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DIY Narwhal and Jelly Costume

March 21, 2023 Sarah Coggins

For her recent book character day at school, my daughter decided to dress up like Jelly from the Narwhal and Jelly books. This was a different and fun character to put together a costume for. It looked great, was inexpensive, and so easy. Read on for all the details to create your own.

DIY jellyfish costume to represent Narwhal and Jelly for Book Character Day.

Shop Your House

Each time we make a costume, I start with our own clothing and stash of items from past costumes. Reusing is key to a quick project and makes the costumes far less expensive. For the jellyfish costume, I selected a light teal shirt from my daughter’s dresser and the purple tutu from the Junie B. Jones costume we made last year.

Items laid out to make a DIY jellyfish costume - light teal shirt, purple tutu skirt, 2 plastic tablecloths, and Narwhal and Jelly book for reference.

Next we visited the party store for plastic tablecloths in pink and teal to create the jellyfish tentacles. I highly recommend checking Dollar Tree as well. We just couldn’t find the colors we needed in stock that particular day.

Making Jellyfish Tentacles

Creating jellyfish tentacles is super easy. Simply cut strips from the tablecloths. I varied mine – some strips were wider than others. I also opted to not measure, but just try to cut as straight as possible by hand. These don’t need to be perfect! (As a lover of straight lines and rulers, this was a challenge for me. If you’re the same, trust me and let go of perfection. It will work out so well without trying to cut straight lines.)

Scissors laying on a plastic tablecloth with a strip partially cut.

Cut a LOT of strips. More than you think you will need. I cut some out of the teal and pink to add a fun mix of the colors and give the design a bit of dimension. You can use just one color if preferred.

After cutting strips, give them the look of tentacles by gently pulling and stretching the plastic with your fingers. Be gentle. I pulled too hard a few times and made holes in the plastic.

Strip of plastic tablecloth with texture from stretching the plastic to create a "tentacle" look.

Repeat with additional tablecloth strips to create lots of tentacles.

Attaching Tentacles to Tutu Skirt

Use sewing clips to position the plastic tentacles onto the tutu. Then carefully hand stitch into place. I sewed mine on on the back of the waistband so stitches would not be visible in the front.

Plastic sewing clips attaching party tablecloth "tentacles" to a purple tutu in preparation for sewing.

Keep adding plastic tentacles around the skirt waist until filled in. I overlapped them as well to add more volume.

Completing the Jelly Costume

With tentacles a plenty, we finished off her Jelly costume with a few basics – simple gray/white leggings and shiny silver slip on shoes (from her Elsa costume last Halloween!). And, of course, to fully represent Jelly, she needed his best buddy Narwhal! Thankfully, we had a plush narwhal from a trip to the NC Aquarium a few years ago.

Credits: Storyteller BYOC Aug 22 Paradise Kit by Just Jaimee; Mixed Bag stamps by Allison Pennington; Project Mouse New Orleans elements by Britt-ish Designs and Sahlin Studio; Narwhal & Jelly sketch by Ben Clanton.

Looking for more inspiration for Book Character Day? Check out our list of DIY costume ideas here.

About Me


Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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