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.



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


& 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″



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.


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…


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


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.



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.


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?


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.



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

turtle gio 2 turtle gio

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.


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


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



  • Querida S

    Thanks so much for sharing the steps of how to make the turtle costume. I made my 8 month old son a similar one! We live in HI so we took him to the beach the day after Halloween in the costume. Everyone loved it!

    • thelovenotesblog

      Aw I’m so happy to hear that. I’m sure he was ADORABLE!! Thanks so much for your comment :) -Kristen