How to make a DIY Nerf gun vest from upcycled camo (Army fatigues). This easy project is the perfect gift to go with some Nerf guns and targets!
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My husband was looking through Amazon when he came across this neat Elite Tactical Nerf Gun Vest. Of course, he shows it to my almost 6 year old and says, “Maybe mommy can make you one!” This was all a week after my c-section. So my son asks me to make him one… immediately… then gets sad when I let him know that it’s not in the cards. Sorry kiddo, I can barely get out of bed. He did, however, have a birthday party coming up so I decided that I would make him and his brother vests as a gift. I’m hoping to get my husband to make some targets too because I am so tired of yelling at them to stop shooting at each other.
So I set out to plan and make this vest. He wanted camouflage fabric which I didn’t have, but my husband had some old Army fatigues that he’d found at the thrift store a long time ago and used for paintball. I decided to upcycle one of the jackets into two Nerf vests and it worked out really well!
DIY Nerf Vest in Camo
Supplies for a Nerf Vest
Supplies listed below may include affiliate links to the products.
- Jacket Zipper (open zipper, not closed)
- Old Camo/Fatigues- I used a jacket, but pants would work too
- Seam ripper, scissors, sewing machine, iron, etc.
- Elastic (I used a black, thin FOE)
- A vest pattern. I used this vest pattern but adjusted the instructions so there was no liner.
Tutorial for Making Your Own Upcycled Nerf Vest
Identify where and how you want to place your pattern.
I cut the 2 front pieces, one back piece (on a fold), and the collar piece. I actually used the original jacket collar for the size 8 and just trimmed it down to the right size.For one Nerf vest, I needed to piece together the camo because I didn’t have a big enough cut for the front.
Once the pockets were sewn on, I took two cuts of my elastic (FOE) for each side of the vest and sewed them on.
I put darts inside them to make sure they were spaced far enough apart.
Once both ends of each elastic were sewn down, I marked 1″ increments on the FOE and sewed a straight line every 1″.
These elastics will hold single Nerf gun darts.
I considered making holsters for the guns on the back of the vest, but I didn’t think they’d work very well so I decided not to add them.
Step 3: Face the back fabric and the front fabrics right sides together, pin where shoulders meet. Sew shoulders together. I serged but this fabric doesn’t seem super prone to fraying so I think a straight stitch would work fine.
Step 4: Sew on your collar, right sides together. I top stitched. You also want to trim off any excess collar (with my pattern, there was excess collar, but that may not be the case with other patterns).
Step 7: Finish bottom hem and the arm… hole… ? I used some bias tape to finish mine.
Where to Buy a Nerf Vest
No time to make one? Buy one on Amazon by clicking on the vest you like below…
Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.