Despite the emphasis on family, the winter season can also be a very social affair, and festive parties for kids are more and more popular. But with these parties comes the chore of making or buying a fancy costume for your child, which can be a minefield if you’re not adept with a sewing machine.

There are some easy and simple ways to pick the perfect outfit for your child on a budget or if you’re short on time. Here is my guide to the best costumes for your kid…

The Snowman

A snowman outfit is easy and cheap to make, as you can use any white or cream clothes you have as a base. If your child will be painting, playing outdoors or is a bit of a messy eater, this costume may not be for you as it could stain easily, but if you want to give it a try, here’s how!

Start with a white t-shirt and pants, cut out some black felt circles for coal buttons (these can be glued or sewn to the front of the t-shirt) and wrap your child in a festive scarf and woolly hat. Cut out a triangle of orange craft paper and roll it into a thin cone. Secure with sticky tape and use a safety pin or similar to create a small hole on each side of the cone. Tie a piece of elastic through one hole, and attach the other end to the other hole et voila, you have the perfect carrot nose! Use face paint (or even an old kohl eyeliner) to draw black circles on their face to make a coal smile, and you’re ready to hit the party!

 

The Winter Fairy

Not an obvious choice, but if your child still fits in to the dress they wore to their friend’s princess party last summer, there’s no reason why you can’t recycle this and turn it into a fairy costume worthy of the top of the tree.

All you need is a pair of wings and a wand, both of which can be made easily in an afternoon. For the wings you can bend craft or garden wire into a suitable shape and cover it with tulle or netting picked up from a craft store. Add a tinsel trim to the edges and, if you like, your little one can help

...Of Dragons and Fairies...

…Of Dragons and Fairies… (Photo credit: aperture_lag)

draw detail onto the netting using marker pens.

Use a chopstick or dowel rod for the handle and glue on a star that you cut out from a sheet of yellow craft paper. You could wrap tinsel around the handle and dip the star in gold glitter for a more festive effect.

 

The Great Spiderman

Sometimes, try as you might, you won’t be able to get your child to budge when you want to put them in that adorable wise king outfit you got. Occasionally, you’ll just have to put up with the fact that their Spiderman/Superman/Power Rangers suit is not leaving their body for three more weeks, and that includes sleeping in it!

 

If this sounds like your child then it’s best to forgo the battle in order to win the war and let them wear their beloved outfit. Compromise by telling them they can wear it underneath the outfit you’ve picked – so they still feel secure!

 

Which outfit did you pick for Mardi Gras?