With the Queen’s Official birthday just around the corner, start planning now for some right royal fun. And you don’t have to stop at kids costumes, we’ve got more ideas to help you turn your home into a palace – if only for one day!
Read on for ideas for DIY royal fancy dress kids will love.
Most of our royal costumes can be made for free from things you'll find at home. Gather together some bits that the children can use to give them good costume ideas. Royal folk need a cape – so tablecloths, sheets, decorated bin bags and towels. Any jewellery that can be used for tiaras, chains, medals and fancy brooches. Ribbons for sashes. Long socks for boys to tuck their trousers into, silver and gold paint and card to make buckles for shoes. Any craft materials, spare bits of material, long skirts, shirts and so on.
A Royal Throne
Every king or queen needs a throne. How fancy it is depends on time, materials and patience! The simplest way to make one is to throw a fancy piece of material or a throw over an ordinary chair – something in a rich red velvet would be perfect. If you want to go a step further, add a high back to an ordinary dining chair by attaching a longer piece of cardboard to the back of a dining chair. Paint in gold or silver and cut a decorative edge along the top.
If you are feeling very creative and have a lot of time to spare, this tutorial takes you through making a whole throne out cardboard. Good for inspiration on how a throne should look.
Are you a Game of Thrones fan? You can create your very own throne from the TV show, by cutting out lots of sword shapes from cardboard, painting silver, with some grey shading to make them look 3D, then arranging them in a fan across the back of a garden chair. You’ll probably need to use a glue gun to keep them in place, so use a cheap plastic garden chair if you have one. Then arrange more of the swords around the seat and arms.
Coat Of Arms
Every royal family should have a coat of arms. For an easy DIY version, cut out a shield shape and divide into four using some washi tape or markers. On each quarter of the coat of arms, choose a symbol that relates to your child or family – it might be something that your child likes – an animal such as a cat or tiger, the initial of your surname or first name, a favourite sport, favourite food or the year you were born. If you want to make it more authentic, get the children to do some research into your family history and heraldic symbols such as lions, crowns, bees and boars.
King For The Day
A cape is a must when you dress up as a king. A king costume must also have some ermine edging. Make your own by sticking cotton wool along the edges of the cape. Paint on some black splodges to copy the pattern of real ermine.
To make a medieval shirt for a boys' king costume, cut down the middle of a t-shirt from the neck down to about the elbows, then use string or ribbon to lace it up.
Kings look regal in knickerbockers like those worn by Henry VIII. Simply tuck a pair of baggy trousers into the top of some football socks to get the right effect. Make a garter to tie around the socks using some ribbon or tape. Make your king a sceptre out of a broom handle or garden stick, or a shorter one from a wooden spoon. Decorate the top with a ball, such as a ping pong ball or tennis ball, which can be painted and decorated.
Queen For The Day
To create a queen's fancy dress outfit, you will need a long dress or skirt, a cape if you can make one, and lots of jewellery. Make a sash out of some wide ribbon and pin or glue on some medals – spray card circles gold and attach a ribbon bow to hang them from.
If you want to emulate Queen Elizabeth 1, the most important part of the costume is an Elizabethan ruff – remember the bigger the ruff, the more important you are! You’ll need a really long piece of paper (cut from the roll of wrapping paper maybe). Pleat the paper by folding it one way and then the other. When you get to the end, punch a hole right through the side with the folded edge and then string through some ribbon or yarn to pull it into a circle. Tie around the neck. Watch this video for more detailed instructions. Older children can use a similar process to sew a ruff using a piece of wide ribbon or material – check out the instructions here.
Disney has some fabulous queens. The first one that springs to mind is, of course, Queen Elsa. Long blonde hair needs to be tied into a loose plait, and Elsa always wears a dress in icy blue. Cut out some snowflakes from pieces of white paper, card or material to decorate her clothes. Find lots of pattern ideas here.
The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland should have red hair, and a white face, with a red heart drawn over the centre of her lips. Make a stand-up collar from playing cards and add lots of red card hearts to the outfit, which should be black, red and white. This is a simple design to copy.
The Queen of Hearts is pretty bad, but if you want to up the evil stakes, the costume for the Evil Queen from Snow White will need a black cape, purple dress, tied around the middle with some braid or a curtain tie. She also sports some wicked arched eyebrows and a white stand-up collar – you could use a similar method to the Elizabethan ruff to recreate the effect. Remember to wrap a black scarf around the neck and over the hairline – or pop on a black top with a hood - to complete the effect.
There are plenty of Disney princesses to choose from as well. To dress up as Ariel, the mermaid daughter of King Triton, cut out some scale shapes from material, tissue paper or shiny wrapping paper if you have it, and glue or sew to an existing skirt, overlapping them to look like fish scales. Shades of blue, green and silver will look fantastic.
Boys can be Cinderella’s Prince Charming. They’ll need a white shirt with a belt in red or black. Red trousers with some gold braid down the sides. Or dress then in leggings with black wellies to look like riding boots. Prince Charming also wears epaulettes – red ovals stuck or sewn to the tops of the shirt shoulders, with gold braid, ribbon, or small lengths of wood stuck or sewn around the edges. Use a gold permanent marker to draw the gold braid pattern across the front of the shirt.
If you’re thinking outside the box how about dressing up in a Lion King costume! For a simple costume, take a red/orange/brown hoodie or onesie with a hood, and glue or sew strips of orange, red and yellow material or paper around the hood to look like a mane. Fashion a tale by plaiting together some wool or cut a strip of fake fur.
Mum of one teenage boy, near Leighton Buzzard, Beds. Born and raised in the Home Counties, Naomi has explored much of London, along with Beds, Herts and Bucks, with her son and husband. When she’s not driving to various skateparks around the UK, Naomi loves finding somewhere new to explore or a new activity they can all try.