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Dog’s Pirate Halloween Costume


Arr, Matey – You and your dog will love this costume!


White cotton T-shirt to fit your dog (for a Jack Russell Terrier, use Toddler size 8)

Orange, printed bandana for dog’s scarf

Black pirate eye patch

Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye: Scarlet & Cocoa Brown or your favorite color(s)

Rubber bands




Liquid dish detergent

4-gallon plastic tub or bucket

Measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Plastic or metal stirring spoon

Rubber gloves

Paper towels

Mild detergent

Plastic table cover

Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative (recommended)


1.Cover table with plastic. Gather supplies.

2.For best results, pre-wash T-shirt.

3.For the dog’s tunic, accordion pleat shirt in 2″ wide horizontal folds, beginning at the bottom. For a bold striped pattern, wrap 3 rubber bands, side by side, around the pleated shirt every 2″. The rubber bands create a resist and result in white stripes.

4.Soak tied shirt in warm water.

5.To prepare dye bath: Fill 4-gallon container with 3 gallons very hot water (140F). If water is not hot enough, heat some water in a cook pot or teapot.

6.Shake dye bottles before measuring. Wearing rubber gloves, add 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Scarlet and 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Cocoa Brown to water (this makes the custom color Marsala ). Stir well.

7.For cotton fabrics, add 1 cup salt to the dye bath. This helps to intensify the color.

8.Then add a squirt of liquid dish detergent. Stir well. bath.

If color is too light, add more dye; if color is too dark, add more water.

9.Immerse wet T-shirt into dye bath. Stir tied shirt occasionally for 20 minutes.

10.Remove shirt, squeeze out excess dye. Do not cut away rubber bands and do not rinse.

To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing, following instructions on bottle.

Let set for 20 minutes. Then, carefully cut away rubber bands.

Rinse T-shirt in cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.

Wash shirt in warm water with mild detergent, rinse and dry.

Iron shirt, if necessary.

To make the dog pirate tunic

1.Cut away the bottom stitched hem of the T-shirt.

2.Then cut V-shapes along the bottom, approximately 1 1/2″ wide by 2″ deep.

3. To finish bottom of sleeves, cut away the stitched hem.

4.Then cut V-shapes along the bottom, 1″ wide by 1 1/2″ deep.

Dress your pirate pooch, finishing his outfit with an eyepatch & bandana.


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