This year our primary school threw a Monster Ball where all the children were encouraged to make their own costumes. LV wanted to be the Grim Reaper. I thought I would share with you the simple Grim Reaper costume we managed to make in a step by step tutorial.
Here is our:
No-Sew Grim Reaper Costume
You will need:
- An old black or grey flat sheet (or you can dye one)
- An old black or grey pillowcase
- Possibly and old dark/black tie (see why later)
Optional if you want a scythe too:
- A stick (we used a walking stick but any old, long, stick is fine)
- sticky tape
- tin foil
Tip 1: The Grim Reaper isn’t all neat and tidy. Your cuts don’t have to be perfectly straight and tidy, if anything it adds to the whole effect if they look a little haggard!
Tip 2: This costume will need at least a pair of shorts and a t-shirt underneath!
Depending on how big your sheet is compared to your child will depend on how you approach this step. Fold the sheet in half and lay your child on it, shoulders on the folded edge. Ideally the bottom will reach about 6 inches below your child’s feet (it won’t be this long when finished) but as long as it at least reaches the feet this should be fine but will produce a shorter costume.
The tips of the fingers should be a few inches in from the edges, again as long as the edge at least reaches the hands this should be fine. Cut away the excess fabric. My son is eight and I used a double sheet. I had a fair chunk of extra fabric left from where his arm span was shorter than the width. I didn’t take a photo of this part so here is a very (very) badly drawn mock up, please ignore the fact that my ‘child’ is laying with the folded edge at his feet!:
Fold your sheet in half, so that you have a corner to cut the neck hole.
Tip: you need a smaller hole than you think!
There is probably a way to measure the correct size but I just winged it:
Of course my winging it gave me a huge neck hole but a few stitches on either side put everything right. I know, I know. I said this was a no-sew costume BUT you can quite easily use safety pins at each shoulder as this area will not be seen anyway:
Cut the material (front and back) either side of your child’s body, you need enough material in the middle piece to cover the sides of the body too, so maybe 3 or 4 inches either side of their hips:
Lay the costume down on a flat surface and start tearing strips from the bottom to about 10 inches away from the folded edge:
Take the strips closest to the body, one from the front piece of fabric and one from the back, and tie together. Repeat a few times to create a sleeve:
Cut one of the closed corners off the pillowcase and remove the section along the open edge where it folds inside:
Apart from tearing a few strips to the bottom of the hood:
All that needs to be done now is trim down the face hole. You can mark this with your child wearing it (or like me you can actually cut it if you know your child will stay very still!) You can then tatty up the edges with scissors (best done minus the child!)
Cut out two identically sized scythe shapes from some stiff cardboard:
Tape the stick to one of the pieces:
Line up the other side and tape together, bringing the points together to make a blade shape. Crinkle up foil long enough to cover both sides:
Cover the blade totally with the foil, try to smooth it down to keep the shape. tape down any edges that won’t stay:
To complete the costume!
If you have enough fabric left over cut a long strip to create a belt, if not you can use that old tie I mentioned! Tie this firmly around the waist and pull up the material so it’s covered and no longer dragging on the floor.
You may also want to trim the strips that come from the arms if they are too long, I trimmed a fair bit off ours as LV kept tripping on them.
If you want you can paint your child’s face:
All that’s left is to enjoy! Here is LV looking very windswept on his way in to the Monster Ball!
I hope you enjoyed this step by step costume tutorial. Please get in touch if anything is unclear. Let me know if you give this a try. I’d love to hear how you get on!