It is easy to create fun fairy tale character costumes out of clothes and accessories that you already have at home or that you can pick up at a discount or thrift store. These costumes are great for Halloween, school plays or playing dress-up any time of the year.
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Little Red Riding Hood
A modern Little Red Riding Hood does not necessarily need a cape. Pair a red hooded sweatshirt with jeans or a denim skirt. If you still want a cape-like look, tie the loose sleeves around the shoulders. Add a cute picnic basket to carry treats!
Reuse last year's birthday frock or Easter dress for Cinderella's gown. You can make it stand out like a ballgown by adding starch to the skirt and wearing more skirts or petticoats underneath. Wrap tinfoil around a headband for a simple tiara and use jelly shoes or plastic sandals for the glass slippers. These are often easy to find on sale or used in the fall. Ballet slippers will also work in a pinch.
With a hot glue gun or fabric glue, decorate an oversize green t-shirt with real or artificial leaves. Autumn leaves give an authentic look, but fake ivy or felt cut-outs will make the costume reusable. Your child can wear leggings or green sweatpants underneath. Use body glitter on cheeks and arms for an added fairy-dust effect. A flashlight can double as Tinkerbell's light.
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
Reuse a party dress and add an apron smock with pockets. An art smock with pockets (available at craft stores) is perfect. Stuff a small and a medium-sized teddy bear in the two side pockets. Alternatively, your Goldilocks can wear overalls and use the pockets to carry the bear friends. A large "Papa" bear can be worn in a backpack which can also be used to carry treats on Halloween. If you cannot find a wig, use hot rollers or a curling iron to make Goldilock's spiral curls.
Puss in Boots
Look for a large brimmed hat and full-length boots at a thrift store or in your own closet. Use an adult-sized ruffled dress shirt. The puffy-sleeve effect can be made by buttoning the cuffs around the child's arm under the elbow, then pulling the excess material down over them. A poncho or a cape from another costume may be used as well.. Make a tail with a pair of tights, preferably black. Stuff one leg with cotton balls or tissue and wrap the other leg around the waist to attach the tail. The hat should be decorated with a large feather and felt cat ears. Create the cat face using makeup, and tuck a toy sword, or a cardboard one covered in foil, into a large belt.