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International Day of Awesomeness Comments Off on International Day of Awesomeness

Posted on March 09, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

AWESOMENESS

It’s The International Day of Awesomeness! People are awesome all the time, but we often don’t realise it or recognise it in others. This special day is here to recognise the awesomeness in ourselves and each other.

So how do you celebrate the International Day of Awesomeness?

Good question. The best way is to just be awesome – obviously! Find ways to highlight your particular type of awesomeness – something fun and not too serious. There’s even a hashtag you can use on Twitter.

Why is the International Day of Awesomeness on March 10th?

Because March 10th is Chuck Norris’s birthday – and nobody is more awesome than Chuck Norris. If you weren’t aware of that fact, check out this Wikipedia page all about Chuck Norris facts.

Celebration Ideas

If you’re short on ideas, here are a couple that we think might make a good celebration…

Basically, it’s just an excuse to have a bit of fun in the name of awesomeness.  And who can argue with that!

Today is Dr Seuss Day! Comments Off on Today is Dr Seuss Day!

Posted on March 02, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

Dr-Seuss-Day

 

 

 

Today is Dr Seuss’s birthday! Did you know that Dr Seuss would have been 112 years old today? He died in 1991, but his spirit lives on in his books and characters.

Dr Seuss wrote more than 60 books over the course of his career, but perhaps the most famous was the Cat in The Hat which was originally published in 1957.

Why not throw a Seuss-themed party to celebrate this special day? Here are some ideas to help you on your way:

 

cat-in-the-hat-parfait

Check out this recipe for Cat’s Hat Parfait – it’s simple to make but very effective!

 

cat-in-the-hat-activities

Click the picture for 12 fantastic Cat in the Hat activities

This blog post also has some fantastic Dr Seuss themed ideas.

And finally, of course, here is a tutorial for Cat in the Hat face paint:

 

If you’re celebrating Dr Seuss Day, don’t forget to share some photos on our Facebook page!
 

Most popular children’s book costumes Comments Off on Most popular children’s book costumes

Posted on February 24, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

WorldBookDay Children's Costumes

With it being World Book Day next week, we thought it might be fun to look at popular children’s costumes for the day…

We have loads of costume ideas on our World Book Day page, but here are some of the favourites:

Willy Wonka Costume

 

 

Willy Wonka

Everyone’s favourite chocolate factory owner, and instantly recognisable by his crazy outfit and top hat. A brilliant choice for World Book Day – and double points if you finish the outfit with a box of chocolates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alice in Wonderland Costume

 

 

 

Alice in Wonderland

Another instantly recognisable costume – in fact, possibly the most recognisable of all! Everyone loves Alice in Wonderland, right? Why not dress up as her!

 

 

 

 

 

The Cat in the Hat

 

 

 

 

The Cat In The Hat

We looked, and we saw him step in on the mat, we looked and we saw him – the Cat in the Hat! Is there a person alive who’s not read this book? We doubt it! It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how – and this is the perfect place to start.

 

 

 

 

Mary Poppins child costume

 

 

 

Mary Poppins

She’s practically perfect in every way – which is probably why she’s so popular on World Book Day! Not just one for the adults; lots of children love to dress up as Mary Poppins too. Extra points if you can find a carpet bag to finish the outfit!

 

 

 

 

 

Have you got your World Book Day costume sorted out yet? There’s still time to get a really great outfit put together! Don’t forget you might also need things like face paints to complete your look!

What Will You Give Up For Lent? Here Are 10 Ideas… Comments Off on What Will You Give Up For Lent? Here Are 10 Ideas…

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Lent is the 40-day period (excluding 6 Sundays, which don’t count) when we traditionally give something up. Although this is a Christian festival, and many Christians will fast during this time, it’s something that a lot of people who would not necessarily identify themselves as Christian, also take part in. So what will you give up for Lent? What do you think you could live without for the next 40 days?  Here are ten ideas to get you started…

1. Chocolate
This is the obvious one, since most of us love chocolate, and we’re all expecting an Easter egg on Easter Sunday at the end of Lent.

2. Social Media
This one is probably considerably more difficult for some of us, but the effects can be amazing. Imagine how many more conversations you would have, if you weren’t distracted by social media all the time! Go on, try it; we dare you!

3. Cutlery
With Chinese New Year running over the next few weeks, this is the perfect time to learn to use chopsticks… do you think you could eat all of your meals with chopsticks for the next few weeks? It’ll be fun to try… if a little messy…

4. Soaps
Do you really care what happens on the soaps? Whether it’s Eastenders, Emmerdale or Neighbours, you could probably manage a few weeks without them – and you might even find that without that daily dose of doom and gloom your mood picks up too!

5. Hair Products and Make Up
Are you one of those people who spend an hour in front of the mirror every morning? Imagine how much more time you would have, if you gave up primping and preening for Lent – you could set your alarm clock later and sleep longer!

6. Negative Self-Talk
This is something everyone could stand to do – but it’s really tricky as first you have to learn to recognise that the nasty little voice in your head telling you that you’re rubbish and you can’t do it is just that: a voice. Then you have to learn to tell it to shut up. Repeatedly. Another one that could lead to amazing things if you keep it up!

7. Distractions
This is probably the hardest one because again, it relies on us noticing something. How much more brilliant would your life be, if you were able to focus on just one thing at a time, without allowing yourself to be distracted by shiny things (or the TV, or the radio, or someone else’s conversation, or that person’s shoes…)

8. Ironic Hashtags
Or how about just giving up hashtags in general? The only people who understand what you’re doing are on Twitter and Instagram, and even they don’t care about half the hashtags you use. Go hashtag free, and see how your life can be improved by your friends not rolling their eyes at you!

9. Your New Year’s Resolution
What do you mean, you ditched it on January 15th?

10. Coffee
Calm down, we’re just kidding. Nobody’s that bonkers, right? Right?

Instead of giving something up for Lent, why not be proactive, and take something up instead? Here are five things you could take up for Lent that could make a genuine difference to your life by Easter:

1. Daily Exercise
Wait, wait, hear us out. Exercise is really good for you. Not just physically but also mentally. Even if you just say you’ll walk twice around the block each day, that’s a brilliant start!

2. Dressing up as a Ninja
Well ok, this one is probably unnecessary since you already do… don’t think we haven’t spotted you… You need to practise your ninja skillz!

3. Dressing up as a Pirate
Well, it’s one or the other isn’t it. Everyone knows that pirates and ninjas are mortal enemies.

4. Use the On Demand TV services
… rather than just plonking down in front of the TV, switching it on and seeing what comes up. Actively choose what you will watch. It’s amazing how picky you become when you see that this repeat of Robot Wars will take up 30 whole minutes of your time!

5. Dressing up as…
Well, we don’t care what you dress up as. But it’s scientifically* proven that wearing fancy dress clothes can brighten one’s day exponentially. Imagine how much more fun your life would be if your commute involved a Batman costume complete with cape? Or a furry onesie? Set up a Just Giving page, and dress up every day for Lent. You’ll love it. We promise.*

 

Did we miss anything? What are you giving up/taking up for Lent?

 

*not really unless you count our personal experience as scientific

*we don’t promise

Let’s Have Some Fun This February Half Term! Comments Off on Let’s Have Some Fun This February Half Term!

Posted on February 01, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

february-half-term-fun

It’s almost half term! Are you looking forward to it?

If you don’t fancy an entire week of children being slumped on the sofa, don’t panic! We’ve scoured the internet to come up with this great list of fun activities you can do with them… and they’re mostly free! Winner!

  • Get them cooking! Here’s a list of 30 simple recipes kids can do by themselves – so you can supervise to ensure no kitchen redecoration, but they can have loads of fun… and hopefully you get something nice to eat at the end of it.
  • Indulge in some messy play. Don’t be fooled into thinking messy play is only for babies and toddlers; children of all ages love to play with gloopy, gungy stuff. This article has a list of sensory tubs which you could easily knock up of a morning. Or if you want to go all out, why not make some moon dough or some silly putty. Both are really simple to make, and children of all ages love to play with them.
  • Go to the cinema! Most cinemas will have special showings for half term, and tickets are usually cheaper than a normal showing.
  • If the weather is good, why not get outside for some fresh air? Check out this great list of outdoor activities or just go for a good old fashioned walk in a local park or forest. Here are some printable scavenger hunts you can do to make a normal walk more entertaining for youngsters.
  • If the weather is bad, take a look at this brilliant list of “Stuck Inside Games.” These are all brilliant things you can do at home without spending money or switching on the TV.
  • Build a snowman (are we the only people hoping for a white February?)
  • Make bird feeders: simple yet fun, and will hopefully encourage different birds into your garden!
  • Make this cool “rock candy experiment” where children can essentially grow their own lolly pop.
  • Listen to your local radio station to find out abou what might be going on locally. If you don’t know which is your local station, take a look at this website.
  • And finally, our favourite option: have a fancy dress party! It doesn’t need to be somebody’s birthday in order for you to have a cracking party; invite a couple of people over and play dress-ups!

Whatever you end up doing this February half term, make sure it’s loads of fun! We’d love to see photos of your fancy dress antics; why not share on our Facebook page!

Today is Pop Music Chart Day! Comments Off on Today is Pop Music Chart Day!

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

pop-music-chart-day

Today is Pop Music Chart Day! When was the last time you investigated the pop music charts? Well, today is the day! Not just for looking into what’s at number 1 right now, but celebrating chart music throughout the years!

The UK Singles Chart was first compiled in 1952; since then there have been over 1200 chart toppers, so there are plenty of songs to choose from. Why not choose a chart topper to dress up as for the day?

Here are some of our favourite chart music fancy dress ideas…

1950s

It has to be Elvis, doesn’t it? Can you believe The King had no less than 21 UK number ones. The most recent was in 2005, but his very first was in June 1957 with All Shook Up. He stayed at the top spot for 7 weeks!

1960s

Can you guess? The Beatles, obviously! With 17 UK number ones, they were almost as big as Elvis. Their first was in May 1963 with From Me To You.

1970s

Abba had seven number one singles in the 1970s – and more importantly, they’re super fun to dress up as!

1980s

Madonna – it has to be Madonna, doesn’t it? She had six number one singles in the 80s and her look (in the 80s, at least) had 1980s written all over it!

1990s

Ooh, now this one is a toss up between the Spice Girls and Take That, both of whom had 8 number ones in the 1990s… but the Spice Girls are so much more fun to dress up as – and so much more instantly recognisable!

2000s

Westlife had the most number one singles in the 2000s, with 11 chart toppers. But unless you’ve several mid-20s Irish heart throbs to stand behind you crooning, they can be a little tricky to pull off… Next on the list is Eminem – and he’s a little easier to dress up as! Or you could always do an updated Madonna look, since she managed 5 UK number ones in the 2000s.

2010s

Hmm, this decade is literally only just half way through. So far the artist with the most number ones is Bruno Mars. Although he did go through a phase of wearing that funny hat, he’s a bit tricky to dress up as and everyone know who you came as. In fact, this decade doesn’t really have a fancy dress front runner… let’s hope things pick up in the second half!

Nativity Play Costume Help! Comments Off on Nativity Play Costume Help!

Posted on November 23, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

nativity play costumes

It’s that time of the year again… Brace yourselves, we’re going to use the “C” word…

Christmas is coming!

 

And that can only mean one thing: it’s nativity play season!

When we were kids you could get away with a net curtain poncho for an angel or mum’s tea towel shoved over your head for a shepherd – but these days, nativity play costumes are all together more professional!

You can of course buy a costume – but what about the competitive parent in you, who wants your child to turn up for the play in a perfect, bespoke costume hand-made by their loving parent?

That competitive parent is currently wishing they’d learned to sew, right? Wishing your crafting skills were Pinterest-worthy? Don’t panic! Fancy Dress Ball is here to help! We’ve scoured the Web to find you some simple nativity costume tutorials to help you to fulfill your inner crafty (competitive) parent…

Shepherd

Back in the day, our mums would put us in a long, weird dress thing they just happened to have in the cupboard (why??), shove a clean tea towel on our heads and shove us into the line-up. Not any more!

Here’s a great tutorial to show you how to make a shepherd headdress out of an old pillowcase or other piece of material.

And this thrifty mum managed to make an entire shepherd outfit for less than £2.50!

Does your shepherd need a beard?

Sheep

Sometimes the shepherds bring a sheep with them, right?

This costume looks like brilliant fun to make!

Angel

Here’s how to make an angel costume from an old pillow case.

These wings are a little tricky, but also probably more comfortable for your little angel to wear/fly in.

Or we love these wings made with coffee filters!

And of course, all angels need a halo!

Mary

Here’s a super easy tutorial for a no-sew Mary costume

Joseph

We love this quick and easy Joseph costume

3 Kings/Wise Men

The wise men wore crowns; here’s a great tutorial!

And here’s a tutorial for the rest of the costume

 

And finally…

This article has tutorials for no less than eight nativity costumes!

 

Are your children in the nativity play this year? We’d love to see some photos of your home-made creations!

 

 

Our 5 Favourite Fancy Dress Guinness World Records Comments Off on Our 5 Favourite Fancy Dress Guinness World Records

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Around this time of year, the Guinness World Records annual appears in the shops and we all marvel at what bonkers records have been set in the last 12 months. To celebrate this, here are our five favourite Guinness world records involving fancy dress:

Guinness-World-Records-Fancy-Dress

 

1. Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Spider-Man

On July 28th this year, 438 people in Sydney, Australia dressed as Spider-Man and got together for a bit of a gathering. All of the participants were dressed in the original blue and red Amazing Spider-Man costume.

2. Largest Toga Party

Another Australian record! This featured 3,700 people dressed in togas on February 24th, 2012 in Brisbane. Organised by the University of Queensland Union and Queensland University of Technology, the event was actually a celebration of the end of orientation week.

3. Most People Wrapped as Mummies

This record was broken in London on June 19th, when hundreds of parent bloggers attending the Brit Mums Live conference . 51 Mummies were wrapped in toilet paper – breaking the existing record by just one mummy!

4. Largest Drag Queen Stage Show

On July 26th 2014, the largest drag queen stage show took place in Columbus, Ohio – with 55 participants. This sounds like one that could be set to topple soon – surely we can rustle up 56 drag queens for a stage show?

5. Largest Gathering of Spice Girls Impersonators

Who doesn’t love a good Spice Girls fancy dress outfit? The great news about this record is that according to the Guinness World Records website, it’s still up for grabs! Could you and your friends claim this record for your own?

Bonfire Night Costumes to Keep Warm Comments Off on Bonfire Night Costumes to Keep Warm

Posted on November 02, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

bonfire night costumes to keep warm

Halloween is over for this year… but Bonfire Night is just around the corner!

With all the blood and guts of Halloween cleared up and put away for another year, Bonfire Night is another fantastic opportunity to show your fancy dress capabilities. Where we tend to dress to scare on Halloween, Bonfire Night is more about just having fun – but also keeping warm!

If you’re going to a bonfire event, you’ll want to make sure you don’t freeze your toes off! We’ve our fingers crossed for a dry night, but it’s still likely to be fairly chilly!

Here are some ideas for costumes that will allow you to stay warm:

A Mummy!

You can wrap yourself up all warm and cosy, and then just wrap bandages (or toilet roll) around yourself on top. Warm and toasty all evening long!

A Pirate

Pirates sailed the seven seas in trousers, boots, pouffy white shirts (good for wearing layers underneath) and jackets! Perfect outfit for standing about for a bonfire event.

A Zombie

Everyone loves a zombie, right? The brilliant thing abou being a zombie is that a person might have wrapped up warm for an evening at a bonfire party, with gloves and everything – and then been bitten by a zombie and become one themselves!

A Doctor/Surgeon

Doctors tend to wear loose-fitting scrubs and/or a white coat – you can wear layers underneath to keep warm!

A Onesie

Ok, so a onesie is not technically a fancy dress costume – but most onesies are characters like a bear, a crocodile or a cow. If you have one in a larger size you can wear a layer or two underneath.

A Superhero

Superheroes tend to dress in skintight lycra outfits… but the thing about lycra is that it’s stretchy – so you can probably stretch it over a pair of tights and a thermal top!

If you’re dressing up for Bonfire Night events this week, don’t forget to share your photos on our Facebook page!

 

 

This Sunday is Punk for a Day Day! Comments Off on This Sunday is Punk for a Day Day!

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

 

Have you ever fancied being a punk? Spiking your hair, donning a leather jacket and shouting slogans about the establishment? Well then friend, this Sunday is the day for you!

Punk For a Day Day this Sunday is the perfect opportunity for grown adults everywhere to act like misunderstood teenagers. Punkdom is filled with irony; it started off as a way of rebelling against the mainstream, of being different from everyone else, a big two-fingers up to the establishment… but it became so popular it was eventually the mainstream. Everyone was a punk! Who could fail to love a contradiction like that!

So, how do you go about being a punk for a day? Well, first you shave your head into a Mohawk style… wait, what do you mean, you have work on Monday? Ok, well, Plan B: get hold of one of these wigs, and pretend. For the ladies: bright colours, back combing, hair spray. Thing 80’s bouffant, but after a heavy night out on the tiles, and then dragged through the proverbial hedge backwards.

For your outfit: go to your local haberdashery and buy as many safety pins as you can carry. Rip your clothes, then use safety pins to hold them together. Wear a safety pin as an ear ring. Make a hair clip from a safety pin. Put safety pins on your favourite necklace. You get the idea… the idea is to wear lots of safety pins.

Other things to include in your outfit: big bovver boots, tartan, lots of  unnecessary buckles, studs, denim or leather jacket, ripped tights or trousers. Basically, all the things you would probably never dream of wearing on a normal Sunday.

For makeup, we love this tutorial for a 1970s punk look:

 


How brilliant is that makeup! We love the little factoids that pop up on the screen as you go through the video too!

We’ve found a brilliant video to help you perfect your moves, too. It’s hard to come up with a punk song that doesn’t include lots of swearing, and we really don’t want to offend our lovely readers but then we remembered this absolute classic of a tune:

 

Extra points if you have even the slightest clue what old Iggy’s on about there… something about hypnotising chickens?

So basically, you need messy hair, ripped clothes, safety pins, black eyes, and dancing around like you’ve been electrocuted.

Totally doable for a Sunday!

 

If you’re celebrating Punk For A Day Day don’t forget to share photos with us on our Facebook page!

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