It feels like I only made last year's Book Week costumes last week! But apparently a year has passed and I've spent the last two nights and one day making costumes yet again for a few seconds around the school COLA for the parade. But I love it, and the kids love it, and I could happily make costumes every week for fun if I had the time! The only thing I bought this year was the swirly straw Annika used for her pink milk. And technically poster paints, but I don't really count those because I needed them as I recently had a big craft-cupboard clean-up and my old ones had gone off and needed replacing.
My costumes are usually made from stuff around the house - I've always got stashes of various fabrics, lots of spray paints and craft stuff, and when I know these costumey-events are coming up, I hold onto cereal boxes because I find they're the perfect thickness for making stuff out of! So this year we have...
Zak as Apollo, God of the Sun, Percy Jackson and The Olympians
He decided at 4pm the day before the parade he wanted to be Apollo. A bit of frantic Googling and I realised I could do it. A cereal box spray-painted gold would make cuffs, a headpiece, arrowheads, a quiver and decorative aspects of a bow. A branch and few sticks from the fire pile became a bow and arrows, a piece of linen and shimmery chiffon were tied into a tunic/robe and he was good to go.
Layla as The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
Layla has now, in her Book Week career, been three characters from Alice in Wonderland. Alice, of course, the Queen of Hearts last year and now the Cheshire Cat. As winter comes to an end, all the white long-sleeved tops the kids have worn as their winter uniform are now pilfered and discoloured, so rather than throw them all out, I keep them cause they make great costumes - i just use poster paint on them with a bit of paper/cardboard inside the shirt to stop the bleed. They're a little stiffer than fabric paints - though still soft enough to wear - but they're only meant to be worn for a day tops, then they're thrown in the dress-up clothes boxes. Mine are now overflowing... So a pair of light grey leggings that Layla had grown out of were paired with a white long-sleeved shirt and I used some grey cotton fabric I had in my fabric box for the tail and ears. To make the white shirt a similar colour I squirted a tiny bit of black poster paint into a water-filled spray bottle, shook it up and sprayed the shirt on the washing line until it had greyed up. Then once dry I spent a ridiculous amount of time painting on dark grey and turquoise stripes - front and back. The morning of the parade, Layla took so long getting ready (as is every morning with Layla) that she only left me with 10 minutes to attempt the Cheshire Cat make-up. It wasn't the best job, but it was good enough!
Imogen (and Saraya) as Annie and Hallie, The Parent Trap
Immy was so funny - she came home about a month ago asking me what twins her friend Saraya and her could go as for Book Week. I giggled at the thought of these two being twins - as you can see, they look so much alike! But I suggested Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum ("ew! nope!"); Thing One and Thing Two ("They're weird") and that was about the extend of my twin character knowledge. "We want to be girls," she whined. Sweet Valley High was the only thing that came to mind until we Googled and then of COURSE we knew The Parent Trap - the kids love that movie. Seeing as a book version existed, we went with that! So for the next four weeks both girls would ask me when their costumes would be done. Clearly Imogen has no clue about how I work because I do things LAST MINUTE around here and so the day before is when their shirts would be ready. I used freezer paper to make a stencil of the camp logo the girls wore in the movie and just used poster paint to paint it on. Then i painted the collar and sleeve rim, spray painted some wooden heart beads I had and threaded some string though it for their lockets and they wore it with their sports shorts and identical trainers. Done! I was waiting for Immy to complain her costume was boring but she was just so excited to be a twin for the day she didn't care!
Annika as Lola, Charlie and Lola
Originally this little poppet wanted to be Charlie from Charlie and Lola, but somewhere along the line swapped to Lola. I actually had the perfect Lola dress already - a little long-sleeved floral hand-me-down but she really wanted the dress from I Won't Ever Never Eat A Tomato. So more painting it was! Layla's long-sleeved top worked close enough as a dress, so I taped up some stripes and let her paint them on. I hot-glue-gunned on a Peter Pan collar, painted a plastic bottle pink and threw in a swirly straw for her pink milk fix. I also just drew some teardrops and had her colour them in, then cut them out and glued them onto some bobby pins for her little butterfly clips. I love Charlie and Lola and have always wanted to do a birthday party in that theme cause I thought the decorations could be so much fun! I might still have to do that....
So next up is Halloween - I'm making Layla go as the Cheshire Cat again because darn it those stripes took forever and I want to get my time's worth out of them! And also because I kind of want to have another go at getting that make-up right!