crunch and hook

DIY Captain Hook and Cap’n Crunch Costumes

October is over, which means one more Halloween has come and gone for this costume-loving DIYer. In an effort to avoid overthinking, I decided to dress up as the first thing that really spoke to me: the villainous Captain Hook.

“Which Hook?” you ask? As in, the larger-than-life, murderous pirate from Disney’s Peter Pan, or the delightful Dustin Hoffman in Hook, one of my favorite childhood films? The answer is…

DIY captain hook costume

…a little bit of both, I think! Here’s how I put my version of Captain Hook together:

anatomy of a DIY captain hook costume

The Anatomy of a DIY Captain Hook Costume, from Head to Toe

DIY captain hook hat

The Hat

I’ve made hats from scratch before, and it ain’t fun for me. This time around, I wanted to start with a pattern as a guide, and Pinterest delivered with this free sunhat pattern. After some printing frustration, I ended up freehanding a copy, drafting a slightly asymmetrical brim.


  • Red felt
  • Sew-in interfacing
  • Gold ribbon with wired edges
  • Feathers

I doubled up on the felt for the brim, sandwiching some medium-weight interfacing in between. The edges are finished with some cheap gold wire-edged ribbon, which added additional structure. To attach the feathers and keep the right side of the brim folded up, I used duct tape and a few hand tacks.

wig and moustache

The Wig and Moustache

I bought the wig on Amazon for about $15. It is SUPER curly and relatively comfortable, though somewhat hot. Would buy again!

As for the moustache, I can’t complain too much since it came in a pack of 36 stick-on moustaches that cost under $10 total, but it was itchy and kept coming un-stuck whenever I laughed. I actually ended up drawing on an eyeliner moustache at the end of the night after sweating through two stick-ons. #UpperLipSweat

The Cravat

While I could have made the cravat with a couple of pieces of white fabric or muslin, I went the super easy route after finding some ruffled white trim at JoAnn. I folded and pinned it as I saw fit, and sewed it together with a few machine stitches at each edge. I attached a strap of elastic to either end to make a cravat necklace, which I wore over an old white Levi’s shirt.

hook and tick tock
An intense battle with Tick Tock

The Coat

Does this red coat look familiar? It’s the ghost of a previous Halloween costume: my red Willy Wonka coat from 2014, which I made using McCall’s M7003 men’s pattern.

At first, I was convinced I needed to make a brand-spanking new, cherry red, flared coat à la animated Hook:


Then, I realized I was being EFFING CRAZY and decided to add some flair to an old costume I would probably never wear again. Here’s how I altered the coat:

nautical buttons

  • Added braided gold trim to the collar and front, until I ran out and had to use some cheaper gold ribbon at the bottom :-/
  • For the cuffs, I unpicked the sleeve hems and:
    • Drafted a cuff using a quarter circle skirt pattern to fit the cuff circumference
    • Gathered a rectangle of muslin to create a fake sleeve ruffle, sandwiching that between the cuff and sleeve hem
    • Finished the cuffs with store-bought black bias tape
    • Attached two gold nautical buttons to each cuff

velour hudson pants

The Pants

“Why wear leggings when you can make your own breeches!” says the dummy. I kid… kind of.

Since I’d made Hudson pants many times before, I decided to make my own Hook breeches with some berry-colored stretch velour. They turned out fine, except that I somehow managed to cut the calf bands the wrong width and had to cut them off and try again. The outcome left me with shorter breeches than I wanted, but… I honestly didn’t care too much. Halloween costumes need not be perfect!

The Socks and Shoes

I bought some white knee-high socks from Target. Ta-da! For the shoes, I wore my black chelsea-style boots and cut some black foam to fashion oversized tongues, which I fastened with duct tape and wore over each boot. I also cut buckles with yellow foam and glued those onto the tongues, but they fell off within the first hour of the party.

And finally…


The Hook

You can’t have a Captain James Hook costume without… a hook. Luckily, this cost about $2 total. I found a cheap ceiling mount hook from Home Depot and covered it in duct tape. I then covered a Solo cup in narrow strips of duct tape and screwed the ceiling hook to the bottom.

At this point, you might be wondering if anyone went as Peter Pan. Since my fiancé, Marc, had already dressed up as Peter (albeit seven years ago), he didn’t want to repeat. I begged him to go as Smee, to which he responded, “That is literally the exact opposite of my body type.” True. Very true.

Since I couldn’t have my Smee, the idea of having another captain—or should I say cap’n—in the house won out.

captain hook and capn crunch DIY

The Anatomy of a Cap’n Crunch Costume, from Head to Toe

DIY capn crunch hat

DIY capn crunch foam hat

The Hat

Marc made the hat, woot! He free-handed a pattern and then cut two layers of blue foam. He fed some thick elastic through two slits he made in one layer of the foam, and I sewed the elastic into a circle to create a headband. He then glued the two blue pieces together before finishing up with a big, bold yellow “C” and those ridiculous white eyebrows.

anatomy of a DIY capn crunch costume

The Jacket

This DIY costume from the Domestic Heart served as great inspiration for Cap’n Crunch’s jacket. I used the trusty McCall’s 6044 men’s shirt pattern as a base, making the following alterations:

  • Lengthened the short sleeve pattern to a long sleeve with a standard turned hem
  • Extended the right front pattern piece by several inches to create more of a nautical jacket look
  • Eliminated the button bands
  • Lengthened the collar stand piece, which served as the main collar
  • Trimmed the collar with yellow ribbon
  • Used a few pieces of sew-in velcro as closures
  • Sewed three pieces of yellow ribbon to each sleeve to create stripes
  • Sewed four pieces of doubled-up yellow felt on the front to create the buttons

I used a simple blue quilting cotton for the body. Marc created the epaulettes with yellow foam and yarn and duct-taped them to the shoulders.

The Pants

Marc bought some white Dickies. Done and done.

The best part about wearing roughly the same size pants and shirt as your significant other? You can get more mileage out of both costumes!

capn crunch and captain hook reversed
Marc refused to wear the berry-colored breeches

And now for a few more gratuitous Halloween photos:

malloy squad
The Dude, a Workhorse, and Hook (AKA me and my bros)
fake moustache
The moustachioed men and women of the party.
Finger hook, eyeliner moustache… Can you tell it’s the end of the night?

Happy post-Halloween! May you all find something equally pointless to care deeply about.

Did you DIY your costume this year?


2 thoughts on “DIY Captain Hook and Cap’n Crunch Costumes

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