Archive for the ‘Childrens Fancy Dress’

Great DIY Christmas Outfits Comments Off

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

Great DIY Christmas Outfits

Holidays are coming…

Still not got your Christmas outfit sorted? Running out of time and money in the run-up to the Christmas party? Fret not! We have some great suggestions here for how to get your Christmas outfit sorted!


Find some wire pipe cleaners and fashion them into a circle for your halo. You can add fluff/glitter/whatever if you like.  Make another circle of pipe cleaners to fix to your head, and use one straight between the two to make the halo stand just above your head.

For your wings, cut out wing shapes from a piece of cardboard (tip: fold the cardboard in half and draw/cut out the wing shape; then you’ll have two the same size and shape). To make them look more angelic, you can cover them in folded coffee filters (unused!), or white material, tinsel, net curtain, whatever you can get your hands on.

For the main outfit, all you really need is to be dressed in white and/or silver. If you don’t have anything suitably angelic, wear the lightest colours you have, then wear one of your gran’s net curtains as a poncho.

Job done!

Father Christmas/Mrs Christmas

This one might be a little more tricky, if you’re not the sort of person who wears a lot of red. For the men, you want red trousers and a red jacket or jumper. For women, a red skirt with red jacket or jumper. You can possibly get away with wearing black trousers/skirt, but you will need to dress it up more so that people know who you’re supposed to be!

For the beard – cut out your basic beard shape in paper or thin card, and add elastic to attach it to your head… then cover it with cotton wool.

Trim the rest of your outfit in cotton wool – along the bottoms of the trousers or skirt, down seams, along the edges of the jacket or jumper.

Find a red bobble hat (steal one from your son/daughter/brother/sister/niece/nephew if you don’t have one) and trim it with cotton wool, then cover the bobble in cotton wool too.

Christmas Tree

This one is the most fun to do! You’ll need two large sheets of cardboard. Cut them both into a large Christmas tree shape – large enough to go from above your head to your knees, or there abouts.

Paint the entire thing green.

Cut the top triangle shape off the trees. Make a head band from a strip of cardboard and stick the tree tops to either side. This will be your hat and the top of the tree.

Now decorate the entire tree – either with real tinsel and baubles, or amazingly artistic, painted ones. Don’t forget to have a star or angel on the top!

Get two more strips of cardboard to use as shoulder straps, and attach to either side of the top of the main tree. You might want to use a couple more further down, to make the tree more secure on you and less likely to wobble about.

Now all you need is a green top underneath (you can also wrap tinsel around your arms if you like), and brown tights or trousers to be the trunk.

Christmas Present

Again with the cardboard boxes! This one is super easy and requires zero creative spirit. Find yourself a large, square cardboard box. It needs to be reasonably sturdy; removal boxes are good for this.

Cut the top flaps off your box, and turn it upside down. Cut a hole in the bottom large enough to fit your head through comfortably, and a hole in each side for your arms. You might also want to put cardboard shoulder straps inside of the box to make it more secure when you’re wearing it.

Now all you need to do is get some of your favourite wrapping paper, and wrap the present up! Don’t forget to leave the bottom open so that you can get the box on!

Finish your outfit with a ribbon around the box – and a matching one in your hair!

Other great ideas

If you’re not in the mood for a full-on Christmas outfit, you could cover a dress or jacket in those bows you get for presents (you can get massive bags of them in discount shops at this time of year).

Or, if you have an old fake Christmas tree hanging about at home, liberate some of its branches and use them to make yourself a skirt!


Of course, if you’re not feeling the slightest bit crafty, you could just look at our fantastic Christmas fancy dress section and buy yourself a ready-made outfit with minimal effort required!

5 of the Best Children’s Novels Comments Off

Posted on November 10, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

Best Children's Novels



November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. People all over the world commit to writing a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. That’s a lot of words, isn’t it! We love the idea of writers everywhere creating new works, on a plethora of different subjects.

In celebration of NaNoWriMo, here are our 5 favourite children’s novels:

1. Harry Potter

We tried – and failed – to pick a favourite out of the Harry Potter books. With the massive success of the films that became a global sensation, and now the Harry Potter studio tours, it’s easy to forget the story of Harry fighting He Who Shall Not Be Named, whilst undergoing exciting adventures with Hermione, Ron and numerous others, began as a series of children’s novels. And cracking novels they are, too – they were eventually released with more “adult” covers so that people reading them on the Tube wouldn’t look like they were reading a kids’ book!

2. Watership Down

The 1978 film of this has been popular for over 30 years – but as is always the case, the book is so much better! It’s not one for young children, but it’s a timeless classic. Published in 1972, this is one of those fantastic books that really stands the test of time. Would you believe, this was Richard Adams’ first novel too?

3. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

This is yet another children’s book that’s just as popular with adults. This is the truly heartbreaking tale of a 9 year old boy named Bruno growing up in World War II Berlin. His family are moved to live at “Out-With” after a visit from “the Fury” and Bruno sets about exploring his new surroundings. Here, he meets a young boy named Shmuel, who lives on the other side of a tall, barbed wire fence. This is another one for older children, given that “Out-With” is actually Auschwitz. It’s truly heartbreaking, but a fantastic read that has sold millions worldwide since its release in 2006.

4. The Hunger Games

This book has also been made into a set of massively successful Hollywood blockbusters, the latest instalment of which is released this week. As we’ve said before though, the book is always better! There are three novels in the Hunger Games franchise, set in the Hunger Games universe where every year, children are chosen to participate in a compulsory annual televised death match. As we’re beginning to see, the sign of a fantastic children’s novel is when it’s picked up by the parents too! The Hunger Games books are a fantastic read, and the movies are bringing them to an even wider audience.  This story ticks all the boxes: romance, fantasy, fighting, rebellion against the authorities. A sure-fire winner with tweens and teens everywhere!

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

This is a brilliant mystery novel – but probably not the type you are familiar with. You might recognise the title from a Sherlock Holmes story… or you might not. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t get the reference – this story is a great read, either way. Another hugely successful and popular first book, this has won a host of awards – and reading just the first chapter will tell you why. This isn’t just a fantastic read; it’s a great way of understanding Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Although the book’s protagonist describes himself as “a mathematician with some behavioural difficulties,” the book jacket refers to Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. The best way to help a child understand something like this is to have them read a story from that person’s perspective – and that’s what this book does so well. It doesn’t shove the issue down the reader’s throat, but can help to foster understanding of a condition most adults can’t grasp.


We love reading here at Fancy Dress Ball. Books can be so fantastic for children’s learning and understanding. More importantly though, the characters of children’s books are so much more fun to dress up as! And if there’s one thing we love, it’s fancy dress!

World Animal Day, October 4th Comments Off

Posted on October 01, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball



October 4th is World Animal Day. 

World Animal Day began in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence. It’s a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4th is the feast day of St Francis of Assissi, the patron saint of animals. World Animal Day has become a day for paying tribute to all animals, and those who love and respect them.

Every country celebrates World Animal Day in different ways, but it has nothing to do with politics, religion  or nationality. Rather, it is a universal celebration that transcends normal boundaries.

There are all sorts of celebrations going on, but why not have your own? This can be a great opportunity for teaching children about endangered species and how important it can be to protect them – but to have fun as well! There are lots of great ways to celebrate but obviously, the best is to indulge in some fantastic animal fancy dress! Fancy dress is a great way for both children and adults to celebrate, but it can also be educational.

Half of the world’s animals are declining in population and more than a third are probably facing extinction. The first stage in reversing this worrying trend is to learn about these animals, and what threatens them.

Here are some interesting animal facts:

  • The gender of sea turtle eggs is determined by temperature – so global warming will upset the natural gender balance.
  • Houseflies hum in the key of F
  • Ostriches can run faster than horses
  • If you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground, it can’t hop
  • No two tigers have the same stripes. Their skin is also stripy!
  • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear!
  • Elephants can smell water from up to 3 miles away.
  • There are one million ants for every human in the world.
  • Oysters are able to change gender depending on which is better for mating.
  • Butterflies can only see the colours red, green and yellow.
  • Giraffes have no vocal chords.
  • A dog’s nose print as unique as a human finger print.
  • Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

Lots of zoos and animal sanctuaries will have events for World Animal Day. There are all sorts of special activities, trails and talks organised all over the world. Why not contact your local animal attraction and see what they have planned?

European Day of Languages Comments Off

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball


September 26th is the European Day of Languages. There are over 6000 languages spoken in the world, and behind each one lies a rich and diverse culture. The European Day of Languages aims to celebrate this worldwide diversity, showing people across Europe how important languages are, and how fun and enriching it can be to learn a new one.


Most of us learned French at school; it is the country closest to us, and the 18th most spoken language in the world. Learning French gives children a taste of a language that is not too complicated to learn, and the opportunity to visit our closest European neighbours.  There are many languages in the world that are more widely spoken.

Chinese is the world’s most widely spoken language, with 955 million native speakers – but arguably, if you’re not planning a trip to China any time soon, it might not be of much use to you. Spanish is second most widely spoken, and as well as being the main language of Spain, there are also native speakers in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, parts of the United States, Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and many more places. Learning Spanish can give you a real advantage in the modern world.

But what if you’re not interested in learning to gain an advantage; what if you’re studying for fun? In that case, why not try Russian (which also involves learning a whole new alphabet), or perhaps Tagalog, the language of the Philippines? Learning a new language can be really interesting and fulfilling as a hobby. Once you’ve learned some of the language, you can visit the country to try out what you’ve learned. You can learn about the culture, about the country’s history and about the people’s day to day lives.

Because their brains are still developing, children are usually better able to pick up new languages – the younger the better! If you have children, why not celebrate European Day of Languages by learning some key words and phrases from different languages? You could make it fun by allowing the child to choose a word, and then look up its meaning in lots of different languages – how many languages can you find?

Here are a few to get you started:

French: Bonjour
German: Hallo
Spanish: Hola
Swedish: Halla
Finnish: Hei
Africaans: Haai
Croatian: Bok
Swahili: Habari

You could learn about the country and maybe dress up in their national dress and cook some of their traditional food. It’s fun for all ages to explore different cultures and languages. Many languages have words that don’t even exist in English, for example the German word schadenfreude, meaning taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune; or perhaps the Danish word for skimming stones, plimpplampplettere. Looking for these words can be great fun and very enlightening!



Have a Fabulous Alphabet Party, From A to Z! Comments Off

Posted on July 28, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

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Alphabet parties are  all the rage at the moment.

Whether you choose B because your name is Brian, or G because your name is Xavier and  nobody will come dressed as a xylophone,  a letter is a great way to inspire people to use their imaginations and come up with fabulous fancy dress ideas.

Of course, with an alphabet-themed party, everyone will be singing ABC-related songs… this one is our favourite at the moment:

A Grade “A” Party

A is a very popular letter for a party theme – because there are so many great ideas!

Here are a few…

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A-Grade Music

If you’re having an A-themed party, you will need to think of musicians beginning with A. Here are a few:

  • Abba (durr, obviously)
  • ABC (this band are good for ALL alphabet parties!)
  • AC/DC
  • A-Ha
  • Peter Andre (don’t pretend you don’t know any of his songs)

A Zed-Tastic Celebration

You might think there aren’t many costumes beginning with Z… really though, you just have to think a little more creatively.

Why not challenge your guests…

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Zedtabulous Music

Can’t think of any musical acts beginning with Z? Fret not; we have inspiration for you right here!

  • ZZ Top (obviously!)
  • Zero 7
  • The Zombies
  • Frank Zappa (oh yeah!)
  • The Zutons

If you’re planning an alphabet-themed party, don’t forget to check out our website for some great ideas!

If You Go Down To The Woods Today… Comments Off

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

You’re in for a big surprise!

18th June was International Picnic Day, in the middle of what has been National Picnic Week. Summer is the perfect time for a teddy bears’ picnic party, especially with the lovely weather we’ve had lately! Here’s our guide to the best teddy bears’ picnic ever!

Fisher Price teddy bears picnic

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Food


teddy bear sandwiches

If you’ve a teddy bear biscuit cutter, you don’t need to stick to using it for biscuits! Why not cut up sandwiches into teddy bear shapes too!

Teddy Bears Picnic Car cakes

We love these adorable little teddy bear cars; they look really simple to make as well!

teddy bear picnic paw prints

How fabulous are these! You could make them with Wagon Wheels and white icing. Simple! (just make sure you bring along plenty of baby wipes)

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Costumes

 Of course, the children will want to be in bear costumes


How about trying out this tutorial for face paints? All kids love to have their faces painted and you could easily customise this with different coloured noses etc to keep all of them happy.


Teddy Bears’ Picnic Games

Teddy bears picnic beanbag game

We love this game because it’s so simple to set up, and also something the whole family can join in with.!

pin the bow tie on the teddy bear

Or how about a lovely game of Pin the Bow Tie on the Teddy Bear?

Another great idea is to get one of the adults to dress up in a giant teddy bear costume and play Hunt The Bear in the house or garden – or in the woods if there are some local to you!

teddy bear stories

Of course, at the end of the day before home time, it’s always nice to have a story time to calm everyone down!

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Decorations

The key to decorating for a Teddy Bears’ Picnic is… bears, bears, bears!

teddy bears picnic bunting

We love this cute bunting; it’s easy to make with some sheets of coloured card and a teddy bear biscuit cutter.

Whatever you do for your Teddy Bears’ Picnic, have a beary good time!

Celebrate Magic Day with your Favourite Magical Characters! Comments Off

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball


If you’re one of those people who loves magic, you’ll be pleased to hear that 12th June is Magic Day, an annual day that celebrates everything to do with magic. What child – or adult, if we’re being honest – is not mesmerised by an in explicable magic trick?

Here are some great ideas to help you make Magic Day fun for all the family:

Fancy Dress

Obviously, we’ll jump at any chance to get dressed up, and magical fancy dress is no exception. These days the most famous magical character has to be Harry Potter, but there’s also Gandelf from Lord of the Rings or an old fashioned magician in sharp black suit like our Lego man here. Girls can dress as Hermione Granger if they like, or how about a good old fashioned witch costume, with pointy hat, broomstick and wand?

Lego magician


You can’t celebrate Magic Day without tricks, can you! Don’t worry if you’re not quite at the rabbit-from-hat stage just yet; we’ve found this fantastic YouTube tutorial to help you to wow your friends:



If your children are a little younger, how about making some magic gloop for them to play with? This couldn’t be easier; you just mix cornflour with water and some food colouring, and you have a slimy gloop that’s solid when you scrunch it up into a ball, but goes back to a liquid as soon as you let go of it. We’ve yet to meet a child who didn’t love playing with this stuff! Make it more fun by adding some glitter!



Magic Party!

If you’re going to the trouble of learning tricks and witchy fancy dress costumes, you may as well decorate the house and throw a magical party! Who doesn’t love an excuse for a party?

magic cupcakes


Why not try your hand at some clever “rabbit from a hat” cupcakes, using rabbit biscuits and hat-shaped cupcake cases?


rabbit hat party game

This is a delightfully simple yet fun game for all the family; all you need is a black hat (you can use black paper around a waste paper bin), and some bunny rabbit toys. The winner gets a magical penny pulled from behind their ears!


Whatever you do this Magic Day, make sure it’s… magical!

The Ultimate Guide to Throwing a Circus Themed Party! Comments Off

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

Roll up, roll up! 19th May is Circus Day! In celebration of everything Big Top, we’ve created the ultimate guide to throwing your very own circus fancy dress party.

Everyone loves a trip to the circus: the clowns and acrobats; trapeze artists and tightrope walkers; jugglers and unicyclists. A fantastic treat for all of the family – and great fun to dress up as too! Everything you need, from lion costumes to face painting, is right here.


Whenever you think of the circus, you think of clowns. Whether it’s a classic white face, red nose combo, or something a little more scary, a clown is the perfect idea for circus fancy dress. The beauty of dressing up as a clown is that you can make it as simple or as detailed as you like! Either  paint your face white and go mad with the nose and lips, or you go for full-on professional make up with all sorts of detail.

We love this tutorial for a classic clown’s face:

If you fancy being a little more scary, here’s a great one:

If you think clowns are so last season, and you want to be something a little more different, this website has a fantastic tutorial for a classic lion face:

Classic Lion Face

Classic Lion Face

Glitter is optional of course, but then if you’re going to the trouble of painting your face why not add a touch of sparkle!


One of the main attractions at the circus (besides the performers) is the food. In order to throw a good party – whatever the intended age range – you need to have great food on offer!

The classics of course are hot dogs and pop corn; but why not also try making cones from red and white striped paper for chips? Striped bags of sweets is also a winner.

We love the idea of having a “hot dog vendor” doing the rounds at your party:


We also love the idea of these lion tamer whips:



We love the decoration ideas in this pin:


The key with circus decoration is lots of red and white stripes, and lots of brightly coloured balloons. In fact, lots of bright colours, full stop!

And we love this really simple idea for decoration: all you need is some brightly coloured rolls of crepe paper and a hula hoop:



  • A party is not a party without games – especially if it’s a children’s party!
  • Obviously, if your party is circus- themed, you must play Sleeping Lions!
  • Pass The Parcel with circus-themed paper and gifts is also a good idea.

One thing kids really love at a party is to make something they can bring home. If you prepare the pieces beforehand, these circus tent hats can be great fun:


Another great idea for all age ranges is a “photo booth” – all you need is a big sheet (or piece of coloured material) as the backdrop, and lots of props for people to hold. An empty picture frame is always excellent for this. Since your guests are already in fancy dress, they won’t need much else to have a fantastic photo taken!

As an added bonus, these downloadable circus printables are a great way to throw your party in style:


World Book Day: Best costumes for Mum and Dad Comments Off

Posted on February 28, 2014 by admin


There’s less than a week to go before we get creative, dress up as our favourite fictional characters and celebrate our love of all things literary! If you’re helping out at school this year, throwing a bookish party or just want to join in with the fun with your kids, then we’ve got some great ideas for costumes!

Sam’s Sandwich

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Based on David Pelham’s imaginative picture book, you can really get creative with your costume ideas and recreate the sandwich from Sam’s Sandwich.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Roald Dahl’s books are always a great source of inspiration for fun and imaginative character costumes. If you’re looking to get the whole family involved this World Book Day, then check out these great character costumes for Willy Wonka, an Oompa Loompa and a Wonka bar!

Luna Lovegood

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If you’re bored of the usual Harry Potter costumes, why not check out this fabulous Luna Lovegood costume! Even if you’re not especially creative, you can easily transform yourself into this great character. All you need are some kooky glasses and a blonde wig and you’re most of the way there!


Taking inspiration from the Wizard of Oz, why not get a little green this World Book Day and transform yourself into the not-so-wicked wicked witch Elphaba from Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of West. This great make-up tutorial from audfaced shows you how to create an effective look with all that green face paint.

If you’ve got some great ideas for your family fancy dress for World Book Day, then join in the conversation over on our Facebook page!

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World Book Day: Best costumes for boys Comments Off

Posted on February 24, 2014 by admin


With just over a week to go before parents, teachers and kids will be celebrating their favourite fictional fancies, we’re taking a look at some great costume ideas for boys.

There are loads of simple and creative ideas that you can easily achieve. So if you’re looking for some fresh fiction ideas for boys’ costumes then let Fancy Dress Ball be your guide and check out these cool costume ideas…

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

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Recreate everybody’s favourite cheeky dinner guest from Judith Kerr’s beloved children’s book The Tiger Who Came to tea. You don’t necessarily need a tiger costume to achieve this look, just some orange pyjamas, some fabric paint and some face paint should do the trick!

The Guffalo

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The most feared creature of the forest is another great costume that’s fairly simple to achieve. If you’re a creative type who loves a bit of crafting, this Gruffalo costume can easily be put together with just the right amount of felt and imagination!

Bert from Mary Poppins

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Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Mary! Drawing inspiration from Dick Van Dyke’s costume from Disney’s film adaptation of PL Travers’ beloved novel Mary Poppins, this character is instantly recognisable. Using a straw hat, bow-tie and ribbon you can create this cute, colourful costume.

Max from Where the Wild Things Are

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First published in 1963, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are still remains as one of the most popular children’s book today. This costume for protagonist Max can be created using a onesie, pyjamas and a little creativity for the crown and tail!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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Yet another classic character is The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Eric Carle’s 1969 children’s picture book. There are loads of different ways to create this costume, but this great example uses a long green tunic and paper mache to recreate our favourite caterpillar!

Got some inspired costume for World Book Day? Why not head over to our Facebook page and share your ideas!

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