How to make a real Christmas tree costume

Written by gail cohen
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How to make a real Christmas tree costume
Attach tiny wrapped gift boxes to your costume. (Getty Thinkstock)

All due respect to Halloween, but Christmas celebrations still reign supreme in the costume department. Angels abound, as do Holy Family members, cattle and the ubiquitous flocks of sheep. No pageant would be complete without a Christmas tree. You can buy a commercial Christmas tree costume pattern and sew it according to the directions. But you also can make your own Christmas tree costume. You can be as simple or as elaborate as your budget and your time constraints allow.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Mattress pad (single or queen)
  • Balsa hoops or wire
  • Battery-operated lights
  • Evergreen garland
  • Velcro
  • Stapler and staples
  • Green paint
  • Glue gun
  • Glue
  • Ornaments

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  1. 1

    Go the cheapest route. Cut two large pieces of cardboard into the shape of a stylised tree. Punch holes in the corrugated board to serve as light portals. Use wide strips of Velcro to connect the front and back tree panels together at the waist and shoulders. Paint the tree green. Poke battery-operated strings of tiny lights through the holes. Hot glue, staple or otherwise attach ornaments. Fasten a star to a headband to make a tree topper.

  2. 2

    Create a mini-cloth Christmas tree costume by rolling and folding an old queen- or twin-size (ultra thin) mattress pad into a cone, stapling or sewing it into shape. Cut holes for the head and arms, and paint the cloth cone green. Fasten strings of battery-operated lights to the exterior of the tree using a stapler or needle and thread, hiding the battery unit inside the tree. Cut felt leaves or use evergreen garland to festoon the neck, armholes and hem. Dress the child in a green long-sleeve shirt and brown tights or leggings before trimming the tree with plastic ornaments and placing a small wreath trimmed with stars around the child's head.

  3. 3

    Jump through hoops to create a Christmas tree costume made of graduated sizes of wood hoops, or use craft wire to construct a series of from four to six hoops. Measure the child's (or adult's) chest to determine the smallest hoop size. Connect three to five more in tiers using 25 cm (10-inch) sections of string. Cut Velcro strips to make "suspenders." Wrap each hoop with evergreen garland--place the tree on a hanger and suspend it from a ceiling fixture to do this. Decorate with tinsel and ornaments. Make a star and headband tree topper, and add lights if you can hide the power source.

Tips and warnings

  • When choosing battery-powered lights for your tree costume, opt for AA or AAA battery-powered strings; C and D batteries will weigh down a tree costume, and you don't want your evergreen to feel uncomfortable while he's all lit up.
  • You can decorate your tree with tiny wrapped gift boxes as well as with ornaments.

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