Costumes for kids

Adorable angels, scary skeletons, and green dinosaurs--these are all potential costumes parents can buy for their children. However, sewing them yourself can a more rewarding experience and opportunity to share time with your children.   

Glue & go costumes for kids : super-duper designs with everyday materials
Holly Cleeland ; photographs by Larry Lytle.
New York : Sterling Pub. Co., c2004.
Imagine the most fantastic, creative costume and what comes to mind? How about a glittering snowflake? An incredible, many-legged lobster? Or even a huge cupcake? Making amazing costumes like these is easy, using a little glue and a few ordinary supplies. Best of all, you won't see your costume anywhere else. Beware of one-eyed monsters! "Cyclops" is a large, awesome-looking puppet with costume arms that you can move using dowels. He will hang out all night perched on your shoulder, attracting plenty of attention. Make a splash without leaving dry land as a "Speedboat." Decorate yours with painted flames across the sides and add a splendid aluminum foil engine box. You may not win any races, but you could come home with first prize for the best costume! What's that ringing I hear? It could be coming from you, because now you've turned into a "Cell Phone." White plastic cups make perfect buttons. Everybody you meet trick or treating will ask if you have any messages for him! Soar through the night as a giant "Paper Airplane." This unbelievable glider is a lot larger than any you've made from a sheet of paper. Don't save these costumes for Halloween -- wear them at parties, parades, and whenever you feel like having fun. Book jacket.
Tricks & treats : the ultimate Halloween book
Deborah Harding.
Pleasantville, N.Y. : Reader's Digest Association, c1998.
With this great guide to celebrating the spirit (and spirits) of Halloween, no special magic is needed to enjoy the latest trend in family fun. 100+ color photos and illustrations.
Child's play : quick and easy costumes
written and illustrated by Leslie Hamilton.
New York : Crown Trade Paperbacks, c1995.
With Child's Play: Quick and Easy Costumes for Special Occasions and Everyday Play, author Leslie Hamilton has provided the definitive guide for creating safe, easy, and imaginative children's costumes. From a rock star to a washing machine, Hamilton offers loads of creative costume ideas that are easy to design and will delight your child. Who knew that costume design could be so effortless? With easy-to-read, easy-to-follow instructions Child's Play makes it possible for even the most domestically-challenged parent to create more 70 fabulous costumes. Also included are activities and games devised to engage your child's imagination before, during and after the costume-making process. Best of all, the imaginative yet simple costumes outlined in chapters like: No-Sew Costumes, Paper Bag Costumes, and Fabric Costumes call for costume supplies that can be found around the house and any specialty items like fabric, jewelry, and masks, which you may want to buy, can be recycled again and again as your children's tastes change.
History of children's costume
Marion Sichel.
New York : Chelsea House, c1983.
  1. Includes index.
  2. Bibliography: p. 71.

You do not need to be a professional seamstress. Instead, having a simple pattern, colorful materials, matching threads, and a good sewing needle or sewing machine, is all you need to get started.

Children’s costume pattern books have been around for years. Page through one of these and any parent will find creative ideas for a costume for their child.  Specialty costumes are often found in Halloween costume books.

Ideas for costumes

Baseball player

Use these tips to make a costume your child will enjoy wearing:

  • Apply surface embellishments, such as appliqués, before construction. Remember to press seam allowances open and press each loop flat, with seams centered. Pumpkin faces are a good example of this.
  • Padded wings can be used for costumes such as angels, birds, butterflies, or other winged creatures. Wings are designed with a layer of foam between layers of fabric. To add additional support, wire may be stitched around the outer seam allowances.
  • Wings can be sewn directly to the back of another part of the costume, or be made detachable, using a hook and loop tape. Elastic harnesses may be used to fit over the shoulders.

Whether it is for Halloween, or a theme party, children love interesting costumes to wear! Ask your child what they would like to wear. Keep them part of the sewing process. Costumes should be a fun item for kids to wear!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff