Planning our Family Alice in Wonderland Costumes

For the last 9 years I had been trying to get my dear husband to dressed up with the kids for Halloween, to no avail. This year I got lucky, finally!! His mother told us she was throwing a Costume/Birthday party for her boyfriend the first weekend in October….and she wanted each of us in costume. So there it was, my chance to get DH in costume, I ran with it. We were doing a family costume, last year we had planned to be the seasons and father time and mother nature, but a year later, fairies didn’t sound as fun to the kids. So I suggested family Alice in Wonderland costumes (Tim Burton version, of course) our girls loved it.

We went back and forth for a week about who wanted to be who. So we narrowed it down oldest daughter would be Alice (Um-from Umbridge) youngest daughter would be The Red Queen, our son, the baby would be the White Rabbit, my dear husband (DH) would be The March Hare, and I would be…most fitting, The Mad Hatter of course. I was excited for our family Alice in Wonderland costumes!

Creating our Family Alice in Wonderland Costumes

I went to work on finding a costume for DH because if he didn’t feel comfortable he wouldn’t dress up. We went to thrift stores for what seemed like ages to find a suit jacket I could rip the sleeves out of, but we could find not one with shoulders broad enough to fit him.

DH’s Jacket

Then it hit me, my father gave him a coat he bought and wore in the 70’s about 4 years ago. It was tan orangish brown corduroy coat with brown faux fur inside and 3 buttons down the front. My husband would never wear it, it being too big and way to vintage for his style, but he took it to be nice. We have moved since getting the coat, and I still move stuff around like crazy in this house trying to decide where I want the item to be permanently. So find the coat was the next game I played.

I searched up and down and inside under and through everything and place I could imagine it being. Nothing, I seriously thought I threw it or gave it away at that point. But dear husband told me he knew I didn’t because my dad gave it him. I was almost defeated when I realized that there was one place I didn’t look, the old pantry on the landing outside the kitchen door. Score!! There it was, folded back behind some stored boxes where I couldn’t reach. So I called my dear husband to grab it for me and to work I went…. ripping seams, cutting out quilting and batting, cutting fur out of the inside, and removing sleeves to make it look more like a vest.

The fur and a fleece throw became his ears, which I hot glued together after I cut them out. Then I found 2 wire hangars and began dismantling them. Dear husband said, “aren’t they a little big? How are you going to put them on me?” I said, “Why a hat of course!”

DH’s Hat

So next was finding him a hat from a department store… 5 or 6 bucks felt and brown, PERFECTO! I bought it, brought it home, stuck wires through, and hot glued it in place. Ta-Da!! dear husband was actually surprised how cool the hat looked and that the hat fit and wasn’t too small. Next day we went to Goodwill and found similar styled hats for a dollar, luckily those didn’t fit his head. He was satisfied.

What he was not satisfied with however was this bow. A red plaid huge oversized bow made from an old Christmas dress my girls wore a few years back… I love when I can find a way to reuse thing!

Then the rest was as simple as jeans, boots, and navy colored sweater he already owned and liked to wear. He was such a good sport this year he let me put facepaint on him too!!

Family Alice in Wonderland Costumes: The White Rabbit

We purchased a suit for Christmas for our son last year light tan in color and I knew it would work but wanted a dark blue vest and white or tan shirt luckily I had received a navy blue vest in a bag of infant clothes when he was 2 months old, size 3T. Again…how could I get so lucky?! The shirt and bow tie I found the same day at the thrift store the shirt was 94 cents and the bow tie was a little girls hair bow for 25 cents…the kind with the metal bracelets from when I was little back in the early 90’s I seen big oversized bow tie for a 2 year old!!

Next was a one dollar clip on rabbit tail department store and Dollar Tree bunny ears from Easter. Done and done! I was able to put makeup on him too but he didn’t like the smell and kept curling his nose and saying yucky! Then commenced to licking and wiping it from his face. It was cute while it lasted!! A small reusable grocery bag, box from cereal, clear packing tape, a print out of a pocket watch, some gold spray paint, and stapler and we had The White Rabbit a super cool looking candy bag and watch he could carry without dropping. Its all about the last extra thing to go from cool to fabulous! Everyone loved the pocket watch!!

Family Alice in Wonderland Costumes: Alice Costume

Next was my oldest daughter with the Alice-Um costume. This one was the most difficult by far. Hunting down a red prom style dress in September, not an easy feet, searched for weeks, finally found one I thought I could cut apart and make work with tons of skirts and tulle underneath, this dress was 4 dollars. Luckily we had the skirts in the girls closet but then came the difficult part, the black and white stripped number that went over the red dress. (Insert AHA moment here!) Dear husband had one in the closet that was too big for him now and hasn’t worn in over a year! So to cutting and seam ripping I went…. and buying tulle a total of 5 yards of black and red for both daughters’ costumes.

Originally I had stapled Um’s costume together but finally got one of my three sewing machines working so I was able to sew it together. It turned out much cuter than I originally thought it would. Cut top off plastic pumpkin candy holder glued back into circle spray painted gold and duct taped to the bottom of second black plastic pumpkin upside down. Printed out a Cheshire Cat face and glued mouth, nose and eyes to pumpkin. Then I cut bent and tapped a black swim noodle to the side of the pumpkin and abracadabra a Teacup for Um-Alice.

Teacup Alice Costume

Much to my dismay the day of Halloween Um decided that she wanted to be Teacup Alice instead because no-one at the Trunk or Treat or her friends Halloween party last week knew who she was. Oh the life of a crafty mother. (Insert dramatic sigh here.) Dress change time, she already had a blue dress, thank goodness! Took a layer of black tulle and put under bottom of dress added black and white ribbon to the top portion of the dress. A little more black and white tulle to wrap her arm where the Bandersnatch got her in the beginning of the movie and again, complete and happy. She was now Tea-Cup Alice. The one who emerged from The Hatter’s Teapot and rode on his hat brim.

Family Alice in Wonderland Costumes: The Red Queen Costume

Then the most monatonous of all the costumes my youngest daughter- The Red Queen. Her outfit was cut and paste from the get go. Her shirt was one that was too small for her to wear two years ago. I remembered 3 years ago I made her an Anna costume and the skirt had and awesome gold stripped bottom, found that hiding in a box in the basement cut a trapezoid out and hot glued to front of the shirt, took a scissor and cut the new neckline, that drove her crazy but it looked really cool.

Then came the red ribbon which I also cut and hot glued to the shirt. Next was the tulle skirt I hand made but didn’t like because it was not full enough. So I cut the under white portion out of an old dress put the tulle over it still didn’t like how it looked,then I remembered about the skirt I used to make the shirt grabbed that cut more off. I layered that skirt under and over the white portion re-added the tulle, it looked wonderful.

The Scepter

Next was the scepter made entirely of copper wire twisted and shaped into a heart. Then was the queen’s collar. That took me almost 5 hours to make look proper and taped it all together. Two decks of red cards hearts and diamonds only and a big headache later, collar complete. The crown was a cereal box cut and shapped, taped and glued, cut again, spray painted gold, red ribbon glued to the bottom to tie into hair.

The Watering Can

Final piece to this ensemble the watering can for the roses that were painted red. Purple water can spray painted gold printed picture of a painted half red, white rose and some tape. The Red Queen complete but not without a can of red hair spray and ton of make-up.

Family Alice in Wonderland Costumes: The Mad Hatter Costume

Finally was my costume the Mad Hatter. First things first the Mad hat!

Creating the Hat

I knew I had the perfect material, which happened to be the same material I used last year for a Maleficent as a child costume, a curtain. Then I shaped the hat out of cardboard, taped it in place cut it taped more cut more and made the top. The brim threw me off because I need this hat to be comfortable enough on my head with the height and weight and awkwardness of this hat. And I knew cardboard just wouldn’t cut it. (Insert AHA moment here.)

We bought felt cowboy hats from Walmart 2 years ago for the kids. They actually did not get used for what they were intended to be used for. But alas….no material left from the curtain, genius idea hits again. I still have one of these two curtains hanging in my living room, step stool and a scissor remedied this problem, I cut the valance piece from the curtain and it ended up being just enough fabric to cover the cowboy hat brim and no one even noticed there was anything thing different about the curtain in the living room. *Smiles* Hot glued top to the cowboy hat and I had the perfect color and shape for the hat.

Next that strange colored pinky peachy satiny ribbon bow tie wrapped on Johnny’s hat. Fabric remnant given to me from my Grandmother’s stash 8 years ago, long thick strip wrapped 3 times big bow in the back and done. Then ironically on the same weekend my oldest daughter brings home 4 peacock feathers from her friends farm and my MIL gives me 3 more. Just what this hat needed, and finally some long pearl headed pins and a piece of paper with the hat size. Complete.

The Rest of the Outfit

Dear husband had a lovely forest green button down in his closet I snatched it up. Took Maleficent costume from last year and cut it open right down the front middle and BOOM! Quick and easy vest. Took me two weekends of thrift shopping to find my coat and landed a plum velor short coat with very cool visible gold stitching and it fit me!! Score! 2 dollars-Double Score!! Already had a funky black pair of capri-ish length wide-leg black pants with organic doodles down one leg, so I found a black and purple pair of knee high socks at the thrift store for 25 cents!

I had an orange pair of hunting socks at home already so socks were complete. And I recently purchased a pair of brown heels for a wedding that worked perfectly with this costume. I had one black and pink finger less glove for my left hand and tied a handful of ribbons of sorts to a safety pin and pinned it to my pocket. Then I grabbed my own stash of thread for my 3 sewing machines and a skein of embroidery floss and threaded my spools to make the bandoleer of thread. To finish off this costume was a whole lot of crazy colored make up and a 50 cent scarf with jewel toned hues of green, blue, plum, and black in a bow. Now our family Alice in Wonderland costumes were complete!

Conclusions From our Family Alice in Wonderland Costumes

I love making instead of purchasing most anything pre-made. There is a satisfaction I get from it I guess. But I do have 5 more details to let you all in on.

First- the party DH’s mother was throwing, didn’t happen. But DH went along with dressing up anyway with our family Alice in Wonderland costumes for Halloween Trick-or- Treating.

Second-Total cost (only including the items I did not already have on hand) equated to $33.00 for all 5 of our costumes!!

Third- every other house we stopped at said we won the trophy for best costumes of the night.

Fourth- every time someone would ask who made our family Alice in Wonderland costumes, DH would tell them, “The Hatter did it.” Our girls would then chime in that, “The Hatter,” was mom.

Fifth- There was one thing that upset me about the whole evening. After we made it home with kids de-costumed, face and hair undone-washed away, and in bed last night I realized I had not taken a picture taken with them, my husband, one with the all the family Alice in Wonderland costumes together, or even me alone. I only got the kids, and the kids with Dear Husband. So after all my 2 months of hard work I wasn’t even documented. I was a The Mad Hatter Ghost of Halloween 2016. There’s always next year Momma!!! And the ideas for next year are already brewing in my head!!