Saturday, July 28, 2012

MelodySoup Costume Solutions - Over-sized T shirts

Tip 1- Over-sized (L or XL) T shirts

Use this idea if you think that one of the following might be true: 

1. You don't want to or don't have time to sew, but you don't mind being a little crafty. 

2. You have a little money (between $75-100) and can invest for the future

3. You need to conserve and condense your storage space by making sure that all of your costumes have more than one use. 

4.  You need costumes that will work with a wide variety of students K-5

Here is what I did - 

I ordered 25 (most of my classes have 25 or less students) blank shirts in one color from an online vendor. In a recent online search I found that you could purchase really nice Hanes Heavy Weight white 100% cotton shirts for around $2.75 a piece from blank t-shirts.  Once you decide on a color they get significantly more expensive, but before you give up entirely on purchasing color shirts check with your local T-shirt printing companies. They may be willing to cut you a deal on some random color that they have in overstock, especially if you are willing to just purchase the shirts outright with no printing. If you can't find the color you want at the price you want then it's time for you to learn how to use some good old fashioned RIT dye! 

RIT dye

When using RIT dye it is important to READ THE DIRECTIONS!  By the way, the RIT dye web site is REALLY cool and worth a look just for fun and creative ideas. Plus they pretty much show you how to dye EVERYTHING!  

You might want to spend some time with your calculator to see if the money you save by purchasing white shirts is equal or less than the money you will spend on dye.  Typically, but not always, I've found that buying white and then dyeing usually saves me some money. PLUS, I get the color that I want! 

When I am purchasing shirts for "costumy costumes" I get either adult XL or L shirts....XL if I am going to use the shirts with 3-5, and L if I am going to use the shirts with K-2.....I don't typically do programs with the younger children, so my costumes tend to be a little bigger.   If you want a more uniform shirt to fit a specific child then you should buy their measured size.  But if you want the shirt to be wearable in many different guises and to look like a "costume", then XL works for almost all students. When I have a child that is particularly small I pin and tuck and tape to make sure they look their best. 

Here are some examples from years past. 
These  3rd grade students were asked to wear black shorts and knee socks.  I safety pinned pink felt circles and pink felt tails onto these XL gray shirts.  I also ran elastic through the bottom hem of the shirt.  Everything I did to the shirts could be undone.  They are also wearing felt pig noses and their hats have pig ears hot glued on. 
Recognize these shirts? - These are the same gray shirts as in the previous picture.  This time they have solder decorations on the front to make these mice look like the mice from the Nutcracker.
Oh Look! - More gray shirts!  This time, I found some gray knit, and spray glued some polyester fill on top. My sheep wore black tights on their arms and legs. Don't miss the white T-shirt chickens. The chickens were particular easy and these girls felt really sassy.  They wore white tights and I made little chicken feet for their feet. 

Here is a better shot of their feet.  This was after the show so some of the boas had come loose, but during the show they held and looked great. 

I don't think these boys remembered that not long ago these shirts they were wearing had been girls chicken costumes.  Keeping elastic in the bottom helps when you don't want the shirt to be down around their knees. 

These 5th graders didn't know that these used to be duck costumes.  I don't have a picture of the duck costumes, but they were very similar to the chicken costumes except with yellow boas.

If you like the T-shirt idea, then I would suggest starting with white T-shirts.  I've been able to add to my collection over time and have a set of XL red shirts, gray shirts and yellow shirts.  The possibilities are endless

One class set of XL white shirts can give you 25 chicken, duck, cow, dog, baker, elf, or snowman costumes just to name a few.  All you need is the right accessories which can always be made out of paper or felt depending on your budget. 

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