HOW TO: Our Disney Couple Halloween Costumes

When I was growing up, my mom always told me it was better to make costumes by hand, rather than buy the store-bought versions. I had always attributed this to her being cheap, which made me want the store-bought kind even more. It wasn't until college that I realized that my mom is always right, and that the store-bought costumes actually look cheaper than those you can make by hand, not just physically because of the ill-fitting polyester fabrics, but it also cheapens your outward creative expression. It also limits your choices of costumes.  Maybe I just think that now because I'm over the "sexy" fill-in-the-blanks, and especially now that I've been able to come up with some DOPE costumes that are unique and still relatively inexpensive (many items that can be reused in daily life). It also helps that I've realized a hot glue gun can replace sewing.

My most recent halloween costumes have been couple costumes with Andrew, for our annual attendance at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, an event where adult costumes/cosplay is not only encouraged but celebrated.  The first time I went to MNSSHP I wanted to take pictures of everyone. It was a world of costumes that would only make sense to other Disney fans -- rare and obscure characters, characters' different outfits, theme park-themed outfits, the list goes on and on.  Unfortunately we aren't attending this year for a myriad of reasons: 1) no Saturday dates, 2) ticket prices are way up, and 3) I think we peaked with our costumes last year.

Our last two costumes have gotten a lot of attention and approving comments from our last two visits to MNSSHP, I think mostly due to their obscurity.  They were all actually VERY EASY to make (with the exception of the Mulan/Ping costume).

Kuzco and Pacha

Supplies needed:

  • Red dress with short sleeves [$10 at Forever 21, similar here]
  • 3 pieces of yellow felt [less than $1 each at Michael's]
  • Thin headband [$3 at Michael's]
  • Foam [$1 at Michael's]
  • Dangly turquoise earrings [$55 at Nordstrom (I'm allergic to costume jewelry so this should actually be cheaper]
  • Gladiator sandals

Simple instructions: Glue a strip of the yellow felt onto the red dress. To make the headband, cut out the foam into a half circle-melon shape, trace around it on the yellow felt so that it will completely cover the foam, glue the foam onto the headband, then cover the foam with the yellow felt and hotglue. Wear with the turquoise earrings and gladiator sandals. Bonus (which I didn't do): Use excess yellow felt to make arm cuffs.

Supplies needed:

  • Large piece of green fabric [I bought a twin-sized top sheet at Target for around $10]
  • Hunter/dark green felt or fabric [already had from a Slytherin costume]
  • Brown beanie [$5 at Target]
  • Brown pants or shorts

Simple instructions: Cut a square hole in the middle of the sheet/fabric, big enough to fit a head through. Place the sheet on the person's head who will be wearing it, and outline a bigger square so that the sheet falls onto their shoulders, then cut that square out. Cover the edges of the square hole you made by hot gluing a thick border of the darker green fabric around. Wear over the brown pants or shorts, with the brown beanie on top.

Mulan/Ping and Li Shang

via Bustle

Note: This has been my dream costume for a very long time, so to have it actually realized was truly amazing. I am not going to get rid of this.
Supplies needed:

  • Beige longsleeve dress [$20 at Forever 21, similar here (in walnut)]
  • Hunter green fabric [already had, same used for Pacha above]
  • Little velcro strips [$5 at Michaels]
  • Dark gray leggings [$20 at Marshalls]
  • White tube socks [$8 at Target]
  • Black shoes

Simple(ish) instructions: I believe the beige dress I got had a plunging-wrap style back, which I just wore towards the front, and required less cutting. A t-shirt style dress will also work, but you will have to cut out a deep V to get the right look. I started by cutting the green fabric so that it would create a thick border over the plunging V, and layered it to make it look like it actually was a wrap-around robe, which is what her outfit really is. This took the longest, and it was mostly trial and error and a lot of burning my fingers on the hot glue. I also forgot that I would have to connect the two pieces of fabric around the neck of the dress so that took a little bit of trial and error as well.

After that, you would think the wraparound belt would be easy, but since it is a sort of fitted dress, I couldn't just hot glue this non-stretchy fabric around the dress, as I wouldn't be able to put it on. I came up with the idea of creating an actual belt using the velcro strips. I glued the green strip of fabric only to the back of the dress, and left enough that I could still put the dress on and then fasten the belt closed with the velcro. The cuffs were easy, I just made them a little bit looser than the dress sleeves, so again I could fit my hands through them. Wear with the leggings, tube socks pulled up over the leggings, and a scrap piece of green fabric to tie around your bun.

Li Shang 
Supplies needed:

  • Blue/gray t-shirt (true to size) [$5 at Target]
  • Light gray long sleeve t-shirt (true to size) [$7 at Target]
  • Extra large red t-shirt (for the cape) [$5 at Target]
  • Black duct tape [$5 at Target]
  • Black beanie [$5 at Target]
  • Gray sweatpants 
  • White tube socks
  • Black shoes

Simple instructions: Cut the sleeves off of the blue/gray t-shirt so it looks a little bit like a muscle tank, but leave most of the shoulder on. Cut squares of black duct tape and arrange in rows on the top third of the front of the blue/gray t-shirt. Wear this over the light gray long sleeve T.

Cut the XL red t-shirt in half by the side hems, but keep the shoulders and neck hole in tact. Cut the sleeves off and then cut the front of the shirt into long handles (?) around the neck that are going to be used to tie the cape around your neck.

For the bun, if you don't have long black hair to tie into a man bun, no fear. Wear the beanie high on your head, and use a hair tie to tie the top to look like a bun. Wear with gray sweatpants, with white tube socks pulled up. Wrap black duct tape around the sleeves of the gray long sleeve once everything is done.


I hope these descriptions were helpful. Writing them out like this made them seem really easy, when in reality I don't remember them being that easy.

This year, I had originally planned for us to be East High Wildcats Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, another longtime dream of mine.  This would have mostly consisted of ordering a white and red basketball jersey and shorts (and maybe warmup), and a red dress for me. It's all about ordering the right pieces though.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


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