Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dollar Store Kids Knight Halloween Costume

I wasn't really thinking too hard about costumes a couple weeks ago when my kids and I took a trip to the dollar store (to pick up some of those pumpkins you all have been doing wonderful things with). When we walked down the Halloween aisle my son immediately grabbed a knight's helmet and put it on. I noticed they had a breastplate, arm guards, a helmet, and a shield in both gold and silver. Surprisingly the quality was decent (nearly as well made as the set I bought for him for his birthday in April... which I paid almost $25 for... which is still too big, and the helmet too small). The helmet was bigger than his other one, the breastplate was smaller, which was a better fit as well, and the shield could be held at one point instead of two. For $4 I'll take it! [I also picked up two things for my daughter's costume which I hope to post soon]  I must admit, though, that not all parts of this costume came from the dollar store, but everything else I had on hand already, so that was the only additional expense for the outfit. 

As soon as we got it home I noticed the 1/4" ribbon glued on neck of the breastplate was not going to cut it (as it pulled off in about .5 seconds). So I decided to reinforce it a bit, but still try to keep it easy for my son to put on and take off by himself (which he does repeatedly throughout the day).

Cheap glue -- not child grade

So I took some 1/2" to 5/8" (I don't remember which) ribbon that I had and, because it was fairly thin, I sewed two pieces together.  It would also work to use grosgrain ribbon.  I threaded it through the slots at the top and hand-sewed the pieces on.  Then I tried it on my son and crossed the ribbons across his back, pinned them where they intersected, and made sure I could still get it over his head.  Then I hand-sewed the intersected ribbons.



Then I folded over the bottom edges and sewed Velcro (making sure to sew it on the correct side to keep the ribbon laying flat across my son's back!) to the ribbon.  I also tried gluing the other side of the Velcro to the breastplate with hot glue, but it pulled off too easily.  Then I tried superglue and it works great (although it takes longer to dry than the bottle says it will)!




The emblem on the front also started to pop out, so I tried two things (both worked equally well).  I just hot glued around the peg in the back (had to hold it in place until it cooled), then I tried melting the edges of the peg with the hot metal nozzle of the glue gun (making the edges wider than the hole, so they wouldn't slip through).


The upgraded breastplate
I also made a tunic from some fabric I had laying around (which, now that I think about it, is almost the color of chainmail).  The tunic can also be made from a pillowcase and can be narrowed and/or shortened depending on the age of the child.  Just make cuts similar to the picture below.  (You can also make a square neck and straight, slanted armholes to make sewing the edges easier).

Yes the carpet is really that color
Shoulder and side seams sewn, hemmed
The finished tunic
I actually had made a cape a couple months ago for a pair of Superman pajamas my son received as a hand-me-down.  They had two tabs of Velcro on the shoulders where a [now missing] cape had previously attached.

IMG_3992 copy
Pardon the laptop trackpad-drawn lines
I made the neckline wider than it had to be, then pleated it
Folded, sewn edges and velcro tabs
So I just had to figure out a way to make it attach to the knight's costume.  I took two strips of Velcro (making sure it was the opposite side from what I sewed on to the cape!  I know, I know, common sense... but I still have to check myself sometimes!), folded over and sewed one end.


Then threaded it through the breastplate's top slot as shown below, bent it backward and attached the cape.  I wanted the tabs to be removable in case my son wanted to wear it without the cape. 



To finish the whole thing off I made a sash to hold the sword and sheath my son previously got for his birthday.  I cut a long strip of fabric that would end up (after sewing) to be the same width as the slot in the sheath.  I had to sew two pieces of fabric together to make it long enough to go around my son's waist, tie, and hang down a bit.


I sewed it as a long tube, then turned it, tucked the raw ends inside at an angle and top-stitched it in place.  


And that (along with the already-owned black pants and white button-up shirt) completed the whole project!  Thankfully my son is still excited to try it on after all the fittings and waiting.  Here it is, in all it's frugal glory...




Stay tuned for "Dollar Store Fairy"...

(I'm linking up to the parties in my sidebar)


  1. What a great way to make the costume work! I have a four year old who loves knights. I need to do this just for dress-up! Thanks for the great inspiration.

  2. This looks fantastic! And so budget friendly too! I'd love for you to come link this to my Halloween costume contest!


  3. This looks amazing. It's those little touched like the tunic that take an inexpensive costume from just! This whole tutorial is very inspirational because it is a reminder that a little ingenuity can result in lots of fun for not-so-much money. Love it!

    If you get a chance, I'd love for you to link this up at Theme Party Thrusday at my place.


  4. That is awesome! For $4!!! And what a cutie! Thanks for sharing and linking up!

  5. very cool! I am using some of those same dollar store pieces for my five year old's King Aragorn costume. . .like the way you reinforced the breast plate!

  6. That is such a great idea. Thanks for showing us how you made it even better. Thanks for linking up to Tuesday Tell All.

  7. Ingenius! My son is going as a knight this year! I'll have to check out the dollar store for these!


  8. You are so creative! I sure miss the days of designing halloween costumes out of "nothing" for my kids. My baby is 18 now!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

  9. That's a great costume. He's totally ready for a Renaissance Festival!

  10. Thanks for the vote and for stopping by Mom Endeavors to let me know! :) You did a great job with this knight costume too! I especially love that it's from dollar store materials! :)


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