Bye-Bye rented costumes – DIY Fancy dress ideas

I have very fond memories of fancy dress occasions while growing up. At the cost of sounding like a Fossil, I’d still say it – Things were very different back then. Hands down, my favourite memory was that of becoming a tortoise. My parents went to the Sabzi Mandi 23 kilometers away (We were in a remote Army Cantonment) and they got an “Aam kee Peti”. It was turned upside down to resemble a tortoise shell. They padded the insides to make it comfortable for me. The outside was covered with newspaper and painted. Straps were attached so I could wear it firmly on my back. I wore my dad’s black socks over my hands and feet and my face was painted. I was four and I was transformed into a tortoise. Did I mention I won the competition?

This is what I did when my turn came to turn the toddler into a tortoise:


Told you – This lazy Genre of Parents!!


I am a pro at dressing up my little one in costumes. I absolutely DESPISE hiring costumes for kids (Quite the norm these days). Who knows if the last kid “pee’d” in them, or if the costume storage room has tiny little roaches, lizards and rats? Paranoid? Yes. Careless? No.

I am going to share with you 3 semi-DIY ideas to get your little munchkins geared up for those special dress-up Days.

1.           Theme one – Favourite Story Character – Babe R absolutely LOVES the story of 3 little pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. So when asked, she said she wanted to become the piggy who made the brick house. 2 hours of prep work had her become third pig out of Iggy, Miggy, Jiggy.


She dressed up in one of those *expensive* couture pink night dress. With Pink ears attached to a hair band and a tiny curled up tail. We drew a brick house and attached it on top of my wooden spatula. Hello DIY. Bye bye stinky rented costumes.

*Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin*

2.          Theme Two – Freedom Fighter – I got my hands on one of those Maharashtrian sarees. She slipped it on like a pajama and the pallu was draped over to look like a *Bald* Rani lakshmibai. We created a shiny sword out of a stray carton and aluminium foil. Since the Rani went to war with a child swaddled across her back, we decided to replicate that. But Baby R was very clear that the teddy bear was her baby. So the Teddy Bear went across the back on a net swaddle.

*Khoob ladi Mardaani who toh Jhaansi wali Rani thee*


3.              Theme Three – Favourite Fairy Tale Character – After we dealt with a little bit of confusion about Frozen Princesses being Fairy Tale characters or Not, we decided to become Cinderella. This one was so completely effortless. We got our hands on one of these Ultra-delicate-Custom-Made-Blue gowns from (You can get a huge collection of colours and designs to become any of those colorful princesses) Its opulence was ample to make it look like a princess’s gown. Of course, the little one’s Adah was no less. We accessorized with a large beaded necklace, pretty little shoes and a crown borrowed from my favourite neighbour. She went to class wearing just one shoe and parroted her dialogue. “I am late – I gotta go”

IMG_20180305_225613_393 (1)


There you go! Three looks, sort of semi-DIY. Creative, yet not rented. I love these special dress up days, ONLY if we know about them well in advance. These are also much fun for the little ones apart from being a learning experience.

The next one on our list is The Gruffalo!

Go figure what’s your chosen character!


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