This was one of our biggest hits on the courts and it was super easy to make.
The girls costume on the left was actually purchased but the one on the right was handmade and they both look great. You start with a plain red dress from a thrift shop. Cut the top and bottom off so that you are left essentially with a simple piece of red cloth. We’ve found that it’s usually cheaper to buy clothes from the thrift shop and cut them to use for fabric than it is to buy the fabric from walmart or some other store. Hot glue the feathery ribbon to the top and bottom. You can make the belt by using a 1-3″ thick strip of black t-shirt material. To cut the t-shirt lay it out flat and then cut a piece from the bottom seam up. Your black fabric should end up in one piece. Then hot glue it to the dress. Accessorize the belt with yellow pipe cleaners in the shape of belt buckles.
The same principle was used for the belts on the elf’s shirts. We started with plain green t-shirts then created the belts as mentioned above. Buttons were made from yellow poof balls from the craft store. Santa hats were purchased from the dollar tree. We hot glued ribbon onto the arm bands. Be careful not to make these too tight or else they will lose mobility.
For the neck collars and the elf shoes, we actually found a pair of red velours pants at the thrift store that we used to make all of those. Using the pant legs, we cut 8-10″ segments (fabric remains in one piece and creates a circle). These became the neck collars. Starting from one side, start to cut triangles of the red fabric but don’t go all the way to the end. This should be hot glued to the collar but you want to make sure that you are stretching the collar as you are hot gluing it; otherwise the person will not be able to get it to go over their head. Think about it…when you put a t-shirt one, the opening stretches over your head. So stretch the neck as you hot glue.
To make the shoes, we were actually able to use the same pair of velour pants. We used a basic elf shoe pattern and then traced it onto the fabric from the pant leg (remember its double thickness so you will end up with two identical prints). After you’ve traced it and cut it out, you will end up with two pieces of fabric. Glue the pieces together for the back of the heel and along the top. You should not glue the bottom together and you need to leave a space for the foot to slip into. Essentially the idea is that you are making a slipper sock that would fit over a pair of tennis shoes but still leave the bottom of the tennis shoe exposed.
Santa’s beard was made using cotton balls glued onto paper and then tied with an elastic band.
You can read about our special volleyball group costuming tradition on my Author page…