Kids bored and cranky? Snap ’em out of it in minutes by making costumes that are easy and fun. The costumes are so simple to make, and so cheap, but kids will be so busy having fun with them, that they won’t care. Kids can even make their own costumes with simple things you already have at home. Got trash bags, fabric or an old sheet? Then you’ve got costumes!
Take ordinary white trash bags – ones without fancy drawstrings or handle ties – and use it as the main part of the costume. Lay it out flat on a table, then cut a half circle, right in the center of the trash bag bottom. When the trash bag is open, this will form a neck hole for the costume.
Place the trash bag over the child’s head then cut away, on the sides, until it is more form-fitting. The bag shouldn’t be cut really close to the child’s body, causing the costume to be tight-fitting, but should be left slightly loose on the sides.
After the smock-type design is cut away at the sides, use tape to make side seams. Adjust the neckline, making it a scoop neck, v-neck, or square neck. The bag can be cut down the center, so the child can put it on like a coat, or it can be left as-is and slipped on and off, over the head.
Now the fun begins. Use magic markers, glitter pens and other items to make the costume more fun and life-like. Make a surgeon costume by drawing lapels onto the bag with black marker. If you didn’t cut the bag down the center, draw a black line down the middle, then glue on real buttons. Draw pockets with implements sticking out, like tweezers, tongue depressor, or other medical supplies.
For a mailman – or mail lady – costume, add a mail bag for the wearer to carry. Add a black line down the center, glue on buttons, and draw on pockets. Cut a slit in the bag, at a pocket area, then slide a letter in, and tape it on the inside. Add a black belt to the waist, or just draw one on.
There’s no limit to the creations you can make. Kids can become a dog catcher, maid, cook, butler, chauffeur, mechanic, construction worker, dentist, and many other professions. If you can find trash bags in colors besides white, that’s great. If not, kids can add colors to the smock by using colored markers, glitter, small flat objects, string, and other colorful things.
String or yarn make it easy to glue on pockets, plackets, edging and other trimmings. You can also use buttons, zippers, pieces of cloth, pipe cleaners, stickers, crepe paper, foil, scrapbook supplies, faux fur pieces, leather pieces, construction paper and many other craft items.
You can quick costumes from the trash bags, or make longer-lasting costumes by using an old sheet, or piece of fabric. Even something like a rectangular or square tablecloth can become a costume for your child.
There are other costume pieces, besides the smock, that you can make with the trash bags. Use a small, white bag to make a chef’s hat, for example. Place the bag on the child’s head, then use tape to make the hat fit properly. Go around the head, making pleats in the bag, and using the tape to secure. Push the corners of the bag inward to make it more shapely. Use drawstring bags to make skirts for girls. Cut the excess bag off, at the knee, or even at the floor for small girls.
Your children will have hours of fun playing with their new costumes, and there’s no limit to how many you can make, since they’re so cheap and easy. Get out the trash bags, some markers and a few other supplies, and get started. Then you can sit back and relax while they play…