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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Make Kids Super Hero Capes for $.60!!!

I know this doesn't have anything to do with Barbie or recipes, but I thought that since it involved crafting, I would put it here.
I spent many hours searching the Internet for some super hero capes for a dress-up birthday party.  The least expensive I could find were $6.00 each.  I also stumbled across for "mini super hero capes craft kit at S&S Worldwide at twelve for $32.99.  I have no idea from what these are made, but I'm guessing paper.
I decided to troll through Dollar Tree to see what they had.  I found these plastic tablecloths with a thin fabric web backing. I purchased 6 cloths for a total of $6.00...the joy of the dollar store.
I was hoping the backing would be substantial enough to use just one layer of tablecloth, but it wasn't.  I cut out a simple pattern and placed the webbing sides together and stitched around the outside edge.  You could use a spray adhesive to join if you fear the sewing machine.  Then I attached a hook and loop tape fastener to each cape front.  The entire sewing and trimming process took less than 15 minutes per cape.
I found these in green, red and blue in the housewares area.  Do NOT use the thin un-backed plastic cloths on the party supply aisle.

Open the table cloth so the length is folded over upon itself, making it half the size. Then fold this in half, from left to right.  Then fold it in half, again.  Now you have 8 layers of cloth.  Make sure that the cloth is fairly smooth and the folds along the left edge are lined up.

You can find a free pattern on the Internet, or make your own.   Mine started at 7-inches at the neck edge and slowly increased to 10-inches at the bottom.  the overall length from the center back of the neck was 25-inches.  These measurements should fit 4-7 year-olds. Since you are putting this pattern on a fold, the finished bottom edge will measure 20-inches.

Simply sew (or spray adhesive) two capes with the WRONG sides together.  I stitched about 1/4-inch from the edge and then trimmed to 1/8 -inch.  The "fabric" is thin enough for you to see if you are catching both sides of the cape in the stitching.  This is not a precision project.  If you have to increase the width of your seam to "catch" the underside fabric, it won't make any difference and the excess will be removed when you trim.  Just be careful with the scissors...this stuff is thin and cuts just like paper.  Also, you cannot rip out stitches without tearing this stuff.  Make sure your machine is working on a bit of leftover tablecloth before you try it on the cape.  I just used a regular needle, thread and stitch length and tension.  It sews easily. I added colored hook and loop tape on the underside of the top flap and the upper side of the bottom flap.  I found colored "Velcro" at Hobby Lobby made by Sew Ology. Attach this well, it will get tugged on a lot!

These capes fold into nothing and can be easily store or transported. Kids can decorate the capes with markers and glue things on them, like stickers, but YOU CANNOT IRON THIS MATERIAL. I think these are pretty sturdy, but certainly not on the par with real fabric capes.  If you need a ton of cheap super hero capes, this is the way to go. If you are feeling creative, you can trim the seams with pinking shears or use decorative-edged scissors.


  1. How many capes does 1 table cloth make? I wanted to do capes but Jeeze the material is expensive so if I can find these that would be great! Closest DT is an hour awau

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