How to make a beetle costume

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For a child fascinated with insects, dressing up as a bug for a fancy dress party is great fun. Make the costume to look like a real beetle, or ask your child to pick out his own colours for a fantasy beetle and give it a name. Making the costume is not difficult, but it will take a few hours of time.

Cut two tiny holes in the top of the black hat. Poke two similarly-spaced holes into a small plastic lid from a coffee can or storage container. Make antennas by pushing the ends of the pipe cleaner through the holes in the lid, pulling up the two ends and hot-gluing the pipe cleaner into place. Put the antennas inside the hat and pull them up through the holes in the top of the hat. Hot-glue the plastic lid in place inside the top of the hat. The lid will act as an anchor for the pipe cleaners and prevent them from falling forward. Glue a black pom-pom to the end of each antenna.

Make the eyes by cutting 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) off the bottom of the styrofoam balls. Glue a 7.5 cm (3 inch) circle of black felt to the flat surface of each ball. Glue a white pom-pom to the centre of each black circle. Hot-glue the eyes to the front of the knit cap.

Cut out two pincers from red felt. Make the pinches about 7.5 cm (3 inch) long. Glue the pincers to the inside rim of the hat, to hang over the forehead.

Make the wings. The wings will lie on the child's back like a cape, or a bettle's folded wings. Fold the silver fabric in half and lay it flat. With the 2 straight pins, mark a 15 cm (6 inch) section along the fold at the top of the fabric. Do not cut the fold in this section. Beginning at the top pin, cut an elongated teardrop shape, about 90 cm (36 inches) long from the silver fabric. As you make the wide bottom curve of the teardrop and head up the other side, stop cutting when you reach the bottom pin. Remove the excess fabric. Open the wings along the fold. You should have a fat, rounded upside-down V shape. Cut out a matching pair of wings from the black fabric.

Face the right side of the silver fabric and the right side of the black fabric together. Sew the two colours of wings together using a 6 mm (1/4 inch) seam allowance, all the way around the edges, leaving a 10 cm (4 inch) hole. Turn the fabric right side out through the hole, and sew up the hole.

Cut out zigzag shapes from the red fabric and glue them to the black-fabric wings. Sew the wings to the shoulders of the sweatshirt.

Complete the outfit with a pair of black trousers or tights.