Clara’s Homemade Jellyfish Costume (With Lights)

Happy Friday, guys! As is the annual tradition, we thought we’d share what Clara and Burger are going to be for Halloween this year, especially since I DIYed Clara’s costume for the second year in a row (without crying or cursing!) and I love how it came out. At first when we asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween she said “a lawyer!” True story. And we laughed and pictured her walking down the street with a little briefcase. Then a few days later she said “I want to be a jellyfish!” So asked her a few questions like “what color jellyfish do you want to be?” and that’s when she came out with her full request: “I want to be a pink jellyfish… and I don’t want to be a regular jellyfish, I want to be A FAIRY QUEEN OF THE JELLYFISH!” So here’s where we ended up.

I just decked out a clear umbrella with some pink tissue paper, fabric ribbon, and that thinner plastic ribbon that you can curl with a scissors. And then John added some battery powered cold-to-the-touch LEDs to make it glow (tech nerd hubby FTW). Clara could not be more smitten (this is her attempting to hug her costume). Burger, by contrast, abhors his, but we’ll get there in a second.

As for how I made it, first I hit up Sir Google to check out other jellyfish costumes (guys, there wasn’t a single Slutty Jellyfish costume, which was both comforting and surprising). As for the costumes that I did find, some were of the stuffed hat variety (like this) and others were made from umbrellas (like this), which I thought was a good choice for Clara because she could hold it and swing it around if she wanted, but not have to worry about balancing it on her head like a giant hat. So we grabbed a clear umbrella at Target.

The first step in my umbrella-to-jellyfish conversion was sticking some pink tissue paper into each of the umbrella’s panels (those metal arms held each triangle of it in place) so the entire thing wasn’t see-through. I did this because I wanted the bottom to be clear so Clara could walk and see, but thought the top would look more jellyfish-ish if it were more solid. Next I tied some long strands of thick fabric ribbon around each of the spines inside the umbrella that holds it open so those could hang down around Clara. I saw all sorts of fun tentacle ideas when I Googled (using bubble wrap, ribbon, fabric strips, etc) and loved them all, so I decided to just work with the things we already had around the house (like ribbon leftover from this tree) and see how things went.

Lastly I just cut a whole bunch of long pink lengths of curl-able plastic ribbon (the one umbrella-decorating item that I ran out and bought for $1.50 at Michaels) and tied them to each of the metal spines (I did six lengths of them hanging down on each of the eight spines). Then I dragged the edge of a scissors down them after tying each one in place to make them curly.

When Clara came home from school and saw it, oh man, I wish I had it on video. There were lots of wows and even a coveted “it’s AMAZING!” Then John added his little battery powered LEDs (fairy lights he found on amazon for $6.99) and Clara really went wild. Since it gets dark so much earlier these days we actually think they’ll come in handy. Just look at them glow in the darkest spot we could find in our house: our closet.

It’s a bit ambitious to think that Clara will hold the umbrella the whole time, but she gets to wear a little costume of her own (just a fun tulle skirt that she got for her birthday and other general fairy-slash-queen-ness) so in the event that she’s over the umbrella she’ll still have her fairy costume to go door to door in – and heck, I might just tuck a wand and a crown in my purse for added bling. Yes, I still use that word.

As for Burger, well, he’s never a fan of anything on him. Ever. This goes for all sweaters, boots, hats, and costumes. So he was not amused when he magically became a seal thanks to this costume that we found at Target. We just couldn’t resist – especially since it’s a tradition to dress him up with Clara every year (heck, we’ve been dressing him up since way before she was born). We joked that he just needed a crown and a scepter so he could be a King Seal to match Clara’s royal sea-creature status. Still kinda bummed Target didn’t carry the lobster or shark costumes they had in previous years, but he does make a pretty cute seal.

And maybe we have it all wrong. Maybe Burger loves costumes. Because he certainly seems to take immense joy in shimmying around to wriggle out of them. Wish we caught that on video too.

And this year John and I actually have a costume party to attend, so after a little “uh… what should we be?” pondering, we came up with a theme of our own. Some people say that I look like Kahleesi from Game of Thrones (and who am I to argue with the idea of dressing up like a chick who HAS DRAGONS?). So a cheap blonde wig from Target and a green dress that I already had (you might remember it from Clara’s party a few years back) became my somewhat completely ridiculous costume…

Oh and I used a strategically placed ten cent placemat from a yard sale to make a gold belt and some little shoulder things. You know. For flair.

I just snipped it in half and cut off the curved part at the bottom and used the green rope belt that came with my dress to hold that in place in the front like a big ol’ gold front plate or something. As for the shoulder things, I just cut the remaining part of the placemat in half to create little triangles that I could tuck under the straps of my dress and pin them to keep them there (forgot to get a detail shot of those for ya, but you can sort of see them peeking out from behind my wig in the full shot above). Overall, it was really easy and only ran me $9 for the wig and ten cents for the placemat.

But I might like John’s “costume” most of all (ok, it’s tied with The Fairy Queen Of All The Jellyfish) because it’s so him. Keeping with the Game of Thrones theme, I actually proposed that he be Khal Drogo (to which he responded “have you seen me?”) so then I suggested Littlefinger (hello, he’d get to sport a mustache). He went silent for a second and then said “I have a better idea.” Any guesses?

Yup, that’s his pun-tastic interpretation of Jon Snow. Since he looks nothing like the character, he figured “well, I’m already John, so I’ll just wear a wooly hat and add a big ironic snowflake to my shirt or something and poof: I’m John Snow.” Not sure if it would pass muster at Comic Con, but it cracks me up. And if nothing else, at least the background of his photo brought of touch of Winterfell to it. Yes, that’s a deer just grazing about ten yards behind him.

As for how he made his shirt, it’s just white duct tape on a blue t-shirt (so he can peel it off and still wear the shirt the rest of the year when he’s being John Petersik).

It was pretty funny watching him place each strip of tape in the mirror… whilst wearing the shirt. I think he’s nothing if not dedicated (my version of a snowflake would have a lot fewer line segments).

We’re pretty low key about this stuff, so admittedly nothing that we made is super intricate, but we think it’ll do the trick nicely for the costume party. Now to figure out what dish we’ll bring. Ahh!

Also, if you watch Game of Thrones, this ridiculously inappropriate dubbed video of other things that match up with their lips has us walking around saying “Are you a fan of the pikachu?” and “I’m working on a gravity belt.”

Oh and the buggy pumpkins! Here they are. No, they didn’t get infested or anything, I just love unusual pumpkins and Clara loves bugs, so she helped me turn one into a spider and the other one into a caterpillar. Here’s how they started out (we got them here because they looked so bug-like, which spawned this paint-job idea).

I loved them as-is (yes, I truly adore oddly shaped pumpkins just as they are) but I couldn’t resist having some fun with Clara and some paint. So here they are after a laugh-filled little painting sesh with the bean:

She painted the spider with some craft paint (I just told her to go to town on the top and we left the bottom orange since we thought that would make it look more leggy and creepy – just like Clara likes ’em). Meanwhile I added a little dot for an eye on the caterpillar and swiped my paint brush around it to quickly make some rough little wrinkles, like the sections of a caterpillar. When they dried, we added some little painted on eyes to Clara’s spider (she loved the idea of four of them since I showed her a picture online of a real spider with four eyes) and we called them good.

We still have to grab some pumpkins to carve (there’s a field trip to a pumpkin patch with Clara early next week so we’ve been holding out for that) but one thing’s for sure. There will be some last minute pumpkin seeds baking at our house (mmm, my favorite). What are you guys doing with pumpkins and costumes? Let’s hear it.


Psst- For anyone who wants to walk down memory lane and check out C & B’s costumes for the last few years, here’s the post about Jesse & Slinky Dog (my first attempt at homemade costumes).

And here’s the dynamic duo as a monkey & banana.

And here’s their very first Halloween together as a hot dog & hamburger.


  1. marielaz says

    Possibly my favorite post to date haha. Sherry you look amazing in that costume! And Burger killed me, as well as Clara in her jellyfish costume.
    My dog Lulu is going to be a cheerleader with a blonde bob wig with bangs and everything lol!

  2. Lakitia A. says

    You guys are hilarious. You do remind me of Kelisi (hope I spelled that right) and John’s costume is right up my alley. The baby bump is also adorable too! You look great.

  3. says

    This post made my morning, especially since we had some crazy crying going on at our house from 3-5 am.

    One of those making crying sounds will be a scare crow this year. Super easy, super cheap, super simple to put layers under.

    I had wanted to make her into a Crazy Blue Beetle, a la Caspar Babypants and for my hub and I to be Cricket the King and Lady the Bug. Not this year… maybe next year (before she can tell us what she wants to be)!

  4. Kristen says

    I was gonna guess mermaid at first for you Sherry (the color of the dress masked me think of that). But I can see you as Daenerys. In a non creepy way to say this, I think you both have similar mouths which makes for the resemblance

  5. Alissa says

    Love all the costumes! I like Halloween just for the fact that it’s the only socially acceptable time of year for adults to dress in costume. (Well, except Comicon or Ren Fest – but those kinda have to be themed costumes.)

    This year I was going to be Jessie from Toy Story – but, alas, no adult-size red cowboy hats! At this point I’m thinking of going super-creative with face paint to look like a Picasso painting.

  6. Aubrey says

    Love it! I also have a party to go to this year and almost considered being an adult sized jelly fish but ended up going for something else insteead. Also, I LOVE your necklace, I’d love to know where it’s from!

  7. says

    You guys blow my mind with these costumes every year! I can’t wait to see Claras’s glowy jellyfish in action. And I’m so glad you two got in on the action this year! Sherry, its sick how gorgeous you are. Is there anything you can’t pull off?! #jealous #dragongoddess

    • says

      Aw thanks Lisa! To put things into perspective, we were taking these photos on our side yard and a big van drove down our street and turned around SUPER SLOOOOWLY in our cul-de-sac. It was clear they were laughing hysterically at us. Oh yeah, I was feeling mighty sexy.


    • Jess says

      I am not sure if someone else asked already, BUT can you please take a picture of the glowy-ness (thats a word, right?) of the costume on Halloween night? I love the addition of the lights. Super creative kid you have! Probably my favourite costume yet! Though I do like burger as a banana.
      I am being the Paper Bag Princess (I know it’s been done… but it will be fun and I thought of the best costume but need time to prepare it, so I already have my ideas for next year)!

      Awesome post guys!

    • Margaret says

      I was going to say the funniest thing (that I love most about these pics) is that you’re in the backyard, in the woods. I was secretly hoping that a neighbor or the FedEx guy would see you posing (as this would inevitably happen to me if I did the same!) That is hilarious!

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