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DIY: Man in the Yellow Hat Costume

November 2, 2017
DIY Curious Geroge's Man in the Yellow Hat Costume / Midwestern Mama
I wanted to separate the “how” part of this year’s Halloween costumes because I think it makes things easier to find when someone may be searching for something specific, and also easier to reference back to!  So, this post is dedicated to HOW I made Curious George’s Man in the Yellow Hat costume.

Let’s start with the hat!  The hat is the most important part since that is his trademark!  However, finding a hat of this size and shape was impossible!  I looked at several stores, thinking I could find something to just spray paint yellow…no such luck!  So, the creative juices started to flow, and with a little imagination, a yellow hat was born.  The good news is that it’s cheap and also pretty easy!
yellow felt
exacto knife or other sharp knife
black ribbon or felt
hot glue gun
spray adhesive
I used a large bowl to trace a circle that was the right size for the brim of my son’s hat.
You will need 2 circles the same size, so fold the material over before you cut it out.  You will only have to cut once and the circles will be the same size.
Trace the same bowl on a piece of cardboard and cut it slightly smaller than the traced mark.  You will want the yellow felt to be just a tad bigger than the cardboard.  Measure the size of the head who will be wearing the hat.  My son’s head was 20 inches around, and then I googled a conversion chart to come up with a diameter of roughly 6.5 inches.
Find the center of you cardboard circle by drawing several straight lines with a ruler.  From the center point, you will need to draw a circle with the diameter you determined above.  You can use a compass (remember those from middle school geometry class?  Or if you’re like me and someone (ahem, my older son) “borrows” yours and forgets to return it, then you can use a makeshift compass using a string and a pen or pencil.
Measure 1/2 of your diameter (3.25″ in my case) and hold the string in the center of the cardboard circle, drawing with the pencil to make a circle.
I ended up elongating the circle to be more of an oval shape to fit his head a little better.  Cut out the inner oval.  I used an exacto knife for this so the cardboard didn’t bend.
Spray adhesive onto one side of the cardboard then lay it flat onto one of the yellow felt circles.
Using sharp scissors, cut triangle shapes from the center towards the edge of the circle, like a pie shape.
Hot glue them to the underneath side of the cardboard.
I cut off the points of the triangles so they didn’t get in the way.
Measure the circumference of the inside of the hat.  Divide by 4 to determine the size you need to measure out in the next step below.  Then, you will want to add about 1/4 inch to allow room for the seam.
For the top of the hat, fold the felt in half.  I measured 12″ tall and 5.25″ wide and drew a curved line that resembled 1/4 of the hat.  Cut it out and then trace and cut out another one the same size.  You should now have 2 halves.
You can either pin the 2 sides together and sew along the edge, leaving the bottom open.  Or, you could put a thin line of hot glue around the edge and press the pieces together, leaving the bottom open.
Flip it inside out so the seam is facing inward.
Cut small slits along the open edge of the hat, about 0.5 inches apart.  Using hot glue, attach the small flaps you just cut onto the underneath side of the brim.  Make your way around the entire hat, securing all of the flaps to the brim.
Once they are all glued, place the circle piece of cardboard, that you cut out of the brim, over the hat opening and spray the underneath of the brim with spray adhesive.  Covering the opening will prevent the glue from getting inside the hat.  You wouldn’t want your little one’s hair to stick to it!  Press the remaining piece of felt to the bottom side of the brim.
Carefully line the outer edge of the brim with hot glue to secure the top and bottom felt pieces.
Cut a strip of black felt to go around the hat, or use black ribbon.  Secure the ribbon to the hat with hot glue and trim the excess.
The felt is stiff enough that the hat stands up on it’s own!
On to the tie!
yellow felt
black felt
hot glue
I used the same yellow and black felt for the tie.  I just measured the length I wanted it to be on my son and then free hand drew a tie that I liked.  I know that’s probably annoying to those of you who can’t free hand, but it was pretty simple.  Fold the material in half and draw half of the tie.   I used a ruler to make sure the lines were straight.  When you cut it out, you will have a symmetrical shape.
I folded over the top part of the tie and hot glued the flap in the back, leaving a gap for the elastic to slide through.  I cut out circles from the black felt and hot glued them onto the tie.  Then, I threaded the elastic through the tie and glued the ends.  Super easy!
Now, for the shirt and pants!  I started searching for yellow clothing to buy, but I couldn’t find both pants and a shirt that were the same shade of yellow.   I ended up ordering this shirt and found some of brother’s old hand me down pants that were a super light shade of khaki.  Using Rit dye, I dyed them both Golden Yellow and they turned out great!  Both the pants and the shirt were 100% cotton, so I followed the instructions on the dye box and added 1 cup of salt.  I left them in the simmering dye bath for about 8 minutes.  I probably could (and should) have left them in for a little longer, but I was worried they were getting too dark in color.  They were a little splotchy since I removed them from the dye too early, but they ended up being a great shade and went well with the hat and tie!
For the boots, I used Plasti-dip to spray paint my son’s old rain boots.  This stuff is really cool because it sprays on like spray paint, but the you can peel it off when you are finished!  My husband uses it to paint the wheels on his cars.  It allows him to change things up without a major commitment.  I will admit that I haven’t tried to remove the Plasti-dip from the rain boots.  Considering you’re painting rubber paint onto rubber boots, it may not peel off quite as easily as it does from car wheels!
DIY Halloween costumes.  Minecraft Steve, Curious George's Man in the Yellow Hat, Chef Pisgetti, and Professor Wiseman
And, that’s it!  Professor Wiseman and Chef Pisghetti were a fun compliment to the Man in the Yellow Hat!  And, despite my best efforts to talk my 8 year old into joining us in this Curious George theme…he went his own direction with a Minecraft costume.  More on that to come!

Lab coat (runs large, I ordered a small and had more than enough room to wear a sweater underneath)
Black wig (I had a wig for my costume and then left it at home when we went trick or treating….oops!)
Glasses–I purchased sunglasses from the Dollar Tree and popped the lenses out.
***Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay, but it does help me maintain my blog.  Thank you for your support!
DIY Curious Geroge's Man in the Yellow Hat Costume / Midwestern Mama
Niki French

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  • Nicki Bailey October 12, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I just finished my 2.5 year old’s man with the yellow hat costume following your instructions. It turned out great and my little boys loved it!!

    • Niki French October 13, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Oh yay! That makes me so happy! I’m so glad you found this tutorial helpful. I hope they have the best Halloween!

  • Christeena October 20, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    This was so helpful! Thank you!

  • Maggie November 14, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Thank you for this! So helpful.

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    I'm Niki, founder of Midwestern Mama. This lifestyle blog is a place where I get to share things I am passionate about with people like you! I love fashion, home decor, DIY's and easy meals, among other things. I'm so glad you're here! Read More


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