Dog fashion is a $3 billion-a-year industry, and it keeps many of America’s pooches looking fly every day of the year. But Halloween is a perfect day for pets to really strut their stuff. And if their owners don’t have time left to buy a costume, they certainly have time to make one themselves. Since no dog is in the mood to dress up like a sexy cat again this year, why not try this DIY costume that takes inspiration from the famous Dogs Playing Poker oil paintings by C.M. Coolidge?
What You Need:
For the table:
A piece of foam board
A large piece of green felt (enough to cover the foam board)
Your dog’s walking harness
Hot glue gun
A poker set (cards, chips, etc.) you don’t mind ruining
For the visor:
A paper plate
One piece of green construction paper
What You Do:
Step 1: Measure the board.
It should cover your dog’s back from the nape of her neck to the base of her tail. Trim excess board as necessary. While you’re at it, put your dog’s walking harness on, and mark where it meets the foam board. Also mark where the board meets your dog’s hips, just in front of her hind legs.
Step 2: Attach the board.
Use duct tape to hold the harness on the underside of the board. Then refer to the hind leg markings you made in step 1. Poke two holes through the foam board and string two pieces of yarn through them. (Knot the yarn at the top so it doesn’t slide right through.) This yarn will be eventually used to secure the costume around the dog’s hips.
Step 3: Wrap the board.
Cover the top of the board in green felt, as if you’re wrapping a present. Carefully fold excess fabric around the corners, and staple around the perimeter to secure.
Step 4: Set the table.
Arrange chips and cards as you see fit. We opted for a Texas hold’em setup and made the dog the dealer by putting the majority of chips and cards, plus the “dealer” chip, near the neck of the costume. Use hot glue to stick the poker chips to one another and to the board. Use hot glue to affix the playing cards, too, but be careful: those thin cards get hot quickly. (Pro tip: instead of gluing the dealer’s deck card-by-card, make several small stacks of cards, staple them together, then glue the stacks together to create the illusion of a glued-together deck.)
Step 5: Make the dealer’s visor.
Cut the paper plate in half, following a curve that roughly matches the curve of your dog’s forehead. Cut a crescent shape out of the green construction paper and glue it to the plate, leaving a perimeter of the white plate showing. Poke a hole on each side and thread with yarn; that yarn will eventually serve as a chin strap.
Step 5: Put the costume on the dog.
Apologize if your dog looks embarrassed. Ply her with treats if she refuses to shuffle the deck. Hire a painter to create a portrait of your dog in her new getup—but only if it’s painted on velvet.
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon