Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chia Pet Kitai.... A Custom Halloween Dog Costume

Introducing the Original Chia Pet Dog Costume...

Meet Chia Pet Kitai. Classic. I've been thinking about making this costume for a couple of years. I started making costumes for Kitai years ago when we used to go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Our neighbors would give him dog treats, toys, lunch meat and hot dogs. Score!

I'm always trying to dream up costume ideas that have never been done before. How I test out my ideas? I go to Google Images and enter the idea and add "dog costume" to the end. If no images turn up in the results I proceed...

Kitai is such a good sport. He really doesn't mind wearing his costumes and eagerly hops over to me for fittings because he gets a cookie every time he does. He also loves wearing his costumes because it means he's going somewhere fun :)

I love this shot taken from above. He's so big and green!

Because I make the costume in several parts the pattern allows Kitai to stand, walk, sit and lay down. It's pretty darn comy for him.

Here's how I did it. I used plastic aquarium plants that you can buy in pairs that are square mats. The only problem was that I needed 5 and apparently each Petsmart stocks 3 sets. So I had to make two trips to different stores to find enough of them.

I pulled all of the foliage off the mats. Then I made a horse blanket out of green felt and strategically cut holes in the felt using an x-acto knife. Felt is great because you don't need to finish the edges when you cut them. To find this particular shade of green I had to use wool (not polyester) felt available at JoAnn Fabrics. CLICK HERE for a post with more detailed instructions.

I pushed the prongs of the grid through the holes and reattached the foliage alternating the two different types of leaves. I then lined the entire costume from the back so that none of the plastic could poke him or make him feel uncomfortable.

Around his neck I hand stitched the leaves to cover the felt. Here's a close up of how the foliage was attached.

His terra cotta legs were made of cotton fabric. There is a liner pant leg that fits his leg and the larger pot shaped leg that went over the inner casing. The legs are all held in place by suspender style straps that span over his shoulders and back. The green cross strap down his back is to keep the rear pant legs from slipping down off of his back.

Here's a little tutorial about how I made the terra cotta pant legs. CLICK HERE for a post with more detailed instructions.

It was a lot of work! It's always more then I anticipate. But somehow it all seems to come together in the end.

Anyways, I hope seeing his costume makes you laugh because it's all in fun!

2004 - Spider Bait

2005 - Sake Nigiri (sushi)

2006 - The Dog Whisperer has been Kitai's most famous costume. Read all about his trip to NYC to be on the Today show on Halloween morning  2007.

2007 - Pupcorn

2008 - Mounds Mutt Size Candy Bar Costume he wore it to the Silicon Valley Fur Ball a black tie fundraise for the shelter I adopted him from.

Kitai's new Pro-Neuter costume! Get it? No Nuts!

2010 - Sea Otter with a real dog/otter tail!
On The Flirty Blog a "how to" post for Kitai's 2010 costume:
Cutest Dog Ever Sea Otter Halloween Costume!

2011 - Homage to "The Woz"
Kitai plays Segway polo on his own miniature Segway:

2012 - Banana Slug Dog Costume

If you want to see more photos of Kitai's past costumes just visit his Costume Page on his website www.CutestDogEver.com.

10 Click Here to Comment:

judyonthenet said...

Frickin' adorable and hilarious. Great costume!

Rich Amooi said...

Kitai is SO CUTE!

Lynne said...

I had to show my fiance, who's an artist/graphic designer... I said... you have to see the cutest picture ever. He couldn't get over it! Loves all your costumes for past years (dog whisperer with the hands was amazing)... oh and your font selection on all your websites. :)

Cindy Robinson said...

This is fantastic! I love Chia Pet Kitai! Well done :) I hope he gets lots of doggy treats.

Lea McIntosh said...

Very funny! In Italian the 'chi' is a "k" sound.

I am singing in my head right now
Chi, Chi, Chitai!

It's a winner!

Events by Evonne said...

Awww... how cute!

Shelly said...

This is adorable, but how unfair is it that someone else took your idea and won like every single online pet costume contest this year. Everywhere I turned there was the chia pet and he was not as cute as Kitai!

Tinygami said...

Glad everyone enjoyed the costume :)

Shelly, thanks for the support. Truth be told I hate entering contests and usually only do when under pressure from friends or if the prize is something I can donate to a local rescue as I did when Kitai won the Bark in the Park event in 2008.

It would be nice though if people who were inspired to create their own version of the costume wold give www.CutestDogEver.com credit for the "Chia Pet" dog costume idea as it would help to promote adoption from shelters and rescues if more people knew about the website. But that's up to each of them to mention it when they are given the opportunity to do so.

Lea McIntosh said...

Very funny! In Italian the 'chi' is a "k" sound.

I am singing in my head right now
Chi, Chi, Chitai!

It's a winner!

judyonthenet said...

Frickin' adorable and hilarious. Great costume!