By: Tamison Rose, as told to Laura Young
Age: 3 and up
Parental supervision is recommended
Corner the market on cuteness with this ladybug kids' costume. A simple enough craft that kids won't have to 'bug' you too much to get it done—makes a great costume for kids appearing in school or church plays.
Discover more easy ideas for outfits -- from spooky to sweet -- in our homemade Halloween costume gallery.
What you'll need:
- Black leotard or turtleneck (long-sleeved)
- Black leggings or sweatpants
- 2 red chenille stems
- 2 wooden beads
- Headband (hard plastic)
- Red poster board
- Black glitter foam (sticky-back)
- Black duct tape
- Pair of black pantyhose
- 2 paper towel rolls and 4 toilet paper rolls
- 2 sheets stiff black felt 11" x 17"
- Piece of cardboard (similar to what comes w/a new shirt)
- 2 12- to 16-inch pieces of fishing line
- Pair of extra large clothing hooks (about 1")
- Pen or pencil
- Black sticky-back felt or a black magic marker (optional)
How to make it:
- Dress the child in a black (long-sleeved) leotard or turtleneck with black leggings or sweatpants.
- For the antennae, wrap two pipe cleaners around a stiff plastic headband. Thread a wooden bead on the end of each "antenna" and curl pipe cleaner around bead. (See photo.)
- For the ladybug shell, cut the full sheet of poster board into a wide oval. To make the ladybug's spots, cut circles out of black sticky-back glitter foam and stick them onto the poster board in a symmetric pattern.
- Cut a narrow triangle at the bottom of the shell to differentiate the wings. Cut perpendicular "darts" around the edge of the shell, overlap the resulting edges and glue them in place to give the shell dimension. (See photos 1, 2.)
- Strengthen the shell by applying black duct tape all the way around the outside edge. (See photo.)
- For the ladybug's extra "legs," trim the two paper towel roles so they are only 8" long. (See photo.)
- Tie knots at the ends of both feet of the pantyhose. (See photo.)
- Insert one toilet paper roll into black pantyhose, pushing it all the way down to the knot you made. Tie a loose knot in the pantyhose and then add the paper towel roll. Tie another loose knot and then add a second toilet paper roll and tie closed. (See photo.)
- To create the ladybug body, stuff one end of the stiff black felt into the waist of the pantyhose and secure the nylons in place with staples or safety pins. Cut an opening into the felt that is large enough for your child's head to fit through. The opening should be located about one quarter to one third of the way down the length of the piece. (See photo.)
- Cut the second piece of stiff felt into an oval breastplate, and cut half circles to indicate where each of the ladybug's six legs begin. Glue the oval breastplate onto the short side of the felt with the hole for the child's head. Reinforce the glue with staples. (See photo.)
- Attach extra large hooks on the inside of the breastplate. After the child puts on the costume, hook the first knot of the extra "legs" into the hook to keep the front and back of the costume together. Reinforce with black duct tape if necessary. (See photo.)
- To mount the shell: Prepare the cardboard mounting plate. (See pattern.) Glue the wide end of the plate onto the inside of the ladybug shell. Allow glue to dry. Glue and staple the other end of the mounting plate onto the stiff felt on the end opposite the breastplate. (See photo.)
- Take a piece of wide elastic or fabric and tie or safety pin it to your child's wrist. Tie one end of the 12 to 16-inch piece of fishing line between the toilet roll and the paper towel roll and tie the other end to the elastic on your child's wrist, so that when they raise their arms, the legs spread out. Do the same for the other arm.
- This idea could also be modified to make dragonflies, house flies, bumblebees and other bugs using other colors of poster board and making an appropriately-shaped pattern to transfer onto the poster board.
- We attached black sticky-back felt to the mounting plate to make it less visible. Construction paper or marker would also suffice.