DIY Popcorn Costume

Everyone who knows me knows that popcorn is my favorite food. I have it most nights after the kids are in bed, so dressing up as popcorn has been on costume short list for years. This year I finally made it happen! I hope you like this tutorial, which will show how to make this costume, and can also be applied to making any knit pencil skirt built to fit your body. 

photo of a woman standing dressed in a handmade popcorn costume holding a box of popcorn

Supplies:

1+ yard of red + white stripe knit fabric 

4 packs of pastel tissue paper from the dollar store

1 pack of white tissue paper

Small girls hair elastics

Mini Safety pins

White V neck shirt

For the Skirt:

Measure Twice – Cut Once

Begin by taking your measurements and cutting your fabric.

Measure your hips and subtract 3”. For me, that is 43”-3”= 40”. Then divide that number by 2= 20” is the width of your rectangles. 

Now measure your waist to you knee and add 7”. For me that was 18”+7”=25” long for my rectangle. 

Next, cut 2 identical rectangles out of your knit skirt fabric, according to the measurements you took. So mine was 25” long x 20” wide. Be sure you arrange your fabric in the correct direction, for this popcorn skirt that is with vertical stripes!

Now, lay your 2 identical rectangles on top of each other and taper in the waist and the knees. I drew a line on my fabric 1” into the material and 6” down, and matched that angle on all 4 corners. 

red and white stripe fabric laid out with scissors on top

Stitching the Skirt

Now sew the sides of your skirt using a stretch stitch or a serger. I used a zig zag stitch at a length of 2.5. Don’t push or pull your material through the machine, let it feed the fabric through for best results with knits!

Creating the Waistband

Fit the elastic comfortably around your waist and cut elastic to size. Instead of sewing a casing, you are just going to sew the elastic directly to the top of the skirt. Pull the elastic very slightly as you go, using a zig zag or overcast stitch. You will be sewing the elastic to the interior side of the skirt, about ⅛” from the edge. Be sure you do not pull on the fabric, just the elastic. Once you’ve sewn the elastic all the way around, overlap the ends of the elastic and sew those together vertically. Trim excess.

elastic being sewn into a waistband of a red and white pencil skirt

Fold the waistband over to cover the elastic and sew just the side seams, or around the waistband, depending on what style you’re going for. I just tacked my side seams

Hemming Time

I used fusible hem tape so I wouldn’t have a stitch line crossing the vertical stripes. First, try on the skirt to determine how much you want to fold it up to hit your optimal length. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the tape and take care not to stretch the fabric.

hem tape being applied to the bottom edge of a red and white striped pencil skirt.

Now for the Popcorn top!

Begin with a white V-neck shirt that fits you. I really recommend V-neck because the visual weight of all the popcorn needs the space of the V-neck to balance.

Next, cut your tissue paper in quarters, then round each corner with scissors.

yellow tissue paper being folded and the edges rounded

Pull the tissue into a popcorn, or flower type shape, and secure with a clear hair elastic. Make many of these “kernels!” Sit down with a show and recruit your family to help! I made about ⅔ yellow and ⅓ white, but you can choose your color preference. 

yellow tissue paper being held  to demonstrate how to bunch the tissue paper up and secure it with clear elastic band to create the popcorn kernel

Now use mini safety pins and pin all your whites on first, separating them out all over your tee shirt. Next, attach the yellow. Try on your shirt to see how it is filling in and where you have gaps.

Woman standing in a mirror trying on a handmade popcorn costume to check for fit.

Popcorn Costume Accessories

You can use any leftover popcorns to attatch to a headband or clip like i did!

I think the red lipstick really finishes off the costume! Be sure to find red lipstick before Halloween night!

Woman standing holding a box of popcorn while wearing a handmade popcorn costume.

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