Thrifty Homemade TMNT Costume

I have four boys. They love to wrestle and rough house. What could be a better costume for them then to be all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Halloween this year? When I asked if they wanted a homemade TMNT costume, they all excitedly screamed yes!! They quickly started placing dibs on which of the turtles they wanted to be, of course based on favorite color or weapon.

This post is sponsored by Savers. All opinions are my own. 

Homemade TMNT Costumes

Let me show you how easy making their costumes was!

First, I headed to Savers and browsed up and down the aisles for all green clothes. There’s no better place than a thrift store to find specific clothes on a budget! Plus, since they weren’t the top stylish picks from the rack, most of the tops and bottoms I grabbed where the half price tag of the day! I paid $3-7 for a top and bottom for each of my boys. It would have been really hard to find all green clothes at a department store, but I found all I needed except one long sleeve all green top for my youngest. Pretty good, since I was looking for 8 total pieces!

Next, I headed over to the linens and found a scrap piece of butter yellow fabric – perfect for making turtle bellies with! The scrap of fabric was big enough for all four of the costumes and so I just needed the one piece for $2. I also grabbed a pillowcase to make the eye masks grabbing one of each of the four colors: red, orange, blue, purple. One of the pillowcases was thin and slightly silky. It had the hardest time becoming a mask, but the rest worked great! Look for thick cotton stiff pillowcases. Again, I had so many choices for each of the colors that I went with my favorite of the choices and the clearance yellow tagged ones when possible.

Finally, I wandered over to the home goods near the dishware. I grabbed four baskets in varying sizes looking for low, flat baskets that were round to make their turtle shells from. In total, each of the costumes was less than $10!

Turtle belly

Gathering the supplies was the first step. When I got everything home I laid out each of the shirts and cut out the yellow scrap fabric on top to make their bellies. I used a gold sharpie to draw their turtle belly outline and then roughly cut around the belly shape leaving about 1/2″ salvaged edge. Then, I pinned the belly in place, tucking the salvaged edge in as I went to give the belly just a bit of a 3D feel as it looks in the pictures of the turtles. This also made it super easy to sew without having to be perfectly lined up. Then, I just sewed a zig zag stitch following the outer line.


When all the bellies were on the shirts, I took the baskets outside and spray painted them using a leftover can of spray paint I already had on hand. If you’re shopping for the paint, you can do brown or green for the shell, the turtles have been portrayed both ways depending on which turtle series you reference. I was going off the cartoon TMNT, like seen here where they almost have a brown/green/grey shell. Anyways, just spray paint the back rounded side of your basket that will form the shell.

Fullscreen capture 1072014 114919 AM

When your turtle shells are dry, lace a rope, string, yarn, or whatever you have on hand through the basket in four spots forming two backpack like straps — one on each side. The kids can then just slip their arms into each of the sides and wear the turtle shell!

TMNT Costume

The final step was the eye masks. These were really easy to make and I didn’t sew them, but fray check would help if your kids plan to wear them a lot before Halloween or after. Line up the pillowcase on a cutting mat, if you have one. I quickly and easily cut the masks using a rotary cutter and a straight edge square that I had previously from making rag quilts. It doesn’t have to be perfect though, you can just use a pair of scissors if you don’t already have those items on hand. I cut from where you stuff your pillow inside all the way around to the far edge so that when cut as a strip, I could open up the strip and have one really long strip of fabric. If you see in the pictures, the turtles always have really long mask strings. Since most of the pillow cases had a seam right on the far edge where the end of your pillow would go when stuffing, it made it super easy to line up the center of their mask and cut eye holes and a small curved indent for their nose.

Thrifty Homemade TMNT Costume

You can find tons of inspiration for your own homemade TMNT costumes or anything else you can dream up in the aisles of Savers! They even have a whole aisle of donated Halloween costumes! What a perfect way to save on Halloween costumes since costumes are generally worn just once or twice and then sit around without much more use you can find a like new costume for way less than retail!

Savers Halloween Costumes

This whole aisle is second hand costumes! There is literally so many choices it will be hard to choose! Whatever your family wants to be for Halloween this year, head to Savers and make it a thrifty costume!

What costumes are you planning for Halloween?


About Janel

Hi, I'm Janel! I'm the owner and lead blogger here at A Mom's Take. I have five little boys age 8 and under. I am a Phoenix based mom blogger and love the sun. I love to travel and have been known for planning trips specifically to hit the roller coasters! I enjoy digital scrapbook and design and I'm obsessed with board games.


Thrifty Homemade TMNT Costume — 34 Comments

  1. Pingback: Block Party: Easy DIY Costumes Features - Rae Gun Ramblings

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  3. Hello cute lady! This looks super cute. Pinned. We couldn’t think of anyone better to party with. We hope to see you tomorrow at 7 pm.
    Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls

  4. I want to do something like that for my son. He wants to be Gilligan for Halloween. Just need a red shirt and a white hat.

  5. So cute! And this could not have come at a better time. My little one is going to be a ninja turtle. We have the shell, mask, and weapon, but not the actual body. I’m totally heading to a thrift store and then buying this same fabric. THANK YOU!

  6. Wonderful post and I so agree with shopping for anything at the thrift stores! Thank you for linking up at Wonderful Wed. Blog Hop and I hope you will come back and share again next week. Love your blog! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  7. I think you did a amazing job on the Ninja Turtle costumes. My kids do not dress up any more. I like to dress up to hand out candy. I am still trying to decide what to be this year.

  8. That is an awesome costume! My son sitting here next to me just seen it and said “hold on wait mom, I WANT THAT” lol. This looks super fun and easy to make!

  9. I love the Ninja Turtle costumes you made. My kids are to old for costumes now but i still dress up to hand out candy every year. I am not sure what i will dress up as yet for this year.

  10. Wow this post is just pure genius! How cool, I am still not sure I’m crafty enough but maybe next year I can give it a try! These are amazing!

  11. Those are great! Now all the boys need are some dollar store, plastic ninja weapons, and they’re fully turtle-ized. Love it.

  12. So simple and awesome! I usually try to save money buying used costumes or creating our own, but this year we are buying new ones. We are going shopping today! My 4yo wants to be a Power Ranger!

  13. GREAT idea!! My boys love the TMNT and I think your costumes came out awesome.

  14. My son would love this. I may have to do this for our dress up bin because we are going to be a family of pirates for Halloween. Thanks for the great idea!