27 August 2015

Cheap and easy DIY Alice in Wonderland costumes for kids

It's Book Week - that week that sends dread into many a non-crafty-parent's heart, and joy for the rest of us. Our school celebrates every second year, and this year the theme was Alice in Wonderland, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the book's publication. My girls were very specific about the their characters - the Queen of Hearts, and the White Rabbit (during the croquet game, which is apparently important to note).

I promise you that these two costumes were extremely easy to make, and they only cost me $11! I already had the felt and white fabric in my stash, as well as the bunny ears which we rescued from the Easter box, and the girls' own clothes. But even buying fabric and ears, they would be under $15 for sure. Here are my instructions on how to make your own:

The Queen of Hearts

My Year 2 Queen of Hearts took her role quite seriously! The key here was to get some volumptuous-ness in the skirt, so I bought three 1.3m lengths of tulle in red, white and black and cut into strips, roughly 20cm. Tulle was only $2.99 per metre. I tied each at the halfway point onto a piece of elastic that I had in my sewing box, and used a safety pin to join the ends. I roughly grouped the tulle into groups of four of each colour. I had an extra length of white tulle in the costume box (an old dress-up bride's veil) that I folded over to cover the safety pin opening, and pinned this at the back. I then cut four hearts out of red felt and hand-stitched them onto the front panel of tulle.

The singlet top is one of mine, and we rescued a fluffy cardigan used for my sister's wedding when the girls were flower girls, to keep warm outside at the parade. The leggings I had already made here (with red felt heart patches on the knees), and the socks were my daughter's from her La La's Big Live Band groupie days.

The collar I made with a black ribbon from my ribbon stash (I seem to have a lot of stashes), and a spare piece of white tulle that I roughly gathered and sewed on to the ribbon. I tied the ribbon under her arms and at the back.

The cute crown I made using yellow felt that I had on hand. I cut out a template using paper, and kept cutting and trying it on my daughter's head until it was the right shape. I then cut out the felt and added a small overlap that I sewed by hand using gold thread. I then cut out a felt circle for the base, and two small black rectangles that I placed on either side of the circle to use as tabs to attach to her hair with hairclips. I glued the tabs on, and then glued the crown on top using craft glue. I attached one sparkly red heart in the centre, and two smaller on either side, from my craft box stash. They were left to dry overnight.

The heart sceptre I made using the same heart shape as the skirt, and cutting out two hearts in red felt. I machine-stitched the edges leaving a gap at the bottom. I used a paint brush end to poke in enough stuffing to make it stiff, and then used craft glue to glue it to an old wand stick.

Finishing touches were a high bun, clipping the crown in place with bobby pins using the tabs, a few dots of red lipstick (boy that was a big deal!), a big fake diamond ring from the costume box, and school shoes to top it off.

The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit costume was even easier. My Kindy daughter wanted to be clear that she would be the white rabbit in the card costume (rather than the one with waistcoat and watch). She already had the bunny ears (Vue brand from Myer), white tights, white(-ish) shoes, a red long-sleeved tshirt, and luckily, a white singlet with blue ruffles at the next (what are the chances). If she didn't have that top, I probably would have bought some light blue soft tulle and gathered it to make a ruffle and attach to her top around the neck band (not ideal having things tied around childrens' necks; I know).

I also had a length of white cotton, which I folded over and cut to size. I roughly cut a hole for the neck, tried it on my little model, and cut a V at the front to allow the neck ruffles to show. I then hemmed the edges where required. I cut out two large hearts from red felt and machine-stitched them onto the front and back of the white fabric.

The trumpet I cut out of cardboard and painted yellow both sides using acrylic student's paint from the paint box. I also had some leftover gold glitter from a project that I added to both sides. I used our own black facepaint to draw on a little button nose and a hint of whiskers, but I need to find a better face paint that isn't as 'oily' and doesn't smudge. I had a sparkly pom pom in the party box that I had used previously, and pinned that to the back of the fabric as a tail. It was a really simple costume; perfect for a five-year-old to handle.

I'd love to know - have you made an Alice in Wonderland costume for your kids? How did you go?

Images: Steph Bond-Hutkin | Bondville


  1. Love this! You did such a great job with both of their costumes! I'll bet the girls were thrilled. Well done Steph.

  2. Clever mama! The girls look fab in their costumes.

    1. Thank you so much Clare! It's amazing what you can do with a little felt and tulle x

  3. Clever mama! The girls look fab in their costumes.


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