Friday if you want to link up multiple projects. Wishing you a very blessed Christmas! http://sewchatty.blogspot.com

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  6. That is awesome! And it is No-Sew! Totally cool!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

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  7. You are awesome!! Thanks for posting! :)

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  8. OK...so you are so like me. Here is where I am stumped...how did you print the pattern to scale? Did you just draw it???
    Thanks for the info!
    Kristin

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  9. Hi Kristin - I hope you see this reply! I simply downloaded the template from Serving Pink Lemonade (I think it was a .jpg file). Then I just printed it on a piece of paper from my computer. I had the option to select "Full Page Print" on my computer, but I think printing it as if it were an 8x10 photo would work too. (Since it is a .jpg file, your computer will treat it like it is a photo). Then I just cut it out as seen above. Hope this helps! Feel free to email me if you have any further questions!

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  10. thank you SO much for your blog post. i have just made 12 capes for my son's superhero party. I made them from plastic tablecloth fabric. it also doesn't fray (hooray!) and makes a very cool swishy superhero sound. You have saved me so much money. The kids will decorate their capes with adhesive letters and stars as one of the party activities. So chuffed! (That's New Zealand for happy) -Rachel

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  11. Thanks for all the effort to explain things so clearly...thats exactly what I need - Im terrible at this type of stuff! Got the materials today and will cut tomorrow. Thanks!!

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  12. Next time if you want instant gratification when you put your appliques on you can use fusible interfacing from the fabric store. You just cut a piece a little bit smaller than your app, sandwich it between your fabric and iron it on. Works like magic lol

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  13. Thanks, this was so great and helpful =o)

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  14. Thank you so much! My soon to be three year old will love this for his party!

    Jasmine

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  15. This is awesome! Thanks for the post, I was wondering how I was going to do this since I don't sew and I don't want to spend $15 per cape either. Truth is even if they only last for the party its fine, that's all I need them for :)
    -Maru

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  16. Thank you for posting! I was wanting to do this for my son's next birthday and am glad to see someone could do it for under $1 per cape!!! Way to go!! I think mine will cost more because I want to get Dr. Seuss fabric (and it will also entail sewing and more time) but that's okay :)

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  17. Great idea! How much fabric did you buy for the 10 capes?
    -Kim

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  18. Thank you for posting this! I don't sew, but wish I could, so this was perfect for my son's 4th birthday party! Your directions were great! Thanks again!

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  19. Thanks for the awesome blog article. I'm hosting a "Brave" party for my 7 year old daughter and she somehow got it in her head all the invited "clansman" should have capes for the Scottish Highland games... I'm heading to Joann's fabric this am and will use your template on a few different plaid capes. Thank you!!!

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  20. I am a grandma...and want to help my daughter make these for my granson's 5th b-day. I really wonder how much fabric to buy. It's on sale right now for 5 dollars a yard. How many capes can you get from one yard of fleece? THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! Thank you!!!

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  21. Needed something extra for our superhero party- had to be cheap and able to make in a hurry, and this was just what I needed! Thanks for the fantastic help! I ended up having to use felt because the fleece was too expensive, but it worked just fine. The template was so helpful and your detailed instructions were awesome (especially the little hints like where to put the velcro and where to put the template in relation to the fold). Thanks Again!

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  22. This is awesome! Sending my thanks from new zealand! my son's party will be a blast! : )

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  23. I have a non-formal dance coming up with a superhero theme! This ia perfect for both me and my date ( if i get a date :o) Thamks sooooo much!

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  24. Thanks so much for inspiring this un crafty mom to try something new. Thie capes turned out great. FYI sticky back foam paper works well on the fleece as thats what we used for emblems

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  25. I am so glad I came across this "no sew" idea! I just made two of these in minutes! I used iron on appliques and they look great! Can't wait to see my two boys running around in these on Christmas day!

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  26. Use sticky felt squares for letters/symbols on back ... ordered mine online from S&S for way cheaper than Michaels. $4 for pack of 12 sheets!

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  27. Hi, thanks for this great idea, I made them for a Vintage Superhero party, (blogged here: http://twosons.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-vintage-superhero-party.html). They were so easy to make & such a hit with the kids. Low input, high impact partypacks, yeah!

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  28. Thanks you so much. My son is turning 4 this year and I am doing a Super Hero theme. I want to do capes for all the kids too. But like you said everywhere you look they are so expensive. Thank you so much for posting this. I can't wait to get started.

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  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am making capes for a church holiday club - and I don't sew either and I had a similar shock when I visited Amazon! Off to buy some fleece for me then!!!

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  30. Does anyone happen to have the super hero appliques that she mentions from Tip Junkie? I can't seem to access them even though I registered! Please help. I have the capes cut but now need the appliques for the back. Thank you in advance :-)

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    Replies
    1. Do you mean the ones with the letters? I still have the file and can forward it to you if you give me your email! :)

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  31. How many yrds of felt did you have to buy to make 10 capes? I need to make 15.

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  32. Hi thanks a lot for your DYS CAPES. where did you get the template?
    Thanks

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  33. Just a note since I just went through the process of making these. I made 6 capes, and to avoid the look of glue behind the felt, don't buy felt! Just buy different colors of fleece which is much thicker and you can't see the glue behind it. It looks great and isn't as see-thru as felt is. Next, I made a mistake and wanted to share my experience - the lady at JoAnn fabric asked me how I would attach everything and I said fabric glue, and she recommended Wonder Under or an iron-on thing. She said it would look better and be easier. This was the worst advice ever, I wasted $7 on that and of course you can't iron fleece, it melts (I didn't think of it before), and also the glue from the wonder under got all over my iron, plus melted fleece, and I had to re-cut a bunch of emblems/letters. Thankfully I had enough extra fleece. I had to go to the store again to get glue, which I will say works wonderfully. I had to glue the stick-on velcro as well, as it just ripped off the fleece when you pulled it apart, but the glue works wonderfully with that. Great project for some one who doesn't want to pick up a needle and thread! Can't wait to hand these out as party favors to all my neices and nephews and sons. Oh and I cut out little lightning bolts out of yellow fleece.. it was cute. :)

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