Halloween Dress-Up for Dolls

Halloween Costumes for Dolls

Get 'everyone' in the family ready for that spooky night
by Kathy Ross
for Real Families, Real Fun

Halloween is coming! Have you made costumes for your doll friends yet? While the adults in the family work on costumes for the children, the children can be working on costumes for their stuffed animals and dolls. "This idea was very original. This was a great way to decorate for the spooky season without spending all that extra cash," said an Ohio mom, Tricia S. "This was fun because both boys (9 and 11) were involved and they are so proud of the costumes they made," a Nebraska mom reported. Here are a few simple but fun suggestions for getting your doll friends ready for the festivities.

Any doll can be disguised quickly as a ghost using white tissue paper. Drape the paper over the doll so that it hangs evenly all around. Carefully mark where the eyeholes should be with a pencil. Remove the tissue and cut tiny eyeholes where you have marked the paper. Outline the eyeholes with a black marker. If you'd like to show the face of the doll, cut away the tissue over the front of the face so that it shows through the hole. Secure the tissue with a black ribbon tied around the neck of the doll. Poke the hands of the doll through the front of the tissue paper if you are going to make the doll a treat carrier.

If the doll's face is washable plastic, you can add "makeup" to the doll using colored dough. Press thin pieces of colorful dough on the doll's face as "makeup." If you like, cover the final work with plastic wrap around the doll's head, secured with a rubber band around the neck, to keep the dough fresh to use again after Halloween is over. It will easily peel off when you are ready to remove it.

If you have an old stuffed animal or puppet slightly larger than the doll you wish to disguise, you have a ready-made costume. Cut a slit down the back of the stuffed animal--and remove the stuffing--adult supervision required! Cut the mouth open across the front of the animal. Slip the doll into the animal through the back slit, and arrange the costume so that the doll can peek out through the mouth. Use safety pins to close the back of the costume. (Note: this technique also works well for a costume for a small child, using a giant stuffed animal.) An old hand puppet works well, too. Cut a slit across the mouth for the doll face to peek through, and slip the puppet over the doll.

Think Small but Creatively!

When thinking of costumes for a doll friend, think of creating them just as you would for a child. Does the doll have footed sleepers? Add a paper headband with bunny ears and you have a costume. Does your stuffed bear have a straw hat? Try dressing the bear as a scarecrow, complete with straw stuffed up the sleeves and legs of the clothing. The thinking is the same as it would be for a child's costume, but on a smaller scale.

Dolls in costume make a wonderful Halloween display or centerpiece. The children can make trick-or-treat bags for the larger dolls and stuffed animals from cut envelopes. Seal an envelope of a size appropriate to the size of the doll or stuffed animal. Cut the envelope in half to get a small bag. Add a string or ribbon handle. Your child can decorate the bag using crayons, markers, cut paper or Halloween stickers. For smaller dolls, use bottle caps wrapped in colored tape with a pipe cleaner handle.

Preparing the dolls and stuffed animals for Halloween is intended to be a fun and silly good time. Creating a perfect display, completely in scale, is not necessary to the success of this activity. Having fun while encouraging the children to think creatively about the costumes and accessories is at the heart of the success of this project.

All the families reported that after the children enjoyed creating costumes for their dolls and stuffed animals they enjoyed both playing with the results and showing them to friends.

Do the dolls need candy treats? Set out a colored plastic milk bottle lid "dish" filled with chocolate chips to look like "kisses". If you are really patient (I'm not!) you can wrap each one in foil.

This article © 2001-2004 Studio One Networks.

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