My kids love Halloween. They’re constantly brainstorming about costume ideas and trick or treating plans. They love dressing up and emulating their heroes or characters from their favorite movies or TV shows—and I’m sure the candy doesn’t hurt, either.
This year, my daughter has chosen a costume that’s a bit unconventional. She wants to be Eliza Schuyler, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton. She’s not a history buff, but we do listen the soundtrack for Hamilton, the musical. She likes the Schuyler Sisters, and Eliza is her favorite.
I have to admit, I was proud of her costume choice, but then immediately puzzled as to how to make it happen. My daughter’s costume wasn’t one I’d be able to find off the rack at Party City, especially not for a four year-old! So I had to think a little outside the box.
Below are some tips I discovered when attempting a DIY costume for your kids:
1. Start planning early. If I’d started searching for an Eliza Schuyler costume days before Halloween, it wouldn’t have worked out and my daughter would be disappointed. It’s important to commit to a costume and start making it happen well in advance. I know this can be difficult since kids tend to be fickle and change their minds, but do the best you can to choose a costume they’ll stay excited about.
2. Search your closets. You may be surprised to find items in your closet that can work with the costume you’re making. For instance, a friend suggested we repurpose a Cinderella dress as an Eliza Schuyler dress, which is not a bad idea. You may be able to make adjustments and customizations to an existing costume or clothing item. I’m all about saving money where I can!
3. Make it comfy. My kids don’t like scratchy fabrics so we try to stick to breathable and soft fabrics. If the costume isn’t comfy, your kid won’t want to wear it, no matter how amazing it looks.
4. Search Pinterest for ideas. If you’re feeling stuck, scour Pinterest. I’m not particularly creative when it comes to costumes, but a quick search on Pinterest filled my head with all kinds of inspiration.
5. Get your kids involved. Kids often have good ideas and most of them like to create. Let them have a say and help in the making of their costume. They will appreciate it so much more when they see the love and hard work that goes into making a costume.
After searching high and low for a dress that was similar in cut and color to one Eliza Schuyler would wear, I found one. I talked to a friend who knows how to sew, and asked her to customize some of the details. I’m excited to see how my daughter’s costume will turn out!
Hopefully these tips will take some of the stress out of making your own costume, and see that it might not be as hard as it sounds. Happy Halloween!