Angel Costumes – Religious Costumes for Children
An Angel costume generally contains a long pale, plain dress, a large set of white, angular Angel Wings, and a Halo.
Simple (and cheap!) homemade Angel costume
In order to be simple, fast and cheap, without looking at it, all of the items need to look well made and matching in style. As this isn’t doing to happen naturally, with the limits above – this is when you cheat. If you add matching trimmings to each item in the outfit (e.g. small fake flowers); it will look more like a set. If you add them with a tacking stitch, the trimmings can be easily removed afterward.
Choose a very simple smock style dress/slip/nightdress in a very pale pastel color or white. It should be long enough to touch the top of your child’s shoes.
Sourcing it: It is quite likely that this item of clothing may not be fixable after it is adjusted for this, so don’t choose your favorite nightdress for your kid’s school play outfit. Try your local thrift store.
If the item is more than an inch too big, go for something sleeveless, as it will be much easier to adjust. If this isn’t an option, make sure the sleeves will be easy to remove.
Do not use any of the following methods on clothes that are for regular wear.
Adjusting a poor fit
Removing sleeves: Cut the sleeve off, about two inches away from the seam. Make two cuts all the way to the seam, under the arm, about two inches apart. Roll up the sleeve, and use a tacking stitch to hold it.
Adjusting the width across the chest: If the garment is huge it will look best converted to an empire line dress. Make four-folds – one in the center of the chest, one under each arm, and one in the center of the back. Tack them down to a just under the breast bone. Tack a line around the dress at this point, and pull to reduce down to the correct size. If you have time, you can stitch on a cord at this point, to dress up the seam. Do not use tinsel, as it will guarantee you can’t use the costume again (not washable) and it will make the costume look thrown together at the last minute. (Even if it is, why advertise this?).
Adjusting the length: There are four possibilities:
Wear a hoop or large skirt underneath
Do a zigzag cut to the correct length, and glue dip the ends (this seals the material and prevents fraying)
Turn up the material and tack it
Do “Scoop” finish on the end of the dress; (just like the bottom of Belle’s yellow princess dress). This is achieved by tacking a straight line down the dress, at four to eight points around it, and shortening the thread to the length you want.
Wire coat hangers make the best halos. The metal in them is quite heavy though and will need to be anchored to the wings, and not to a dress, as the weight of the metal will tear the dress.
The end result, before decorating, will be a head-sized loop at right angles to a long metal stick, with two small loops at the end of it. The wire coat hanger is springy and sharp; so this craft can lead to scrapes.
Check the perimeter of your child’s head using a measuring tape. Add it to the distance from the top of their head, to the waist. Add two feet to your total. Straighten out a wire coat hanger and measure the hanger’s length. If it’s too short, join two straightened hangers together by twisting at least 12 inches from each coat hanger together using pliers. Then tape them firmly together using two layers of tape over the whole overlap.
Cut the tights into two legs, and thread both legs over the wire (one leg over each end). Do not try to stretch out the legs, as the wire will tear through the tights. Use the crotch of the tights to tie the legs to the wire and to hide the join.
Form a loop at the top of the wire that is the same size, or slightly larger than the child’s head. The loop is closed by twisting the wire end around the loop, and by tacking the tights together at the joining point. Remember that the stick pointing down should be going from the middle at the back of the halo.
At the bottom of the stick, form a small figure of eight, and twist the loop closed with pliers. This double loop will allow you to sew the halo onto the wings. Make sure the finished halo and wing set will leave the halo hovering at least 4 inches above your child’s head.
To finish, rub a generous amount of glitter glue over the halo.
Cover a straightened coat hanger with tights as described above. Bend it into two hoops, the same size as the child’s head, with a 4-inch line between them. Rub a generous amount of glitter glue over the halo. Secure it to the child’s head with straight pins.
Or a circlet:
One wire hoop, covered in tights/ pipe cleaners/ ribbon. If you go with this option, add a little zing with sequins, fake flowers, fake jewels, etc. as the circlet will not show up as well from the stage.
You will need:
- Two wire hangers
- Heavy tape
- Old white cotton tights
- Glitter glue
- Measuring Tape
Due to the cost of materials to make angels wings; it can be much cheaper to buy them, as they are now a very common dress-up item for girls.
Converting Fairy wings: Angel wings have a long point at the outside, and softer points towards the center. The outside line of the wings is straight down, so flatten the edges on either side. Once the wings are re-shaped, brush white poster paint over the netting of the wings. Sprinkle a generous amount of glitter over the top and ends.
Making Angel Wings from Scratch
Make a figure of eight out of the wire, a bit larger than the size you want the wings. Join the wire in the center of the figure of eight. Squeeze the wire into a 3-inch line at the joining point, and duct tape over this line heavily. Cut the tights in half at the crotch, and put one leg over each wing. Tie the crotch over the duct tape – when you are painting, cover this area really well. Attach ribbon or elastic loops to each end of the join line, large enough to put their shoulder into.
Adjust the shape of the wings into the old fashioned angel wing shape, as described above, before finishing off with white paint and glitter.
View more at ParentingExtra.com
You will need:
- Lightweight wire
- Queen sized pantyhose
- 2 yards of ribbon or elastic
- Glitter glue
Pocket Money – When Should Your Children Get an Allowance?
Should I give my children pocket money or not?
There’s no requirement to give your children pocket money, so the decision is entirely yours. From an educational point of view, the earlier your children get to start using money, the more naturally they will handle it. Also, if you teach them good budgeting skills to practice with their pocket money, they will learn important life skills that will help them later on.
Your child doesn’t become a new employee in your household when they reach 5 years old. So, this is not money they have a right to. You don’t have any extra money coming into your household to provide the funds for this. So what you are really doing is giving your child some control over the portion of your household budget that is set aside for items for them, e.g. for clothes, haircuts, birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Pocket money customs vary from country to country. In Northern Europe and the USA, children tend to receive pocket money at an early age, while in Southern Europe, it tends to be reserved for special occasions.
When is my child ready for pocket money?
Generally, when your child
- can add and subtract
- is looking to be involved in cash transactions
- can read labels accurately
- understands the relationship between money paid and item purchased
- has mentioned pocket money
- has at least one friend who is getting pocket money
Test your child’s shopping skills
Whenever you think your child is ready for pocket money, test it out with a shopping trip. Food shopping in a supermarket might be a good starting point. Before going, discuss how long the food has to last. Do up a menu for that length of time, trying to use as much of the cupboard/fridge/freezer items as you can. Invite suggestions from your child. Try to encourage them to fill in any missing items they can from the recipes on the menu. Ask your child to describe something that’s on the list – like their cereal for example. Explain to them that if they buy a cereal that they won’t eat, that the money for it will have to come from the treat budget. When you get to the store, before you go into the first aisle, tell your child what you are looking for in that aisle.
If your child comes back with your usual brands and everything you asked, they are showing they are ready for more responsibility and are probably ready for control of their treat money…
If your child tries to sneak in a lot of rubbish or forgets half the items, they probably aren’t ready. If however, you want them to take on the responsibility quickly, as their friends already have pocket money, you can speed up their development in this area by getting them to do the shopping each week. This may be a little painful at first (for you) but practice makes perfect!
You can’t tell your child what you are up to, as you are finding out what they will do when they are in control. If, when they go into the grocery store and jump on the first treat they see while grocery shopping, then, when you hand them pocket money, they will spend it fast on something very silly, and be very sorry. Yes, your child would eventually learn that they had no money until next week, but who needs the battle you would face first?
How much pocket money should I give?
The amount of pocket money you give your child should vary according to
- How old they are
- Their level of responsibility
- Your budget
- The purpose of the pocket money (i.e. what they are allowed to use it to purchase)
According to a survey by Halifax (a bank in the UK), British children aged 7 to 12 receive £6.30 (about $10) per week and its £9.76 (about $16) for 12-16-year-olds. However, each child and each family situation is different, so, if your child is only ready for candy money, then they should not be provided with more money than you would be happy to see them spend on treats.
If you are expecting your child to purchase other items with the money, give them a budget to cover it.
How do I organize pocket money?
Before you give the pocket money, explain how it will work and what your child will and won’t be allowed to buy with it. Clearly explain any rules that are involved with it and their consequences.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- When is pocket money provided?
Weekly is generally best to start off with, and on the same day, at the same time is best, as it’s easier to stick to, and to prove that you have kept your word.
- How much to give?
Don’t try to be the same as their friends, make your own decision on the amount, and, if it’s different than what the child was expecting, explain how you decided the amount.
What does it have to cover?
Give clear guidelines, like “all the treats for the week”, including family outings or six haircuts a year.
- Under what conditions will pocket money be lost or reduced?
If your child doesn’t stick to the pocket money rules- so if they spend all their haircut money on Hershey bars, then they lose the right to control that portion of their budget. As the missing money has to come from somewhere, suspend all pocket money for a week or two, or reduce it for a longer time.
- Do I have to do chores to earn it?
There is nothing wrong with asking your child to work for the money they want to earn, but if you decide to do this, the child should get more control over the money earned. With privileges comes responsibility, however- so a chore must be truly completed to a high standard to earn the payment. A reward chart is a very easy way of tracking whether the jobs are done. If chores have to be completed to earn it, each of the chores should have a monetary value.
- Do I give bonuses?
If poor performance gives lower money, then extra effort should be rewarded, just like for a real job. Usually, it should have to be a sustained good performance, in one area, to warrant a “promotion” to a more difficult task, with better pay. Also, the items that your child is responsible for supplying for themselves should increase in line with their larger pocket money budget.
- What happens if they buy something silly or useless?
Use the same rules as you would if it was bought as a gift. If the item is not permitted in your home e.g. markers, then it needs to either be returned (by the child) or disposed of. Either way, the money for the item is forfeited. If it’s simply a foolish choice, then the child can keep it, (and hopefully learn from their mistakes).
- How can I teach them to budget better?
For every shopping trip that they accompany you on, explain what you are trying to buy, why you are buying it, and your budget. Ask them to help to find the item(s) that match what you are seeking. If the item is a little more expensive, ask them to justify the extra money. If it costs less, ask them what they would do with the leftover money.
- When should pocket money be increased?
Increase the amount every year on their birthday, unless you are asking them to earn their pocket money, in which case it should increase as they show more willingness to take on more responsibility.
- What if my child doesn’t want pocket money?
It’s (very) unusual for a child to refuse to take pocket money. It can happen when the child feels that they are not ready for it. Perhaps they feel that it’s just for older children. It’s not something that you should ever force a child to take, however, it is a responsibility that you can encourage. Set a treat day that would be the same as the pocket money day you had planned. Choose the treats that your child gets, within the budget you had planned. Only choose items that your child would like, but don’t offer a choice. If your child complains, point out that with pocket money, your child could make his/ her own choice. Explain that pocket money is for big boys and girls.
Handmade Cowboy Toys – Snakes
Rattlesnake head rattles
Fill the bottle ¼ full with rice. Glue the yellow crepe paper all around the bottle. Draw on the slits for eyes and two dots for the nose. Cut a small thin rectangle out of the red paper, with a fork on one side. Stick it to the bottle as its tongue.
Cut out a keyhole shape out of the green card It needs to be twice the width of the bottle, and long enough to cover the bottle length and base. Stick it on to the bottle, starting at the base. Draw the rattlesnake rings and face on with the marker. Leave to dry overnight.
Alternatively, you could use yellow construction paper, instead of the yellow crepe paper. It’s considerably faster and cleaner. The result will also look better and last longer.
You will need:
- Green Card
- Yellow crepe paper
- Black marker
- Red paper
- Plastic soda bottle
Paint all the toilet rolls and the Styrofoam ball yellow and leave to dry before painting laying them all on their sides, and painting the top third green, leaving one roll yellow. Once they’re dry, draw black rings around the yellow part of the toilet rolls, one inch apart. Cut the toilet rolls into thirds, leaving the yellow one intact. Cut two lengths of string and run it inside the toilet rolls. Staple a piece of string about mid way up the inside of one toilet roll, then attach the other string on the opposite side. Leave a ½ inch gap before attaching the next one.
Continue until you have them all attached, except the yellow one. Cut this tube two thirds of the way up, and curl in the two sides until it forms a cone. Staple it together. Attach the cone to the end of your snake, Attach the yellow ball to the other end of your snake by gluing it halfway inside the toilet roll. Paint on the snakes face. Add a forked piece of red felt for a tongue. Paint some green on the top of the snakes head, and the top of his tail.
You will need:
- Toilet rolls
- PVA Glue
- Small Styrofoam ball or ping pong ball
- Red felt / ribbon / card /tissue
- Green and yellow paint
- Black Marker
- String or ribbon