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Elf on a Shelf DIY Illusion Costume

I made this DIY illusion costume for my daughter. I always enjoy trying to come up with unique costumes for Halloween but this year winning the school Halloween Fun Fair Costume Contest was all my daughter could talk about. It had to be GOOD and it had to be different!

After numerous hours of searching the internet I came across an Elf on the Shelf costume and since my daughter loves her elf it was a GO! Boy did we go all out!

Elf DIY Illusion Costume Instructions

  • I began with red leggings and a turtle neck from Target with a red Santa hat.
  • Then I purchased a yard of white felt and found a DIY circle skirt YouTube video, and in about 10 minutes we had the beginning of the elf skirt.
  • Of course I don’t sew so I loaded up the hot glue gun and went to work.
  • We bought some red, sparkle snowflake ornaments at the dollar store and glued them on the skirt.
  • Then I made half of a skirt, only I folded the material twice instead of 4 times. This was the skirt that we attached to the fireplace.
  • The mittens were made by tracing a pair of adult mittens and then adding about 1/2 inch for gluing them together. I got a pattern for the white collar from the Elf on the Shelf website. It was super easy to just print out the template and create.

Then came the challenging part. How to make a fireplace that she could move but it didn’t look like it was attached to her. I racked my brain for days and then decided to just go for it.

Fireplace Instructions

  • I got some 2 x 2 x 8 wood at Home Depot, some wheels, some L brackets and sheet rock screws.
  • I built a frame which was just the right height so that when my daughter had it in front of her, it came to just below her waist.
  • I purchased a fake brick backdrop from Amazon and cut out enough to cover the cardboard, leaving a black painted square in the center for the fire.
  • I then stapled the cardboard to the frame.
  • The mantle of the fireplace was the cardboard box that the backdrop came in (PERFECT) which sat on top of the frame.
  • My daughter and I covered it with brown duct tape to give the wood look.
  • Then I cut out a space so that my daughter could slide into the mantle and wheel her fireplace around.

Next came the fun part, decorating the fireplace.

  • We bought some green garland and a string of battery operated lights to hang around the mantle, two battery operated window candles, two stockings, and we wrapped some empty boxes for presents.
  • My daughter covered some toilet paper and paper towel rolls with brown duct tape and cut some orange and yellow paper to create the logs and the flames for the fire.
  • She put orange and yellow glitter on the flames for some added shine.
  • We bought an extra pair of red leggings, stuffed them and attached some stuffed red socks to them.
  • The leggings were stapled behind the backside of the mantle where the cut out was.
  • Then we attached the half skirt to the mantle (all of this was done with hot glue).  IT WAS AMAZING!!!

Everyone came running up to my daughter as soon as she arrived. They LOVED IT!

I honestly got tricked more than once when I looked at my daughter. I thought she was actually sitting on the mantle and I yelled at her saying it was only cardboard and she was going to ruin her costume. LOL!

My daughter won BEST IN SHOW, the top prize and was extremely happy!

The nice part was she didn’t have to take the fireplace with her during the entire Halloween Fun Fair. There was no way it was making its way through the haunted house, so she was able to “park the fireplace” and she still had the elf costume on. Plus, she used the stockings as her treat bag.

This DIY illusion costume was so much fun to make and it was so rewarding to hear all the comments from parents, teachers and my daughter’s friends! It was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!

People are still coming up to me and commenting on how creative and amazing the costume was.

Coolest Homemade Costume Contest 2023