Whether your children are brainstorming ideas for a costume party, school show or just to pass a rainy day, they may find inspiration looking to history to the era of the 1950s. Costumes need not be intricate or expensive; many materials may be found around your own home and in kids’ closets and toy boxes.
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Although kids may not know who Elvis Presley was, they can learn about “the king of rock and roll” and create a costume in his likeness with a few craft supplies. Kids can dress up in a costume similar to Elvis’ famous white jumpsuit with an old white T-shirt and white trousers (make sure they’re pieces of clothing that won’t be needed again). Glue on sequins and flat jewels (available in bulk at craft shops) with white school glue all over the clothes, and then let dry. For a less sparkly Elvis costume, kids can go with Elvis’ casual “greaser” look of rolled up (cuffed) blue jeans, a white T-shirt and, if available, a black leather jacket. Borrow a parent’s, or use a black button-down long-sleeve shirt to complete the look. Slick back hair with gel or just water.
Little girls can get ready for the sock hop by making a 1950s poodle skirt costume in just a few steps. Gather a ballet tutu, a long skirt, a piece of coloured felt, a thin scarf and some safety pins. Trace an outline of a poodle onto the felt, and then cut out and pin to the bottom right corner of the long skirt. Put on the ballet tutu, and then pull the skirt up over it (the ballet tutu helps the skirt stick out like the crinolines did for the real poodle skirts of the era). Tie the scarf in a gentle knot around the girl’s neck, and then turn it slightly to the side, giving it the jaunty angle sock hoppers wore. Complete the look by adding thin, white cotton socks, folded over to make a cuff at the top. Pull her hair back into a ponytail, and she's ready to go.
Kids who agree they never want to grow up can take a cue from the number two top-grossing film of the 1950s, Disney’s “Peter Pan.” Children can raid their closets for costume materials for the magical Peter, utilising a green T-shirt and green stockings or leggings. A green hat or baseball cap completes the look (let kids hunt for Peter Pan’s feather outside or buy one at a craft store). Kids who are more into the Tinkerbell look can make a Tink costume by covering an old dress with glitter, sequins and jewels, and then creating a wand. Wand supplies are available at craft and toy stores; make one at home with a dowel or ruler--glue more glitter and sequins to a foam star, and then push the dowel into the bottom of it to secure it.
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