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Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Katherine
Because of the pandemic, Halloween is likely to be a unique event this year. I don’t think we should count the fun out just yet, though. In this week’s blog post, let’s talk about making a DIY flapper costume to celebrate the Roaring 20s in style!
Flappers were young women in the 1920s who typically flouted social norms and wore some of the most eye-catching dresses when entertaining or stepping out onto the town.
I found inspiration for this period from the fabulous Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series & movie (if you aren’t familiar, it’s a fascinating period drama). Other great inspirational movies and tv series are The Great Gatsby, the Aviator, Downton Abbey, and tons more!
I picked this costume particularly because flappers are flashy and fun. The dress is also quite easy to put together, so you will not need to do a ton of sewing either!
What You Will Need For A DIY Flapper Costume:
- A dress or a long skirt. Aim for a straight line dress if you can.
- A fringe that matches your dress or skirt. You can find this at most places that sell fabric.
- Some trim that you can use to make straps.
- Ribbon for the headpiece.
- Some beads (optional) or feathers to add a bit of sparkle to your headpiece.
- A wig and wig cap.
- Elbow-length gloves.
- Fishnet stockings.
Make Your Dress
I didn’t have a suitable black dress that I wanted to use for this project, but I had a long enough black skirt that I could adjust for this. As flappers liked to show a lot of leg, you want to aim for anything around the knee or a bit higher. This was probably a touch shorter than an actual flapper would wear, but definitely longer than a miniskirt, so I think I did okay there!
I began by sewing on some simple spaghetti straps onto my skirt. I picked a sparkly black ribbon-like trim. If you’re concerned about durability, sew a few extra stitches in to reinforce it.
Next, I wanted to sew on the fringe. I didn’t have enough to sew all the way around and I think if I were to redo it, I’d buy at least another meter of fringe so I could go all the way around. Though, one silver lining of just doing the wrong was there was a lot less to sew on, as the fringe is tricky! My advice here is to go slow and take your time!
Another slick trick is to use a black or dark-colored dress. It’s hard to see mistakes made when working with these colors!
I enjoy keeping it simple, so just a gold ribbon is what I used for the headdress. For a unique twist, I made it two stranded!
To accomplish the two stranded look, I measured my head (with the wig on) and cut the ribbon to the size that would fit around my head with a little overlap.
Then all you need to do is hot glue the ends together for both and then hot glue a bow on the back. If you don’t have a hot glue gun, you can also try sewing the ends together if you have some thread that will match your ribbon.
Red lips are a must. I kept my eye makeup more subdued, along with blush, because I wanted my lips to do all the talking! I chose some purple eyeshadow and used a black eye pencil to smudge the color together. It was darker than I normally might do with my eyes, so to lighten it a touch, I used some sparkly light eyeshadow on my brow bone.
For the lips, I recommend Rimmel’s Provocolips, the color is “Kiss Me You Fool”. You can find this wherever you can find Rimmel products. I like this line of lip color because it also comes with a gloss sealer and it works! This lipstick is smudge-proof for hours!
I think before Halloween hits, I’d like to snag a pair of fake eyelashes just for a bit of extra oomph!
Other Accessories to Consider
My elbow-length gloves did not arrive in time, however I am definitely using those because they look glam and they are so in right now with the pandemic! You can usually find fishnet stockings wherever regular pantyhose and stockings are sold, I bought mine at The Real Canadian Superstore.
My pearls are costume jewelry that I found in my local dollar store. I chose them specifically because they were nice and long, so you can wear them how you like. Pearls are always a classic look.
Look for a feather boa as well, such a thing would be excellent for this costume!
If you’d like a cigarette holder, you can paint a wooden dowel black using craft paint.
For your shoes, I think any t-strap style pump will look gorgeous.
Putting Your DIY Flapper Costume Together – Final Thoughts
Overall, this costume took about three hours to put together. The longest bit was sewing on the fringe, which is a pain in the butt, but totally doable if you take your time. Everything else was simple to throw together, though if you wanted to really sell it, you could source some ostrich feathers for your headpiece. You could also create a headpiece similar to my Nile Queen headpiece from last year.
My final verdict is that this DIY flapper costume is fun and a great idea for Halloween 2020, a great way to laugh at this particularly challenging and peculiar year. Let me know your favorite Halloween costume idea in the comments down below and don’t forget to share this post to social media and spread the love!
That’s all for this week. Join me next week for another post on what to do with mason jars if you aren’t needing them for canning. Until then, stay crafty, my friends!