DIY Superhero Cape Tutorial.

Creating for boys can be so easy and so much fun!  Let’s face it, most little boys aren’t too picky about their apparel are they?  You may think that you’re little guy needs the best of the best of everything,  but really, sometimes, the most unlikely objects hold the most fuel for his big imagination.  I learned this last year when I found myself in a bit of a pinch and found myself making…  

The Superhero Cape Tutorial!



Luke is a little man of many interests, one of them being superheros (at least at the moment).  I had been wanting to make him a little cape, but hadn’t been able to get any fabric to make him one at the time.  That didn’t keep him from requesting one though.  So, like any good mom of a superhero would do, I decided to look around the house and see what I could find.  Then…

It hit me!  I realized that I had the perfect thing for making a quick and easy cape… enormous t-shirts!  I have a stack of them from the Goodwill that I use to make upcycled shirts for the boys.  Here’s my superhero cape tutorial (technically, you don’t even need a sewing machine!):  You can view the video version that I did for Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Creativity Made Simple Campaign or scroll down past it for the pictorial tutorial.  (Hint: the video tutorial has a little shortcut that I started using after I had made the pictorial)…

Disclaimer: Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts supplied me with a gift card which I used to buy supplies for the cape in the tutorial.

What you’ll need: One large t-shirt, one piece of interfacing (2″ x 7 1/2″), velcro, sewing machine(I have a Singer Curvy and I really love it), or hot glue gun.

1. Lay out one large t-shirt.


2. Cut off the sleeves.


3. Cut up the sides and lay the shirt open.


4. Cut out the shape of a cape, being careful to keep the neck hole in tact.
I cut some off of the bottom too, so he wouldn’t trip.


5. The neck hole will be too big for your little guy…
cut out a section.
Even if it fits, for safety’s sake, make sure you make this cape detachable by adding the velcro closure.
Without the velcro closure this cape could be a choking hazard! 

Here you have two options:

#1 Sew velcro on as a neck closure or,
#2 Use a hot glue gun to attach velcro for the neck closure

You have 1/2 of your little guy’s power outfit.

Now for the Superhero Power Cuff.
(Being a superhero doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize.)

1. Take your discarded sleeves and cut out
two 2.5″ x 8″ strips.

2. Attach interfacing to one of the strips, centering it on the fabric.

3. Right sides together, sew around the edges, 1/4″ in,
leaving one short side open.  Clip the sewn corners.
4. Turn the cuff right side out and press.

5. Tuck in the open edge, press.

6. Sew all the way around the cuff.

7. Attach velcro pieces, one one the inside of one end, 
one on the outside of the other end.

Your Power Cuff is done!  You now have a complete outfit!

You can totally be creative when it comes to decorating your cape and cuff.  I used a freezer paper stencil to decorate both of these (I have a tutorial here).  Here are a couple other capes that I have used fusible and machine stitched appliques on:
Simple but fun, I promise your little super heros will be fighting evil all day long in their capes and cuffs, and you will feel like…

(And don’t forget to post your capes in 

Thanks so much for coming by!  Have a super day!

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  1. Jayna Rae says:

    Thanks for sharing. I really am interested in boy dress-up clothes. I think that it is important to encourage them to use their imaginations too.

  2. What a great idea Jenny!! Love it!! And the supercuff too! How cool that you’re on MADE today!

  3. dana says:

    Wow, the idea is as simple and brilliant as can be! I LOVE it Jenny!!! Thanks for sharing today!

  4. Jenny! Love this idea!

  5. Cristin says:

    Really freaking awesome! In a few years when my little guy is running around pretending to be BatMan I’ll have to make him a few of these!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Kathy says:

    SHA-ZAM! (What more need I say, other than “thank you”?!)

  7. Brilliant! Couldn’t be easier and more fun!!

  8. Annie says:

    Wow! great idea… you are supermom! I’ll have to keep this in mind for when my little guy is a bit bigger. For now tho, I think my princess needs a royal robe!

  9. HOMEmomMADE says:

    I found a tute similar to this and it worked wonders for my last minute costume for my lil guy. Great Job! Love how long these are!

    Christy, Home-Mom

  10. yay! what a great idea! love that you got to guest post at made, too! hope all is well… and we will definitely be making one of these soon :)

  11. perfect timing as I need to come up with 2 Captain Underpants costumes (complete with capes) for Friday!! It’s book character dress up day at our school!!

  12. Stef says:

    this so beats the dishtowels I have been using.
    (weak smile blush)


  13. Ginny Marie says:

    A large T-Shirt? That’s awesome! I need to bookmark this page. My little one will love to have her own cape!

  14. Our Family says:

    I love, love, love….a million times love this! What a great idea!! It seems simple enough that I might give it a try(the cape)! We are going to have to get together VERY soon!! Miss ya!

  15. So simple and fun! I will be making one tomorrow.

  16. Kristi says:

    easy peasy. your so clever.

  17. I LOVE it!!! Jenny, this is such a great idea! Simple, inexpensive and it uses materials we all have.

    You are so talented! xo

  18. Jenny says:

    @Jayna Rae Just make one of these and watch them use their imaginations! My 3 year old wears his all of the time!!

  19. Jenny says:

    @a happy wanderer Hi Heather! If you do, make sure you post it to the flickr pool! I’d love to see it!

  20. Jenny says:

    Oh please please please post the pics to the flickr pool!! I have to see that!

  21. feelincrafty says:

    Done! I made one last night! It was super easy. Thank you so much for sharing the idea and tutorial.

  22. I bookmarked these back in January, and just made a bunch of them today. I didn’t have any heavyweight interfacing, so I made superhero headbands instead. They are amazing! The kids absolutely love them, and I love that they were exactly the right amount of effort and money, so that when they get stained or torn or otherwise ruined, I don’t feel like I’ve lost something completely irreplaceable. Brilliant!

  23. Ness says:

    Thank you for sharing such a great idea. I made one of these last night. It was so easy and turned out great. My son LOVES it. I’ll post a pic to the flickr pool if I can figure out how to do it!

  24. Ashley says:

    o my land I LOVE this!!! I cant wait tell my boy gets older, i would love to make him something like this… hopefully it would turn out half as cute as yours though…
    great job!!! LOVE IT


  25. Thanks for such a fabulous idea! I followed your instructions and created the grandson his very own Batman cape! He’s thrilled!

  26. Jenny says:

    I’m so glad you were able to use this Lanetta!  And so glad that he loves it.  My boys wear theirs all of the time!

  27. breanna says:

    thank you for such a wonderful tutorial! I’ve shared it here:

  28. Just made this (minus the cuff) for my little one. The hubs had a Superman shirt that he never wore so I stole it for this craft. My 4 year old loves it! Thanks for the ideas!

  29. Carlie says:

    That is AMAZING! I love it. Jersey is the bomb. I’m totally making these with my boys the next rainy day we get.

  30. Ambrosia says:

    LOVE this! I made these capes as part of my Pinterest Project – my kids are having a blast running around, fighting bad guys!

  31. Allison says:

    I see Christmas gifts on the horizon here! Thank you!
    And – FYI – my daughter loves to be a superhero, too.


    Every little boy needs at least one cape!!! Awesome! Awesome! x 5

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hi I just made my almost 5 year old your Super Hero cape and he LOVED it… I actually used an old skivvy of my hubby’s and with the roll neck it fit nicely over his head so for me it was no sew YAY as I don’t sew so THANKS heaps

  34. evamarie says:

    Thanks for sharing, I made one today and loved it! So doe my boy who will wear it to school tomorrow. I added a batman type mask to complete it! Eva-Marie ps you can see it at

  35. Laura says:

    So easy! When I was making mine my little guy asked why I was throwing away the mask (a sleeve) – cut a strip out, cut eyeholes, no sew, no tie mask as well!

  36. Hatton says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for this! You are a superhero for saving my Halloween :)

  37. I can’t wait to make this for both my grandsons. They are still a little young and do not understand Super Heroes but in no time at all they will want a cape. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from Success U Wednesday.
    I hope you stop by for a visit.

  38. Anabella says:

    I featured this tutorial in my “Top Ten CRAFTS I loved this week #3″.
    It’s an awesome tutorial!!!

    PS:It is also a linking party, so you can link up another craft!!

  39. Alison says:

    I’m so making this for my nephew for Christmas!!!

  40. I love this! We always have t-shirts that need crafted or thrown out! I posted a “princess cape” on my blog and linked back to your instructions. Thanks for inspiring :)

  41. Hannah Ruth says:

    Thanks for the instructions! I made one this morning for one of my Son’s friends as a birthday gift and put his first initial on the back as his symbol. Turned out Great!

  42. Anonymous says:

    I love it! My 5 year old daughter is really into superheroes right now (I made her a Storm costume for Halloween) and I think she will love having a few capes to play dress up with! Thanks for posting this!


  43. thank you for posting this! I’m planning a super hero party for my little girl & these are going to be great for her party!!

  44. says:

    I love anything that doesn’t require sewing. The cape is brilliant! Thank you for sharing! Judy @

  45. Dana says:

    Thanks for this. You were one of the few people who actually showed a step by step. I neede to see what you did after the arm holes were cut off and half the sites I found just were like there you go. I know I was missing something.

  46. You are a genius! Thanks for sharing!

  47. MBS says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!! You are a procrastinator’s BFF, I’m making 15 of these for my Son’s 4th birthday party (superhero theme). These were so fantastically easy, you are a LIFESAVER!!

  48. Just finished making the cape for my son and am excited to see what he thinks about it in the morning! Thanks for posting this tutorial!

  49. I am sure my little boy would love this! Looks easy to make too, I might just dare try it ;)

  50. Trist says:

    This looks fantastic! I’m planning on making them for my two boys! I’m just curious as to whether the shirt/cape starts to curl on the cut sides????

    • Jenny Yarbrough says:

      They do curl up a little bit, but the boys don’t seem to mind at all!

  51. Anna says:

    Girls are SuperHeros too!

    I just made 2 capes for my 2 1/1 year old Daughter! She loves trying to make herself a cape, so she will be so pleased in the morning when she has 2 capes to put on! 1 sleeve is a mask and the other a headband and 2 bracelets! so no matter her mood she will love it! Thanks so much!

    • Jenny Yarbrough says:

      That is so great! I’m so glad you were are able to use the tutorial and that she loves her capes, mask, headband, AND bracelets!! Thanks so much for commenting. :)

  52. Karen says:

    Hi, this is great, found it on Pinterest. I’m very excited to try it, thinking it will be a perfect activity/party favor for my 4 yr olds superhero bday party. I’m curious what people have used to decorate these? I was thinking I could get the capes all ready, cut out some felt symbols and initials with stencils, then hot glue them on at the party? Also have fabric paint/ markers for kids to decorate their capes? I’m not very crafty so please if anyone thinks that will work/not work or has other ideas let me know!

    • Jenny Yarbrough says:

      Hi Karen! For a kids party I would suggest glitter glue or puffy paints… something that doesn’t involve a hot tool. Having a glue gun on around a bunch of 4 year olds would make me nervous. You could totally have the initials done ahead of time, as well as the symbols… all dry and ready to be decorated with the paints. Great question! I’m so glad you found the tutorial and are able to use it! Happy birthday to your little one!

  53. becca says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I just made one for each of my nephews. Your directions were easy to follow and the pics were great!

    • Oh, that’s great! I’m so glad you were able to use the tutorial! I hope they love them. :)

      • becca says:

        They did love them so very much!

  54. Just wanted to let you know I linked to this post. I used your cape tutorial to create 100th Day Heros for my 1st grade class this year. The post is scheduled for tomorrow. THANK you for sharing!!!

  55. Lorie says:

    What a CUTE idea! And so handy for those of us that are NOT handy with a sewing macine! I am so excited for my littlest guy to get big enough for one (or more) of these!!

    • One’s not enough… trust me on that! But the great thing is that they’re so easy and cheap that you can make a ton of them! Have fun!

  56. Audrey Kay says:

    loved this idea and so did my son he’s now running around with it one. only took like 3 mins! love this! thanks for sharing!!

  57. Erica says:

    This is such a simple and fun thing to do with the kids. So easy that you can even give them as party favors. Go to for more help planning your child’s party.

  58. Amy says:

    I absolutely LOVE this tutorial! HOW COOL! I featured you- this post specifically as one of my Friday 5 this week. I found your link through Pinterest! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  59. Brilliant idea! I was blogging about dressing up recently and my son’s love of superheroes. Now I will certainly try to make him a cape of his own so that he can be a one-off!! I’m going to add a link to your site if that’s ok? Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Daisy! I’m so happy that you used the tutorial… of course it’s okay to link to it. :) I hope your son loves it!

  60. Renee Triplett says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! It was very easy to follow. I made one for my 18 month old, he was Batman for Halloween. He loves dressing up in it.

  61. TeacherCat says:

    After seeing this, I’m going to suggest a superhero themed day at school just so I have an excuse to make and wear a cape myself (complete with accessories, of course). Totally awesome! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  62. I’ve had this pinned for two years – finally complete! :) Shared photos and a link back on my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  63. sitecatalyst says:

    Is it alright if I cite a few of your posts providing I provide credit and sources back to thesoutherninstitute.

    com? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors could easily benefit
    from a lot of the info you offer here. Feel free to let me know if this is okay with you.


    • I don’t mind others citing my posts as long as there is a source and link cited. Use of one photo is allowed with source cited and link as well. Thanks for asking, I appreciate that!

  64. Vicki Dale says:

    Love this tutorial! – hope you don’t mind but I featured you in my Fun Day Monday blog entry for this week:

  65. Shel says:

    Thanks so much. We are having a superhero party for 6 year olds & I am in charge of favors… I am going to be asking all the men I know for their unwanted t-shirts & searching goodwill. Love the cuffs!!!!

    • Yes! Tell them to BYOT’s, :). So glad you found the tutorial, I hope the party is great!

  66. jan jones says:

    My daughter was just telling me the other day about our friend’s son saying he had a superman outfit, but he was disappointed because it had no cape! When I saw this on Pinterest, I thought “How perfect!” I have an overabundance of old tshirts, and am always looking for a good way to use them. I guess I will have to make some capes for his brothers, and possibly his sisters too, LOL.

    • Hi Jan,
      Well, I’m so glad that you happened to stumble upon this post! I hope that they enjoy their capes! I know you’ll enjoy how easy they are to make. :) Have a great week!

  67. Lori Beach says:

    Thanks Jenny for this great idea and the tutorial. I totally needed to see it in action. I just wanted to share with your followers that when I was at Goodwill picking out shirts, certain collored tags were 1/2 price. Once I limited my selection to save cash, it dawned on me that collared shirts (same price as t-shirts) would be an even greater time savings since the button is already available for a neck opening/closure. No need to create one! I have found that cutting along the side seem and then around the arms goes most quickly and easily. Since the shirts are so long, I don’t think the kids will notice that they could have been wider. My kids have loved trying them on to see how they fit!
    Since I am working mom, I prefer not to get out the sewing machine since I don’t have a sewing room or the time to finish a project in a short window of time. This was the perfect solution and birthday party activity (glitter gluing felt circles and first letters of the kids in attendance) for our 3 & 5 year olds.

  68. Heather Metzgar says:


  69. Sylvia says:

    Love your idea, ran right out and found a men’s Batman and a Superman t-shirt and made them for my grandson, he loved them!

  70. Cassi says:

    Another wonderful way to upcycle a t-shirt! I’ll be featuring it on The Crafty Crow soon!

  71. Tabitha says:

    Thanks for this awesome post! The instructions were really easy to follow. I made capes, but not the armbands, for my daughter’s superhero themed birthday party. As the kids arrived, they were able to decorate masks and these capes. I put out pom poms, adhesive foam stickers, do-a-dot markers, and gems for the kids to decorate with. I had a hot glue gun in the corner for moms to glue on the gems and pom poms if needed. It turned out to be a cute craft idea and most of the kids wore their capes for the entire party. Thanks again!

    • Hi Tabitha,

      That sounds like so much fun! I love to hear what people have done with this tutorial and parties are my favorite! Having a cape decorating station is such a great party activity. I hope your daughter had a wonderful birthday! Thanks so much for sharing with me!

  72. Emily says:

    I run a Family Art and Nature program for a Natural History Museum in the Adirondacks and I was so happy to find this. With a little adjustment to the budget of other projects, I was able to purchase wholesale t-shirts to make this project for around 40 families. Kids used fabric markers and stencils to create any kind of cape they wanted and we talked about Animal Super Powers, specifically skunks, and how animals use those super powers to survive in nature. I loved this and all of the kids loved it, too. We had dozens of kids running around in capes at the museum for the rest of the day. Once we get some pictures up on the website, I’ll be happy to share a link. Thanks again!

    • This is one of the best comments I have ever gotten! Thank you so much for letting me know how you used the capes! I would absolutely LOVE to see photos… please do share them with me!! XO

  73. Bry says:

    I’m having trouble understanding why this would be specified as a craft just for boys. I know my daughter is one hell of a superhero.

    • Definitely not just for boys! I have a superhero daughter myself. This post was originally created for a boys series, thus the boy slant. ;)

  74. Tracy says:

    I wish I had known how to make these when my kids were little! I just whipped one up in no time for a skit I’m in at church tomorrow. GREAT video and easy to follow instructions. Thanks for sharing! :)

  75. Very creative idea – great costume, and it is easy to make.

  76. Jenn says:

    I am assuming you could size this pattern down and use it to make bibs? (love the cape idea btw)

  77. Sammy says:

    So creative all i think to made is the cape but if you made a bracelet makes your kid more cool!. It’s a great idea, i love it

  78. Ashley says:

    Great idea. Not only boys like capes; let’s try not to exclude the girls here.


  1. [...] hero T-shirt tutorial from The Southern [...]

  2. [...] easy to work with but I was able to get through the project. I did find a tutorial for the capes at Southern Institute, they are made from t-shirts as well and super [...]

  3. [...] Je vindt de tutorial op de website van The Southern Institute, hier. [...]

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  8. [...] is the link to the tutorial. Happy [...]

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