Saturday, November 3, 2012

Making My Halloween Costume: Russell the Wilderness Explorer

Hi everyone! And Happy November :)

I want to show you guys my Halloween costume that I made this year! I was itching to craft and sew so I thought that dressing up as Russell from the movie UP is a fun idea.

Keep reading to see how I made my costume. Enjoy!

Handmade costume as Russell

"The wilderness must be explored! CA-CA!"
Russell the Wilderness Explorer

Items needed to make the costume:
♥ T-shirt transfer sheets
♥ Furniture felt pads in oatmeal (36 pieces) - 1 1/8"
♥ Dark brown fabric for the sash
♥ Orange fabric for the scarf
♥ Orange felt fabric for the flag
♥ Thin wooden dowels (Thanks, bff, for giving it to me)
♥ Bottle Cap - around 1"
♥ Clear round epoxy sticker - 1"
♥ 2 x safety pins
♥ Miscellaneous objects for the backpack (key items: trumpet, pan, and flashlight)
♥ Yellow baseball cap
♥ Yellow polo (Thank you, BN for lending it!)
♥ Brown shorts

I started off with Russell's cute scout badges. Luckily, there are templates where I can easily print them on the transfer-on paper. You can find the templates here and here. I didn't want to waste ink by printing the brown background, so I edited the pictures using a photo editor. On a side note, make sure you use an ink jet printer, not laser. Trust me, I almost broke a laser printer.

Printing Russell's scout badges on a tranfser-on sheet

Initially, I was going to iron on the badges onto the sash, but I wanted more depth and more of a fabric texture. I looked around the house and felt paddings! They are perfect in size and they are self-adhesive!

Getting ready to iron on the badges onto the felt pads

I'm so happy with the end result! The badges look great and just what I was hoping for.

Badges are ready to be placed on the sash!

Since the felt pads were self-adhesive, it was very easy to stick on each badge to the sash. However, if you are planning to move around a lot, I would suggest to hot glue each badge. I lost some badges :( Anyway, I couldn't help it and HAD to add some glitter.

If you didn't notice, I placed the main badges according to the movie/pictures (I just had to). My favourite part of this costume is the Grape Soda bottle cap pin or the "Ellie Badge". I won't spoil the movie, but you should really watch it if you haven't yet.

The Ellie Badge is my favourite part of the costume

The Grape Soda bottle cap pin was easy to make. The clear round epoxy sticker gives the pin a glass-like effect. I used Google to search for the grape soda logo and printed on a paper.

Making the Grape Soda bottle cap pin

Surprisingly, the flag was the most difficult part of the costume to make. I couldn't find my hot glue gun to stick to flag together. My mom saved me by sewing and finishing the flag for me. Thanks, Mom! For the flag and hat, I also printed the Wilderness Explorer logo onto a transfer-on sheet and ironed it on. You can also look for the logo on a search engine.

My backpack with random items

After all that...ta da!

Close up
And of course, our pumpkins...

Hello Kitty, The Hulk, and Hello Kitty Vampire

I hope you enjoyed reading and looking through the pictures. I really had fun making this costume! I even won Best Costume at my friend's Halloween party :) Yay!

Have a good weekend!

Edit: You can "gawk" at this DIY project at Craftgawker. Click here :)


  1. I have been trying to find a way to make my own merit badges and this tutorial is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. (And you looked awesome in your costume)

  2. I love the amount of detail that went into this! The badges, the bottle cap, all the random accessories...Awesome job :)

  3. Love your costume!! Congratulations! Is a work of art!!! n.n

  4. Thank you for your wonderful comments! Happy crafting :)

  5. Hi!
    Im trying to make merit badges and I was wondering if maybe you could help? I downloaded the templates from your links and sucked out the brown back ground but, the badges are low res and get pixelated. Yours are perfect! Any tips?

  6. Hi Ana! Sorry for the late reply. I used Adobe Photoshop to edit the badges. There's a setting where you "replace" the brown colour to white. However, some individual badges will lose that colour. In that case, I manually painted the colour back...kind of repetitive, but I have to do it :)

    Hope that helps! Please comment back or email me if you have any more questions. I'd love to see your end result :)

  7. How did you get the safety pin through the bottle cap? Was it easy to just poke it through?

    1. Hi Danielle! Thanks for dropping by :) I actually didn't poke it through because the bottle cap was too thick. I just pinned it behind the cap to look like its pinned through. Hope that helps!

      Happy crafting!

  8. How did you iron-on your badges onto the felt pads? Can you enumerate step by step, please? :)

    1. Hi! I bought Avery's t-shirt transfer sheets #03275 (Amazon sells it: Here are the full steps:

      1. Use the badge templates (links are in the blog post) and make any edits if desire. I used Adobe Photoshop.

      2. Before printing: you must FLIP your image using your software program OR your printer.

      **If you don't flip your design, the badges will be backwards.

      **Choose only ONE method to flip: software (ie: Adobe) OR printer

      3. To print: take a plain paper as a tester before using a transfer on sheet. Print your images on the blank side of a transfer on sheet.

      **Use an ink jet printer, not laser.

      4. Once you printed the the badges. Let the sheet dry. Then cut them out into circles.

      5. To iron: place the cut up transfer sheet face-down on the felt pads. Press down the iron onto the felt pads firmly. Iron time: 30 seconds at 375°F

      **Peel the back when cool to the touch. Don't burn yourself.

      If you purchase Avery's transfer on sheets, they will provide you detail instructions.

      I hope that helps. Please keep me posted! :) Leave a comment or email if you have further questions. Good luck!

  9. Good Morning! I was wondering if you still have the badges saved. I am wanting to make my 1 yr old this but it would save me the trouble of doing the badges if you have already done them. I could send you my email???

    1. Hi! I am absolutely terrible with photoshop. I read your blog and I'm SOO excited to get started on my Russell costume. Do you think you could email me the templates as well? My email is THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  10. Where did you get the material for the sash?

    1. I bought the fabric at Fabricana ( in Vancouver, BC. I'm sure you can find any brown material at any fabric stores. I hope this helps!

  11. Hi!

    I was wondering how well the transfers ironed onto the felt pads, I was thinking of just transferring them onto a regular felt sheet, but I just wasn't sure if the transfer paper ironed well onto felt.


    1. Hi Brittany! It transfers really well onto the felt pads. I'm sure it will have the same effect with felt sheets. Hope that helps! :)

  12. Hello I was wanting know if you could twll me how you made the sash sew?

    1. Hi Gina! I folded the fabric in half (or folded into the desired look) and, with a sewing machine, I sewed it from tip to bottom. I'm not sure how to explain, but I searched it using Google and YouTube. Be sure to measure the length that you want.

    2. By the eay great job on everything!!! I'm making this costume for my son so excited!! And I'm glad I found your page, because I would be clueless on how to put evrrything together! ;)

    3. Thanks for the comments, Gina! Please update me on your son's costume. He's going to look cute in it! :)

  13. This is awesome! I'm doing this this year. My boyfriend is going to be the old man! lol Where did you get the transfer-on sheets?

    1. Hi Monica! That's a really cute idea :) I got the transfer-on sheets at Wal-Mart. I believe you can check out other retail stores. Hope that helps!

  14. Hi!!

    I have a really strange question...can I somehow borrow your outfit? I am going to ask my bridesmaids to be a part of my wedding party by incorporating an UP theme.... I wanted to have them watch an up video clip and then surprise them by showing up dressed as Russell with a bunch of balloons.

    I know this is a little crazy, but it would be so amazing because your costume is AMAZING.

    Email me :)

  15. Hello!

    I am from Richmond, BC and seeing one your top posts you bought your fabric at Fabricana, can you direct me where to buy the clear round epoxy sticker?


  16. Hi there!

    Well I'm a 15 year old who lives in a small town but I have a big question for you. We are having a Halloween party and every other girl is just being a super hero or a cat. I wanted to be something out of the box. I have a illness right now and don't have to energy to make such amazing this like you did. What I'm saying is are you considering selling you costume? Just get back to me soon as possible please. Thank you.

  17. This is awesome!I wanted to be something out of the box.Just get back to me soon as possible please. Thank you. -
    chair glides

  18. Thank you! Your costume was adorable and so are you :) I love Up as well, so the whole fam is dressing as characters this year. Your site was really helpful and made me smile. You look like the kind of friend I want to have :) Thanks again and Happy Halloween!
    Melissa R.

  19. How did you get rid of the brown in the badges? Did you use any software? If so what did you do?

  20. I LOVE IT!!! You should really make a diy video on this on YouTube!

  21. Would you be willing to email the edited badges file? My 4 year old is going as Russell this year and all the pics I have found are low res. Thanks!! This is a fabulous tutorial! You did an amazing job!

  22. I would love an email of the edited badges also. I am at work all the time and don't have time. My son wants to be russell.


  23. I would love an email of the edited badges also. I am at work all the time and don't have time. My son wants to be russell.


  24. Hi there, I was wondering if you had an inkjet printer already, or if you went somewhere to use one because I can't seem to find a place that has one.

  25. Hello! Where did you get all of the badges? I mean i've been searching for the pics of the badges and i found nothing, would u like sending me an email of the edited badges file? Thank u and sorry for my bad english ^^

  26. can I be sent the updated badges template please? I am doing a last minute costume and need them by tomorrow. Sorry just saw your post. Thanks in advance for your help.



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