You might think we’re a little twisted, but I assure you we’re not! We just really enjoy some of the Tim Burton movies, including The Corpse Bride. I remember the first time I saw this movie in the theaters, it was a school night, I was a teacher and had to be to school by 7:30am the next day, but Troy (my husband) wanted to see the movie so bad at the midnight showing, so we went. And it was awesome. If you haven’t seen it, you probably think it is spooky and twisted, and while there is an element related to the underworld, it is also very sweet and magical and witty. Emily, who is the corpse bride, is a very giving, unselfish character, and is a delight once you get to know her. Which is why we were totally okay letting our 5 year old choose to be The Corpse Bride for Halloween. She plays the part perfectly….
Since most of these pictures are her solemnly “in character,” I’ve added a picture of her smiling… she had so much fun wearing this costume, and was dancing all over the living room while she watched the movie. She LOVED wearing this costume, and is excited to wear it again on Halloween!
How to make a Corpse Bride Costume
We started with finding a white dress. I bought this at Once Upon a Child for $13, which was our biggest expense. It was a few sizes too big for my daughter- perfect. I wanted the length.
I had to take in the dress on the sides, about half an inch. Since this is a Halloween costume, I knew it didn’t have to be perfect. All I did was cinch in the sides, tucking a layer of lace across the front bodice. My daughter helped me sew it all together.
After the lace, I got crazy with a pair of scissors, and cut a small slit in the front and tattered up the bottom of the dress. Then I took it outside and carefully spray painted it blue and black.
Here’s the spool of lace I had on hand to work with. I used it for the lace on the bodice, the arm cuff, and the veil. A spool of lace costs around $4 at a craft store.
I cut a small piece and sewed this elastic to the top and bottom. While sewing the elastic, I stretched it, to help it gather.
From here, I sewed the sides without elastic together, and the cuff was the perfect size for my daughter’s arm. Then I spray painted it blue, followed by a very light mist of black.
I made a similar cuff to wrap around the flowers. These are cheap yellow carnations (all we could find), which I spray painted blue and black, and called it “good enough!”
I twisted pipe cleaners together to create the circle. Then I hot glued 7 cheap white artificial daisies to it. Next, I tied 2 very long strands of lace to the back, creating 4 trails of lace. I could have added a bit more, but I didn’t want to use up all my lace on one Halloween costume, cuz I’m frugal like that! Last, I spray painted it all blue, then black.
We were lucky to find this amazing blue wig at the grocery store for $6. It was my daughter who spotted it, and knew it would be perfect for her costume! I spray painted bits and pieces of it black so she didn’t look like a pop star. Thankfully, I’m still able to brush through it even with spray paint in it.
I’m not sure if you can tell what the black thing on the bodice is, but its supposed to be the bride’s ribcage showing through the dress. We did our best to create this look, using baby brother’s too-small skeleton shirt from last Halloween. (which I had bought at the thrift store for $1). It’s not exactly perfect, but honestly I had to call it… good enough!
We sewed the 2 sleeves together to use as the other arm cuff, where the bride is just showing bones.
This was the fun part! I used a mixture of face paint from Wal-Mart, and my Mac makeup to create the face. I started with a white base, then covered her eyes in smoky gray and blue makeup. Then I drew the eyebrows, eyelashes, and filled them in. We finished it off with blush and lipstick. It really added to the drama and overall effect of the costume.
So, what do you think, for roughly $20, how did we do?