Created on: April 23, 2009 Last Updated: February 13, 2010
Making a costume for Mardi Gras can be as simple or elaborate an undertaking as you want it to be. There really are no rules and it is the one day of the year where practically anything goes. On Mardi Gras morning thousands of people will emerge from their homes garbed in their homemade garb made from old clothing, newspaper, card board and all sorts of other materials. To be in that number merely takes a little imagination.
Last year's left over beads and throws can be used to create wigs, embellishments and even complete outfits. If you don't have any swag from a previous Mardi Gras and you're not particularly gifted with a needle and thread, you can purchase a few simple items or possibly even shop your own closet to come up with a quick costume. Items such as hats, bandanas and scarves can easily be used to create an instant costume.
Tie a bandanna around your neck and put on a Stetson with jeans and a white T-shirt for an instant cowboy costume. For a quick pirate look tie a bandanna on your head and put a huge earring on one ear. If you're even remotely crafty you could add a simple eye patch using string and construction paper. Ladies can tie a scarf over their heads and wear hoop earrings and bangles for an instant gypsy or fortune teller costume.
One of the simplest costumes around is also one of the most popular, especially among college students. Simply take a white bed sheet and drape it Greco-Roman style for an instant toga. The wearing of some ethnic clothing could also stand in for a costume, especially if the aim is to dress as a particular figure in history or a well-known celebrity.
A quick trip to the thrift store can yield a used wedding dress or evening gown that can serve as the basis of a debutante or beauty queen costume. Many shops also have simple tiaras or you can make your own crown from paper or cardboard and or aluminum foil. A thrift store is also a good source for Tuxedos and other clothing items that can be reinvented quickly and easily. Pair a black suit and hat with dark sunglasses and in an instant you're a Blues Brother.
Literary figures, news headlines, politicians, even consumer goods often serve as inspiration for Mardi Gras costumes. Mardi Gras in New Orleans also means King Cake time to the locals and dressing as the baby from the cake by revisiting the bed sheet as costume is simple enough if you don't mind walking around in a diaper all day.
With a little creative thinking you can easily turn what's readily at hand into a quick and easy costume to wear out on Mardi Gras day while you're partying at the parades or taking in the sights up and down Bourbon Street.
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