Last year, while my son was still in preschool, a showy little kid came to school wearing an even more showy little number. It was a red slick, satiny, superhero cape, and my son immediately wanted one. The cape was sold at one of our local kids’ shops, but on inspecting the price tag I experienced a shock worse than a jolt from the super villain Electro: thirty bucks for a single piece of fabric? Not even if the lightning bolt stitched to the back were cast down by Zeus himself would I pay that price. Though I’m no Sally Seamstress, I decided we should make our own.

Below are instructions on how to create (in 6-minutes or less) that most essential of superhero accessories. It’s so simple even your kid can help you do it:

1) Find an old T-shirt with a solid color (if you want to make this process even faster, choose one with a desirable graphic already printed on the front and skip step 4).

2) Using a pencil and ruler, draw lines from the hemline of the side seam at the waist to where the neck band and the shoulder seam meet.

3) Cut along these lines and around the front portion of the neck band following just below the seam (be sure not to cut through the cape area, and cut on the front if you would like to make use of the T-shirt’s graphic, or along the back if you want to design your own).

4) Embellish the cape using a stencil, embroidery, recycled crayons, patches or felt appliques. If you want the cape to really last, make a quarter-inch fold along the cuts and hem the edges.

If with only six minutes and almost no sewing skills I could create a cape my son approves of, imagine what you could do.

WARNING: May inspire couch jumping.