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Dress-Up! 5 DIY Make-Believe Costume Ideas That You Can Make In 10 Minutes or Less


Oh, the joys of pretend play! Your child puts on a costume and poof – they’re magically transported into another time or place. Before spending hours at the store and more money than you care to admit on pricey ready-made costumes, get your DIY on and craft up a few at home. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to turn a few everyday household items into imaginative dress-up outfits. You probably are short on time like most parents, but your kiddos are rich in imagination. And that means your family already has everything needed to put together these awesomely easy make-believe costumes.

Shining Knight

You have kitchen foil, right? What about cardboard? Probably (at least in the form of old boxes and paper towel roll tubes). Grab that foil and wrap it around your child’s legs, arms and torso. Wrap up a paper towel roll to make a stealthy sword and cover a cut out piece of a cardboard box to create a shield. And, that’s it! In under 10 minutes you’ve got a full-fledged (one-time use) knight costume.

Pretty, Pretty Princess


Your 3-year-old is busting out the “Frozen” tunes and can’t seem to stop talking about Elsa (or Belle, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, for that matter). There’s no need to buy a special princess dress. Instead, head to the back of your closet – the way back. The place where you hide your old bridesmaid’s dresses, those 1990s-esque prom gowns, and possibly a few cocktail numbers that used to fit back in your pre-pregnancy days. Even if you think the sequins, rhinestones and kooky colors are way too much, your child will think they’re magical.

Paging Kid, M.D.

If you happen to have an old pair of hospital scrubs on hand, you’re one step ahead of the game. Add an old white blazer and you’ve got an instant doctor costume. If not, put together a medical look with sweats and any white coat. You can also swap in an old white robe. Use kitchen foil to mold a stethoscope and a shower cap as a surgical hat.

Animal Action


Any faux fur jacket, coat, or vest will do for this creature costume. Pair it with like-colored pants to make a full fur look. If you don’t have anything fuzzy, choose regular clothes that match the animal’s hues. Accent the outfit with an animal ear headband. Cut ear shapes from card stock paper, fold the bottom up to make tabs, and tape them to a headband. Quickly create a tail by tucking a long knee-length sock into the top back of your child’s pants. Take out mom’s make-up again, and use an eyeliner to draw on whiskers or a dot of pink lipstick to create a rosy nose.

Cute Clown

Chances are that someone in your house has outrageously colorful clothes. Maybe not all of their clothes, but at least a few pieces. Gather together an eclectic mix of prints and patterns in a rainbow of hues. This might look like a pair of stretchy galaxy-covered pants, a yellow and orange striped t-shirt, a brilliant blue button down and an emerald green blazer. And, don’t forget the accessories! Add on that crazy Christmas tie that your mother-in-law gifted you, argyle socks, and a bold floral scarf (your child can tie it around their waist like a belt or a sash). Your clown college-ready kiddo can get into mom’s make-up, with mom’s help of course, and decorate their face!

And there you have it – our 5 easy DIY costume ideas that take 10 minutes or less! Your kids will have a blast using their imagination to turn items around the house into a costumes that put them in their favorite make-believe places. Don’t forget to snap pictures of them in their best ensembles for your next custom board book!