Costumes are not just for Halloween! (Though you can make these 47 Halloween costumes at home.) Playing dressing up can be so much fun and a good way to entertain little ones when it’s too hot or too cold to go out side or if you don’t have the energy to get out of the house!
Buying costumes adds up quick – so here are dozens of items to look out for at thrift stores, in your attic, your basement, and at garage sales.
Essential dress up costume items to build your dress up box
Accessories – Hats have the power to transform us into a firefighter, construction worker, princess, socialite, football player, or other athlete. Scarves add a swirl of mystery. A feather boa is elegant and silly at the same time. Gloves, belts, wraps add character, too!
Handbags – A purse, bag, wallet, or briefcase is a quick way to jump into someone else’s skin. And of course kids love to carry random stuff around.
Jewelry – Kids love to imitate their parents, so toss in old costume jewelry like rings, necklaces, watches, and brooches to a box for your costume area. Just make sure there are no small parts (or jewels that could dislodge) and become a chocking hazard for littles ones under three.
Linens – Save extra sheets and pillow cases as they can be transformed into dresses, head wraps, togas, and more. Solid colored sheets are ripe for becoming animal costumes, too. Just add spots of black felt to a white sheet and moooo…where’d that cow come from?
Fashion items – Daring “fashion forward” items like neon skinny jeans, hair scrunchies, baggy overalls, shoulder pads, jean jackets, and more are perfect for a costume bag. The louder the statement, the bolder the costume!
Shoes – Whether you keep pairs of shoes in your costume area full time, or bring down a handful during play time, don’t forget how fun it is to wear someone else’s shoes!
Electronics – Done with your old cell phone? Kids are desperate to play with them, and the fact that it doesn’t work hardly matters to them. With a real cell phone at their ear, all of a sudden, they are Mommy or Daddy!
Felt – I recently learned that felt sticks to felt! No more sewing, glueing, or ironing to get material to stick together! Hold onto your felt scrap as you never know what kind of a costume you’ll be asked to put together.
Suitcase – What better to hold your array of costume and dress up essentials than in an old fashioned suitcase that speaks to another time. Open it up and let the transformation begin!
Halloween – If you are looking for Halloween costumes, check out our list of 10 Halloween costumes you can make at home.