Homemade fairy tale costumes are some of the oldest costumes worn by children, both for Halloween and fancy dress occasions. Fairy tales and folklore have been part of Western culture for centuries and their familiarity and appeal remain powerful, particularly for small girls.
The Unique Quality of Homemade Costumes
Until comparatively recent tunes, all costumes were homemade. Whether cobbled together from scraps on hand or hired out to a professional seamstress or tailor, the costumes were built fresh each time. This gave them a unique character and allowed them to more fully reflect the wearer's personality.
This is still true of homemade costumes, which is what makes them so special. Whether children are involved in helping put the outfit together or not, something made expressly for them looks and feels better than anything store-bought, and will be a favorite item in the closet for a long time.
Popular Homemade Fairy Tale Costumes
Favorite fairy tale costumes are always the most distinctive ones that leave no question of who is being represented. This puts Red Riding Hood at the top of the list, because no matter what sort of dress is being worn, once the red cape and hood are in place, everyone knows who it is.
Cinderella is enduringly popular as well, and it's easy to create a homemade version of her in her rags. You can add toy mice and birds to represent her many charming animal friends.
Rapunzel allows a girl to wear a long wig, which is very fun.
Snow White has been a top choice for years. You don't have to copy the classic Disney dress to make a convincing Snow White costume. If a child is given black hair and a red apple, little else is needed.
While Alice in Wonderland is not technically a fairy tale, Alice tends to be classed in this group and a homemade Alice costume is very popular.
Animals are also popular costume choices, for both girls and boys. Puss in Boots is a great favorite. Many children like to dress as cats, and Puss is traditionally also clad in a swashbuckling cape and hat, sometimes even with a sword, making for a fun, yet easy-to-make costume.
With a bit of planning, homemade fairy tale costumes can be made for children to dress as either a pair or a group, making them even more distinctive. Hansel and Gretel are easy to create, and a wolf can always pair up with Red Riding Hood. Witches, fairy godmothers and animal companions make for a more fun costume overall.
Making the Costumes
Since fewer and fewer people sew, let alone have free time, homemade costumes have become less popular. However, many classic fairy tale costumes can be crafted with little sewing ability, and don't need to take much time or be expensive. What is required is some thought and ingenuity. You can find free patterns for capes online, which need only measuring and cutting, and thus Red Riding Hood or Puss in Boots is outfitted within an hour. Children can make masks, ears and tails using traditional craft materials. Even a dress for a princess can be crafted, rather than sewn, although this definitely requires more time.
If you do sew, there is no end of free or inexpensive patterns available online. You can bypass commercial patterns easily and find many made by individuals for their children and shared with anyone who wants to give it a try. For many of the costumes, it's nice to add props so the child feels like more of a character. It's also ideal to involve the child in making of the costume as much as possible. They might prefer to create a different spin on a classic character, thus making the costume that much more their own - and thus more effective, fun and magical.