Cheap and Easy Homemade Costumes with Anna Krafve Pierce

Thinking about cheap and easy homemade costumes for your kids this year? Anna Krafve Pierce brainstorms some fun, cheap and easy homemade costumes for us.

Plus, she added some incredibly worthwhile ideas about sparking up your child’s imagination! Dreams for the future? A love of history? All that and more wrapped up in hilarious, easy costumes!

Cheap and Easy Homemade Costumes_CathyKrafve.com
A bride and a cowgirl: fun memories all dressed up!

 

Imagining a Bright Future

Pirates or princesses? Fire fighters or fall fairies? Soldiers or super heroes? Anna claims dressing up can be a significant part of helping your children imagine their future. Plus, cheap and easy homemade costumes are tons of fun!

“As little kids part of dressing up is you get to try on who you want to be when you grow up,” she says. “Kids need to imagine the grown up world and think about being responsible adults and interacting with other adults in ways that are healthy.”

For instance, Anna sites a recent experience with her niece who quickly learned to pretend. “Like my sweet little niece coming over and pulling out one of her diapers out of her diaper bag and trying to put it on the baby doll. She was adorable. She just pulled my children right in. They wanted to do it too.”

Even if pretending is healthy for kids, let's face it. Of course, planning costumes can be burdensome for mom. Naturally, we all want more time for fun! So we came up with some easy ideas to simplify your life! 

First, cheap and easy homemade costumes get your kids creative juices flowing. Second, some of these ideas are so easy, you can even turn your kids loose to create their own costumes!

Cheap and Easy Homemade Costumes For Princesses

Of course, the genius of our family’s cheap and easy homemade costumes philosophy is we always use what we have on hand. If you’ve worn out the Disney princess costumes at your house, here are some wonderful ways to free your child’s inner princess. Obviously, it's all about your child's imagination. So, no Hollywood necessary!

A Woodland Princess—

First, hot glue and fall leaves combine into a festive headband. Next, hang fluttery leaves from orange and yellow ribbons attached to a vintage apron. Easy-smeasy!

Indian (Native American) Princess—

For this one, fringe the sleeves and hem of a brown t-shirt. Then, turn your children loose with a harvest of felt, ribbon, and feathers to create belts, headbands, and jewelry. Voila!

Bride Princess—

For our daughters, my grandmother’s 1940s nighties layered on piles of lace for wedding dresses and veils. Fondly, Anna remembers serving with her sister as a flower girl in their aunt and uncle’s wedding. Afterwards--inspired--the little girls went everywhere in cheap and easy homemade costumes! Yes, they transformed into princess brides, sporting way too much antique lace everywhere we went!

“As a little kid, I thought my aunt was the star,” chuckles Anna.

Unicorn Fairy Princess—

Okay, my granddaughter thought this one up herself.

“It’s like Walmart highjacked Pinterest in the best way possible,” laughs Anna, “She had on a unicorn horn, fairy wings, a crown, and this shiny necklace. It’s like someone took a picture of the Queen of England’s necklace and made it out of gaudy rhinestones and plastic.” Certainly, if there is any way to add wings or capes to a costume, the Krafve children and grandchildren will find it!

“My daughter carries on that tradition in a fine way,” laughs Anna. On a more serious note, “It may be instinctively we want to be God’s children, so as little girls we make everything about being a princess,” she adds. 

Sparking an Interest in History

According to Anna, cheap and easy homemade costumes can also help kids appreciate history and culture. “Now we’re talking about two of my favorite things, costumes and education! I guess my three favorite things, costumes, creativity, and education!”

For instance, dressed as Native Americans or Indian Princesses, children can easily imagine living in tents, hunting for food, and cooking over an open fire. Clearly, such pretending encourages children to think through how brave people overcome hardships and enjoy being in touch with their natural settings.

What’s another big benefit for Native American costumes? You can wear them all year round. “We wore those at Halloween and at Thanksgiving. We wore them to run around and play in the woods.” In March, for Texas History Week, our Native American costumes made another encore.

More Year Round Fun

For more inexpensive year round cheap and easy homemade costumes fun, Anna recommends catching fall sales on wings, swords, and other fun accessories. (Since she shared more about how to repurpose stuff you have around your house into costumes, listen in above. Or, click here to find more podcasts with Anna on Fireside Talk Radio.)

“Every year, our kids get plastic swords in their stockings because I buy them for fifty cents after Halloween,” she says. By the way, we love the way sword play can teach kids about chivalry and our nation’s history of defending freedom.

What About Scary Costumes?

For some Christians, Halloween celebrates evil. Certainly, garish and scary costumes tend to frighten small children. For our family, we focus on positive imagination and happy costumes year round. 

Because fear worries me (get it?) I asked Anna if she thinks it’s okay for parents to go along with a little adrenaline rush this time of year? With clarity, she emphasized that parents know their kids. Then, she gave a great example of how she decides when her kids have maxed out on scariness. 

“Pay attention to what triggers fear or nightmares for your child,” she says, since each child may express fear uniquely. “Or, she may say she doesn’t like the dark.”

Adrenaline-Laced Fun

Still, even if you try to emphasize the positive, kids tend to invent adrenaline-laced games out of their imagination naturally, according to Anna. At her house, they pretend to be dinosaurs.

“I know it's scary because one of them will be chasing the other one through the house growling and roaring. They’ll be pretending and having fun,” Anna says. “Then, next thing you know it becomes real to them because they’re clinging to me and hiding behind me and shaking like it’s real.” Dinosaurs are a fun way to get an adrenaline rush with some added benefits, according to Anna. 

“Dinosaurs are cool and there’s a whole field your kids can study later,” she laughs. “I like to point them to the things that God made. If you need something that’s a little scary, go for that!” 

Costumes Create Fun and Credibility

All three of our kids worked as wranglers throughout high school and college. Each work day, they wore full cowboy ensembles: boots, hat, chaps, big belt buckle, bandanas. Even though it was real work and real gear, their western attire looked fresh off a movie set. 

“We’d wrap the bandana around the lower half of our faces almost like bandits when it got dusty on horse back.” (Oh, how their mom remembers those loads of laundry!)

“They were costumes because they lent us credibility when we were teaching children, and even adults, about horses and what to do on horseback,” says Anna. At the barn, our kids learned many crucial life lessons, including how dressing the part stimulates the imagination of those you want to teach.

Real Life Costumes

Just like in real life, if you’re a wrangler, a nurse, a firefighter, a teacher, or work in a bank, our daily attire helps people visualize our purpose, Anna points out. In the same way, Anna created cheap and easy homemade costumes for teaching art. Now, she uses her artist costumes to communicate her authority and expertise.

"I throw my hair up on top of my head in a French twist and stick twenty paint brushes in it. Next, I put on the brightest purple lipstick I own and whatever painted up clothing I have. Then, I carry a paint palette I have for this purpose.”

For example, whenever she’s in charge of art at Vacation Bible School or any kids’ camps, she shows up dressed in one of her cheap and easy homemade costumes because dressing the part gives her a platform. “I’m obviously the person in charge of art!”

Annie Get Your Gun!

Whether you're playing around with your kids or teaching a class, cheap and easy homemade costumes spark imagination! Happily, costumes can establish credibility, engage, and entertain. Cheap and easy homemade costumes creating fun memories for everyone! As an example, Anna shared a story from her childhood about how costumes can inspire a great memory. (For more family stories and ideas about raising creative kids, click here.)

“It was probably the first time I ever had to teach a class of kids something,” Anna laughs about a project assigned to each of her fellow fifth graders. “We had to read a book about a real person, dress like them, and give a book report.” She chose a book about Annie Oakley.

Before class, her teacher secretly placed a playing card, with hole conveniently pre-burned into it, on a shelf at the back of the room. 

As Anna spoke, all attention was focused up front on her. For her grand finale, she quickly turned around and shot her toy rifle over her shoulder with a loud “Pop!” Suddenly, all the kids noticed the card with the burned hole in the center as if she really shot it. Ah, what special affects!

Long live imagination and fun costumes!

Shout Outs to Fellow Creatives

In addition, Anna and I want to give a shout out to Lisa Rachel Horlander, our friend and talented artist whose hubby helped us produce the podcast that goes with today’s blog. (For direct access to our latest conversational adventures and blog, click here.)

While we’re shouting out to talented fellow creatives, check out some of our favorite stuff on raising creative kiddos: Liberty Loving Kids, Plus Lathan Watt’s Top Books for Fostering Religious LibertyRaising Creative Kids: The Art of Glowing in the Dark with Neita Fran WardFamily Thanksgiving with Anna Krafve Pierce, or Musically-Challenged Mommy? Inspiration for Music Loving Kids.

May I pray for you?

Dear Father, deliver us from evil as the scary stuff flowing out of Halloween surrounds us this time of year. Give our families courage as we look for ways to communicate positive ideas as we stand against fear. Thank you for the imagination you created in each one of us. Most importantly, O Lord, let us be careful stewards of the beautiful imagination you’ve provided in the hearts of our kids and grandkids. As we trust you, help us inspire them to dream of a bright future as they respect history. For any young mom planning costumes for her family, please give her inspiration. Help her find the perfect cheap and easy supplies to spark up her kids’ imagination with lots of homemade fun. We pray in Jesus’s name. Amen. 

We love to hear from you!

What is your favorite costume memory? Which important lesson did you learn while in costume? When you create costumes at your house, what’s your favorite trick?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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A Semi-retired Mom, Queen of Fun, and Coffee Cup Philosopher Cathy Krafve pulls in exciting guests from all walks of life who rejoice in deeply spiritual truths.

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