Mardi Gras is the last day of Carnival, a three-day celebration marked by excess and euphoria. In Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, people descend to the streets wearing elaborate costumes and masks to dance the night away. House parties, usually more tamed, get their inspiration from ancient European traditions. Party-goers put on masks, dress up as jesters and wear a lot of purple, green and gold. If you plan to take part in this year’s festivities, here are three homemade, inexpensive costumes to consider.
The jester costume is fun and comfortable. You need a baggy and vibrant shirt, leggings or tights, a colorful pair of shoes and a paper Jester’s hat. To make your hat you will need some color construction paper, scissors, glitter and decorative items to complete the look. First, make the hat’s base using the paper. Cut a two-inch wide piece, slightly longer than the circumference of your head. Cut isosceles triangles from the remainder of the paper. Overlap and glue the triangles around the base of the hat. Fold the base and glue the ends to fit your head. Decorate the crown to your liking.
If you plan to attend a masquerade ball, pick out a formal outfit from your closet. An old bridesmaid dress, tuxedo or suit should do the trick. Next you will need a mask to complement your costume. To make a mask you will need cardboard, a dowel stick, tracing paper, scissors, glue, paint, glitter, stickers, beads and feathers. To start, trace the desired shape of the mask. Next draw the shape on the cardboard and cut it. Cut the eyeholes; make sure they are big enough for you to see. Glue the dowel stick to the side of the mask. Decorate to your liking.
Finally, Mardi Gras is a chance to take on a new, sultry and wild identity. It is an opportunity to let your imagination run wild. Experiment with offbeat combinations: a sequin dress or bright and colorful apparel. Overuse costume jewelry and accessories like wigs, hats, beads and feather boas. Use make-up or face paint to accentuate your facial features and complete your look.
You can make a fun and crazy costume out of every day material without breaking the bank. Remember, creativity has no boundaries during the Carnival season. Experiment, fancy and delight. That is the essence Mardi Gras!