Do It Yourself Costume Ideas Part Two
We're back with part two of our series on great do it yourself costume ideas. Last time, we discussed lots of fun and easy do it yourself costume ideas that can be made at almost a moment's notice. This installment will focus on some more do it yourself costume ideas for kids. These suggestions will require more time, effort, or money, but each one promises to be an unforgettable costume that you and your kids will love. So let's jump right in!
A full body costume is always quite impressive (though they can get hot if made from the wrong materials). Here are some tips you can use to create the body of an animal, super hero, or other full-length suit. Start off with a lightweight breathable cotton body suit. This gives your costume an automatic shape and keeps it fitted to your body (instead of hanging loosely producing an unrealistic effect). Apply sheets or slabs of foam (of varying flexibility and thickness) to the suit to create a specific type of physique (example: if you are making a super hero costume you will want a defined six pack or prominent biceps). For animal costumes, use patches of fur bought from your local arts and crafts store. A very handy investment is spray-on glue. This is strong and lasting, and allows you to do large areas quickly and thoroughly (Note: when using spray on glue, it is a good idea to do so outdoors where there is plenty of space and air). Paw pads and noses should be made of a shiny leathery material. Add claws to your paws for a nice finishing touch. For perky tails that stand up right, use a hanger covered in the cloth or fur of your costume.
Try this for a fun and original costume; make (and become!) your own Jack in the Box! Buy or sew a simple but whimsical clown costume (including frills, nose, and hair, of course). Go to your local grocery or hardware store and ask for a large square-shaped box (a washing machine box or something of the same sort will work perfectly). Cut off the bottom of the carton, and reserve for later use. You are doing this to allow for easy walking and mobility. Except the top, cover your entire box with a nice bright material. This could be felt, or silky material, or anything that suites your fancy. Just make sure it is eye pleasing, as there will be a lot of it! Once covered, you can decorate your box however you like. Borders, star-shapes, and laughing clowns are all popular ideas for decorations. Cut a slit in the top of the box just big enough for you to fit into and maneuver around a little. We're almost finished! Using that piece of reserved cardboard, we are going to make a lid for your jack in the box. Attaching the lid to the box can be a little difficult, but is not impossible. You can use heavy-duty electrician's tape to keep the lid connected (don't worry, you won't see any of the ugly tape in the end!) Connect a piece of clear thread, this can be fishing wire, or clear plastic sewing thread to the upper corners (one piece for each of the two upper corners) of the lid, and run those threads to the farthest corresponding corner of the box (left lid corner should go to the farthest left corner of the box top). What this should accomplish is keeping the lid from flopping backwards. The thread should be completely taut when the lid is standing upright. You can make a crank out of a hanger covered in material or some of that heavy-duty tape you used earlier. Bend the hanger into a "Z" type shape (like a crank!) Poke the end of the hanger into the side of the box, and then back out to secure the crank to the side of your box. I suggest doing this before you cover your box with fabric. It gets far too complicated once the material is on, and it can ruin your beautifully laid fabric. Cover the lid with the same material as the box, help your child in, and you have yourself a bona fide jack in the box!
Even if you have arachnophobia, here's one spider you will love. For this, you will need a long-sleeved black shirt and pants, two pairs of black nylons or cotton socks, three pairs of white gloves, stuffing of any sort, and some thin black craft foam (optional). Stuff the two pairs of footgear with any kind of stuffing you like. Sew one half of each pair to either side of the shirt. These will later be four of the creepy spider legs, your child's arms and legs being the last four. Stuff four of the gloves, and attach one to the end of each sock. Your child should wear the last pair of gloves. Use white sneakers to complete the set. If your child only has a different solid color shoe, you should use the same color gloves for the hands. (Optional) You can cut out and decorate the foam as the belly of a spider, and attach this to the front of your child using safety pins. A top hat and bowtie make for a classy arachnid and an adorable finish to this costume idea.
Another popular trend in do it yourself costume ideas is TV show or celebrity donning. Sew a Pokemon costume for your enthusiastic nine year old or dress him up as one of his favorite Nickelodeon characters. This is even more exciting for kids than any other costume because it brings one of their TV regulars to life!
If you can sew or use a machine, wizards are excellent do it yourself costume ideas for kids. As any Harry Potter reader will tell you, wizards come in all shapes and sizes, so there is plenty of room for creativity in this costume. Let your son/daughter choose a favorite color for their magical robes. These can be made of metallic fabrics or deep colors. Chiffon is a good material to layer over whatever fabric you choose. It adds more eeriness to the costume! The wizard robe is really quite simple. It can be a cloak, which requires no skill at all. Simply buy enough material for the height of your child, and sew a hook and eye (or safety pin if you are really anti-sewing!) to secure around the neck. Dress your child in black turtleneck or shirt and pants. If you want full robes, this can also be done easily. Buy material twice the height of your child and a little more. Refer to your child constantly for easy measuring. Fold the material in half and mark off and cut out a neckline. Put the material over your child's head so that it is now resting on their shoulders. Pin the sleeves and torso of the robes. Keep the sleeves large and flowing, and leave plenty of room in the tunic for your child to move (he's just a kid after all!) Cut and sew according to pins. Buy or make a wizard hat. You can make one easily using foam or cardboard. Simply cut out a donut shape for the brim, and a triangular shape for the hat. Roll the triangle into a cone, and attach to the brim. This can be covered with the same material as the robe or with black satin fabric. If you use the plain black material, you can add stars for further effect. One cute hat idea I saw was to use a cornucopia horn spray painted to the desired color! Buy soft fleece, poly fill, cotton sheets or the like for that wayward wind-blown wizard hair. Use spray glue or a glue gun to attach hair to the inside of the hat. Any additional novelties are optional. You can use a wand, "ancient" spell books, glasses, or a staff to enhance this already wonderful costume.
For some other really unique and creative costume ideas that are sure to win your child first prize in any contest visit: http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/specialfeature/halloween_ms_costumes/. They have a wonderful selection of beautiful and fun do it yourself costume ideas with easy to follow instructions. Check out their skeleton, fairy, airplane, or butterfly do it yourself costume ideas. I absolutely fell in love with their gargoyle costume. Also, try their alien encounter for a truly out of this world experience!
These are just some of the really cool looking projects that will only take you a day or so to complete and are sure to leave everyone speechless. There are many more creative do it yourself costume ideas that you can use. Don't be afraid to try out different ideas or variations on these same themes. The object here is, after all, that you and your kids have a good costume, and a good time! With some time and patience, you can produce a stunning costume that you and your child can be proud of. For more great costume ideas, check out our other articles on costume designs.