Easy no-sew dress ups


Are you a bit lazy when it come to crafts? Do you have a slight needle phobia? If you’re lucky like me, both will apply! Luckily there are some fantastically easy no-sew costume options. We’ve found some of our favourites which will provide Halloween inspiration or at least tide you over for the next few school dress-up days.


No-sew dress ups - Ninja

When the fashion powers-that-be decreed that the little black dress is a wardrobe must-have, they may have somewhat overlooked its humble cousin, the little black shirt. Stylish, pairs easily with others.. but most importantly, can be hacked up to make a quick ninja costume for your child.

Note: While you may be able to use an existing martial arts costume or long thick white shirt and pants, you can also make the white ninja top from Home Spun Engineer’s doctor’s costume. 

No-sew dress ups - Ninja


No-sew dress ups - Ninja



No-sew dress ups - Ninja

Images: Home Spun Engineer


Tutus are perfect for aspiring ballerinas, fairies and zombie princesses. Choose your colours and go! This one is easy to make for adult sizes too. Follow these easy instructions, adapted from Wiki How.


What you need:

  • Tulle
  • Ribbon

What to do:

Take the measurements for around the waist and the desired length of the hemline.

Create the waistband by measuring a ribbon to the waist measurement and adding an additional 12 inches/30cm (6 inches/5 cm for each tail). Tie the ribbon in a knot with the two 6 inch tails hanging out, as this will make it easier to add the tulle.

Measure your tulle into strips of fabric twice the length of your desired skirt. To start, you should cut approximately 20, adding additional pieces if you run out. Tip: For a fuller, fluffier skirt, cut many pieces into thin sections. For a skirt that lies flatter, cut fewer pieces that are wide.

Fold your tulle strips in half. Fold each strip of tulle in half as you prepare to add tulle to the ribbon. Place the halved tulle strips over the waistband so that only a few inches of the loop stick out over the top. Then fold the tail ends around the waistband and pull them through the loop.

No-sew dress ups - Tutu

Ensure that you tighten each knot as this will stabilise the skirt.

Continue adding strips to fill out the rest of the ribbon, until you reach the knots. Push them more closely together for a more bubbly skirt, or space them wider apart for a skirt that is flatter.

No-sew dress ups - Tutu

Tie on the tutu. Wrap it around the waist and tie a bow at the back. Wrap the skirt around you and tie the ribbon tails in a bow in the back to secure the tutu around your waist.

No-sew dress ups - Tutu

Images: Wiki How


This one is from One Perfect Day and once you have all the equipment, you can quickly make as many as you want. Perfect for if you have multiple children or are organising a kids’ party.

jet pack

What you need: 

  • 2 empty soft drink bottles for each jet pack
  • Duct tape
  • Tissue paper (you can choose the type and number of colours)
  • Grey strap fabric
  • Silver spray paint (or a tube of silver paint if you’re only making one or two sets). Foil could also work.

What to do:

Paint the bottles silver, or spray paint them if you want to make many jet packs. One coat will usually be sufficient.

Join the two bottles side by side with the duct tape

Measure how much fabric you need so that they fit over a child’s arm like a backpack. Apply the two straps with the duct tape.

No-sew dress ups - Jet packs

You can use one of two methods to make the flames. Method One is pictured below. Once you’ve cut up the three different colours as depicted below, roll the layers together with the shortest layer (in this case, red) is on the outside. Stuff the end into the top of the bottle and secure it in place with duct tape.

No-sew dress ups - Jet packs

Method Two is simpler and involves folding the length of the tissue paper in half and tearing the strips up to the fold. Then, you stuff it in the top of the bottle and secure it with duct tape. This method is not only easier but is likely to impress the kids more as the flames move around more and make whooshing sounds when they run around.

No-sew dress ups - Jet packs

No-sew dress ups - Jet packs

Images: One Perfect Day


Combining my passions for overused idioms, craft shortcuts and reducing toy clutter, this costume is a winner for me. All you’ll need is your child’s existing rain gear, some toy cats and dogs and a hot glue gun. You can also use string to tie some animals around the edges so they are hanging down.

Tip: For a cute twist – and to cater to whichever toys you have available/want to upcycle –  you can make it rain: turtles and frogs/minecraft zombies and Cookie Monsters/giant molars and English postboxes (yes my kids have weird toys).

Or, how about dressing as a cat and having it rain humans? Those discarded (but hopefully not dismembered) Barbies and GI Joes would come in handy here.

No-sew dress ups - Cats and dogs

Image: Costume Works


This is great for kids and grown ups. All you need is some cardboard, a dress and some well-applied makeup.

To make the cardboard key, you simply cut the shape of a key from thick cardboard (alternatively, it might be easier to cut two identical shapes from thinner cardboard, say a cereal box, then glue these together for sturdiness).

Cut two slits in the key and insert them into a paper towel tube. Glue the key’s outer flaps to the tube and paint/spray paint it gold.

Glue the other end of the tube to a flat square piece of cardboard. To keep the cardboard in place on your body, make holes in the cardboard and weave through some strings that can strap around your chest and shoulders in a backpack style.

Then all you need is a olde worlde dress, some creepy makeup application and voila!

No-sew dress ups - Creepy doll

Image and instructions: cloverkate