This year was an odd year for us as we not only went ahead and decided to try a do-it-yourself costume, we, in fact, made two! This one, the Jellyfish, and another, Rosie the Riveter.
My wife found a few jellyfish costumes for me to look at to get this done but since I couldn’t find a good “how-to” post, I thought I’d write a quick one. This isn’t going to be too in-depth, but it’ll get any non-crafty person in the right spot (look at what I did… and I’m far from crafty).
So, first, we started out with an umbrella. I suppose you could use any type but to get the effect you’ll want to use a clear bubble umbrella. The photo here is of one found on Amazon, but my wife got one (without any colors) at Target for about $19 bucks which were perfect for what we wanted. This way I wouldn’t feel bad if I ruined the umbrella. However, in the event I didn’t break it we could use it when we are done. If you can find one with a slight blue or green (even pink) tint to it (unlike ours), it may look good too. But the clear was exactly what we were looking for.
Next, you’ll need to get some battery-powered LED lights. This too was found at Target. We ended up using four packs of lights. I thought we could get away with only two. However, after I put in the other two around the top, it really did give it a great look in the dark. They cost around $7, so it wasn’t too bad. The only caution I’d give is that whoever is going to carry the jellyfish- they should be strong enough to do so. I mounted the four battery packs at the top, each holding three AA batteries. Which isn’t too bad in of itself, but after two hours of carrying my daughter was getting tired of keeping it steady (it becomes top heavy).
After I got the lights, two packs through the top area, and two more to go all away around, we started making the tentacles of our jelly. We ended up using 1.5" strips of bubble wrap and some pre-coiled wrapping ribbon (Christmas colors to be exact). For the ribbon, I did a 50/50 mix of iridescent and white ribbons. I don’t recall the exact number of tentacle pieces we had, but the more, the better. I went through three iterations of getting the right amount. And at night it looks great with a flow of tentacles.
To attach the ribbon I simply used clear packing tape so you wouldn’t see it at night. I suppose you could use a glue gun to make it a little more professional looking. But, as I stated earlier, we wanted to try and use the umbrella after the night of candy gathering was over.
From here it’s all about having a good time. I’d recommend bringing some extra packing tape in the event you lose a tentacle or two. Also, as a note of caution to parents, once it gets dark outside the lights inside the jellyfish will semi-blind your child from what’s outside of their bubble. I had my daughter just lift up the umbrella for long stretches so she wouldn’t keep running into parked cars (I should have gotten a photo of her doing that).
Here are a few photos we took making and using it.