How to Make a Woodland Fairy Costume

Written by karen frisch
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Fairies have a charm that makes them popular as costumes. Woodland fairies are intriguing because they create a vivid picture of a forest world inhabited by tiny living people. This costume is simple and inexpensive to make and can be worn repeatedly. The leotard forms the underlayer of the costume and is topped with silk, organdie or taffeta and tissue-paper wings.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Green full-body leotard
  • Silk, organdie or taffeta (pink, lavender or green)
  • Silk ivy
  • Purple silk violets
  • Green tissue paper
  • Green florist's wire
  • Small piece of green velvet
  • Child's party hat
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Elastic fabric
  • Needle and thread
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Start with a comfortable leotard. Use the fabric to create cap sleeves. Measure, and cut three triangles or enough to cover each shoulder. Cut them narrow and long enough to stretch halfway down your upper arm, bringing them to a point. Round them slightly at the shoulder. Sew them to the shoulder, overlapping them.

  2. 2

    Make the fairy skirt with eight triangles of fabric. They should reach from waist to knees or above. Sew the flat end to your waist with the point hanging freely, so they float when you move.

  3. 3

    Make the wing frames with florist's wire. Measure your back for a comfortable size. They can be adjusted later. Cut and shape wire into two larger ovals for the upper wings and two smaller ovals for the lower part, bringing each end to a point. To shape them identically, lay matching wing pieces on top of each other and pinch them into shape. Adjust them larger or smaller to fit your back. Twist the ends together to make four separate wing pieces.

  4. 4

    Trace the wire frames onto green tissue paper, leaving 1 inch all around. Cut out the wings, and glue them onto the wire frames. Turn the ends over, gluing tissue to tissue. Set them aside for a half-hour to dry. Lay the four wing pieces together on a flat surface to line them up. Cut a small piece of wire to attach them, winding it around the four points where they join.

  5. 5

    Measure around your shoulders, and cut elastic fabric long enough to stretch over your shoulders. Cut elastic, and sew it to the wire centre. Cut a long narrow oval from corrugated cardboard to cover the wire centre. Trace the oval onto velvet, adding an inch all around. Cut out, and glue the velvet over the cardboard, turning edges under.

  6. 6

    Make a bellflower cap from a child's party hat. Glue white paper over the coloured hat. Wrap fabric around the cap, and glue it down. Add triangles to form the flower.

  7. 7

    Wear ballet slippers on your feet.

Tips and warnings

  • Mix pink and lavender on the skirt and sleeves for a watercolour look. When pressed for time, buy wings instead of making them. Drape ivy over the shoulders, and tie it at the wrists for a whimsical touch. Carry a small basket of stuffed feathered birds as an accessory.

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