ThreeJars Daily: Great Costumes That Cost Almost Nothing

Money Management for Kids
What is ThreeJars How We Help Expert Advice About us
Fan Us Follow Us
Great Costumes That Cost Almost Nothing

The Darth Vader costume you ordered online still hasn’t arrived? Or you’re debating shelling out $40 for something your child will wear for just a few hours? No worries! Here are five awesome DIY costumes your kids will love.

By Laura Himmelein

1. Graveyard Ghoul
What you need:
Old long-sleeved T-shirt (like last year’s shirt that’s too small)
Old pair of pants (ones with holes in the knee or ones that are too short)
Leaves from your backyard
Green makeup or eye shadow
Black eyeliner
Red lipstick
Stapler or glue gun

What to do:
Graveyard Ghoul costume:
1. Take the shirt and pants and shred at the cuffs with scissors.
2. Rub in dirt from your backyard (or better yet, let your child put them on and roll outside and get all dirty!).
3. Gather fallen leaves and staple or glue gun them to various parts of the pants and shirt.

Graveyard Ghoul makeup:
1. To conjure up a ghoulish complexion, apply green makeup to face and hands.
2. Smudge black eyeliner under the eyes.
3. Add a streak of red lipstick (best if brushed on with a lip brush) at the corners of the mouth for a blood thirsty look.
4. Make a Frankenstein-like stitch mark around the neck by drawing eyeliner at the neckline. Add small slash marks through the line, and use the red lipstick to create drips of blood. (Note: You can also use this technique at the wrists.)

2. Boxing Champ
What you need:
Athletic shorts
Solid colored bathrobe or white towel
Solid colored women’s scarf
Aluminum foil
2 oven mitts
2 shoelaces
Sneakers (preferably high tops)
Glue gun or Velcro adhesive strips

What to do:
Boxing Champ costume:
1. Dress your child in athletic shorts and his bathrobe. If he doesn’t have a solid colored one, drape a white towel around his neck instead. Note: If you’re making a girl’s costume, or if it’s chilly, add a white undershirt.

Boxing Champ belt:
1. Tie a scarf around his waist (knot in the back).
2. Take a strip of aluminum foil approximately 5 inches wide and wrap around the scarf, right at the belly button.

Boxing Champ gloves:
1. Taking one oven mitt at a time, fold the top part over to form a fist; fasten with a glue gun or Velcro adhesive strips.
2. Place the mitts over hands and secure by tying shoe laces around the wrists. Note: You may wish to fill the hands of the mitts with a few pieces of newspaper to ensure a padded boxing glove look.

3. Roman Gladiator
What you need:
2 Black 39 gallon lawn and leaf bags
Men’s white undershirt
Large pizza box or other corrugated cardboard of roughly the same size
Paper plate
Aluminum foil
Gold spray paint
Cardboard paper towel roll
Glue gun or Velcro adhesive strips

What to do:
Gladiator tunic and cape:
1. Lay one of the black lawn and leaf bags out flat and cut out an 18-by-24-inch rectangle. There will be a duplicate rectangle underneath. Keep one and discard the other.
2. Using a stapler, glue gun or Velcro adhesive strips, secure the top corners of the bag (on the short side) to the back of the men’s undershirt, just at the shoulders.

Gladiator skirt:
1. Take the other plastic bag, lay flat and cut approximately 6 3-by-16-inch rectangular strips. Again, there will be duplicates underneath (for a total of 12 strips); don’t discard these.
2. Attach the strips to the belt by folding the ends over to create a loop, then stapling the two sides together. Fasten belt over the tunic. Note: The tunic and skirt should come to an inch or so above the knees and none of the strips should overlap. You can adjust this once your child is wearing by trimming with scissors and adding or removing strips.
Gladiator shield and sword:
1. Take the top of the pizza box and cut out a circle approximately 14-inches in diameter (use a platter as a guide). This will be the shield.
2. Now take the bottom of the box and cut into the shape of a sword, with handle, approximately 14 inches long.
3. Turn your paper plate upside down and spray paint it gold along with your shield and sword; let dry.
4. Using a utility knife cut two small holes at the center of the shield, about 3 inches apart.
5. Thread the string through these holes several times to create a handle. Cut and tie ends.
6. On one side of the shield, glue the paper plate over the holes of the handles to cover. This will be the front of your shield.
7. To finish your sword, cover the blade with aluminum foil.

Gladiator wrist cuffs:
1. Cut a cardboard paper towel roll into two 3-inch pieces.
2. Cut a lengthwise slit into each; spray paint gold and let dry.

4. Little Miss Sunshine
What you need:
Yellow poster board
Elastic or pair of old stockings
Yellow tissue paper, about 16 sheets
Orange tissue paper, about 16 sheets
Long sleeve T-shirt (orange, yellow or white)
Pair of tights (orange, yellow or white)
Scissors or utility knife

What to do:
Sunshine mask:
1. Draw a circle onto the poster board (approximately 14 inches in diameter) with an oval in the center the size of your child’s face.
2. Cut out with scissors or a utility knife.
3. Punch two holes on both sides of the oval (just above where your child’s ears will be). Tie on elastic and adjust length to fit. (You can substitute with an old pair of stockings by cutting into two long strips.)
4. Cut several pieces of yellow and orange tissue paper into approximately 8-inch squares.
5. Pinch at the center to create a tuft and tape to the back of the poster board so that you can see the ends of the tufts from the front.

Sunshine tutu:
1. Dress your child in shirt and tights with a belt around her waist.
2. Tuck the remaining sheets of tissue paper into the belt and fluff.

5. Queen Bee
What you need:
Black long-sleeved shirt
Pair of black leggings
1 white tall kitchen garbage bag with bag tie
Yellow T-shirt
Black duct tape
Poster board or cardboard
Sheet of paper
Gold spray paint
2 black pipe cleaners
Jewels and glitter glue, optional
Stapler or glue gun

What to do:
Bee costume:
1. Dress your child in the black shirt and leggings.
2. Take the plastic kitchen bag and cut into an oval approximately 22 inches long.
3. Wrap a bag tie around the center to create wings and glue gun or staple to the back of a yellow shirt.
4. Add strips of black duct tape to form bee stripes. Put on yellow shirt over the black one.

Bee crown:
1. Cut your poster board into a 7-inch thick strip. Adjust the length to fit around your child’s head.
2. Draw a line of zigzag shapes along the top edge of the poster board strip to create points and cut out. (Use the corner of a piece of paper as a guide to keep the points uniform.
3. Spray paint gold and let dry.
4. Staple the ends together and glue the two pipe cleaners to the inside of the crown for the bee’s antennae. Decorate your crown with jewels and/or glitter glue.

Laura Himmelein is an editor and writer in New Jersey who also runs Party Cake, Party Cake, a business that specializes in creating handcrafted cupcakes, crafts, and sweets.


Post a Comment