Our spotted furfamily fun with DIY “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” costumes. We shared some snaps of these homemade themed costumes and decorations in our Instagram stories last Halloween. By special request for this year’s upcoming celebrations (or quiet bubble costume dreaming for future fun), here are the DIY details. If COVID has cancelled your Halloween plans this year, you can still enjoy safely socially distanced pictures of Humphrey looking cute in his DIY Cruella bandana while you daydream about Dalmatian puppies. Hard to resist! Perhaps sneak yourself a few treats, too.
Our DIY "The Hundred and One Dalmatians" Costumes and More
Please excuse some of the pictures here (or lack thereof). Dressing the furfamily up was a very last minute Halloween decision. So last minute that all of the costumes and decorations were made on Halloween day. I know! The first kids were already roaming as I rushed into costume, so I completely missed out on picture time other than a few mobile phone snaps from our neighbours (thanks!).
Halloween isn’t really a thing here in New Zealand, although it’s growing. Our new neighbourhood has a number of families who moved from overseas or have blended backgrounds. One of the neighbourhood committee decided to organise a local trick-or-treat. Houses that were accepting knockers were invited to decorate their letterboxes as a signal. I like the concept of having an opt-on / opt-out, especially with dogs. Our boys are very social, but can be grizzly about door knocking. The last minute forecast was great, so we decided to close the gates and hand out treats curbside instead!
"The Hundred and One Dalmatians" Themed Halloween Fun
With two Dalmatians, how could I not go with a “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” theme for our very first furfamily Halloween? It was a pawfect fit! No Dalmatians? No worries! You can include other dog as themselves (there are many other breeds in the stories) or in Dalmatian disguises. It’s also easy to turn the humans into Dalmatians with costumes and/or face paints. Check out our post on DIY Dalmatian costumes for ideas.
Since it was just me and the dogs at home that evening, I went with a classic Cruella theme for our costumes and decorations. There are plenty of other potential options depending on your group members and personal preferences. Roger and Anita? Cruella solo with dogs? With added henchmen? There are also lots of slightly different looks and styles to choose from between the original novels and many follow-on movies over the years. Here are the details on our last minute DIY “The Hundred and One” Dalmatians costumes and decorations.
I use the original long form “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” throughout this post, but the shortened “101 Dalmatians” is a common adaptation of the same story in later print and film. I have a vintage copy of the original “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” book by Dodie Smith along with the “The Starlight Barking” sequel in my growing collection of Dalmatian items. They were a gift from hubby back when I first started this blog. An oldie makes a collectable treat for a Dalmatian lover if you ever come across a copy for yourself or someone special in your life. Our boys also have a copy of the Disney DVD, that I bought for Oli when he was two. It was first birthday we celebrated together as a blended furfamily many years ago.
DIY "Property of Cruella de Vil" Dog Bandanas
Since our boys were already spotted and ready, no Dalmatian costumes were needed. They still had special outfits for our “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” theme, though. These homemade “Property of Cruella de Vil” dog bandanas were made for our Halloween costumes, but are perfect for wearing any time as a Dalmatian. I like the added versatility of being able to use them for general wear.
Making the Dog Bandana Bases
I went with plain red fabric for our bandanas. It’s a great colour on the boys, and a perfect fit with my other black, white, and red Cruella costume and decoration elements. It’s also a great base for show casing the “Property of Cruella de Vil” iron ons.
The bandanas were sewn using a serger. See or post on making DIY dog bandanas with serged edges for details DIY bandana making tips. Unlike my usual rolled or narrow hemmed edges for dog bandanas, I used a wider overlocking trim as an accent. Serging is an incredibly quick way to whip up a basic bandana, but it does require having a suitable machine. There are lots of other DIY dog bandana ideas in our archives, including options for both sewn and no-sew bandanas. You can also use a ready-made bandana (like our personalised birthday bandanas) as the base for adding an iron-on. Depending on your dog, you might also be able to repurpose fabric napkins, handkerchiefs, or other items in a suitable size. Explore our archives for other DIY dog bandana styles.
Adding Custom Cricut Iron-Ons
The iron-on design is typography based, making it a very easy DIY design for crafting with Cricut or similar machines. The paw print is one of my own graphics, but paws are readily available as either freebies from your machine clip art or online. See our archives for examples of creating Cricut designs and applying them to DIY dog bandanas, like our DIY custom Valentine’s Day dog bandanas. You can also explore our archives for other Cricut pet crafts and design ideas.
Dressed and Ready for Tricks and Treats!
I really wish that I had more photos of me and the boys dressed in our DIY “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” costumes from our Halloween fun together. Sadly, all that I have are the few mobile phone snaps from neighbours and selfies shared earlier in the post. The additional photos of Humphrey were posed for this post (so cute!), but alas sweet senior Oli is no longer with us for a full furfamily enactment.
DIY Quickie Cruella de Vil Costume
Of course, Cruella needed to be with the boys at the gate to supervise, hand out treats, and watch for pretty puppies. Since it was Halloween Day, I didn’t have time for special shopping. Instead, I threw together a quick costume with clothing and supplies I already had on hand at home. Just not in a combination I’d usually wear together! Haha! In addition to being loud and proud with a splash of fur or feathers, Cruella is known for her long cigarette and wild white-streaked hair, requiring a few extra props. Here’s what I used and made for my costume.
DIY Long Cigarette (Opera Length Cigarette Holder)
These can be purchased from costume shop, but it’s easy to DIY something similar using a length of wooden dowel or other simple base. For my DIY long cigarette, I painted a length of narrow garden bamboo black. Since I was crafting at the last minute, I didn’t have time for layering coats or masking different paint colours. Instead, I cheated with scrap vinyl. I wrapped one end in white adhesive for the cigarette. Then I added a strip of gold to the base of the cigarette and to the other end of the holder. I capped the tip of the cigarette in red and painted it with glittery nail polish for an extra fiery looking “lit” end of the cigarette. Done and ready!
Other DIY Cruella de Vil Costume Elements
I assembled the rest of my Cruella costume from the closet. It consisted of a long black skirt, black and white wrap sweater, big black belt, black tights, and red shoes, along with a black feather boa from an old vintage costume. I also took the white faux sheep-skin from one of the pet beds and carried it over my arm add a flash of fur. Although I had been planning to wear my naturally rather wild hair down, Cruella style, windy weather called for it to be tied up, so I went for a messy topknot. The classic Cruella streak of white was added using baby powder and a copious amount of hairspray. A heavy caking of make-up, including darkening my bows and using a lot of eye shadow, and I was ready to entertain the neighbourhood!
DIY Decorations for Cruella's Manor
To add to the look and ensure that our house had the appropriate welcoming signs out for trick-or-treaters (I love the opt-in/out system used in our neighbourhood as mentioned earlier in the post) I needed some decorations for the gatepost and letterbox.
DIY “Puppies Wanted” Sign
I made a “Puppies Wanted” sign using Cricut vinyl and one of my white foam core photo reflectors. A similar sign could be easily painted (with more time), but this way I can remove and reuse the board if needed. I did need to make a few holes to tie it to the gate (especially with the wind), but nothing too detrimental to re-use.
Admittedly, one of my favourite parts of the themed Halloween decorations was tapping my sign with the end of my long cigarette and asking wide-eyed children if they knew where I could find any puppies. And offering them extra candy if they’d give me their family dogs (no no no!) or perhaps help me steal someone else’s (no no no!), all while their parents giggled in the background. Hehehe! Of course, taking care to make sure they understood that I was pretending since I wouldn’t actually want to scare any kiddos into thinking I was a dognapper. Although, I do like patting all the neighbour pups. Haha! Humphrey and Oli also enjoyed collecting pats from our visitors.
DIY Dog Paw Halloween Pumpkin
Our letterbox was tied with a big black bow and topped with a dog paw eyed Halloween pumpkin. Halloween is in our spring and not widely celebrated in New Zealand, so we don’t have the big orange carving pumpkins that our furfriends overseas are used to decorating. Pumpkins here are for eating and usually rather small and dense. So, we cheated a little!
The face on my pumpkin was cut from scrap vinyl, and I adjusted the design file to cut paw prints in the middle of the eyes to go with our theme. No carving, painting, or other effort required and the little cooking pumpkin was still perfectly edible. After Halloween, the vinyl was removed and the pumpkin was still a-ok for roasting and eating.
And that’s the scoop on our quick and simple DIY Hundred and One Dalmatians costumes and decorations. If you’re looking for homemade Halloween ideas or planning a different type of themed party, I hope this helps to give you some ideas for creating your own special look. As noted above, our Damlatians made this theme an extra fun fit for our neighbourhood Halloween dress-up, but you can have lots of fun with simple spotty costumes and/or face paints on people, too. Check out our post on DIY Dalmatian costumes for more fun ideas. Woofs! Happy (almost) Howl-oween, furfriends!