Friday, October 02, 2009

Make it: Pirate and Fairy Costume

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Make it: Pirate and Fairy Costume

It is easy to alter kids’ clothing into fun Halloween costumes. Landlubbers, look out! This easy, inexpensive pirate outfit will help bring home the booty on Halloween night. And, with a few embellishments, a plain dress becomes a pretty-in-pink fairy costume.

Pirate Costume

White long-sleeve button-down shirt (a couple of sizes too big)
Set of 6 5/8” eyelets or grommets
Eyelet setter
Leather cording
Black sweat pants
Dimensional glow-in-the-dark paint
Store-bought vest
Two scarves
Hand sewing needle and thread (optional)
Pirate themed buttons (optional)

1. At the top of the shirt, just inside the button placket for the top three buttons, mark the placement for three sets of eyelets or grommets (three running vertically down the left side of the button placket and three directly opposite those on the right side of the button placket).

2. Snip a very small hole where the marks were made. Insert the male (larger shaft) end of an eyelet through the front of the shirt. Click the female portion of the eyelet where the male portion extends on the backside of the shirt. Insert an eyelet setter into the back portion of the eyelet and pound with a hammer on a hard surface. The teeth of the male portion should clasp the female portion. Continue for all six eyelets.

3. Carefully cut the button placket just outside of the stitch lines so that the stitching remains intact. Cut from the collar to the second button, across the placket and up to the collar. The edge of the collar can also be snipped just outside the stitching line to create a frayed look.

4. Lace leather cording through the eyelets to create the pirate’s open-throat shirt. Cut the bottom of the shirt to the appropriate length for your pirate.

5. To make the sleeves, cut off the cuffs and re-stitch them to the sleeve a few inches above the bottom of the sleeve to form a channel. Thread leather cording through the channel and tie around the pirate’s wrist.

6. Swap the buttons on the vest for pirate-themed buttons.

7. To make the pirate pants: Cut the sweatpants to be approximately 6” shorter. Cut a frayed edge into each leg. Apply stripes of dimensional glow-in-the-dark paint for added effect and for safety.

For a no-sew project:
Rather than re-stitching the cuffs to the sleeves, simply cut off the sleeves to an appropriate length and fray the edges, and skip switching out the vest buttons.

Fairy Costume

Store-bought girl’s dress
Stems of artificial flowers
Safety pins
Scarf in a coordinating color
Head band
Hot glue and hot glue gun
1 yard each of two colors of tulle
Satin ribbon
Large artificial flower stem
Glitter glue, rhinestones, glow-in-the-dark paint

1. Remove the individual blooms from the stems of artificial flowers. Remove any plastic parts from the flowers and safety pin flowers to the hem, skirt, and neckline of the dress. Pin the flowers such that the safety pin remains on the outside of the garment so that it is more comfortable to wear and helps prevent any pin pricks.

2. Use hot glue to attach additional flowers to the center portion of the scarf. This will be the waist sash. Use hot glue to attach flowers to the center portion of the headband.

3. To make the wings: Cut the tulle into pieces that are 36” x 18” (smaller fairies may need smaller wings and this size can be adjusted). Lay alternating colors of tulle in a stack. Cinch in the center and tie with a satin ribbon. Pin the wings to the back of the dress.

4. Wrap the end of the large artificial flower stem with leftover satin ribbon to make a flower fairy wand.

5. Embellish any elements of the costume with glitter paint, rhinestones, and/or dimensional glow-in-the-dark paint (optional).


  1. These look so much better than the inexpensive satiny costumes you buy already made. The best part is your pirate or princess will not look just like anyone else's.

    Thank you for showing how simple it can be to make one's own costumes. I love the glow-in-the-dark paint idea. Definitely gonna use that!

  2. These are so cute! Makes me almost wish I had kids to dress, but not quite.

  3. These are really adorable, great work Ms. Filian.


  4. These are awesome! Now - Amy the pirate, or Amy the fairy?? ;D


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