Tips and Tricks to DIY Costumes

Whether you’re dressing up for a themed race or going trick or treating with the family on Halloween, check out Garmin Ambassador Carlee McDot‘s favorite DIY costumes and read her tips and tricks for making a great outfit!
Little Mermaid: I normally try to think outside of the box when it comes to costumes (I don’t want to be one of 1,500 Princess Leia at a Star Wars race), so although Ariel is a common runDisney costume, I used it for the San Diego Road Runner Sports Craft Classic Half Marathon. The race was neither a Disney themed or a costumed race, but running in costume helps to remind me to take life less seriously and have fun with whatever I am doing!
Thor: Sometimes a costume is all about the accessories. I made my Thor Hammer out of flower foam, duct tape and a paint stirrer (remember, when you need to carry something for 13.1 miles it must be light and easy to hold). A friend of mine even made capes for my socks – no detail is too small!
Santa & Elf: When a local race offers a “Santa’s Little Helper” wave and allows dogs to run, you make an elf costume! I even went as far as to wrap my shoes with KT Tape and added bells on the ends of my elf shoes.
Lumiere: As I mentioned, I prefer thinking outside of the box on costumes. Lumiere is a character that is often overlooked, even at runDisney races. I already had a yellow tank, skirt and socks, so to round out the outfit I made candle sticks to carry and a flame for my hat. Hot glue and the dollar store are my best friend when creating costumes.
Steamboat Willie: When running longer distances in costumes, one must remember to keep the running in mind. I do my best to work with items I already have in my running closet and focus on going with the character’s color scheme. To take the costume to the next level I add a proper or two –  in this case a boat helm and a sailor cap.
Minnie Mouse: My parents accompanied me to the runDisney Dopey Challenge (a 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday and Full Marathon on Sunday). I am forever grateful for all the support I receive from my friends and family. Thankfully the morning of the half it was on the cooler side so my Minnie gloves didn’t hinder my running.
Rosie The Riveter: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Angeles Half Marathon falls on the weekend of Halloween so it is a great time to dress up. Since the race was not associated with Disney it was the perfect time to break out a non-Disney character. Rosie the Riveter was a costume I had been wanting to rock for a while but wasn’t sure about wearing a piece of foam board attached to me. Thankfully I was running the race for fun with the hubby and didn’t have to worry about my time.
Donald Duck: I have a hard time turning down a reason to dress up, so when a race offers a costume contest you know I have to get in on the action. I already had the beak from a previous costume (friends and I went as Huey, Dewey and Louie for the Walt Disney World Marathon), so all that was left was selecting pieces of running gear that matched Donald Duck’s color scheme.
Tips and Tricks: 
As far as tips for running in costume, I have a ton, but have boiled it down to my top three.
  1. First and foremost, one does NOT need a costume to dress up! I try to do my best to use pieces that I already have and just go with the proper color scheme. Unless the race is a 5K I want to do my darnedest to make sure I can still run in the gear (sure, I may not be running for a PR, but I don’t want to get to the finish line with major chafing from fake limbs or bruises from a box that continually is hitting me in the knees).

PRO TIP: When you see plain colored running tops (whether tees or tanks), stock up. I normally grab a bunch when the seasons change and stores are getting rid of stock. Target, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are some of my favorite spots to grab tops from. Not only can you wear them for a while, but when you use them as a base for a costume you have already gotten your $7-10 worth and don’t mind potentially “ruining” them with hot glue. They can be the perfect base pieces for a costume and having an assortment of colors helps to guarantee you can make any costume that your creative mind can conceive.

2. Next, accessories can MAKE a costume. Like I just said, most of my costumes tend not to be legit costumes but running gear in a character’s color scheme. Since I normally don’t go all out on the clothes, I will try to add one or two accessories that really fit the character (for example, when I ran as Aunt Beru for the Star Wars Half I carried a kettle for blue milk or when I ran as Thor for the Avengers Half I had a ‘hammer’).

PRO TIP: Make sure whatever accessory you carry A. fits in the race guidelines (I know runDisney changed their restrictions so you don’t want to show up with a really snazzy sword only to find out you must throw it away before the race begins) and B. is comfortable to bring for the entire race [because finish line photos!]. When I made my Thor hammer I used flower foam and duct tape so it would be light to carry and when I ran as a Donald Duck I made sure my beak had elastic so I could wear it for photo ops but then it would hang around my neck while not in use.

3. Third, when you find what works STICK WITH IT! I will be the first to admit that my running gear is very standard. If you look at my #FlatCarlee pictures you will pretty much always see the same products. Most of my race outfits will consist of PRO Compression socks, a Sparkle Athletic skirt, a Handful sports bra, a Momentum wrap, my Garmin GPS watchBrooks running shoesShwings, a Sparkly Soul headband, my QALO wedding bands, a RoadID bracelet, etc.

PRO TIP: Once you find gear that works for you, buy it in multiple colors if at all possible. I may or may not have the same running top in five colors because I know I like the way it fits. Also, some businesses will offer discounts for ‘bulk’ purchases – for example, Sparkle Athletic offers a Buy 5 Get 1 Free on their skirts {normally used for teams, but if you know you want 6 skirts, take advantage of the deal!}. When you find what you like, scoop it up!