Halloween Costumes: Butterfly, Ballerina, and Fireman

It doesn't take a magician to make these uniques Halloween costumes; all you need are a few tricks of the trade.

Butterfly Costume

Age: 2 and up

With tie-dye and tissue paper wings, a sweat suit morphs into a beautiful butterfly body.

What you need:

  • 2 pieces pink poster board
  • spray adhesive
  • scissors or craft knife
  • assorted-color tissue paper
  • white glue
  • white sweatshirt
  • 3 colors Rit dye (we used Rose Pink #7, Golden Yellow #42, and Aquamarine #24)
  • rubber bands
  • white Sticky Back Velcro tape
  • headband
  • 2 colored pipe cleaners
  • 2 large pom-poms
  • glue gun
  • wing pattern*

To make costume:

  1. Use adhesive to attach pieces of poster board together. Enlarge wing pattern*, double image, and draw on full size of poster board. Cut out wings and inside shapes.
  2. Glue single layers of tissue paper over the inside shapes. Let dry.
  3. Mix dyes in separate containers. Tie-dye shirt by twisting sections and wrapping with rubber bands. Place parts of the shirt in color, soaking for about 15 minutes. When done, remove rubber bands and rinse in running water until colors stop running. Hang to dry.
  4. Run strips of Velcro tape down the center back of shirt and on backs of wings.
  5. Attach 2 pipe cleaners for antennae to a headband. Twist to secure. Glue pom-poms to the tops of pipe cleaners with glue gun.

* You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the template. If you don't have this program, click below for a free download.

Ballerina Costume

Age: 2 and up

Tulle and sparkles tempt every little girl to be a prima ballerina. This felt-and-fantasy costume stands up to countless curtain calls.

What you need:

  • 2 1/2 yards pink tulle
  • 2 1/2 yards purple tulle
  • scissors
  • straight pins
  • 1 yard 3/8" pink satin ribbon
  • safety pins
  • assorted sequins and faux gems
  • white craft glue
  • white leotard and tights
  • large square of pink felt
  • 1/2 yard 1/4" white satin ribbon
  • 4 yards 1/2" pink satin ribbon
  • silver poster board
  • Sticky Back Velcro coins

To make costume:

  1. Cut pink tulle, measuring from top fold down 13"x 2 1/2 yards. (Tulle comes folded in 4 layers; do not unfold).
  2. Cut purple tulle to 8"x2 1/3 yards.
  3. Pin pink and purple layers together, with pink on bottom. Match top edges evenly.
  4. Cut the 3/8" ribbon to child's waist size with enough extra to tie a bow. Make small vertical slits 1/2" down all the way around the top edge of the tulle, approximately every 1". Pull the ribbon through the slits, using a safety pin to guide it through. Leave ends free to tie a bow. (Hint: Tack ribbon to keep it from slipping out.)
  5. Glue sequins and gems to skirt.
  6. Lay leotard flat. Cut a sweetheart shape from felt. Glue jewels on front of felt. Glue on a white-ribbon border.
  7. Sew or glue two 12" lengths of ribbon at the top of felt to make straps. Glue two 16" lengths of pink ribbon to back of leotard at the waist.
  8. When dressing child, tack felt front to leotard at her waist. Pull ribbons from back and front and tie bows at the shoulders.
  9. Cut a crown from poster board and glue on gems. Secure with Sticky Back Velcro coins.
  10. Crisscross leftover ribbon loosely around child's calves to make toe-shoe straps.

Fireman Costume

Age: 2 and up

Finally, a comfy fireman's costume! Turn an oversize sweatshirt into a reflective jacket with scissors and tape. The lightweight hat is made from newspaper.

What you need:

  • oversize black sweatshirt
  • scissors
  • roll of 2" silver aluminum tape
  • roll of 1 1/2" yellow tape
  • 1 1/2" reflective letters and numbers
  • 2 1/2" reflective letters for name (back of jacket)
  • black Velcro Sticky Back tape
  • small piece of cardboard
  • aluminum foil
  • black marker
  • colander (to make hat)
  • newspaper
  • craft glue
  • yellow paint
  • black sweatpants

To make costume:

  1. Cut sweatshirt up front center. Cut the length of sleeves to fit. Lay flat and apply tapes: silver tape first, yellow second. Add numbers and letters last.
  2. To make tabs across jacket front, cut strips of Velcro tape to go on either side of opening. With black tape, cover sticky side that shows.
  3. To make a badge, cut shape from cardboard and cover with aluminum foil. Decorate with black marker. Tape in the back. Attach with pieces of Velcro Sticky Back tape.
  4. To make hat, use a colander that fits on child's head. Thoroughly wet 3 sheets of newspaper. Place over colander and form a fireman-type hat by gently folding and pressing the wet paper against the form (like papier-m?ch? without the paste). Allow to dry. The newspaper will hold this shape. You may want to add drops of glue to tack down loose ends. Spray or paint yellow. Make a badge in the same manner as explained above. Glue to hat when dry.


Copyright © 1999 Wendy Smolen. Reprinted with permission from the October 1999 issue of Parents Magazine

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