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10 DIY Costume Tips From Etsy's Handmade Pros

Sep 21 2014 - 7:12am

Dust off the sewing machine! For many mamas, Halloween [1] memories include standing still as their own mothers draped and measured them for their homemade costume each year. With so many beautifully handmade items [2] available on sites like Etsy [3], it's no wonder many moms are opting to buy their lil ones' costumes these days — but there's still a contingent that takes pride in crafting their own. Before pulling out the needle and thread, get some tips from the pros. Some of Etsy's most popular costume makers are sharing their best tips for DIYers hoping to whip up a masterpiece of their own. Check them out and then get to work — we're a month away from the big day!

Be Inspired

According to Leslie of Etsy shop Mom2TwoGals [4], a walk through a craft store can provide inspiration. She said:

Take a stroll through your local craft supply store and keep your eyes wide open, you never know what you'll find to spark your imagination. Especially during holiday seasons, craft stores are a great place to pick up odds and ends of pre-made decorations, fabrics and materials dedicated to the upcoming holidays.There are oodles of gorgeous trims that can turn a simple idea into a gorgeous masterpiece. Just keep your minds open and let your imagination take flight.

Be Prepared to Modify

According to Laurie from Etsy shop LauriesGift [5], don't have your mind set on one particular fabric. She said:

I look for shape and texture, you may not always find exactly what you want so look at various patterns, fabrics or items around the house that can be used and or modified to create the look you are going for.

Remember Your Skill Level

Sherry Aikens from Etsy shop BabyPop [6] reminds us to not avoid getting in over our head. She said, "Don't take on a project that is above your ability. You will just get frustrated and not enjoy the Halloween."

Think Comfort

Kids like to be comfortable, and not constricted in their costumes. Meital from Etsy shop ThumbelinaWorkshop [7] believes this is key. "A costume must be comfortable and pleasant, smiling children are much more photogenic" than those crying to get out of their costume!

You Don't Have to Sew a Costume

Marissa from Etsy shop RaeGun [8] reminds us that we don't have to know how to sew to create a great costume. She said:

If you're are not a seasoned seamstress don't stress yourself out by forcing yourself to sew. You can easily make cute costumes by cutting cheap articles of clothing you already have on hand or find at a store.

For example, Peter Pan and can be made from an oversized T-shirt and cutting some points out of the bottom and tying it with a sash. And the sash doesn't need to be sewn. A strip of fabric will do the job just fine. Also fabric glue will do the the trick in many instances.

Accessorize

Leslie of Mom2TwoGals [9] also suggests using odds and ends to accessorize a costume. She said:

You can make an easy costume by accessorizing something as simple as a plain sweat suit. Make a dinosaur tail out of felt, give a lady bug her spots by attaching black pom poms or give her wings to fly with some simple felt and a little glue and antennas are as easy as a headband, some pipe cleaners and pom poms. Most craft stores and super stores also carry accessories such as wings, and hats that can easily help complete any look on a budget. Think outside of the box. Simple items such as balloons blown up and attached to an altered trash bag or old sweat suit can turn your cutie into a bunch of grapes in a matter of moments.

Keep it in Perspective

It's easy to be swept up into the excitement of the holiday, but Marissa from RaeGun [10] reminds us to think long and hard about the purpose of the costume. She said:

Think about how long you need this to last. If it's just for the night or the weekend make sure the time and energy you invest is proportional. Lots of people try to do costumes all out with lining and lots of time consuming detailing. But most of these costumes are going to be on kiddos in bad lighting moving very fast so the detailing might not even be noticed. Don't kill yourself trying to reach perfection.

If Skipping the Sewing Machine, Use the Right Glue

Elmer's glue is not made for clothing costumes. According to Sherry Aikens from BabyPop [11], "Be sure to use a no sew glue or tacky glue when working with fabrics. White school glue will not hold a costume together."

Always Keep Duct Tape at the Ready

Sherry from BabyPop [12] also reminds us that duct tape is your friend. "Make your own decals using duct tape sheets and stick [them] directly to clothes or other surfaces."

Remember, You Care More Than the Kids Do

Leslie of Mom2TwoGals [13] added one final tip. She said:

Always remember, your little one will adore anything you make for them and will enjoy helping and watching the entire process. What could be better than watching mom and dad create something special and unique just for them? Costumes don't have to be perfect, they just need to be functional and most importantly fun!

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