HalloweenDollsOne of the things I like best about Halloween is the costumes. When I was a kid, I loved to plan my costume and then wear it on “the night.” When I worked at a library, we used to dress up on Halloween, too. I wonder what excuse I could use to dress up this year?

One of the things I like about the theatre is the costumes, too. In professional theatre, costume designers do some amazing things with costumes. If you’re in a school play, or doing your own production, you might make costumes out of things you find at home.

I found a book at the library that shows how to easily make costumes and accessories for your own productions. Click on “read more” to learn about it…


61BJRCQunDL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Cool Costumes

Author: Karen Latchana Kenney

Series: How to Stage Your Very Own Show/Cool Performances

Publisher: Edina, MN: Abdo Publishing, 2009.

Genre: Non-fiction/Craft book (32 pages)

Audience Age: 7-12 years

Topics: Making your own costumes, theatre costumes, staging a play

Opening Sentences: Part of getting into character involves looking like your character! Combined with acting skills and makeup, a costume makes your character more believable to an audience. Costumes can make you look like you are from another time. Or they can turn you into some kind of creature. However costumes are used, they are fun to make and wear in a show!

Synopsis: Through photographs and step-by-step instructions, the book shows kids how to make a variety of costumes, from a filmy dancing skirt to a skeleton t-shirt, from a royal robe to animal ears. The materials are easily and inexpensively obtained. The use of theatre terminology helps kids really get the feel of what it’s like to be involved in theatre, and the enthusiasm of the author is contagious. The author is careful to caution that kids get permission to use things, and have supervision as well.

My one concern is the frequent use of hot glue – I don’t even use that! I think there would be ways to do these crafts and make these costumes using regular glue or simple sewing techniques instead.

This is one of a series of books designed to help kids put on their own performances. The others are Cool Makeup, Cool Productions, Cool Scripts & Acting, Cool Sets & Props, and Cool Special Effects. The full set would be a great addition to the library of any young thespian.

Activities/Resources: The publisher’s website has a links page to go with each book that gives links to related websites.

A fantastic site that I’ve discovered is The Secret Life of Costumes, part of Arts Alive, the educational site of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada. (Yes, Sir and Lady, I will add the links to our links list… that’s a purrfect idea…) It has a number of activities and resources about creating costumes.

Availability: This book is readily available online or through your local independent bookstore.

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  1. Oh, Beth! What a delight this post is! So timely and so full of useful information. AND it’s fun!!!
    Gosh…getting into costume…turns us into other people, takes us to other places and times. Always exciting.
    Hot glue? ::shivers:: I’ve never even seen one. I’d be all thumbs with one and end up in the ER!!

    OK, I’m going to look at that Secret Life of Costumes link now.

    1. Love this response, Robin! “getting into costume…turns usinto other people, takes us to other places and times. Always exciting.” YES, perfectly said. Thank you! {{{happy hugs back}}}

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