5 Things to Consider in making a DIY Costume for your Child

starfish costumeToday is Word-Robe day in my son's school. Kids come in DIY costumes of their assigned word. My son’s assigned word is easy, starfish.  Others were assigned to be a bison or a mollusk so a starfish is a no brainer, or so I thought.

I just used a good quality cartolina to make his costume and it looked great! Unfortunately, it did not hold up and it was broken even before he reached his classroom. As his classmates paraded with their hand sewn costumes and some heavy duty board costumes, his broke into pieces. The garter on the head piece came off and the cartolina tore! Widening his eyes to fight off the tears, he exclaimed, “mommy it’s broken.” I wanted to cry, too.

Another one of those bad mommy moments that made me feel so awful because I knew I could have done it better.

Sharing with you my learnings in today’s DIY costume experience:

  1. Consider Structure and Design. I was all design, without considering structure and durability of the costume. Cartolina does not hold and won’t make for a sturdy costume. You have to back it up with a thick carton at the back. Cartolina is just for the design element but not for structure.
  2. Consider how you connect parts of the costume. Tape, even the sturdiest one, doesn’t hold garters well. I just used garters to hold the costume, my son wore the head piece and the garter came off immediately. He wore the leg and the garter didn’t hold up and it kept on falling down. Next time I’ll sew the garter. Or I can put holes on the thick carton and insert the garters from there.
  3. Consider maneuverability. Make sure your kid can sit with the costume. I didn’t think of that. He needs to remove his costume if he wants to sit because he can’t bend his knee.
  4. Test the costume at home. Make sure it can withstand not just standing but also walking, sitting, sit to stand and the playful pokes from eager classmates. By testing at home, I could have found out it won’t hold up and made adjustments.
  5. Don’t cram the DIY. I crammed and made the costume just yesterday! Well, because we just got back from a 6 day vacation, so I didn’t have time to make it better or even test the costume! Excuses! Excuses!

In addition, if the child can already help, let him help in making the costume. My son helped in sticking the yellow suctions and helped cut some of the fringes on the side. He enjoyed it and he was happy to say that he helped make it.

5 lessons to be used in the next DIY. Thank God! there is another one next year! Next year, it will be better.

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