Last night was our church’s annual fall fair! Our costumes were simpler than the Toy Story Army Guy costumes that we did last year, but we still had a great time!

Gresham was a zookeeper. It was his idea to be one, and it totally fit his animal-loving personality! I borrowed the vest and hat from a friend, who had originally purchased them from Goodwill for her son to wear in a church musical. To make the vest look a little more like a zookeeper, I printed a Ft. Worth Zoo logo from their webpage and made a pin out of it. I also made a name tag pin for the other side of the vest.

*Ignore the water spilled all over his front…* We added a toy lizard for Gresham to carry, and voila! He was a zookeeper!

These boys are some new friends at church, and I asked their mom for permission to include them on our blog because their costumes were so great! Their mom made their “hair” by attaching turquoise boas to some basic winter hats. The designs on the shirts are cut from felt and then attached to red t-shirts. Adorable outfits, and very frugal!

Aidan and his good friend Nick dressed up as Lewis and Clark. We ended up buying Aidan’s outfit this year – an Indian costume from Target (already marked down!). It was totally worth it for this pregnant mom. We thought that we could take off all the Indian design part and just look like a frontiersman, but alas, it was sewn on. Oh well, he added the coonskin cap anyway and had a great time!

We did make the bag that Aidan is carrying. Here’s how we did it:

I bought 1/2 yard of faux suede fabric and some leather cord from Hobby Lobby – which was way too much fabric! We can make lots more bags now! Or maybe a vest!

We did a basic bag shape, and I left one piece longer to make a flap to fold over and close the bag. I drew a line with white colored pencil for Aidan to sew on. He did most of the sewing himself – and it kept him busy for the better part of an afternoon!

When the sewing was complete, we turned the bag right-side-out and glued on the leather cord with tacky glue. I tried to sew the leather in place, but the needle wouldn’t go through the leather. It may not hold up forever, but it was better than impaling myself with the needle!

And last but not least, here’s Owen the Elephant! My mom made this elephant hat for Aidan when he was 3, and all the boys have had a turn wearing it. In fact, Owen wore it last year too! We just put on a gray sweatsuit with it, and had an instant costume!

Feel free to leave a comment with a frugal costume idea, and don’t forget – clearance costumes make great items for dress-up play or even great Christmas gifts!

Linked to Frugal Friday


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  1. June Dees Oct 27, 2011

    love the costumes,great looking boys.

  2. Kim S. Oct 28, 2011

    Those costumes are awesome. My 3 year old said he wanted to be a scarecrow this year, which I was so excited about since it would be easy to make. I bought some plaid flannel shirts from a thrift store and a friend gave me a pair of overalls in my son's size since I couldn't find any. I sewed patches of flannel on the overalls. I bought taffeta from a craft store (with a coupon) and sewed it on the shirt sleeves and overall bottoms to look like straw hanging out. And I found a child's woven straw safari hat in a thrift store for $1. I took the band around the brim of the hat off, which allowed the brim to lay flat and let me fray the edges to look like an old farmer's hat. I glued a bead of hot glue around the bottom of the brim in a couple inches to keep the hat from falling apart from the edging being removed. I also found a big sunflower pin and a crow in a craft store. I attached the sunflower to the hat and sewed the crow onto the shoulder of his overalls. The costume looks awesome and I spent less than $10 for everything.

  3. Brittney Oct 29, 2011

    Ohh..I love your costumes!! I also love shopping for clearance items for dress-up. Last year I got an entire costume for less than $2 at Target for a Christmas present for my son.

    I've never "made" a costume, but I did assemble Woody from Toy Story last year. He already had all the cowboy accessories, including the cow print vest from his dress-up collection, so I only had to buy a long sleeve yellow plaid shirt and cowboy boots...we actually found Toy Story boots! Both of those were worn regularly afterwards too. He went out with his cousin dressed as Jesse, and little brother as Rex (a green dragon costume that someone had given us and green monster feet house shoes) and they were a very cute trio!

  4. jacey barron Oct 23, 2012

    which ones lewis and which clark

    1. Sarah Oct 23, 2012

      You know, I don't remember which one was being who!


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