How Do I Make a Simple Jester Costume?

joker image by Ewe Degiampietro from

If you want to dress up as a court jester for Halloween or for a role in a play, you can create this costume easily on your own. You can look at pictures of court jesters or "harlequin" costumes to get inspiration, but this is a costume where you can use your own imagination to create a one-of-a-kind outfit. You just need a few things that can be found at a craft store and maybe even in your own closet.

Purchase two pairs of leggings or form-fitting trousers in different colours. Make sure that the colours match and are both dark or light. For example, one pair is dark blue and the other black. You can also choose complementary colours like yellow and purple. Use a seam ripper to split both pairs of leggings from the bottom of the crotch to the middle of the waist.

Use a sewing machine to sew a leg from each pair together, forming a pair of leggings that are two different colours. Make sure the front and back are lined up. Repeat steps one and two with two shirts of the same colours (use scissors to cut them in half), but make sure the colours are on opposite sides. For example, if the blue is on the left side on your leggings, make sure the blue is on the right side on your shirt.

Cut diamond shapes out of felt that is a different colour from the shirt and trousers. You can cut out as many diamonds as you want and glue them to the front of your shirt with fabric glue.

Measure the circumference of the waist of your leggings with a tape measure, and determine how long you want your "skirt" to be. This part is optional and will embellish your jester costume.

Cut a circle out of a thick piece of fabric that matches the colour scheme of your shirt and leggings. Cut five or six triangular points that extend from the edge of the inner circle to the outer edge. Make sure the points are evenly spaced with your tape measure.

Sew the inner circle to the waist of your leggings. Sew round metal bells to the end of each triangular point by hand. The bells you need are found in the craft store and should have a loop at the top to make it easy to attach them.

Cut eight elongated triangles from the same fabric used to make the skirt. The triangles should all measure about 10 inches tall and 5 inches across the bottom. The easiest way to make sure they are the same size is to create a stencil with the right dimensions and trace it on the fabric.

Sew pairs of the triangles together along the long sides so that you have four triangles with an open bottom. Fill them with fibre stuffing so they will stand up a little on their own.

Sew the bottoms of the triangles to a beanie so that you have a "horn" on the front, back, left and right of the hat. Do this by hand with a needle and thread. Sew a round metal bell to the end of each horn.

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