Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012: Temporary Insanity and Peppermint Bliss

It all began with a simple question from my son's teacher at school -

"Would you like to help us with the Christmas costumes for the infant and toddler classes?"

Weeks later - surrounded by onesies, tulle, and felt, frantically sewing what would be peppermint costumes for eleven children - I had to laugh at my ability to volunteer for projects that can't help but spiral a bit out of control.

While there were more than a few moments I wondered at my sanity in taking on such a big commitment right before the holidays (which, at least in our household, is both the merriest and busiest time of year), the truth is that I love projects where I can be creative and help others. Figuring out how to make costumes that were cute and festive on a budget - and perhaps most importantly, EASY - helped to get me in the Christmas spirit (well, that and the big glass of wine I poured to celebrate when the last peppermint was complete).

Should you ever find yourself saying 'yes' to crafting Christmas cosumes for a class full of children (or just you own), here are some simple instructions on how to make peppermints for less than $1 a piece. Merry Christmas!

Red, green and white felt (I made red peppermints for the girls, green for the boys)
White thread
White onesies or t-shirts (nearly every child out there has an old one to donate to the cause)

1. Cut a white felt circle for each peppermint about the width of a onesie. I used a medium sized bowl as a guide.
2. Cut green and red felt circles and free-form draw peppermint shapes on each. Cut along the lines to create the peppermint 'swirl' pieces.
3. Glue the swirls to the white circles. I found that regular Elmer's glue worked best - though be careful with the amount so you don't soak through the felt.
4. Once your felt peppermints are ready, it's time for the tulle 'wrapper.' Cut a square of tulle large enough that it wraps around the peppermint like a taco (with the open seam to the center back of the peppermint) and you have at least 6 inches of overhang on each side. It's better to leave too much on each side than too little - you can trim later.
5. As you make your peppermint tulle tacos, pin them to the onesies. At the end of this, all of your onesies should have peppermints pinned in the middle with the tulle in a rectangle form (open seam of tulle tucked between the peppermint and the onesie) and about 6 inches of overhang of tulle on each side.
6. Get out your sewing machine and white thread, and sew around the edge of each peppermint so that in one swoop you sew both the peppermint and the tulle to each onesie.
7. Use scraps of tulle to tie the overhang of tulle fabric on each side of the onesies, creating the little tuft of 'wrapper.' Trim the tulle to your liking.
8. Ask all of the parents to bring something white or khaki for the bottom - tights, pants, etc.
9. Have a big glass of wine.
10. Done! *

* On a trip to Target I came across some cute peppermint bags and mistletoe headbands in the $1 bin. In this case, I pushed the 'easy button' and gladly paid $22 for headpieces and bags (which I filled with bells and sewed shut) to outfit the whole class.


  1. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

  2. Heather,

    Thank you so much for your comment and for reading my blog! Let me know your question - I'd be happy to respond.