How to Make Your Very Own Super Mario Bros. Piranha Plant Costume


Allie has written for Mommy’s Busy Go Ask Daddy before when she made the cutest and most deliciousest SpongeBob Krabby Patty Cupcakes. She did such a great job, that I knew I’d have to have her on here again. Besides baking the bestest cakes in the universe, she’s also insanely amazing at putting together Halloween costumes. Yeah, for someone with a science background, she’s really pretty darn artistic.

Now when it comes to Halloween, Jason’s always the tough one. He never knows what he wants to dress up as and it’s almost always some insanely crazy obscure video game or Pokemon type character. That means no costume exists for it, so Allie’s stuck making it. And with just her trusty glue gun, lots of cloth and a killer imagination, she always comes through! A few years ago she made the most adorable Yoshi costume for him. And this year, well, I think she topped it. I’ll let her take over now.

Last week, my 10-year-old son, Jason,  finally told me what he wanted to be for Halloween (even though I have been asking him since August). This is what he asked for… a piranha plant in a pipe from the Super Mario Bros games.


Off to JoAnn’s Craft Store I went. When I got there, I was pleased to find that felt was on sale for $2.99 a yard (that is really cheap)! I got 3 yards of green, 1/2 yard of red and 1 yard of white felt. It came out to $17 total. I thought I got away very cheap for a homemade costume! I already had a glue gun,Velcro and polyester stuffing at home from previous projects. (Don’t ask.) I use a glue gun because I think it is faster than sewing and also, I don’t know how to sew well.

When I got home, I went online and looked up other people’s piranha plant costumes. As Issac Newton once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” I needed to see how others did it before I could make mine. Right away, I saw a costume with suspenders, which I thought was a brilliant way to hold up the bottom part of the costume.

In about an hour, I was able to get the pipe and leaves (bottom part of costume) done.

Here is how I did it:

The Pipe and Leaves Body

Step 1

I wrapped the material around Jason’s (the costume requester) waist and left a little room to give the appearance that he is coming from inside the pipe. I then folded the top piece about 8 inches to create the top lip. As I was gluing the top piece, I also stuffed it with polyester stuffing.



Step 2

Once that was finished, I cut out two strips of green felt as the suspenders, measuring them  against Jason’s body. I glued both strips onto the back of this pipe and used Velcro to connect the front part.

Step 3

For the leaves, I simply drew freehand leaf shapes. I made a thick band on the bottom of the leaf so it would wrap around his wrists, glued another layer of leaf, added Velcro and I was done.

IMG_1453 (2)


Here is the end product for Steps 1-3:

Piranha Plant in a Pipe

The Piranha Plant Head

Step 4

Here comes the hard part. I had no idea how to make the head!

I figured I would make it like a football helmet, meaning there will be a top part and a hinge for the bottom part. I studied photographs and stuffed animals to see how to make the curved part of the head. To secure the head, I would glue in an old hat. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, without my knowledge, Allie used one of my many baseball caps. See the sacrifices I make for my children? – Andrew]

The top part of the head consisted of three sections that I stuffed and glued together.


This was the top part and then I made a duplicate for the underside and then stuffed it. This is still for the top part of the helmet, as I didn’t do the hinge part yet. It ended up sooooo heavy and big that I actually trimmed the sides after it was glued, took out some stuffing and glued the sides back together.

Step 5

Now it’s time to add the hat. This was pretty easy. I figured out where the middle part of this section was. I cut out a hole and glued in the hat. And yeah, I took out even more stuffing to make it lighter, again.


Working in a hat

Step 6

Now came time for the hinge (bottom part). I cut out a curved portion of material to match the length of the top part. This was more tubular and I just glued and stuffed it.


Here is the finished product for Steps 4-6:

Red mouth

In the above photo, I didn’t glue the hinge to the top part yet. Jason is actually holding them together. I hope he is not screaming because it was so heavy! He will have strong neck muscles from wearing this costume. 🙂

Step 7

To make the white lips, I cut on a long piece of white felt and folded it over, stuffed and glued it. I measured it against the red head to get the correct length.

White material

Here is a picture of it being stuffed:


After the lips were done, I just glued them seam side down on the red parts.

Step 8

To make the spots, I just  drew circles on the white felt and cut them out. Next, I glued them on with the glue gun and was done. To make the teeth, I drew triangles on a folded sheet of white felt, cut them out and glued two out of the three sides.


Once the glue was dried, I pulled the triangle inside out (so you won’t see the seams), stuffed and glued them down.

A piranha plant tooth up close

Step 9

To glue both parts of the helmet together, I put velcro on just to gauge where to place the glue. The glue gun glue is surprisingly very strong. Here is a picture of it sitting on my table.

Finishing the piranha plant head

Assembling the Costume

Step 10

There wasn’t supposed to be a Step 10, but I found out the headpiece was leaning forward because of the extra weight with the lips and bottom hinge. My wonderful husband, Andrew [Editor’s Note: She actually wrote that of her own free will! – Andrew], thought of bracing it in the back somehow. Since it was plant, I thought why not brace it with a stem? I quickly got a piece of green felt, stuffed and glued it to the red head piece.


The question now was where to attach it (You can see I put Velcro on the bottom of the stem). At first I attached to the inside of the pipe but it made the pipe bunch up in the back. So instead, I made a garter (for lack of a better word) to put around Jason’s leg, which will act as the attachment point for the stem.

Sizing up the piranha plant costume

Adding the tail to the piranha plant costume


I ran to Walmart, got a green T-shirt and was finally done two weeks later. Here is the finished piranha plant costume!

Finished Piranha Plant costume

His favorite part was the leaf hands!

Here is the back view:

Piranha Plant costume back

Comparison pic to the original. How did I do? 🙂

Comparing costume to piranha plant image

Lastly, Jason doing what any piranha plant would do: eat his little brother!!

Brotherly love

Happy Halloween!

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37 Responses
  • Mike
    October 29, 2015

    Thank you very much for posting the info. Created a similar costume for my son. If nothing else, your suggestion to use felt and a glue gun was fantastic and I’m sure I wouldn’t have managed without your guidelines. Kudos!!!

    • Andrew Kardon
      October 29, 2015

      Glad to hear it! Would love to see what you came up with!

  • Jennifer Young
    November 5, 2013

    Wow, amazing! What an awesome job, and something he will remember for so long. I love it! 🙂

  • Sherri Lewis
    November 3, 2013

    How cute is that??? Love it! I must not have a creative bone in my body… I could never think up something like that……..

  • Cynthia Cover
    November 2, 2013

    I LOVE that last pic of eating the younger one…..this is so true to real life. Though my young one is just as aggressive as the older one. Awesome costume, really creative!

  • Michelle Tucker
    November 2, 2013

    OMG, this is amazingly cool. He looked so adorable too. Thanks for the step by step. i just might make this for hubby next year.

  • Sandy Cain
    November 1, 2013

    Looks like a LOT of work…but WAY cool! This is a costume that should be handed down in the family, like new Prince George’s christening outfit.

  • Rust
    October 31, 2013

    wow, this is great! really cool tutorial!

  • stephanie
    October 30, 2013

    This is so neat. My 5 year old loves everything Mario. I’ll keep this in mind for next Halloween!

  • Darklurkr23
    October 30, 2013

    Gotta admit pretty good for 17 bucks XD

  • LaDonna G
    October 29, 2013

    Wow! What a great costume! My son would love this!

  • Nichol
    October 29, 2013

    Wow, such talent you have. I could never make a homemade costume but would love to. The details and everything you put into it, way to go!!! I agree, costume contests, go enter!!!

  • Kimberly
    October 28, 2013

    This is great! I love homemade costumes, and you are so skilled! Hope he has a great Halloween.
    Kimberly recently posted..That College Book Costs WHAT?My Profile

  • Pam O
    October 28, 2013

    I Love it!!! How cute is that? I would much rather have a hand made costume instead of a store bought one. I made all of my son’s costumes before he became to “cool” for Halloween.

  • Allie
    October 28, 2013

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    When we went to the Halloween party, all of the adults thought he was the plant from Little Shop of Horrors! All of the kids knew exactly who he was, of course.

  • erin
    October 28, 2013

    Awesome! She did fantastic!
    erin recently posted..SIGG Kids Water Bottles: Halloween, Hello Kitty and Pirate DesignsMy Profile

  • courtney b
    October 27, 2013

    bha ha ha love it! where’s luigi?
    courtney b recently posted..What I Wore TodayMy Profile

  • Beeb
    October 27, 2013

    Oh my gosh, you are so talented! The last picture had me cracking up. What a great costume!
    Beeb recently posted..My Weekend in ChicagoMy Profile

  • Dawn Monroe
    October 27, 2013

    I was a Mario fan when being a fan wasnt cool so Ilove the costume but I dont think Im talented enough to make it. I think a cool add on would be the sound effect from the game, from your phone or tape or something.

  • Sandra (at) Coasahmom (dot) com
    October 27, 2013

    This is completely awesome! I’m a HUGE Mario Fan and i’m slowly corrupting my oldest son (he’s 5) I definitely love this and think you did an amazingly awesome job!!! 10 stars!!! Definitely pinning this for later use!!
    Sandra (at) Coasahmom (dot) com recently posted..How to Create a Simple home maintenance planMy Profile

  • Daily Woman (Lacey)
    October 27, 2013

    This is a cool costume, and the price is right! With some costumes costing around $50 it is great to find a way to save a little money.

  • Carolyn R
    October 26, 2013

    Awesome Costume!! My son would love a costume like this… GREAT JOB!!

  • Vickie Couturier
    October 26, 2013

    how clever,,it is so cute,he is going to have a blast

  • Todd Lovessweeps
    October 26, 2013

    Great costume ! You guys did a really nice job.
    Todd Lovessweeps recently posted..Win a copy of Pacific Rim on Blu-Ray at Metallmans blogMy Profile

  • Janet W.
    October 26, 2013

    Oh my goodness, this is the best costume and so original! I love that you made it yourself! My son in law, who grew up playing Mario games, would love this!

  • melissa teears
    October 26, 2013

    What a unique idea. I love it. Looks easy enough to do too.

  • Cat Davis | Food Family & Finds
    October 25, 2013

    That is hilarious and awesome on so many levels. Enter that kid in some local costume contests.

  • Melissa h
    October 25, 2013

    I am in love!!! Great job. What a lucky kid and a creative idea for the costume as well. I love out of the box ideas.

  • Daisy
    October 25, 2013

    This is such a cute idea. I love how easy you made it to follow with the step by step guide and great photos.

  • Danielle Royalegacy
    October 25, 2013

    This is a cool costume. I pinned it to my Halloween board.
    Danielle Royalegacy recently posted..Celebrate Your Holiday Wish Giveaway Event Sign UpsMy Profile

  • Autum
    October 25, 2013

    How fun is that costume! My boys would love it and I like that it’s inexpensive to make too. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kyle |
    October 25, 2013

    Wow, that is really cool Allie. You have some talent!

    My in-laws made a couple Minion costumes that are pretty darn amazing for my kids, I’m gonna have to post something similar. Although it will have to be for next Halloween as they have been working on it since August…or so it seems!
    Kyle | recently posted..Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch: Life Lessons AboundMy Profile

  • tim
    October 25, 2013

    That is fantastic. I always appreciate a good homemade costume over store-bought any day.

  • Stephanie
    October 25, 2013

    This is so awesome!! Seriously one of the best homemade costumes I have ever seen!
    Stephanie recently posted..MommyPolls Helping One Mom At A TimeMy Profile

  • Billie
    October 25, 2013

    How incredibly cute is that?! And at $17 for materials, plus the green shirt, that’s a bargain. Some of those cookie cutter costumes cost way more and they just look cheap. He’s definitely the coolest Piranha Plant I’ve ever seen.
    Billie recently posted..TalkNotes Plus ReviewMy Profile

    • Allie
      October 25, 2013

      Thanks Billie! He didn’t even complain that much when I had him try it on 10 million times:)

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