Homemade Army Costumes for Kids

by Andrew Button, Demand Media

    Costumes based on army uniforms have been popular with kids for as long as there have been events to celebrate the army. Today, there are many special events when kids may want to don an army outfit: Halloween, costume parties, or elementary school school theme parties. If your little guy or gal wants to wear an army costume for one of these events, you don't need to shell out hard earned money for a store bought outfit. To the contrary, you can easily make an outfit at home.

    Soldier

    The most common type of army costume for kids is a simple costume made up of fatigues, like that worn by infantry in the army. This costume is meant to model the appearance of a regular commissioned soldier. Fatigues typically have camouflage coloration and a v neck. To make a typical soldier's outfit at home, simply purchase a matching set of camouflage pants and shirt, iron army themed patches onto the chest and arms, use a green or sand colored beret as a hat, and use brown or gray steel toed boots as footwear.

    Special Forces

    Special forces soldiers in the U.S. army wear very similar outfits to those worn by regular infantry, although they have some additional features. For a special forces uniform, you should always use a green beret, since this is the headgear that special forces are known for. In addition, you should use a plastic or wooden sub-machine gun -- you can fashion a wooden machine gun out of a piece of lumber by tracing the shape and then cutting it out -- and wear a mask and a vest. A mask can be fashioned out of any regular ski mask in your closet; use the mask as is if it contains eye and mouth holes, cut out a mouth hole if it only has eye holes. Be aware that if this costume is to be worn to school, the gun likely cannot accompany it; most schools have policies against bringing anything to school that represents a weapon.

    Commanders

    Military commands have distinctive uniforms consisting of black or brown shoes, pants, jackets and hats. If your child wants to dress up as a general for Halloween or a costume party, you can easily make a costume that emulates the aesthetic of a commander's uniform. To make one, simply fashion a couple medals onto a jacket by cutting most of the fabric off of the neck band. Typically, a medal has a neck band that lets you put the medallion around your neck. Military uniforms have only a short piece of fabric at the end of the medallion that lets you pin the medal onto your jacket. Cut most of the material of your neck band, leaving about an inch of fabric attached to the medallion, then attach these medals onto a jacket using paper clips. Make sure the pants and hat are the same color as the jacket.

    Historical

    Military attire has changed a lot over the years. From the days of European red and blue coats to modern camouflage fatigues, military attire has undergone quite a transformation. If your child wants to dress up as a historical military figure, there are many different costumes you can make that fit that description. For example, you can make a costume based on the Roman legions by putting cardboard armor over a loose fitting tunic. To make this outfit, simply cut a hole in the middle of a long piece of cardboard, paint that cardboard gray, and then paint black lines onto the front of the cardboard to create the armor details. To put the cardboard on, simply bend it forward and put the hole over your head.

    About the Author

    Based in St. John's, Canada, Andrew Button has been writing since 2008, covering politics, business and finance. He has contributed to newspapers and online magazines, including "The Evening Telegram" and cbc.ca. Button is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Memorial University in St. John's.

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