This is a story how one overtired, underslept, perilous mom discovered a way to make three fabulous! matching! costumes for three fabulous! adventurous! brothers (and a neighbor’s kid) for a fraction of a price and under 20 minutes!
Nighttime. Owl-eyed mama clutching a computer mouse as she sleepily flips through the internet. Halloween is right around the corner. Costume, costume, quick, quick! Yikes – overpriced, boring, cheesy. Three boys, three costumes, one mom. Job description: quick, fun, cool enough for a picky 10 year old, exciting enough for a jumpy 6 year old, cute for a wild but adorable 3 year old. And affordable. And… the hardest… can we have a matching costume? Please? Would be cute… would make mom reaaaaaly happy… would make photos so sweet… pretty please?
Plowing through the herds of pirates, harry potters, iron men, draculas, and disgusting looking I-don’t-know-what, having my head spinning… Idea! Idea! Just an idea please!
How does a mom wants to see her lovely (when they are not bickering-stamping-each-other-or- bringing-home-outrageous-test-results) three boys? As a mom, I’d love to see them as three friends, best friends for life. Brave and manly. Kind and chivalrous. Honest and successful. Three really fun guys appreciated for all those cool traits. Like three… musketeers! Three musketeers. Cool. Exciting. Cute. Matching. Sold.
Another wild round of nighttime-head-spinning searching through the online costume stores. I can find tons of really good looking musketeer costumes. They don’t exactly match – my little one needs a toddler-sized costume, and the other two shop in a separate part of the store. Yet they surely look pretty with all those bright blue tunics, pants, capes, hats, swords… swords would make my boys’ heads really spin with excitement… WHAAAAT?!? Swords and hats are not included?! Oh, I do have to order them separately and pay HOW MUCH FOR THREE BOYS?!!!!!!
Job description: cool costume. What each budding musketeer needs: a blue musketeer tunic (easy enough quickly make three copies – wait, four, since our best friends join us on this endeavor for a matching costume), a sword, a hat. That’s it. Costume pants are always too uncomfortable to wear to school, trick-or-treating, let alone on a fun Halloween party. Boots? Oh, please. We are talking about kids. Less is more. Skip. Elaborate blouses? Regular shirt will do, and an old-fashioned looking collar will make it elaborate enough. Tunic, hat, sword each. Sold.
Hat and sword – best ordered online. I’ve got the most inexpensive hat. It looked somewhat like Zorro slept in a chicken coup and picked up a little ugly looking souvenir for his hat along the way. Well, I immensely enjoyed embellishing every single one of those unfortunate Zorro head graduates. Mexican heritage at peace; French nobility, please.
Noble Musketeer Hats
- Hat $7
- Big pretty feather $1.99 (had $40% off at Hobby Lobby so actually – paid half of that price)
- Some toy jewels ~$2-4 (I had a lot of those already, but I think a little bag of those sticky treasures goes about $2 in craft stores or just tear up some cheap earrings from a dollar store).
- Hot glue gun.
I used a glue gun to attach my treasures. Don’t rush: burning your fingers is not worth it. Learned that truth the hard way: I was in a rush to add a few really pretty finishing decorations and ended up with a few not so pretty blisters on my palms. Hats do look very nice, though, don’t you agree?
Gorgeous Musketeer Tunics under 20 minutes
Tunic: it takes about 15-20 min. Yes!! Just 10-20 minutes! Minutes!!! MINUTES!!! Well, once you have the supplies. And … know the secret. A secret that I’ve spent more then two hours of looking, and half roll of tape experimenting.
- Blue fabric. I used the prettiest, glossiest, most gorgeous blue. $8 for three tunics and now I know I should’ve got so much less – I’ve got 2 ½ yards for 4 musketeers, but I had so much left overs!!! I think half a yard would be more then enough for each of them.
- 2 rolls of silver duck tape
- 1 roll of 3 thick white ribbon (you can take a thinner one two. I was lucky to find this one).
- Some lace ribbon, only if you wish.
- A t-shirt your child’s size (no t-shirts were harmed in the preparation process: t-shirt is here just to measure the size)
Set the timer. Ok, I’ve spent two and a half hours on a first costume discovering how to make it, so the rest was a breeze, but since you will know the secret, you don’t need that pain, that time, that effort. Just breeze through it and enjoy.
1. Lay the t-shirt flat on a table. Fold it in half vertically. Now fold your fabric in half and lay it on top of the t-shirt. Cut off one inch more then the shoulder width; one inch longer then the t-shirt (unless it is a lengthy t-shirt – then right around the same length). If you are competing against the timer and wish for the easiest route – just cut out a large rectangle. I wanted it to flare a little bit, so I went with a trapezoid form. Don’t worry about shredding edges. We’ll take care of it in the next step, no needles, no threads necessary!
2. Cut out the opening for the head, following the neck-line of your kids’ t-shirt.
3. Unroll a long piece of silver duck tape and lay it on the table.
4. The secret for a Fast and furious success: LAY YOUR TAPE ON TOP OF THE FABRIC. Sounds simple. Trust me, I’ve tried quite a few methods for applying fabric on top, measuring with a ruler, marking with a pencil; this is the easiest. This is the key to the quick success and a good looking costume: lay the tape over the fabric in one sweep and you can see how wide and how straight, and – how even you need to stick it together!
5. Press your fingers along the fabric to ensure that no air bubbles deform the look of your gorgeous silver trim. Then fold the duck tape in half and press it with your fingers to secure the tape to the fabric on the other side.
6. Cover all sides of your rectangle (or trapezoid, if you are the same anal perfectionist, who ditched the timer in favor of prettier design)
That’s it! I contemplated making sleeves – anal perfectionist went to bed and I decided that this is so gorgeous already, extra sleeves will be just a restrictive for the kids to run around.
Fabulous! + Fast! + Gorgeous! + Inexpensive! = Happy Mommy.
Cool! + Comfy! + Swords!!! = ecstatic kids.