Dress-up Costume Bins

Now is a great time to start planning what you are going to do for all those kids on your Christmas list.  It’s also a great time to shop for costumes.

Last year I decided to do something different for Christmas gifts.  I gave my nephew and two nieces dress up bins full of costume pieces.  The idea came to me when a neighbor offered me a half-dozen, plastic hanging file totes that she had gotten from work that were no longer wanted.  I knew with just a touch of soap and water I could put these bins to work, so I accepted.  As I washed them out one at a time in my bath tub, my wheels started to turn.  With Christmas still a couple of months away at the time, the idea to make dress up bins came to mind.  I knew I had plenty of time to look around for just the right items.

I wanted to keep the project around $20 and keep the contents fairly even between the kids.  I decided to head to my local dollar and thrift stores to shop.  I found great deals and had a lot of fun picking out imaginative play clothing and accessories.

Some things I included:

  • cowgirl/cowboy hats and bandannas
  • plastic sword and shield
  • pompoms and cheerleader outfit
  • princess skirts, high heels, tiaras, necklaces and wands
  • doctor’s tools and a white dress shirt
  • an assortment of masks
  • fireman’s hats
  • purses
  • mailman’s hat

Ready to Put out a Fire!Cheerleading!

Other tips:

1.  Make sure to wash and dry all items you purchase before you give them as a gift.  If you are making multiple costume kits, use a black Sharpie to label the items for each child on the tag or inside to keep them straight.

2.  Use a hanging file folder (a pocket folder tucked inside the hanging file folder is helpful) along with a plastic tab labeled with the child’s name on it.  Smaller items like necklaces, coins, pirate patches, tattoo stickers etc., can be tucked into the hanging folder/pocket so they are easier to find and don’t become misplaced.

3.  Teach the kids how to fit the lid on top of the bin and that all costume pieces go inside the tote when playtime is over.

4.  Use the Super Sticky Post-It Labels to put the child’s name on the outside of the tote.  The Super Sticky Post-Its are sticky on one full side, not just a portion of it.

5.  Choose a bright color label that will contrast with the outside of your tote.  If you have more than one child, use a different color label for each.  I like a good ‘ole black Sharpie to write.

6.  Find costumes at:  your own house, thrift stores & dollar stores.

7.  You might already own something you can use for the container.  If you want to purchase new, the file tote, hanging file folders and labels can be found at Office Max or Target.

Tea Time

One response to “Dress-up Costume Bins”

  1. Ann Jensen says:

    What a great idea! I have an old suitcase that I’m going to use for this purpose and am going to going to spend a bit of time customizing for my niece’s birthday. She’s turning four this week and is definitely in “dress-up” mode.

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