DIY Plus Size Halloween Costumes

Crystal Schwanke
DIY fairy costume

Are you fresh out of DIY ideas for your plus size Halloween costume? How about turning yourself into a bubblegum machine, Rosie the Riveter, or even a bottle of pomegranate juice? Making your own costume could be easier than you think, and you can be as sexy or silly as you want because you're in complete control.

The Fairy

Want to be a fairy without using one of the costumes from the store? Fairy costumes are easy for any body type to pull off because, just like humans, fairies come in all shapes and sizes.

Supplies

You don't need much for a cute fairy costume like the one pictured above, but to get the DIY look you'll need:

  • A t-shirt in white or other favorite pastel shade
  • A matching tulle skirt
  • Black, white, or pastel tights in your size
  • Flats
  • Two clothes hangers
  • Two pairs of pastel or white tights (any size, but buy the largest size you can find if you have to go to the girls' section to find the right color)
  • Headband (elastic wraparound style is fine, as long as it's thin)
  • Silk flowers
  • Felt
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Optional: glitter glue or paint

Fairy Wing Instructions:

To make the wings:

  1. Stretch the hangers out and interlock the hooks in the middle, twisting the wires around each other.
  2. Cut a strip of the felt off to wrap around the pointed ends of the hangers where they're twisted together.
  3. Cut the legs off of one pair of the pastel or white tights and stretch one leg over each wire "wing."
  4. Tug the loose material toward the middle, wrap the ends around the center, and tie them to secure them.
  5. Cut the legs off of the second pair of pastel or white tights, wrap them around your shoulders like backpack straps and have a friend wrap the ends around the center of the wings and tie them into place.
  6. Decorate the wings with the glitter glue or paint, being careful to keep the surface under them covered with paper or cardboard.

How to Create the Headband

To make the headband:

  1. Remove the flowers from the stems.
  2. Cut felt ovals that are wide enough to poke out from either side of the headband when glued to the underside of the headband.
  3. Glue the ovals to the inside of the headband and then glue the felt tabs on either side of the headband to the undersides of the flowers. You can also glue the flowers directly to the headband (in addition to gluing them to the felt) to make them more secure. Cover the headband this way and allow the glue to dry before trying it on.

Put It All Together

To create your look, you'll just need to put on your shirt, skirt, tights, and flats, and then put the wings and headband in place. If you want to add any other additional touches, a sparkly bracelet and light makeup with pink lips and cheeks will work well with this costume.

The Bubblegum Machine

bubble gum machine costume

This is the perfect costume for playing up the curves of an apple shape.

Supplies

For this costume, you'll need:

  • A sleeveless red dress (this would work with a tank or halter style as long as the straps are wide enough to attach pom-poms to)
  • Two bags of pom-poms (roughly 500-600 pieces)
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Metallic duct tape (silver is best, with or without a subtle pattern)
  • Cardstock
  • Red plastic bowl
  • Ping pong ball
  • Simple headband you don't mind gluing something to and tossing later
  • Silver and black permanent markers

Create the Costume

Once you've gathered your materials, it's time to start putting it together.

  1. Hot glue pom-poms to the bodice of your dress.
  2. Spread the skirt out and apply the tape around the hem.
  3. Measure your waist and then take a piece of duct tape that's that length, plus about a foot (so you can tie it). Fold the tape in half, lengthwise. This is your belt.
  4. Cut a piece of cardstock that's about 5x7 inches, then cover the front with more of the duct tape.
  5. With the black permanent marker, write "25 cents" and draw a semi-circle where the gumballs could fall out.
  6. Glue the top edge of the cardstock to the inside of the belt, close to one end, making sure there's still room to tie the belt.
  7. Use the silver permanent marker to color the ping pong ball, then glue the ball to the middle of the bowl's bottom.
  8. Glue the bowl to the headband, face-down, so it looks like a hat or the top of a traditional bubblegum machine.

For a full step-by-step look at this costume, check out Sarah Estrada's blog.

Finish Off Your Costume Look

You can wear any shoes you'd like with this costume, but silver flats will complement the look. Finish off your costume look by pulling your hair back before you put on the hat and apply some red lipstick in a similar shade as your dress.

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter costume

Though there's nothing wrong with showing a little skin, that might not be something you're personally a fan of. Rosie's costume is perfect for the lady who wants to make a statement without showing her body.

Supplies

You may already have almost everything you need to turn yourself into Rosie the Riveter for the day:

  • Red tights or tall socks
  • Blue jeans (not jeggings) you can roll up at the bottom
  • Denim button-up with sleeves you can roll up
  • Red headscarf with white polka dots (check Etsy)
  • Red lipstick
  • Work shoes
  • Belt
  • Ponytail holder
  • Curling iron
  • Bobby pins
  • Hairspray

How to Make the Costume

The hardest part of this costume is getting the hair right. Everything else is as easy as getting dressed in the morning.

  1. Put your socks or tights on, then your jeans. Roll up the hems.
  2. Button your denim shirt, tuck it in, and then roll up the sleeves to just above the elbows.
  3. Fasten your belt and put on your shoes.
  4. Apply red lipstick and any other makeup you'd like to wear with your costume.
  5. Divide hair into two sections. Imagine a triangle at the top of your head. One point is at the crown and the other two are even with the arches of your brows, at the hairline. This section makes up your "bangs" that will be curled. All the other hair can go up into a high ponytail.
  6. Roll large sections of the ponytail around your index and middle fingers toward your head and then pin them in place. Repeat until all sections of the ponytail are pinned down (you should have four to six sections).
  7. If you already have short bangs, you can leave them as they are. If your hair is long and you don't have bangs, wrap the length of the hair around the barrel of a one-inch curling iron, unwrap, spray the underside, and then roll the hair back up with your fingers just like you rolled the sections of the ponytail, and pin them in place, slightly off-center. Spray again with hairspray.
  8. Tie the headscarf so the knot is at the top of your head and secure with bobby pins.

The Leprechaun

DIY leprechaun costume

Combine holidays by becoming a leprechaun for Halloween. This flirty dress shape flatters all body types.

Supplies

What you'll need:

  • A green A-line dress
  • Liquid Stitch™ Permanent Adhesive or other fabric glue
  • Ruffled white apron
  • Small shamrock stencil
  • Green fabric paint
  • Small paintbrush
  • Roll of thin green ribbon
  • Tape
  • Pencil to mark fabric
  • Ruler
  • Enough lace trim to line the dress' hem, sleeves, and neckline, plus anywhere on the apron you'd like to add a touch of lace
  • Sandals
  • Nursing hat like the OULII Nursing Hat (just over $5.00)
  • Large shamrock patch like the Cypress Collectibles option (around $5.00)
  • Large rhinestone (optional)

How to Make the Dress

Get started:

  1. Turn the dress inside-out and lay it flat to begin attaching the lace to the inside of the dress, along the hem, with a couple of inches of lace peeking out.
  2. Decide how far up you'd like the lace to be attached so that just the right amount shows along the bottom of the dress. Every few inches, measure from the bottom of the hem up to the point where you'd like to attach the upper edge of lace and make a light mark on the fabric. This will keep the lace straight all the way across the hem as you work.
  3. Starting at the back of the dress, attach the lace trim with the fabric glue.
  4. Repeat the steps for the sleeves and neckline. Measure your upper arms to make sure the lace length isn't less than that measurement, just to double-check that the lace won't cause problems with the fit of the final product.
  5. Tape the stencil to the apron and use green paint and paintbrush to add a shamrock to the fabric. Wait for it to dry, remove the stencil, and repeat until the whole apron (other than ruffles and straps) is covered in shamrocks. When painting, always start in the center of the shamrock and work your way out.
  6. Line the edges of the apron (against the ruffles, see image) with the thin green ribbon and fabric glue.

Hat Instructions

To make the hat:

  1. Pick up a plain nursing hat and use the stencil and paint just as you did on the apron. Allow the paint to dry.
  2. Iron or glue on a shamrock patch.
  3. Optional: Add a rhinestone to the center of the patch.

Top It Off

You don't need much to finish off this cute look. You can even just wear your hair down and wear natural everyday makeup though you could get creative and go with a green eye shadow if you wished. Strappy shoes are a great addition to the costume, but you could also easily wear this with flats.

The Bumblebee

DIY bumblebee costume

There may be other bumblebees buzzing around the party, but your DIY costume won't be just like the others. You get to flaunt your curves and show as much or as little skin as you want in this one.

Supplies

You'll need:

  • A black and yellow striped tank top
  • Yellow tulle skirt (you can purchase one for around $15.00 or make your own)
  • Black and yellow striped knee socks (if you can't find those, you can always add black tape to yellow socks)
  • A simple headband
  • Two large yellow pom-poms
  • Two yellow pipe cleaners
  • Craft glue
  • Pencil (optional)
  • A set of wings (if making your own, you'll need two wire hangers, two pairs of ladies' black tights, a scrap of black felt or other fabric, and gold glitter glue or paint)

Headband Instructions

To make the headband:

  1. Glue one pom-pom to the end of each pipe cleaner.
  2. If you want curly antennae, wrap a pipe cleaner around the pencil, then remove the pencil from the center. Repeat on the other pipe cleaner.
  3. Wrap the other ends of the pipe cleaners around the headband, each one a few inches left or right of center, then wrap the end back up and around the pipe cleaner. You can also glue them in place for extra security.

Create Your Top and Wings

If you can't find the black and yellow striped top, you can make your own by:

  1. Laying a yellow or black shirt flat with cardboard between the front and back.
  2. Using tape to block off stripes.
  3. Using fabric spray paint in yellow or black to fill in the areas between the tape.
  4. Letting the paint dry before removing the tape.

You could also use this method on the socks if you have leftover paint.

To make the wings:

  1. Stretch each hanger into a wing shape, keeping in mind that the hooks will be connected in the center.
  2. Once you're sure the two hangers are stretched into about the same shape, link the hooks together and twist the metal together to secure. Wrap a piece of felt or other black fabric around the sharp points and glue into place.
  3. Cut the legs off one pair of tights and stretch one leg over each wing, taking any excess fabric in toward the middle, wrapping it around the center (where the wings meet) and tying it into place.
  4. Cut the legs off the other pair of tights and turn them into straps that will hold your wings on by wrapping them around your shoulders and back toward the wings. You'll want the straps to feel secure but not tight. Someone may have to help you with this part. Wrap the excess length of the tights around the center and then tie them into place.
  5. Decorate your wings with the gold glitter glue or paint, making sure to protect whatever is under them. Let them dry thoroughly.

Finishing Touches

For your finished look, you can wear skin-colored tights if it's chilly or if you don't want to show as much skin. The cute black flats you probably already have in your closet would work well with this costume, and you can do your makeup as naturally or as dramatically as you want. If you're in the mood for bold eyeliner, it's a perfect complement to the bee's stripes.

The Pomegranate Juice

POM juice costume

If you've got an hourglass shape thanks to a large bust and a curvy lower half, you need to make this costume and show off that gorgeous shape with confidence. You probably won't run into another of POM pomegranate juice at a Halloween party, either.

Supplies

You'll need:

  • A burgundy bodycon dress
  • Black tights
  • White and bright red fabric paint or markers
  • One bright red and three white pieces of felt (optional)
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Burgundy shoes (black will work too)
  • A bottle or picture of POM pomegranate juice for nutrition facts and design inspiration
  • Roll of corrugated cardboard, about six inches wide
  • Poster board
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Burgundy craft or acrylic paint
  • White paint pen
  • Paintbrush
  • Simple headband
  • Red wig (optional)

Create the Dress

How to make the costume:

  1. Use a pencil to outline the P, M, and hearts (red slightly smaller than white) on felt or directly onto the dress.
  2. If you drew the letters on felt, cut them out and glue them to the front of the dress, at chest level (you may wish to put the dress on and mark where you want the letters to go). If you drew them directly onto the dress, fill the P, M, and outer heart in with white fabric paint. Then carefully fill in the smaller heart with red. Be sure to slip something into the dress to keep the front and back separated to keep the glue and paint from bleeding through to the back.
  3. Use the red and white fabric paint or markers to write the rest of the wording from the POM bottle on the front of the dress.
  4. While you're waiting for the front of the dress to dry, make the headband/cap.

How to Make the Cap

  1. Unroll the corrugated cardboard and arrange it in a circle on the poster board. You can customize the size to fit your head and preferences, but a circle with about an eight-inch diameter is a good starting point. Once you're satisfied with the size of the circle, cut that section of corrugated cardboard off of the roll (be sure to add enough extra to the end so that you can overlap the ends and glue them into place).
  2. Overlap the ends of the corrugated cardboard and glue them together. Once the glue is dry, use it to trace two circles along its outside onto the poster board and cut those out.
  3. Use the craft or acrylic paint to cover the outside of the corrugated cardboard circle and one side of each of the poster board circles.
  4. Write the wording from the POM cap on one of the circles using the white paint pen once the circles are dry.
  5. Once all the components of the hat are dry, glue the circles over the openings in the corrugated cardboard circle, red sides facing out.
  6. Wait until the glue has hardened on the cap and then glue it to the headband and allow it to dry.
  7. When the paint on the front of the dress is dry, flip it over and draw the barcode, nutrition facts panel, and other details with the fabric paint or markers. You may wish to put something inside the dress, like a pillow, to fill it out while you write so you can get an idea of how it will look once it's on your body. Be sure to put a protective layer between the dress and whatever you put inside of it, however, because the paint could bleed through.

For more images and information, visit Cat Can Craft's Facebook page.

The Finished Look

For the finished look, you can top it off with a red wig or use temporary hair color or spray if you wish. Once you've put on your dress, tights, and cap, you can get a little creative with makeup if you like and wear a deep burgundy lip color and bold eye makeup. You may even want to carry the juice as an accessory!

Celebrate Your Creativity

DIY costume ideas are a wonderful starting point but don't feel like you have to follow the guidelines perfectly. Feel free to make improvements, make the costumes more suited to your preferences or personality, or even combine them with other costume ideas for something new and unique. If you discover a shortcut to one or more of the steps, even better. Don't forget to show off your hard work and creativity whenever you get the chance.

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DIY Plus Size Halloween Costumes