My two older kids have decided that they want to dress as a group this year and chose the Disney movie "Tangled" as the theme (no surprise there). What's not to love, really? The boy gets to be a ruggedly handsome, carefree rouge with boots and a satchel, the girls gets to be a princess and wear a pretty dress and a wig, and the little sweet pea gets to dress as a cute, no-nonsense chameleon (since she's got the sticking-out-her-tongue part down solid!). I have a budget of about $10 for all three costumes... not a lot. Luckily, this post is going to show one way that creativity and thinking outside the box can help you pull together a costume that is pretty decent while using what you already have and stretching your dollar.
Tonight I made the Rupunzel costume. I started by looking in our costume box. I was glad we already had a long blonde wig... that saved a lot. But if you didn't have a long blonde wig, you could check your fabric and yarn supply for yellow colors and get creative! We also had an adult-sized purple dress. I figured I could use that for the skirt portion of the outfit. Rupunzel's top is unique. It is laced up across the front and has slightly puffed sleeves with pink stripes. I knew I wasn't going to find anything like that on the cheap, so I looked around the house for a way to make it without spending hours upon hours in my craft room. I found a stained and too small tee-shirt in our "donate pile". So this is what I had:
I didn't do anything to the dress. I will just pin the straps and bodice with lots of safety pins so that it will fit my skinny little 5-year-old and pop the top over it.
For the top, I cut the dark purple part of the tee off with a slight "V" shape at the front center. I also cut the front neckline into more of a square. I then folded the center to create a faux lace-up look and re-cut my "V" shape (yeah... I did those steps backward). I didn't have enough pink ribbon, but I happen to have a gigantic spool of pink elastic so I used that for the laces. I painted (the untalented way to avoid complicated sewing) the pink accents on the sleeves and the area behind the lace-up. This saved a ton of headache while producing the right look (at least for a costume).
The wig was pretty frizzy, so I wanted to make it look as good as a cheap costume wig could look. I un-braided it and sprayed it with a solution of 1 part fabric softener to 4 parts water. I sprayed, brushed, waited, and brushed some more. I repeated this process several times. It took a long time, but it looks a lot smoother now. I also raided my craft supplies for silk flowers. I tried to find the colors they used in the movie even though they weren't the same types of flowers, necessarily. I think it's close enough.
So what do you think? I spent $0 on this costume by using what I had around the house and a little bit of creativity.