Like most little boys his age, my middle son adores Woody and the whole Toy Story gang. Last year for Halloween he was the most handsome Buzz Lightyear. This year, he has requested to be the sheriff himself. Perusing the Halloween aisles left me with nothing. Sure, they all had a Woody costume, but it was a strange jumpsuit thing made out of a flimsy material. Totally not worth my money. So I got to thinking, what does Woody wear anyway? The first thing to come to mind were his boots. These seemed like the hardest part to come by. I lucked out by scouring the local consignment shops and found a pair of black boots. Now I know that Woody’s boots are brown, but I don’t think anyone will notice the difference. Another place to look would be online, I found tons of them online! Moving up from is boots Woody wears jeans. Easy. We already have jeans. And if you don’t, they are super easy to come by. Next up is his shirt. Yellow, red plaid, with two white buttons. Cow print vest. Okay, so here is what I did.

I started with a white long sleeved tee. I wasn’t able to find a yellow one, so white it is. Next I grabbed a bottle of Rit yellow dye and followed the instructions on the bottle. The process is simple, put the dye in your washing machine. Turn your machine on hot and set it to your longest wash cycle. Throw in your shirt. Let the dye do its thing.

Once his shirt was dyed and dried it was time to add the red stripes. This part couldn’t be easier. I used fabric markers sold in the craft aisle of your local superstore. Then, when the shirt is laid flat slip in some foil to avoid bleed through. Grab a ruler, or yard stick, and draw your vertical lines. Then go ahead and make the horizontal lines. This doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s a Halloween costume. So if something isn’t perfectly straight, it’s okay. I promise. When you are all finished with your lines put the shirt into the dryer to set the fabric markers.

Searching online I found a free pattern for the vest. I just searched “free vest pattern” and one popped up. Honestly however, I found it just as easy to grab one of my sons old shirts and use it as a template. I traced the shape of the shirt onto my cow print fabric (found at just about every fabric store I have ever been to). I cut it out then hemmed it using my favorite liquid stitch. I will proudly admit that I didn’t bust out my actual sewing machine for this. I briefly debated attaching the vest straight to the yellow shirt, but I figured my son would really enjoy the authenticity of having it separate.

At this point, you have ninety percent of this costume finished. All you have left are accessories. Like the buttons on Woody’s shirt. Two white buttons, easy found and just as easily applied. I sewed mine on, but I imagine it would be just as easy to glue them. Whatever you are most comfortable with. Our sherif’s star is made out of cardboard (an old cereal box to be exact). I will do the same with his belt buckle as well. Our Woody hat was a party store pick up. It’s made of thing foam, and was about three dollars.

There you have it, one custom Sheriff Woody outfit that will have everyone asking where you got it!

-Stephanie Wright

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