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Lego Ninjago "Cole" Costume: Tutorial

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"Cole": Ninjago LEGO Boys Costume

Supply List:

  • medium to large disassembled cardboard box
  • black cotton fabric for body suit; approximately 2 yards, medium to lightweight
  • 1/4 yard black jersey cotton (or cut up old t-shirt) for shoulder straps
  • pen/marker
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • staple gun (optional)
  • spray adhesive (Scotch 2M)
  • Painters Tape
  • 3 1" d-rings (black plastic)
  • 1 yard of 1" black velcro

Ninjago tutorial 01

Flatten your box and draft the shapes of each cut; front (1) back (1) sides (2) *tip* measure your little at collar bone line to belly button area...this is important if your little has to be able to sit in the costume. This will gage the length of all your pieces. For your 2 side panels cut them shorter than the front and back panels to allow arms free movement! Once your cardboard panels are measured and cut assemble them together using painters tape. You'll see for the box panels to fold you'll need to create a slight gap so they crease easily without buckling. Painters tape comes in 2" width, this helps.

Ninjago Tutorial 07

You'll notice a strip of painters tape down the middle of the back panel, that's to give some flex- when trying to get a flat box to form around a "round tummy" during assembly you'll gage where you need the flex. O.k. time for the tricky fabric adhering. Just remember nobody sees the inside of the box! Cut slits where you need for give and just go side by side. *Tip* you only need a feather dusting of spray adhesive! Seriously careful, if you don't trust your self bypass the spray glue and just use your glue gun, if you over do the spray adhesive it quickly absorbs through the black fabric and it's still sticky! Meaning your little becomes a walking lint magnet Ninja! not pretty nor fun when everything is stuck to him!

Closure details: (3) Strips of velcro hot glue gunned/or staple gun to the outside back panel aligned with the secured (3) d-rings on the side panel. You'll want them about an 1" to an 1.5" apart towards the bottom of the box suit. Adhere all these bits after the fabric is securely on your box and dried.

Ninjago tutorial 02

Below a picture of a d-ring for're best bet is to use plastic d-rings, to keep it lightweight, the metal ones can get pretty heavy. You can find these in black or white in the sewing notions section at Joann Fabrics, they typically come in packages of 2 and they won't break the bank, they're cheap.
black d-ring

Ninjago Tutorial 06

Shoulder Straps: should be measured, cut and put on last. Once you get the box closure taken care of  making the shoulder straps is pretty easy to do. No fancy sewing involved, just good ole' eyeball measuring with the body suit box in place measure a snug fit over the shoulders and add a couple inches to both ends for securing on the inside of your box suit. Your hot glue gun should do the trick for putting the shoulder straps in place.
Ninjago tutorial 03


Ninjago tutorial 04

freehand draw or feel free to take mine here and enlarge to the scale/size you need. Use Heat and Bond paper adhesive paper from Joanns, trace your applique design in reverse, yes backwards. Then iron  sticky side of heat and bond paper with your design on it to the wrong side of your black fabric. Then carefully cut out your design with sharp scissors. Next peel the paper back off the cut pieces and iron them to the right side of the yellow/gold fabric....repeat this process for the brown rope like appliques too. For the white applique details use 1/4" bias tape and 1/2"  cream colored, single fold bias tape from Joann's. Use your hot glue gun for application- this part is easy-peasy.

Ninjago Tutorial 08

now ENJOY watching your little run around like a Ninja!

Other tips:

$5 Black pants, $5 black long sleeve t-shirt and $9 fleece ski mask all purchased at Target...and you're in luck they have all of the above in-stock again this year!

Please feel free to email me if you have any further questions!

Or if you'd like to order the appliques pre-made from me?! No problem, I'm currently ful filling a few orders for this and can make you one too!

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  • Michelle on

    Thank you! I have 3 ninjago obsessed little boys and I am not spending $100 on costumes. This is absolutely perfect. Now I have 2 weeks to pull it off. Thanks again

  • Tyler on

    I am selling appliqué sets for DIY Ninjago costumes! Check them out here:

  • Shannon on

    Thank you! I finished up my son’s Kai (the red ninja) costume today!
    I was going to share a pic, but I couldn’t figure out how to! lol

  • Rochelle on

    I just wanted to thank you for putting your Cole costume directions online. You were a lifesaver! I do have a few comments for anyone else that is trying to use your directions at home. You didn’t specifically elaborate on how to attach the d-rings to the costume. I ended up reinforcing the cardboard with a second piece that I hot glued to the inside of the “suit” where I was going to attach the rings. Then I used an ice pick to poke three equidistant holes in the reinforced portion of the cardboard. Then I used black zip ties to attach the d-rings. One issue that I had was with the Velcro straps. When I tried to hot glue them to the back, the glue was not sticking completely. I thought that I might be able to put a few “stitches” in to reinforce the hold, but couldn’t get a needle through the various layers of material. So, I did what every other stressed mom would do at that point – Krazy Glue. So far, it’s working like a charm! I did use the “badge” applique pattern from the site (great artwork), but I used flexible foam sheets (2mm) in both gold and black and glued them together, then on to the front of the costume. I couldn’t find the heat and bond stuff you were talking about so for the roping, I took brown felt, and with a black sharpie, freehanded a rope pattern for each section, cut it out and hot glued it to the base outfit in the appropriate section (taking it around the sides, but not on the back). Also, I added a gray sash “belt” out of stretch knit by taking about a 3" wide piece (not sure of the length, I was kind of winging it by then), hot glued the selvage end to the bottom back of each side piece, creating some gathers with glue as well. Then I just continued to glue the belt at intermittent sections, along the sides and onto the front of the costume, keeping the “gathered” look with strategic extra gluing. Then after doing the same on the other side, I tied the two pieces together in the front, then glued the back of the knot to the front of the costume and cut the length of the belt ties accordingly. Tonight will be the first test as to whether or not it all stays together, as my son has a “trunk or treat” event to attend at school. Keeping my fingers crossed, but will be ready with backup (probably duct tape!). Again, thanks for posting this as now I don’t have to curse Lego so much for not licensing someone to make these costumes!

  • Tyler on

    @Rochelle….glad to hear my tutorial could help inspire you to take charge and modify what works for you, it’s always fun to hear other ideas! Love that you thought to use the foamie sheets for the applique design….easy as cutting and gluing no fuss with fabric :)

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