NICU Costume Project

Looking for a warm and fuzzy community service project to do with your classes this Halloween?  Check out the project Staci Wallech of Hagerstown, Maryland challenged her child development classes to create. Students made itty-bitty felt costumes which were donated to the tiny patients of her local hospital!  Needless to say, the possibilities for cuteness were endless!


Materials Needed

  • Felt
  • Fabric Glue/Hot Glue & Glue Guns
  • Embroidery Floss (optional)
  • Sewing Supplies
  • Preemie Baby Doll for Sizing Purposes


  • After researching several costume ideas, students then had to narrow their choices down to one costume for baby’s first Halloween and decide if it would be made for the front or the back of baby.
  • Once the final decision was approved, students sketched their design, making it true-to size.  Costumes were to be the size of a half a sheet of paper to one full sheet of paper.  Students had to imagine how it would look draped over the belly or back of a tiny baby.
  • After drawing the sketch and getting it approved, students created a card stock pattern, cutting each different colored piece out and making sure the pieces made a complete costume.  Each piece had to be individually cut and color-labeled.  They were instructed to “think layers, not puzzle pieces” when cutting out the patter pieces.  If it was too short, wide, long or narrow, students could make adjustments to the pattern before tracing and cutting out the felt.
  • After getting approval from the teacher, students began using their pattern pieces to trace onto felt and cut out.
  • Students then put the felt pieces together exactly as they would appear on the costume to get a preview of the finished product. If satisfied, fabric glue or hot glue was used to hold everything together.  Students were encouraged to take pride in their work and create their costume with love!  Students who took extra time and effort to hand-sew embellishments were evaluated for bonus points.
  • Students were also encouraged to enjoy the process and reminded to “Never stop doing things for others.  Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts”.
  • Students then donate their costumes to their NICU via a representative.


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