There isn’t a child who doesn’t love dressing up! It’s a really positive activity that gives kids a chance to escape their everyday worlds and take on new characters. This allows free expression, creative fun and the chance to taste life beyond their experience.
The instructive process of adopting different characters in dramatic situations is increased when the child has been involved in the design process of their costumes. Costumes look even better when they are accessorised by simple wigs, beards and hats. All of these can be conjured up with a few easy kids crafts.
Wig-making is a truly complicated craft. However, the same principles can be adapted to create very easy but effective costume wigs using some basic kids crafts. Try these ideas:
- Take an old hat which fits in with the look you are trying to achieve. Add a fringe of hair to create the impression of a wig. This is sewn or glued to the inside rim. The fringe can be made of either paper or wool.
- The same idea can be used to attach the hair to a mask instead.
- It’s really easy to make plaits, plait thick skeins of wool, secure at the top with ribbon and finish with a large bow or length of ribbon to decorate. Attach the plaits either side of the hat. They are best used with a hat as they may be too heavy for a mask.
- Try attaching paper streamers to an Alice band. If you use brightly coloured strips of crepe paper interspersed with foil, kids will create a fabulous ‘inter galactic’ wig.
- For really effective costume wigs, take a simple shower cap or swimming hat and cover with a mat of fluffy cotton wool.
Hats are very simple accessories. There are so many basic kids crafts that can used to create some excellent examples.
- The simplest hat is made by making use of a hat you already have. Let the kids go mad with fabric scarves, feathers or sequins. This is a chance for kids to become real fashion designers.
- A wonderful and effective hat for wizards or princesses is made with a simple piece of thin card rolled and secured into a cone shape. For the princess, add a wispy veil of fabric at the top of the cone and lots of glitter or sparkly gems. For young wizards, paint the cone a nice bright colour and add some silver foil star shapes.
- A band of card makes the base for a perfect crown. Use a more intricate stencil for elaborate crowns. Stick cotton wool flecked with black felt pen around the base of the crown for an ermine effect. This is another chance for the kids to stick gems and glitter all over their artwork. The crown is converted to a tiara by using a thinner band of card pierced by loops of pipe cleaners. Thread the pipe cleaners with lots of pretty coloured beads.
The easiest way to make costume beards is using a paper plate. It’s a similar technique to making masks. Cut the plate to a size that fits the character’s face. Make sure the beard sits well below the wearer’s nose so it doesn’t irritate them. Now, carefully cut a hole for the mouth. Finally, cover with cotton wool balls to create the authentic, hairy look. Attach string or elastic either side to allow the beard to be fastened.
Another good option for costume beards is using fun fur. This can be found in any haberdashers or store selling supplies for kids crafts, simply add some elastic to create the easiest beard imaginable.
Like grown up fashions, kids’ costumes are finished by lots of accessories. There is no limit to the ideas that kids can use to add sparkle and wow to their wonderful outfits, while having fun with a whole variety of kids crafts.