Here are nine genius ideas for DIY costumes.
We used textured felt to keep our little bear warm while trick-or-treating.
White faux fur makes this polar bear extra soft and huggable.
Fashioned with garlands of festive fringe, this little bug is just buzzing for treats!
Layers of cupcake liners give our ocean princess a bit of deep-sea sparkle.
Wrapped in streamers, this creepy character is a cinch to create.
Paper flowers and brown kraft paper are all you need to make this far-out getup.
Gold-painted doilies soften the look of our rowdy rogue.
Our graceful senorita takes center stage in layers of colorful crepe-paper ruffles.
Cuddly Cub and Fuzzy Wuzzy
We followed Simplicity pattern #5848, toddlers' size 1/2 to 4, to make our two bear costumes. For the brown bear, we chose Shaggy Plush felt in Creme and Brown Sugar from Jo-Ann Stores. For a custom look, we added pieces of brown felt to make the inner ears and paws. For our polar bear, we chose white faux-fur fabric from Jo-Ann's Stores.
What you need:
White bodysuit, white pilot cap, Rit fabric dye (black #15), two packages of fringe garland (one yellow and one black), four chenille stems (two yellow and two black), two sheets of textured black art paper (poster-board size), yellow cellophane, Velcro strips, glue gun, utility knife, pencil.
To make body:
Follow package instructions to dye bodysuit and pilot cap black (make sure to wash both items before you begin). Using a glue gun, attach a section of black fringe garland 1/40 below the bodysuit's collar. For a thicker stripe, glue a second layer of black below the first, on the front side of the bodysuit only. Glue two layers of yellow below the black. Continue to glue double layers, alternating colors until you have four rows of black and three rows of yellow fringe. (To prevent glue from seeping through, stuff the bodysuit and pilot cap with plastic grocery bags.)
To make cap:
Following the outline of the cap's opening, glue a row of black fringe garland to cap. Twist together one black and one yellow chenille stem for each antenna. Wrap 1/2 of the doubled stem around a pencil to create a coil. Glue the straight part of the stem to the back of the pilot cap at the seams. To finish, glue on a small piece of black fringe at the top.
To make wings:
Enlarge wing templates as needed, and cut out. Trace two sets onto black art paper, and cut out. Follow our pattern to draw inner wing designs, and cut out using a utility knife. Glue pieces of yellow cellophane over cut-out designs on one pair of wings. Match up the second pair of wings over the first, and glue together. Using strips of Velcro, attach to back of bodysuit.
What you need:
A-line cotton or jersey-knit nightgown, approximately 210 aluminum cupcake liners, one large roll of green corrugated paper, green glitter glue, starfish, glue gun, barrette or hair comb.
Open the side seams of the nightgown 7 1/2 inch up from the bottom. To accommodate the tail fin, fold opened seams in on an angle so that the bottom of the nightgown is now 11 1/2 inch wide. Starting at the bottom front of the nightgown, overlap and glue a row of flattened cupcake liners. Repeat until entire front side is covered. Turn over, and repeat on the back. When finished, add a final layer to each side, just above the 7 1/2 inch opening. Enlarge shell top and tail fin templates as needed, and cut out. Trace onto green corrugated paper, and cut out. Decorate with glitter glue. Use a glue gun to attach to nightgown.
To make starfish barrette:
Glue a store-bought starfish to a barrette or hair comb, and place in hair.
What you need:
White sweatshirt and sweatpants, four rolls of ivory crepe-paper streamers, narrow white paper bag, one sheet of white card stock, brown marker, spray glue, utility knife.
To make body:
Spray each garment a little at a time with glue (make sure to work on a drop cloth and in a ventilated area). Press and wrap the streamers all the way around until shirt and pants are completely covered. (To prevent glue from seeping through, stuff sweatshirt and sweatpants with plastic grocery bags). Tear streamers every so often, and leave some stragglers. For a worn and tattered effect, color the edges of streamers with brown marker.
To make headpiece:
From white card stock, cut out an oval large enough to allow your child's face to be framed, making sure his view will not be impaired in any way. Open the white bag, and glue card-stock oval to the inside. With a utility knife and using card stock as a guide, cut out oval face shape from paper bag. Trim 60 slits up from the bottom of the bag's opening at the sides, front, and back. Fit bag over child's head and adjust. Remove bag, and stuff with plastic grocery bags. Use the spray glue to add streamers in the same manner as before. (When dressing your child, have him put on the mask first. This way, the bag ends can be neatly tucked into the sweatshirt.)
What you need:
Pair of boot-cut jeans, one sheet of 30 x 20 inch brown kraft paper, bright-colored card stock, Velcro strips, glue gun, pencil, scissors, Marvy/Uchida paper punches (flower: SJCP-60; 10 inch circle: JCP-51; and small circle: CP-40).
To make vest:
Fold sheet of brown kraft paper in half so that it measures 16 x 20 inches. Enlarge vest pattern as needed, and cut out. Trace vest pattern as shown onto folded piece of brown kraft paper, and cut out. Unfold, and press with cool iron to smooth. Cut strips of fringe, approximately 2/3 of the way up from the bottom of the vest. Lay vest down, and fold front pieces in to form vest shape. Glue front shoulders to back shoulders using a 1/4 inch overlap. Use flower-shaped craft punches to make a template for larger flowers, or draw your own onto colored card stock. Glue flowers to vest and jeans.
To make headband:
Cut a strip of brown kraft paper to fit your child's head, making sure to leave a few inches for adjustments. Use flower-shaped and circle craft punches to create smaller flowers from colored card stock. Glue flowers to headband, and use Velcro strips to attach.
What you need
White long-sleeved T-shirt, red sweatpants, black boots or high-top sneakers, one 30 x20 inch sheet of white art paper, red electrical tape, two sheets of textured black art paper (poster-board size), one sheet of metallic gold art paper (poster-board size), six 8 inch gold-painted paper doilies, Velcro strips, glue gun, utility knife, scissors.
To make vest:
Fold sheet of white art paper in half so that it measures Trace template, as shown, onto folded piece of paper, and cut out. Unfold and press with cool iron to smooth. To add stripes, use a pencil to mark 3/4 inch intervals until entire vest is covered (see diagram). Following this guide, add strips of red electrical tape. Lay vest stripes-side down, and fold front pieces in to form vest shape. To finish, glue front shoulders to back shoulders using a 1/4 inch overlap.
To make wrist cuffs:
Cut two 3 x 8 inch rectangles from black, textured art paper and set aside. Using a utility knife, cut out a 2 inch circle from the center of each of the four doilies. To attach doilies to rectangle, open the circle by making a cut from the outer edge in toward the center. Glue two opened doilies to the inside edge of each paper rectangle. Form into cuffs, and add Velcro strips to attach around wrists.
To make jabot:
Fold edges of a doily in to meet. Then fold outer edges out, as if folding a paper airplane. Repeat with a second doily. Place one on top of the other, and glue together. Then glue to T-shirt, just below center of neck opening.
To make boot cuffs:
Enlarge cuff template as needed, and cut out. Trace cuff twice onto black art paper, and cut out. Following our diagram, fold top portion of cuff and add Velcro strips to each end to attach over boots.
To make shoe buckles:
Enlarge shoe-buckle templates as needed, and cut out. Trace buckle twice onto gold paper, and cut out, following our diagram. Add Velcro strips to secure to boot tops.
To make belt:
Cut out a 2 x 26 inch rectangle of black art paper for the belt. Enlarge buckle template as needed, and cut out. Trace onto gold paper, following our diagram, and cut out. Slide gold buckle onto belt. Add Velcro strips to each end of belt to fasten.
To make hook:
Cut out a hook shape from gold paper, and set aside. Next, cut out a 5 x 14 inch rectangle and a 4 inch circle from the black art paper. Set the rectangle aside. From the outer edge of the black circle, make tiny slits, 1/2 inch in, toward the center, all the way around. Fold snipped edges down. Glue black rectangle to the snipped edges, all the way around, until you've formed a cup shape. Turn cup over. Using a utility knife, cut a slit in the center of the black circle and insert hook, leaving enough of the handle for your child to hold.
What you need:
Two yellow T-shirts, four packages of crepe-paper roll (one each: red, purple, yellow, orange), four white 10 x 14 inch doilies, red fringe garland, glue gun, pencil, scissors.
To make skirt:
Cut off the top of one of the T-shirts, just below the sleeves. You'll be left with a tube shape. (Set top portion aside to use for ruffled sleeves). Turn the tube upside down. Starting at the top, measure and mark 2, 4, and 6 inch intervals with a pencil. Cut several 6 x 7 1/2 inch strips of crepe paper, using all four colors. Starting from the bottom, use the 60 pencil line as your guide to glue the crepe paper to the tube, pinching as you go along to create a shirring effect. (To prevent glue from seeping through, place plastic bags inside the tube.) Repeat for all four colors. To add lift to the ruffles, cut 6 inch strips from the doilies, and glue under each layer of ruffle. To attach skirt, have your child put on the uncut T-shirt. Measure and mark where you would like the skirt to rest (ours rests just below the waist). Remove T-shirt, and attach skirt with glue.
To make sleeves:
Cut off the sleeves of the discarded portion of the first T-shirt. You'll be left with two tube shapes. Turn each upside down, and mark 1, 2, and 3 inch intervals with a pencil. Cut several 3 x 7 1/2 inch strips of crepe paper using all four colors. Starting at the bottom 3 inch pencil line, glue the crepe paper to the tubes (follow the directions you used for the skirt). Cut 3 inch-wide strips of doilies, and glue under each layer of ruffles. Glue a ruffled tube to the bottom of each uncut T-shirt sleeve.
To make fringe overlay:
Cut out a V-shape from purple crepe paper. Glue red fringe garland to the outline of the overlay, and glue to front of T-shirt.
To make fan for hair:
Cut a 3 inch strip of doily, fold accordion-style, and glue to the top of a hair comb.
October's Cover Cat Costume
Cover model Ava, 13 months, dressed in a black-cat costume.
What you need:
A turtleneck bodysuit, pilot cap, black plush fabric, and a fluffy black marabou boa.
What to do:
Dye suit and cap black. Add ears and a tail made from black plush fabric. Finally, add sections of boa to give your kitten a truly furry feel.
Copyright © 2003 Lauren Guerriero. Reprinted with permission from the October 2003 issue of Parents Magazine.