Three Ways to Make Elf Costumes

Elves, Leprechauns and Brownies - Oh, My!

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From Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to Santa's helpers and Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings," elves have been a part of popular culture for hundreds of years. In fact, at one time, elves and their cousins, the fairies, weren't considered fantasy at all, but were thought to be real. Today's "elf on the shelf" tradition has also renewed interest in the little pixies, so an elf costume goes right along with contemporary trends.

Transform a Tee Into an Elf Top

Things You'll Need

  • Red turtleneck
  • Red or holiday-striped tights
  • Green T-shirt
  • Belt or ribbon
  • Red or green felt
  • Jingle bells

Cover a red turtleneck and tights with a green vest made from a T-shirt, add a belt and cone-shaped hat, and you’re set for employment in Santa’s workshop. Cut a line up the front center of the shirt and clean-finish the edges to keep them from rolling. Cut zigzags at the bottom and sleeves, then add rickrack or other trim. Finally, stitch three felt triangles together to make a pointed hat and trim it with fur or jingle bells for a festive air. If you prefer, you can also leave the front of the shirt intact and slip it over your head.

Related: No Sew Costume for Kids: Peter Pan

Vested Interest in Elf Vests

Things You'll Need

  • Green cotton or cotton-blend fabric
  • Scissors or pinking shears
  • Belt
  • Buttons (optional)

With a few quick scissor snips, a large rectangle of fabric becomes a no-sew costume. Fold the fabric in half, matching the short sides of the rectangle, and cut a half-moon shape along the fold line to create a opening for your child's head to fit through. Cut zigzag points at the ends of the rectangle, across the short sides, and add a belt. To make it look even more “elfish,” add large buttons to the front.

Related: Costume Pop: How to Make an Elf Costume

Dressing Up for the Elves’ Dance

Things You'll Need

  • Tulle or chiffon
  • Elastic
  • Corset
  • Felt

For a slightly naughty elf costume, gather layers of tulle or chiffon onto a ribbon waistband to make a skirt, and top it with a daring corset. You can also tie filmy scarves onto a ribbon, or if you want something a little more modest, pin the scarves or tulle to the waistband of one of your fuller skirts. Another option is to use a store-bought tutu. Add some felt or fabric ears to your cap, and you can work your magic during the merry-making. A little cosmetic glitter brings sparkle to the party, as well.

Related: Linda's Art Quilts: Elf Costume for Adults -- Make Your Own Pattern

Pointy Shoes Complete the Look

Things You'll Need

  • Tracing paper
  • Shoes
  • Felt
  • Sewing machine or fabric glue

Trace your shoe and add a curl to the front to make the perfect elf shoe covers. Stitch or glue the felt pieces together and embellish them with bells on the toes and, like the nursery rhyme character, you'll have music wherever you go.

Related: Camp Clem: Help an Elf -- Simple DIY Felt Shoe Covers

Bring the Bling for the Makeup Thing

Things You'll Need

  • Body glitter
  • Facial crystals or rhinestones
  • Red eyeshadow
  • Green eyeshadow
  • Green eyeliner
  • Green mascara

Cosmetic accompaniments to your costume can go from the simple to the sublime. Use body glitter to add a little shine to your regular makeup. Or, you can go all out with cosmetic rhinestones and crystals and dramatic red and green eye shadow, liner and mascara.

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