Alice in Wonderland costume ideas
re you invited to a Mad Tea Party, an Unbirthday party, or another kind of Alice in Wonderland costume party? Have you been assigned a part in an Alice in Wonderland play? This page will give you lots of costume ideas and tips about how to dress up like a character from Alice in Wonderland!
If you're looking for ideas on decorations, food and the like, check out this page full of Alice in Wonderland party ideas.
If you want to buy ready-made costumes, go to the Alice in Wonderland costumes page.
General ideas and tips
- First you'll need to decide what kind of outfit you like. Are you fond of the original illustrations by John Tenniel or would you rather dress like a character from a movie, like Disney's cartoon movie or Tim Burton's movie? Tenniel's Alice actually wore a yellow dress, not a blue one, and she was a brunette, not a blonde! If you're going for the Tim Burton look, the right make-up is very important: you'll need lots of white face paint, heavy eyeliner, lipstick and loud eyeshadow.
- Decide on which character you would like to be. Can you be anyone you like, or is the part of 'Alice' reserved for the hostess? Do you want to be a well known character, or would you rather not risk competing with someone else, and dress up like one of the lesser known characters, like the Duchess, Dodo, a chess piece, Humpty Dumpty, the Walrus, the Carpenter, a talking flower, a flamingo, or even the Jabberwock?
- Decide on how 'true' you want to be to the original outfits. At most parties you won't be required to look exactly like the Wonderland characters; then you can go for something fun that resembles the outfit.
- Check your budget: can you afford to buy a complete costume, the accessories only, or will you need to make the whole outfit from scratch? There are several easy Alice in Wonderland sewing patterns available.
- Consider the time of year and the location of the party. If you'll be inside all evening or if it is summer, you should wear something that's not too hot. You don't always want to stuff yourself in a furry rabbit jumpsuit!
- Is it a costume for a man, woman, or child? Children can look very cute in a Cheshire Cat or White Rabbit outfit. Women can go for a long dress, or a short & sexy version. As the gender of several Wonderland characters is not defined (like the Cheshire Cat), both men and women can dress up as them. And why not have a Mad Hattress?
- Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! A costume can be made more convincing if you drag along the right items.
Alice in Wonderland costume ideas:
- A basic blue (or yellow) dress with short sleeves will do nicely. Wear a white pinafore over it that you tie in the back. An apron can easily be sewn by yourself, or buy a cheap white kitchen apron.
- Your dress will stand out nicely if you wear a petticoat underneath it
- If you don't have the correct hair color or length by yourself, you can die it or wear a wig
- Tie a black, white or blue bow in your hair, or wear a black diademe, with or without a sewn-on bow made of lace
- Wear white or black-and-white striped tights, and striped arm warmers
- Wear a pair of black Mary-Jane shoes. You can create them yourself by buying cheap black ballerina shoes and attaching a black ribbon or elastic band across the top
- Carry around a flamingo plush, like you're about to play croquet. Or a white rabbit plush.
Mad Hatter costume ideas:
- Wide, baggy pants and a jacket with vest are the best basics for the costume. You can find an old-fashioned jacket, vest and/or tuxedo at a second-hand store for low prices. Go for loud colors and/or non-matching patterns.
- Wear an oversized, loud bow-tie and colorful socks.
- Get a large top hat, tie a ribbon around it and stick a card in it with the text "In this style: 10/6"
- Large clown shoes will look great!
- If you're going for Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter look, use white facepaint, pink eyeshadow, and an orange wig. View this detailed tutorial about how to apply the Mad Hatter's make-up. Tie a red piece of cloth around the top hat. Sew bobbins of multicolored threads on a band of fabric and drape it across one shoulder.
- Attach a piece of rope to the ear of a teacup and wear it around your neck or on your belt
White Rabbit costume ideas:
- If it's not too hot, you could get a full-body rabbit jumpsuit
- Alternatively, sew (knee-length) pants from white furry cloth and add a round stuffed tail on the back. You can also create the tail from cotton balls. Wear it with a checkered jacket and/or a vest on top. You can find old-fashioned jackets and vests for low prices in a second-hand store.
- Wear a white hose underneath the pants.
- A herald costume can easily be made by sewing a large red heart onto a shirt
- Cover your shoes with furry white fabric
- It is easy to find a headband with rabbit ears and a rabbit nose. You can also use grease paint for your face
- Wear fake plastic front teeth
- White gloves or mittens, and pince-nez glasses complete the costume
- Carry an umbrella with you, or a trumpet (depending on whether you go for its initial outfit or its herald outfit)
- Don't forget the pocket watch!
Cheshire Cat costume ideas:
- Get a cat jumpsuit costume and sew alternate layers of cloth on it yourself, to created the striped effect
- In normal clothing stores you'll often be able to find a pink/purple striped shirt, dress, or pajama's. If not, you can also go for pink-and-white stripes, or pink-and-black. Combine the shirt with striped tights or stockings in the same colors.
- If you don't have striped clothes, wear a basic black or pink outfit and add striped details with leg and arm warmers, or add details using pieces or faux fur (available at a crafts store) at the ankles, writst, rim of your skirt, etc. You can also paint stripes on your basic clothes using fabric paint, or stick layers of colored (duct)tape on them.
- If you wear a striped hooded shirt, you can use the hood to cover your hair and attach the ears to. Or wear a furry wig.
- A long, small rectangle of furry cloth can be made into a tail if you sew together the sides (with the furry parts facing eachother), leaving one of the small side open, and then turning the fabric inside out. Use a safety-pin to attach it to your trousers.
- It will be easy to find a headband with cat ears and a cat nose with whiskers. Or grease-paint your face.
Queen of Hearts costume ideas:
- Start with a long basic red or black dress. You can also go for a black/red/white renaissance costume dress. Add a stand-up collar.
- Sew heart motives to all parts of the dress. Cut them out of felt or other fabric.
- If you have a short dress or skirt, go for tights or stockings with heart motive.
- Find high heeled shoes with hearts
- Wear a crown or tiara with hearts and carry a scepter. A crown can be bought very cheaply, or constructed from cardboard paper covered with aluminum foil or gold paper. A scepter can be made from a wooden stick and cardboard, which you cut into a heart shape.
- Carry around a flamingo, like you're about to play croquet. Girls will need a bag, so you may want to go for a flamingo-shaped purse!
Playing Card costume ideas:
- Create a sandwich board: cut two large pieces or cardboard or poster board in the shape of playing cards. Paint them, or cut-and-paste colored paper to make one the front side and the other one the back side. Drill two holes on top. Attach them to eachother with two strips of fabric or pieces of rope, that will be supported by your shoulders
- Wear a simple black longsleeve and black tights or hose underneath it, or stockings with card motive
- If you want to be a card soldier, get a broomstick and attach a spade-shaped piece of cardboard on top, to create a spear. Die everything black.
- If you want to be one of the cards that painted the roses red, carry some paint brushes with you, and some white and/or red roses. You could also 'spill' some red paint on your outfit.
- Wear glasses in the shape of hearts, clubs, diamonds or spades, and shoes with card suit decorations
Tweedledum and Tweedledee costume ideas:
- Get two matching oversized overalls or jumpers. Stuff up the shirt you wear underneath it to create a big belly
- Sew pants and a shirt in different bright colors (for example yellow for the shirt and red for the trousers). Make sure they have a huge waistline. Sew in a hoop where they come together, so it will look like a large round belly
- Use suspenders to hold up your pants.
- Wear propellor hats!
- Make collars of white fabric and sew (or write) the names 'Tweedledum' and 'Tweedledee' on them, so people can tell you apart.
Do you have more idea's? E-mail them to me!
Examples of home-made costumes
Below you'll find photographs of visitors from this site who created their own Alice in Wonderland costumes. Use them for inspiration, or send in your own photographs!
Bex explains how she created her own Tim Burton's Mad Hatter outfit, spending very little money: "The hat was made of cardboard box and scrapbooking paper. I then added blue feathers and a fake leaf skeletons bowtie made from napkins and elastic. I sewed lace to the jacket which I got for $1 and I just glued locks of the wig onto fake eyebrows."