Thursday, October 27, 2011

Five Minute Fairy: A Halloween Mini-Tutorial

There must be an unspoken rule in my house that every Halloween someone must be a fairy or some other winged creature. My two-year old decided it's her turn this year, and I didn't want to just stick her in the fairy remnants of years past. But I have a newborn. And a five year who wants to be a leopard. And a pile of laundry you don't want to see.

I also have five minutes and a glue gun. :)

Following is a mini-tutorial on how to turn a plain t-shirt into a simple fairy costume.Forgive the lack of pictures. I wasn't planning to turn the project into a tutorial until I was looking at the finished product and thought some other laundry-menaced mama might appreciate this idea. If I have time and tulle later I'll go back and do a nicely photographed version.

Also, the bright idea behind it all is not mine. My friends used this idea at the onesie-decorating contest they had at my baby shower. They know I'm ripping them off for a good cause.

What You'll Need: 
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • At least 1 yard of tulle in a color of your choice.
    •  If you don't like cutting the huge length of tulle from a bolt, the little rolls of tulle work well.
    • I layered two colors of tulle but use a single color or a dozen colors if you fancy.
  •  Plain t-shirt or onesie in the color of your choice.
  • Scrap end of ribbon 
  • Optional: additional ribbon for embellishment
  • Optional: episode of Dora the Explorer to keep the future fairy away from the glue gun
What You'll Do: 
  •  Cut your tulle
    • The width and length will be determined by the size of your fairy. The t-shirt base was 24 months on mine and I cut strips approximately 9x19".
    • I cut the tulle into 10 layers, five of each color I had chosen. Use more or less if desired. I recommend a less full set of wings for very small fairies so that the shirt doesn't get too bulky when they are on their backs.
  • Layer the tulle in the color arrangement of your choice. 
  • Pinch the middle as if making a bow. Secure with glue gun.
    • Tip: Use a metal spoon to the fabric against the glue if you are worried about gluing your fingers. 
  • Wrap the scrap end of ribbon around the middle. Glue the ends of the ribbon so that they are overlapping one another. I also glued the ribbon to the tulle so that everything would be nice and secure.
  • Center the wings on the back of the t-shirt and glue in place.
  • Fluff tulle for maximum fairy effect.
 And you're done!

You can move on to other pressing Halloween issues such as your leftover candy damage control plan. Or, if you have another five minutes, you can fancy it up a bit more.

  • Cut three lengths of coordinating ribbon the length of the front of the t-shirt from neckline to hem. 
  • Trim edges so that they are even
  • Glue in place.
 Yes, it is puckered. I had to pull off one of the ribbons and re-align it. 
My inner perfectionist is fuming but my toddler so will not care.

Pair the shirt with a pettiskirt, tutu, or even a pair of jeans if you're feeling that laid back vibe. If you feel giddy with all the time you now have, try your hand at making a tutu. Here's a great tutorial from Cut Out And Keep

Yes, you can also sew it and it will probably look much more elegant. But the five-minute version will still make for a pretty fairy and this way you won't cry nearly so much when she gets chocolate all over it at the Harvest Party.

Happy Harvest!

1 comment:

Charity Activist said...

Hi Karen,
I'm sorry to use your comment section but I couldn't find another way to contact you. I really enjoy and admire your writing and I was wondering if you would be interested in a guest post on my blog when you have a little time from being menaced by laundry? You can e-mail me at
PS. The blog address is but I have very few readers. :-)
PPS. We actually know each other in real life. I'm April's sister.