DIY Superhero Capes

As CME celebrates superheroes for the remainder of 2020, we are so excited to share this activity! DIY Superhero Capes! Make a cape to wear on your next Museum visit where you can complete the superhero ensemble by decorating your superhero mask!


You’ll need: a large men’s t-shirt (preferably in a bold color, no designs on the back), masking tape, an empty cereal box, a pencil, a pair of scissors, a paper plate, a sponge brush (or cut sponge squares held by a clothespin), acrylic or fabric paint in color that will stand out on the shirt




  1. To start, cut out your cape by laying the t-shirt on the floor back side up. Cut off both sleeves along the sleeve lines. Then, cut up each side of the shirt from the bottom up to the sleeve lines. 
  2. Open up the shirt fully and lay it out flat so that you see the front and back of the shirt at the same time with the head hole in the middle. To create the top of your cape, cut from the top of one sleeve, all the way around the neck hole and over to the other sleeve. Leave about an inch of fabric between the neckline and the outer fabric line to act as the cape top.
  3. Create your stencil design for the back of your cape using a cereal box. Cut off the sides, leaving you with the front and back of the box as two separate pieces. Place one piece under the cape to protect the surface your cape is on for when you paint. On the other piece of the box, draw the design you want on the back of your cape and then cut it out while keeping the rest of the piece of cardboard intact.
  4. Now you can place the cardboard onto the cape and see the outline of your design. Paint in the design onto the cape! Use the sponge brush to dab paint in the open space of your stencil. You may need to paint several layers. You might need to tape the cardboard to the cape so it holds still while you paint.
  5. Let the paint fully dry before moving the stencil from the cape.

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