Make Your Own Dress Up Clothes

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Whether you have kids or are a kid at heart yourself, a box full of dress-up clothes is a handy tool for imagination stimulation. Games of make-believe become grand with the addition of simple costume items like skirts, hats and capes, and they allow kids to step more fully into the personas they wish to mimic. Hours of play can come from a costume box, and the variety of clothing combinations ensures that a child will not get bored too quickly. A good selection of dress-up clothes can last years. Grownup kids may look back fondly on costume boxes from their youth, and can recapture the fun and frivolity of pretending with a new fantasy wardrobe.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Notions
  • Patterns
  • Sewing equipment
  • Old clothes and shoes
  • Thrift-store clothes
  • Costume hats and accessories
  • Old makeup
  • Box
  • Search in your closet for clothes and shoes you do not wear. Clothes that are particularly colorful and ostentatious are best, but staple items like suit jackets, skirts and tops are always useful. Check with your relatives for old clothes they might like to add to the pile.

  • Search the house for old, worn-out accessories like costume jewelry, hats, gloves, scarves, sunglasses and even old eyeglasses. Look for parts of old Halloween costumes.

  • Browse through the local thrift stores for clothing and accessory items you did not find at home. The thrift store is likely to have more outlandish-looking hats and dresses, and may be the best place to find shawls, head wraps, sequined outfits, purses and belts. Also look for uniform pieces like lab coats and name-tag shirts.

  • Spread out all of the old clothes you have acquired and evaluate them for safety, particularly if you are making dress-up clothes for a young child. Clothes that are too big are not a problem, but items that could choke or scratch a child are. Discard the potentially dangerous items or alter them to be safer. For example, a pair of real glasses can damage a child's eyes, but is the lenses are removed, the frames can still be useful.

  • Fill holes in the accessory collection by purchasing cheap items from a costume shop. Accessories are the most important part of dressing up, as a simple hat or necklace alone can transform a person into the character she is pretending to be. Buy hats, masks, feather boas, wands, fake tool belts, crowns and fake doctor's kits.

  • Make any clothing you cannot find or buy cheaply. Look for free patterns online or purchase costume patterns from a fabric store. Some costume clothing that you may wish to make includes capes, hoods, tutus, wings, tails and extra skirts, pants or dresses. Buy fabric from the remnants table in the brightest colors and patterns possible, and add plenty of embellishments. String jewelry together to form your own bead necklaces and bracelets.

  • Gather a bunch of old makeup and put together a kit of lipstick, rouge and eyeshadow.

  • Organize all items and add them to a big box. Take out the box any time you or your kids need a few hours of make-believe.

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