Make your own Popeye Costume

Ever wonder where Popeye the Sailor Man got his name? It’s the squinty look he has as he scowls and growls around on deck. Even though he’s kind of a scrappy guy, Popeye is strong to the finish and we all know why – he eats his spinach! With his over–sized arms, nautical tattoos and constant brawling with Bluto, Popeye is a character that makes waves. If you are a fan of the cartoon version or the portrayal by Robin Williams in live–action film, putting together a Popeye costume at home is the perfect choice for your next event!

Items needed to make your Popeye Costume

Items Needed:
Dark blue or black t–shirt
½ yard red fabric
Black trim
3 to 4 gold buttons
Blue pants with full legs
Yellow Belt
Sailor Hat
Corncob pipe
1 pair skin–tone hose
2 rubber bands
Black permanent marker
Poly fiberfill
Can of spinach


Step 1: To make the traditional sailor shirt for your Popeye costume, start with a navy blue or black t–shirt and sew three to four brass buttons up the front (as if it was a real button–up shirt). Next you’ll need to make the sailor collar from the red fabric; refer to a pattern or picture of a sailor collar for cutting specifications. With a glue gun or sewing machine, secure the raw edges under and then glue or sew on black trim around the edges of the collar to the classic nautical look. Layer this collar over the t–shirt and knot the ties in front.

Step 2: Pair the Popeye costume shirt with a pair of sailor–style pants, preferably with wide full legs in a chambray blue color; add a yellow belt for contrast.

Step 3: To show off your buff muscles, fashion faux forearms from a pair of ladies “knee–high” hose in a color that matches your skin tone. Cut off the feet from the hose and draw on an anchor “tattoo” with a permanent market (you will want to slip paper in between the hose so that the marker doesn’t seep through to the back side). To wear the fake forearms, slip the banded top side up over the arms, slightly under the sleeve hem. Next, use poly fiberfill to puff out your “muscles” and then secure with a rubber band at the wrist with the raw edge of the hem tucked under.

Step 4: Accessorize your Popeye costume with all the props he carried about in the cartoon such as a corn cob pipe, can of spinach and, of course, a traditional white sailor cap.

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