Don’t worry about spending £15 on a costume (unless you want to, there’s no shame in paying to make things easier!) – there are loads of things you can throw together at home to transform your little darling into their favourite characters.
Some top tips before you start:
What do you already have in your dressing up box? Capes? Hats? Accessories? Animal ears? Face paints? Fairy wings? Think if they could be incorporated into a costume so that if you do have to buy something, it is only one item rather than a full costume.
What is in your child’s wardrobe? Is there a stand-out piece that easily lends itself to a character? For example, a blue dress and you can do Matilda. A red t-shirt and you can do Winnie the Pooh. Could you throw a few things together to make Gangsta Granny?
Printing out masks and sticking them onto card is an easy way to make an outfit pop – or even make an outfit. If you had a Horrid Henry mask, your child could wear jeans and any top they liked.
Stick Man: If you have a stash of white card or long rolls of paper, this one’s for you! Your child can wear dark clothing underneath, and you can paint strips of paper brown, adding details to look like tree bark. Snip the ends to make them curl and don’t forget to paint a face – a toilet roll could work well as a nose!
Three Little Pigs: A great one if you have pink leggings/top or a pink dress and tights – and this would be SUPER cute if you have three children! Denim dungarees work well too, with a shirt underneath. Use face paint to create a pig nose and you could make pig ears with a headband and some card. A curled pipe cleaner for a tail. They could even take along a little bag of straw or sticks (probably not bricks unless they were toy ones, for the sake of playground harmony!). (PIC: thechirpingmoms.com)
A Princess: Most princess outfits are attached to a story so if you already have one in your dressing up box, pop it on! Think Sleeping Beauty, the Princess and the Pea, Cinderella…. Or you could whip up a Little Princess outfit if you have a white nightie, then make a crown out of yellow/gold card (or paint it!) or felt. I would love to do The Paper Bag Princess with any clothes underneath and a dress fashioned from brown paper! (PIC: readbrightly.com)
Funnybones: Do you have a skeleton costume for Halloween? Or skeleton pyjamas? If so, pop them on and you’re done. Otherwise, you could use fabric paint on black clothing to make a skeleton. (PIC: Eyeforabargain.blogspot.co.uk)
Matilda: A blue dress is best for this, but you could get away with any dark colour really. Add a red hair bow, white socks and school shoes! (PIC: PINTEREST)
Charlie Bucket: A great chance to wear playing out clothes to school! Have your child wear their scruffiest clothes, and get them to make a golden ticket prop. A bar of chocolate with a homemade Wonka wrapper would be fabulous! (PIC: Jenniferslittleworld.com)
Angelina Ballerina: Does your daughter do ballet? Let her pop on the tutu and make some mouse ears with a headband and card. Voila! You can use face paint to create a mouse nose. (PIC: Skirtastop.com)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A white tee-shirt, black shorts and trainers – done! A backpack is a good prop and if you have a printer, print out Wimpy Kid’s face then cut it out and make it into a mask! (PIC: bookaid.org)
Captain Underpants: This suggestion came from my kids and I think they secretly wish they could do it! All you need are white underpants and a cape (ideally red; you could also use a pillow case, sheet or blanket). The underpants are worn over the clothes (any clothes will do, but if you do have flesh-coloured then they would be best). Make sure they have perfected the stance and can shout “tra-la-laaaa!” (PIC: Themomcreative.com)
Pippi Longstocking: Colourful long socks or tights will make this outfit, and you can get away with any other clothes – preferably a bit zany. For a finishing touch, style their hair in pigtail plaits with pipe cleaners through them to make them curl up. Draw on freckles with an eyeliner. (PIC: Cindy Keeton)