My daughter recently discovered the movie The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl and made the request to be Lava Girl for Halloween. Here is a simplified version of how to create your own Lava Girl costume using felt, puff paint, markers, a shirt and pants.
(You can now view and add your own pictures of Lava Girl costumes to my Lava Girl Costumes Flickr group. Visit the group here.)
- Matching shirt and pants
- Coordinating yardage of felt
- Coordinating thread (If you don’t sew use a Felt Glue, not just a fabric glue)
- Tulip Slick Dimensional Fabric Paint in Fluorescent Orange
- Sharp sewing scissors
- White Chalk Marker or Chalk Wheel
- Sharpie Marker in Black Super Permanent
- 8.5 x 11 foam sheet in bright orange
- Sticky or sew on velcro
- Pink wig
- Picture of Lava Girl for reference
The Shirt: To start I had my daughter try on the plain pink shirt and I held up the piece felt to her with the shirt on. I then used the chalk wheel to mark the cuts I would make on the main felt piece. (My costume only has felt on the front side of the shirt and pants.) I made sure that I was marking the width of the felt to match the side seams and the length of the plain shirt.
I then had her remove the shirt and I laid it out flat on the counter and once again laid the felt piece with chalk marks on the shirt to double-check the width and length before I cut. I referenced the Lava Girl picture to see what shape to cut the felt piece along the top and marked it out using the chalk.
Using my sharp scissors, (felt can dull a pair of so-so scissors quickly and you won’t get a clean cut) I cut on my chalk marks. Next I laid the cut felt piece back onto the plain shirt to make sure it was a match in width and length. While the main cut felt piece was laying on the shirt I cut out more felt circle/lava rocks to be added along the neck and shoulders of the shirt, again referencing the Lava Girl picture while assessing how much space I had between the top of main felt piece and the plain shirt neckline.
The Belt: To make the “belt” that goes across the shirt, I cut a strip of felt the same width as the main felt piece. I laid the cut rectangular strip on top of the main felt piece and used my chalk to mark the shape of the belt piece I wanted to cut. I then cut out the belt piece. Next I used the chalk to draw a circle shape in the center of the belt and a series of smaller circle shapes to the right of the center circle. I cut these shapes out with my scissors. To give a belt some dimension I used bright orange foam and cut it slightly smaller than the overall shape of the belt. I laid the foam underneath the belt and pinned it onto the belt. Then I laid the belt in the position I wanted it on the main felt piece and pinned it down (only pin it to the main felt piece, not to the plain shirt). I then sewed the felt belt + foam underneath to the main felt piece. (The main felt piece is still not attached to the plain shirt.)
Lava on the Shirt: To add the “lava” to the main felt piece I used my chalk to mark where I wanted the lava to flow. I then carefully started at the top of my main felt piece and applied the fabric paint to the correct spots on the felt. I was careful to work from top to bottom and then left to right so that my hand did not smear any of the fabric paint I had already applied. Set this piece aside to dry, preferably overnight.
Burned Edges: When the fabric paint was completely dry I used a black Sharpie marker to add a burned look to the edges of the felt. I carefully rubbed the marker along all the edges of the “lava”. Next I added marker to the outside edges of the lava rock pieces and main felt piece. I used a paper towel to keep my finger tips from getting black while I held the small pieces.
Finishing Up the Shirt: Once the burned edges where added to all the shirt felt pieces I pinned everything onto the plain pink shirt. Next I sewed all the pieces onto the shirt. If you can’t sew, use a good Felt Glue to adhere all your pieces onto the shirt. A felt glue is important because it actually adheres to the felt and makes it stick to the fabric. My past experience with regular fabric glue on felt has resulted in a sticky mess and the felt didn’t stick to the fabric well at all. Check the glue bottle and make sure it is recommended for use with felt.
The Pants: To cut the felt pieces for the pants I laid the pants out flat on the counter. The plain shirt I bought is long enough that it covers the top of pants, allowing me to leave the waist of these pants untouched. This was good because these pants have a drawstring inside and I wanted to leave them adjustable. I used the same technique to cut the felt pieces for the pants as I did for the shirt lava rocks. I laid the yardage of felt over the pants and used my chalk to mark where I wanted to cut. I used the Lava Girl movie picture as a reference to see what size/shape pieces I needed. My top piece goes along the entire width of the pants. The other pieces fit only into each pant leg. As I marked with the chalk and cut my pieces out I pinned them in place on the pants. This made it easier for me to see what shape to cut the next piece.
Lava on the Pants: Once all the pieces where cut and pinned in place I sewed all the pieces onto the pants. Next I used the fabric paint to apply lava to the pants. When I was finished I set them aside to dry overnight.
Burned Edges: When the fabric paint was completely dry I used a black Sharpie marker to add a burned look to the edges of the felt. I carefully rubbed the marker along all the edges of the “lava”. Next I added marker to the outside edges of the lava rock pieces, in this case they were already attached to the pants, so I had to be careful not to get too much marker on the pants.
The Wrist Guards: To complete the costume I made wrist guards. I started by measuring my daughters wrist and forearm, then I made a paper template. I used the paper template and wrapped it around her arm to get the shape I wanted, making sure there was enough overlap to add the velcro. I placed the paper template onto the yardage of felt and traced around it with my chalk. I cut out the felt pieces and then added lava using fabric paint and let the pieces dry overnight.
The next morning I added the burned edges. I then cut sticky velcro strips and added them to the wrist guards.
The crowning touch to the entire costume was the pink wig I found at JoAnn’s. My daughter is in love with the entire costume. I am sure it will be comfortable and warm for her to wear for her Halloween party at school and on Halloween night!