When I found out that Martha Stewart had given some of her designers a "dollar store challenge" for costume ideas this year, I thought, "I could totally do that."
The hardest part about making a costume from dollar store items is that you can't go in with a preconceived notion about what will be available. In fact, I went to the dollar store once, went home disappointed, and then went back and found everything I needed to make the baby bee costume for Esther.
Here's what you need:
Old t-shirt in grey, black, white, or yellow that you don't mind cutting up ($0)
1 pair ladies black trouser socks ($1)
Baby onesie in white or yellow ($1)
Yellow wrist bands ($1) (These are not essential, but I loved how they looked!)
Pack of pipe cleaners ($1)
2-pack of flexible cutting boards ($1)
other craft supplies:
hole punch--standard size
black slick paint
For the Wings:
You only need one of the cutting boards for baby wings.
Fold it in half and trace a wing shape with a dessert plate. Or just free-hand it!
Make sure you don't cut two separate pieces. Keep the crease between the wings intact.
Open up the wings and punch four holes for the ties: two at the bottom, on either side of the crease, and two at the top, on either side of the crease.
Next, lay your t-shirt flat and cut off the bottom hem. Cut another strip, about two inches wide from the bottom of the t-shirt.
Pull the 2-inch-wide strip so that it curls in on itself and makes a nice soft cord for the wings.
Thread your t-shirt cord through the four holes in the bee wings, crossing in front, and tying in the back. The bow will show behind your bee and become part of the charm of the costume.
When you dress your bee, keep the crossed cord in the back and just slip her arms through the straps. I tried with the cross in front, and it wanted to tighten up around her neck. The simple straps stayed on perfectly, since the cord is a little stretchy.
I've made many pairs of wings before, but these are the easiest AND best by far. I will NEVER make the wire kind again. These are too good.
Lay the tshirt flat again, this time looking at one of the sleeves.
Fold it in half length-wise, and try it on your little bee. It will probably be a little big, and that is good. We'll make it smaller with the wire.
Next we'll make the holes for the pipe cleaners. Make them about 2-4 inches apart, depending on how big it was on baby's head. If it was much too big, make the holes wider apart.
Insert one pipe cleaner into both holes like this:
The goal is to keep any pointy wire away from baby's head.
Then, insert a second pipe cleaner through both holes.
Wrap one short end around the long end in the same hole to hold it in place. Then pull the headband to gather, and twist the other two (long and short) together.
After each side is secure, twist the two long pieces together like this:
Wrap the end of the pipe cleaners around your finger for a little curl in the end.
I bought a white onesie at the dollar store, and though I tried to dye it with some stuff I had in the kitchen, I think it pretty much looked white anyway. I would have tried yellow mustard, but I was out at the time!
Draw stripes or squiggles on the onesie with paint for bee stripes, and then add the wrist bands and the trouser socks (as tights).
Your little bee is ready to party!
Please let me know if you have any questions! I love to help with costumes!