Published 2 January 2018 ● Last Updated on 2 January 2018
Who doesn’t love Halloween? It’s that one holiday when the world says, “Go for it, express yourself. No outfit is too silly.” It’s great to roam the streets or show up to work in a wacky getup knowing you’ll be encouraged. Sadly though, that’s only once a year. I know I spend all year looking forward to Halloween like many do to Christmas. But you know who doesn’t care what day it is? Someone who doesn’t need to wait for Halloween or any such occasion to dress-up! A DOG!
Whenever I see a dog wearing a little sweater or shoes, it ups the kawaii factor by like a thousand. So how cute will your dog be wearing a Taco costume, eh? I’m here to show you how to break the Cute-O-Meter without breaking the bank.
In fact, you don’t have to limit yourself to Mexican food, you can turn your pup into whatever your preferred fare is by following this one simple rule: reduce everything to its simplest shape. For the taco, I searched for an illustration of a Taco, the one with the least detail and broke down the taco into the following parts:
1. Shell – Half Circle. Brown.
2. Lettuce – Long rectangles with wavy ends. Green.
3. Tomato – Circle. Red/Pink.
4. Cheese. – Small rectangles. White/Yellow/Both.
It’s just like cooking. Personally, I like my tacos with meat, guacamole, sour cream…but I wanted to get it done fast and some things don’t translate as easily. Like, how do you represent guacamole in fabric? No, really. How do you? So I did what I’d never do in real life—I held the guac. Simplicity is key, it doesn’t have to be super-detailed but have just enough to read as a taco.
Once I deconstructed a taco into its cubist elements I gathered the elements needed for the ‘ingredients’ of this taco:
- Scissors/Rotary Cutter (Cutting mat optional)
- Glue gun & extra sticks
- Fabric scraps in green, red, & yellow. I used cloth shopping bags for the bulk of this.
- Two cardboard flaps, the longer ones are better.
- Treats to keep your dog still and a wrangler
- A stuffed toy model of the same size for when your live-one isn’t cooperating
A step-by-step guide to making the Taco:
Step 1: Measure your pup from just behind his/her hind legs, to just in front of the back ones. This measurement is the length of the base of the taco shell. If the piece of cardboard is a 1-2” longer or shorter than your measurement that’s okay. Your shell will be rounder or longer depending on its length. You may have to use a whole cardboard box if you have a large dog. For a beagle, the flaps work fine. Make a mark at the halfway point on the length of your flap. Draw an arc from the bottom corner up to the halfway point, then back down to the other corner. Cut along this line. Make two.
Step 2: Measure your dog around the rib cage. Cut a piece of fabric that’s as wide as the base of the taco and as long as half of the rib cage measurement. Glue both ends to the bottom of the cardboard and then halfway. Repeat at both ends. Lay it on your dog and make sure it hangs alright. If so, proceed, if not, adjust the middle glue-point until it sits as high or as low as you want.
Step 3: Cut out the veggies. Circles and rectangles. For the lettuce, take your cloth bag/fabric and fold it in quarters, cut an arc on top and straight across the bottom at your desired length. I made only four, glueing two to each taco shell and the other two onto the middle fabric piece. I used a scrap of batik and fabric shopping bags so I glued my tomatoes and cheese on so that it covered as much of the blue from the batik and the wording from the shopping bags as possible.
Step 4: Add four straps made of fabric remnants. Glue two to the shell so they tie across your dog’s chest and the other two around the abdomen.
Yay! You’re finished!
If your dog allows it (this one did for only one minute and only while chasing a treat around) you can make a fabulous headpiece. I had a little sombrero from a Cinco de Mayo bar party and some takeout chilli sauce packets. Glue the packets, add ties and finito! If you don’t have a sombrero that’s okay. Maybe you have a little dog hat you can glue condiments or plastic chili peppers or whatever other taco-related things you have lying around.
It’s really easy. I think this article took longer to write than making the actual costume! Have fun making it and even more fun walking your dog taco—Pataco! (A pun on my model’s name, Pataka).