DIY Christmas tree costume for toddlers

Hello!

The second day of enjoying life as a stay at home mom of two kids was marked with another diy project. How exciting!

Thanks to cyclone Vardah, schools are closed until next Monday but the day care is functioning as usual. Since my two-year-old is so bored at home in spite of having her sister along with her all the time and her own iPad, she was eager to go to day care. Good for me!

When I went to drop her at day care on 15 December, the notice board read ‘please send the children dressed up for Christmas on 16 December 2016’. I didn’t fully understand what was meant by ‘dressed up for Christmas’. So, I asked the person in-charge and she said, “oh, anything Christmas-related”.

We don’t celebrate Christmas and we did not have any Christmas-y tshirt or a frock for Anjana. Santoshi, my elder daughter, had an idea – punch a few holes in a carton for Anjana’s legs, wrap it up with paper and ribbons and Anjana’s could be a Christmas gift. Good idea, but won’t work for a 2 year old and definitely not for Anjana.

I thought of buying a Santa Claus mask and team it with a red tshirt and a pair of red leggings, but it was easy too common. Reindeer or sleigh? No way, too complex and too little time. And, more importantly, no internet! Internet connectivity has been affected since Monday 12 December 2016 and we do not know when it would be restored [finally restored on 23 December].

But, a Christmas tree? Yes, it could work. Cardboard, green paper, decorations, etc. – all these were already in my stationery and craft boxes. I was a bit sceptical about using cardboard because even Santoshi couldn’t bring it back in one piece [the fin in the mermaid costume never came back and the Veena in her Saraswati costume came back home only after two days, that too in a bad shape]. Actually, my problem wasn’t whether it would come back. It was more about the costume staying in place at least till the end of the photo session at the day care.

The crayon costume that I had made for Anjana in November 2016 was a hit because it was easy to make and no hassles in putting it on. So, I decided to make the Christmas tree in a similar fashion – using fabric as the base.

What I used:

  • Green fabric
  • A small piece of brown fabric
  • Pipe cleaners – 2
  • Headband
  • Decorations [flower, leaf shaped]
  • Colour paper [for decorations and gift wrapping]
  • Glitter foam sheet in red colour for the star
  • Cardboard strips [as gifts]
  • Glue
  • A pair of scissors

Step 1: Lay the green fabric flat and fold it over so that there are two overlapping layers, with the wrong side [or the inside] on top.

Step 2: Measure the height of the tree from to to bottom and mark the top and bottom ends on the fabric. Since my daughter was already at the day care, I used the crayon costume for vertical measurement.

Step 3: Mark the width on the fabric – I used one of Anjana’s tshirts.

Step 4: Fold the fabric over once again – now you should have four overlapping layers.

Step 5: Keeping in mind seam allowance, draw the outline of the tree. Since the fabric is already folded, draw only a half of the tree. The costume is intended to cover the toddler from bottom of the neck to ankle [give or take an inch or two]. So, the maximum width could be the bottommost branches of the tree [close to the calf muscle] and the tree bark below that.

Step 6: Draw another outline of the tree considering the desired seam allowance. I have used about half an inch of seam allowance.

Step 7: Cut [all four players of fabric] along the outer lines.

Step 8: Open the fold – you will have a full tree.

Step 9: Right sides of the fabrics facing earth each other, sew on the outer lines. Do not sew the part marked with x in the pic and do not sew on the bark portion either.

Step 10: Repeat step 9 for the inner lines.

Step 11: Snip small triangles out as shown in the pic. This is needed so that when the fabric is turned right side out, the seams will lie flat inside.

Step 12: Turn the tree inside out [remember the portion where we did not sew – that’s the space using which we are going to turn the tree out]. Ensure that the corners are pulled gently out so that you get the intended shape. Mine didn’t come out so well, but it’s OK.

Step 13: Sew a piece of brown fabric as the bark of the tree,
Step 14: Decorate the tree in any manner as you wish. I glued some craft items.

Step 15: Cut a star out of the glitter foam sheet and paste it to the headband with a cardboard backing. Step 8 onwards in crayon costume will show you how to do this [paste the star in place of the triangle in crayon costume].

Step 16: Using a few cardboard strips, make small boxes, wrap them with paper, add a ribbon or a glitter tape in place of ribbons, glue them to the bark to resemble Christmas gifts under the tree. The dark green one is the cap of a baby shampoo bottle, he he.

Step 17: Pin the tree to the toddler’s clothes using safety pins. I have pinned it to the t-shirt at the top and the end of the branches, leaving the last branch and the bark unpinned so that the costume would not hinder movement.

If you are using felt, it could be a no-sew project. Ignore all about seeing on the instructions above. Cut the felt to shape of a tree, glue the bark portion, glue all decorations and attach it to the toddler’s clothes.

Here is my little Anjana with the christmas tree pinned on to her t-shirt.

The Christmas tree could also be a cute wall decor if you wish to repurpose it!

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