Last year, we knew we wanted to make Giovanni a turtle for Halloween.

He used to do this thing where he’d put his top lip over his bottom & we’d call it “turtle lippin’,” haha.

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He’d be turtle lippin’ if he didn’t have so many Cheerio’s in his mouth, haha.

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& since he was conceived in Hawaii, we started calling him “honu”– Hawaiian for turtle. He was also crawling, so his costume was perfect for him in more ways than one :)

I figured it was an easy DIY, but I couldn’t really find any tutorials online for exactly what I wanted. I did take some ideas from The Almost Perfectionist’s DIY Baby Turtle post, but I also just kind of winged it to make it my own.

Here’s what I used:

  • Cardboard
  • Fluffy filling
  • Green felt
  • Brown fleece- the kind I got had different shades of brown which made it feel more realistic to me. Felt will work just as well!
  • Hot glue
  • Needle & thread
  • Scissors
  • Self-adhesive Velcro

What I did:

Cut out a cardboard oval. I freehanded mine & it ended up being 13″x8.5″

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Using the green felt, you’re going to cut out a larger oval for the shell. You want it to have enough overhang so you can stuff it with fluff & still have room to glue it around the back. I placed my cardboard oval on top of the felt & used a Sharpie to make dots maybe 3 inches larger than the cardboard, then used them as a guide when cutting. PS you might as well double up your fabric & cut 2 out at once, because you’re going to need another one the same size later.

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I got caught up in the process & forgot to take pictures (typical Kristen move, smh!) but you’re going to glue the felt to the cardboard & fill it with fluff so make sure you leave an opening to do so. Here’s a picture of what the back should look like, & the other side is the dome-shaped shell. It doesn’t matter what the it looks like because we’re going to be covering it up. Just do what you gotta do so the other side looks nice :) So this picture is from the future– hence the glue marks & brown felt pieces– I just took it apart to show you what it should somewhat look like…

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Another picture from the future! Take your other felt oval & glue it down on the back.

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The next thing you’re going to do is cut out your brown pieces for the shell & glue them on. I freehanded these, starting with 3 hexagon-like shapes down the middle. There ended up being 4 “half hexagon” shapes on the sides & then the 3 at the top/bottom that I just cut to fit because they ended up being weird shaped spaces to fill.

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Once the dome of your shell is covered you can continue onto the edges of the shell. Those ended up being kind of trapezoid shaped & I alternated how I glued them on (right side up, upside down, right side up, etc.) since that’s how they fit best. You can even just do simple rectangles & I’m sure it would look just as good.

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Now it’s time to make the front & straps so it can stay on! Here was my thought process for this shape– I rounded out the neck & had 2 straps to go over his shoulders. I cut straight down to go over his torso, then cut out two “holes” for legs on the sides & continued on with a straight edge to go over his bum. I figured I’d add on side straps after the middle part was trimmed to size… it was hard enough to try & do fittings on a squirmy baby, haha. The main point for me was having the entire front covered. I didn’t want any of that “life jacket crotch strap” happening. You know what I’m talking about, haha?

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I added self adhesive velcro to the points of contact for the shell… So on the shoulder straps, on the two points behind the bum & then on the side straps, which I added later.  Somehow I only had one sticky side on my velcro… I must’ve lost the other side in my giant bin of sewing stuff, so I had to hand sew the unsticky pieces onto the shell.  I started with the shoulder straps then measured where the bottom should be accordingly. Last, I added the side straps & marked where the velcro should be sewn onto the shell.

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I bought a green long sleeved onesie at HM.com for $6 or $7 to finish the look.

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I made Macklin take a picture with bunny ears on next to Gio & called them “The Tortoise & the Hare” together, haha! Macklin obviously loves it. Obviously.

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 We took him outside but I can’t say he was excited about being in the grass, haha.

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That’s all for this tutorial, let me know if you have any questions!! Thanks for stopping by :)

xokristen