When our children were babies, we did animal themed store bought group costumes, ducks for their first Halloween and raccoons for their second. Since then, we have been doing DIY group costumes with a literary theme. The next two costumes were nursery rhymes, Little Bo Peep and her Sheep followed by Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat and the Fiddle. Then, we started doing book inspired costumes. The first one was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle followed by The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Last year, we did The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Narnia inspired Costumes. This year, we did DIY Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Inspired Group Costumes. You can read specifics on the posts linked above, but in general, I make their costumes and add some store bought elements.
Each year, starting with the nursery rhyme themes, we have been fortunate to have Mia of Mia Z Photography, a professional photographer and mother of twins photograph our children’s costumes. The costumes require a lot of work so I love having them documented by a talented professional photographer. That way, I look back and decide to be crazy all over again the next year and make more costumes. I usually question this decision somewhere in the middle or end of the DIY process! All images in this post were done by Mia.
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The first image is a group shot featuring characters inspired by Violette Beauregarde, Willy Wonka, Grandpa Joe and an Oompa Loompa.
Here is our Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired costume. I made the jacket in stretch velvet by modifying a girls’ coat pattern by adding lapels to look like a men’s dress coat. I used a boy’s vest pattern with floral fabric. We purchased this hat online after not finding one that looked right at stores. He is wearing a long sleeve white dress shirt and black pants that we already had. I intended to make his bow tie, but as time started running out, I purchased this one instead.
Next is our blueberry girl, Violette Beauregarde inspired costume. I purchased the brown hair version of this wig and this face paint set and then made the dress using blue fabric which I fit around this inflatable which I bought and covered the bumps with duct tape to smooth it out. This can later be converted to the intended use by removing the tape. I wrapped blue fabric around the inflatable while she was wearing it to measure size and then sewed a side seam on my machine. I marked arm holes, made slits and then used a long sleeve pattern to add sleeves to the dress. I used elastic to make a gathered neckline. I used red ribbon and a belt buckle for the belt. I sewed three gold buttons in the front above the belt. They are hard to see in these images. I hemmed the bottom of the dress.
The next image is of our Grandpa Joe inspired costume. The hair is a little wackier than I originally intended, but it ended up working out all right as the character is a bit disheveled. The hair was this wig, considerably trimmed and this bald cap cut and hot glued together. One eyebrow got lost from this set and the mustache looked more like Groucho Marx so I picked up a set of “old man” eyebrows and mustache from Party City. I made the costume using a large men’s dress shirt I found at a local thrift shop. I modified it to make it into a men’s night gown. He wore this with children’s slippers in a men’s style.
I made our Oompa Loompa inspired costume using this shirt as a base. I wanted to be able to reuse the shirt after Halloween for every day wear, so I did not sew the neck or arm bands to it. I used stretch knit brown and white striped fabric for the neck band, arm bands, socks and ‘poofs’ for the shoes. I made the pants using white denim. You cannot see it well in the photo but the legs have the triangular shape on the sides similar to the shape of the pants in the movie. I made my own pattern for these pants with the triangular part on the sides in mind. I used pants that fit him as a guide and made these much wider. I made straps and sewed them on and added two buttonholes with the sewing machine. I bought this wig online and used bobby pins to secure the parts that tended to come loose. I used the same face paint kit that I used for Violette’s blueberry face. On Halloween, he sang the Oompa Loompa song to all he encountered which made people laugh.