Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Project: Superhero

I have all these wonderful ideas in my head that I can't wait to begin, however my real life keeps taking over.  I spend my days chasing, cleaning, changing, playing with, teaching and nurturing our three small children.  I wrangle our dog in and out of the house and making sure she doesn't get into too much trouble.  Somehow, the cooking, cleaning, and laundering gets done.  I am blessed with a life I wouldn't have any other way, even if I feel like I need more than two hands most of the time.

My children inspire me to create a lot - many times just so they have something new to play with or an accessory to get them interested in something new.  For this post, I'd like to share something we did a few months ago.

Our boys love superheros and the idea of being a superhero.  Although they've never watched Batman, they will sing "nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-Batman!" right along with us, and certainly know what he looks like.  They have a couple of action figures, and Little People Wheelies Batman characters.

During winter, we were stuck indoors a lot.  The baby wasn't old enough to dress up to take out, and we don't have a fenced in yard.  We had to occupy our days indoors trying to make the "same-old, same-old" not so monotonous.

Introducing:  Project Superhero

This project happened in four stages, and I'm apologizing in advance - I hadn't planned a blog post on this so I promise to be more accurate in my future projects.

Stage 1 was the hastily-thrown-together-so-you-can-play-with-it-right-now version.


  • Undetermined amount of bolted felt (like this).  Left over from a costume my mother and I made for my high school senior class play about 12 years earlier.  You can purchase this by the yard at a brick and mortar location.
  • Scissors
  • Length of Yarn (about 20" per mask)
Cape Directions:  All I did was cut a rectangular section of the felt measuring it against the boys to almost resemble a cape. On one end, I cut out a section for their necks and tied the remaining lengths around their necks to stay on. 
Mask Directions:  I cut an oval that would cover their eyes, and cut extremely crude eye holes and nose triangles (see picture).  On either side of the oval, I used a needle to poke a hole and draw yarn through, and tied the yarn behind their heads to secure to their faces.

The twins thought their new superhero capes and glasses were fantastic.  I cringed every time I saw the hastily cut edges and began planning Stage 2.

Stage 2 was the result of the children going to bed, and me designing much "better" glasses.

  • Cape from Stage 1
  • Additional undetermined amount of bolted felt unused from Stage 1
  • Scissors
  • Length of 1/4" braided elastic (like this)
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Mask Template from Spoonful 

Mask Directions:
Using the template, I cut my mask from the bolted felt.  I cut the length of elastic based on my sons' heads.  Instead of using yarn, I hot glued elastic to each of the sections of the mask above the eyes.  

The boys were psyched to have glasses they could put on themselves without asking for help.  I was glad to have adorable superheros running around my house.

Stage 3 happened a few months later.  The glasses had fallen apart repeatedly and been repaired repeatedly.  The capes were stretched out from all the knotting and unknotting.  I decided it was time to break out the sewing machine and do this the right way.

  • At least 19.5" x 25.5" of flannel print fabric.  One for cape, one for liner. (Check out, they do free shipping on orders over $35!)
  • Two craft magnets (The ones I used are these: Magnetic Buttons)
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Iron
  • Brown paper or other paper for creating your pattern
  • Bib for creating your pattern

Using a bib (that fits the child you are making the cape for), I traced half of the neckline onto the edge of the brown paper.  I then drew my cape line so that it flared outwards as I got towards the bottom of the cape.  The cape measures 18" across at the bottom (so you want the flare to end about 9" from the bottom edge of the cape) and 24" from clasp to bottom.  Check out my crude diagram below to get a visual idea of what I mean.

Folding your flannel in half, place pattern on the fold and cut one piece of each of your cape and lining.  Pin wrong sides of cape and lining together and stitch around with a 3/4" seam allowance.  Leave a small opening at the bottom so you can flip it right-side out.  When finished stitching, turn cape right side out and iron flat.  Tuck the open ends on the inside when ironing so you no longer see the opening at the bottom.  The trickiest part of the cape was getting the magnets in the collar where they needed to be.  To do this, I dropped two magnets in, and used my fingers to push them waaaaay up in the collar where they needed to be for the clasp.  I then used a running stitch and sewed right across the collar to secure the magnets in the collar.  A quick running stitch about 1/4"from the edge all the way around the cape (including stitching shut the open edge on the bottom) and your cape is complete!

Very, very excited toddlers to have nice new reversible capes that they could take on and off themselves.

superhero cape tutorial sew toddler diy

Stage 4 was the introduction of new glasses.

The glasses weren't intended to go with the superhero costumes - they were more just so the boys would stop playing with our glasses.

Leftover yarn
2 2" Plastic O Rings
Crochet Hook Size I  
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

15 Single Crochet (SC) over one of the O rings.  Chain (Ch) 50.  SC in 2nd Ch from hook, and in each Ch back to O Ring.  15 SC in remainder of O ring.  Join to first SC with Slip Stitch (Sl St). 
Ch 1, turn.
SC in each of next two SC's.  Ch 1, turn.  Holding second O ring up to hook, work 15 SC over the O ring.   Chain (Ch) 50.  SC in 2nd Ch from hook, and in each Ch back to O Ring.  15 SC in remainder of O ring.  Join to Ch 1 with Sl St. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Much more durable "glasses" that the kids constantly wear.

I think this post was long enough.  I can't believe how long it took to write out!

I look forward to comments from you, getting to know you, and you getting to know me through future posts.  I know some of the directions here may be unclear, but I promise to do much better with additional projects!

Happy crafting!


  1. This is so awesome!! I should make my daughter a cape....her move now is to put a blanket over her head and call herself "Super Niki!' =)
    A cape would be much fancier.

    1. Thanks, Sam! It really didn't take much more than a morning to complete the two capes. If you do end up making her a cape, I'd love to see pictures! Pretend play is my favorite pass time with my little ones.