One of the best things about Halloween is being able to create a fantastic costume with your child. This tutorial will detail how to create an absolutely awesome power ranger costume that is super easy and comfortable to wear.
Our original design was made prior to my owning a Cricut machine. Although it may seem hard to believe, you can make an awesome costume using duct tape and craft foam.
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What you will need:
Black T-Shirt for the vest
Quick Release Belt Buckle
Gold metallic craft foam
Black craft foam (optional – for helmet only)
Gold duct tape (optional- for shoulder armor)
Black Velcro (I prefer sew-on for long-term use)
Black Thread (recommended)
Pattern Templates from the Free Resources Library
Building the base of your Power Ranger Costume
The key to any good costume is making it comfortable! I’ve learned this the hard way.
Depending on the weather in your city, you may opt to use different items as your base. It is usually really cold and rainy here in Ohio on Halloween. For my little Power Ranger, I used a sweatshirt and a pair of sweatpants in a size larger than he normally wears.
There is logic in this step. First, you can easily layer another shirt or sweatshirt underneath depending on the weather. Second, your child has plenty of growing room so that he can be a power ranger for months after Halloween.
In fact, we used this costume for at least 2 years for parties and Comic-Con!
If you are in a warmer climate, you may opt to go with white leggings and a long sleeve white t-shirt.
The next key item to your awesome Power Ranger Costume is going to be the vest. This is basically the piece that tells the world you ARE a Power Ranger!
We styled our costume based off the White Power Ranger from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series. After all, Tommy Oliver rocks!
When I began styling the vest, I had plenty of spare black fabric to work with, but you could easily use a plain black T-shirt for your vest. If you’d like to sew a fabric costume vest, I will post a new tutorial shortly.
To make your T-shirt into a vest, simply cut a line straight up the back of the shirt, and cut your sleeves at a diagonal. See the image below for cutting lines. You will also want to crop your shirt by cutting it horizontally under the rib cage.
Your T-shirt should be large enough to hold the power ranger emblem on the front, short enough to see the designer belt, and loose enough to fit over your base layer of cloths.
Since T-shirts are a knit fabric, they will not fray easily once cut. However, the fabric will tend to move and stretch during the cutting process. If possible, I recommend using a sharp rotary cutter and a flat surface to get the sharpest cut and more professional appearance.
Once your T-shirt is cut, apply some Velcro to the backsides. Simply cut your Velcro to the size you’d like to use. Attach the hook side to the outside of the left back close to the cut, and attach the loop side to the inside of the right back close to where you cut. This way you can overlap for comfortable and easy closure.
Adhesive Velcro really does NOT stick well to fabric. So, I would recommend to at least hand stitch the Velcro in place.
My preferred method for attaching Velcro is to use my sewing machine straight stitch. I like to use a presser foot with a guided edge (like the blind hem foot) and adjust my needle position left or right to obtain a tight seam to the Velcro.
Creating your Power Ranger Vest Emblem
To make the Power Ranger Emblem for your vest, please print the design below or the full pattern list in the Free Resource Library.
Using gold glitter craft foam, simply cut out the pieces shaded in gray. You will need to use a crafting knife for this process so that you don’t cut through the circle design. You can then use fabric glue to attach the emblem to the T-shirt vest we already made.
Costume Belt and Arm/Leg Bands
Next, we will create the belt. A gold belt with a flat buckle would be perfect. We opted to use white cotton belting from JoAnn’s and a parachute buckle with a quick release. The great benefit of the quick release is that the tabs are on the side of the buckle so that you will not harm the newly created buckle once it’s attached.
This pattern is also in the Free Resource Guide. We simply traced the pattern onto the gold glitter craft foam with a black sharpie. Then, we glued the belt buckle design onto the quick release clasp.
For the arm and leg bands, you can use leftovers from your cut up T-shirt. You will want 2 lengths for your arms and 2 lengths for your legs. The size may depend on your child though as a toddler’s arms are much shorter than a tween.
Optimally, your armbands will go from the wrist to mid-forearm. The length will depend on the circumference of your arm at the thickest area. A rectangle of 4” by 9” should be adequate for most.
Your leg-bands should be just below mid-calf to the ankle. Again, the length will depend on the circumference of your calf. A rectangle of 4” by 13” should be adequate for most.
Before you proceed, I recommend you test this size on your child. You may find it necessary to shorten the length or width.
You will then cut 2 rectangles of craft foam for each set. The width will be 1 inch shorter on each side to allow the black shirt to be seen. The length should be 1 inch shorter on each side to allow the Velcro to be attached. If my original estimates are correct for you, your arm measurements would be 2” by 7”, and your leg measurement would be 2” by 11”.
We will then use our fabric glue to adhere the craft foam to the T-shirt fabric. Make sure to let this dry well before proceeding.
The last step in our arm and leg bands is attaching the Velcro. As before, I recommend sewing the Velcro in place since. The hook side will go on the left outside, and the loop side will go on the right inside.
Completing your White Ranger Costume Vest
If you watched the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, you would remember that the White Ranger’s uniform stood out from all the others. This wasn’t just because of the iconic vest emblem but also the golden shoulder plates that were reminiscent of battle armor.
You can opt to use the gold craft foam to make these as well. I had actually not purchased enough and found that the local stores were sold out of gold. So, what’s a mom to do?
Duct tape to the rescue!
Duct tape adheres very well to fabric, and it remains very pliable which was great for maintaining comfort. Simply cut your duct tape pieces to create a triangle effect on the shoulders and stick your duct tape to your fabric as needed.
I am actually very happy that we chose this option over the craft foam as I don’t think the craft foam would have held up as long.
Once the shoulders were in place, we added a little gold glitter glue to the black areas of the Power Ranger Emblem.
Lastly, I added a few little strips of gold glitter foam to the vest to recreate the original costume.
Accessorizing your costume
The perfect White Power Ranger will have white gloves as well as white shoes. I find it more economical just to buy gloves rather than making them. In my climate, you can often find knit gloves at the dollar stores in early October.
Shoes are another story. I can never seem to find affordable shoes to accessorize a costume, so I tend to make spats for most of our costumes. You can see how to make spats in the Headless Horseman. For this costume, I simply used a white shower curtain that I wanted to replace. Thrifty, eh?
You can also make a helmet if you chose. I opted to make an ice cream bucket into my son’s treat bag, and thus, we added the helmet design to the candy bucket.
Of course, Connor was quite disappointed that it was not a true helmet! My pattern is in the Free Resource Library. Simply use the same gold metallic craft foam for the top and bottom of the helmet and use black craft foam for the eye plate. This pattern is meant to be attached to a solid object and not used as a face mask although I’d love to see your design!
I hope you will share your results with me. The White Power Ranger costume was by far our most loved and used costume, and I certainly hope this tutorial helps you create wonderful memories for your little one.