Once upon a time my mother took my older daughter to see a play about Snow White. Like every 4 year old little girl that went to the theatre that day, she put a Snow White costume eager to see her beloved Princess on stage. After the play was over, she came home, ran up the stairs and locked herself in her room. When she came out she was wearing all black, stole a black blanket from the linen closet to wrap around herself like a cape and found some old dress up crown from a past Princess costume. I asked her what she was dressed as and she responded cackling “The Evil Queen”.
That play and the actress that played the Evil Queen, made quite the impact. Snow who? So a Halloween Costume idea was born.
I thought for sure in the land of Disney, where you can find just about any character Princess costume, that they’d have an Evil Queen costume for little girls as well. As of the Disney Store website today, there are over SIX different editions of the Cinderella costume alone. But no Evil Queen. No Maleficent. No Cruella De Vil. No Ursula. There are however Captain Hook costumes around and you can always dress as a Lion and be Scar from The Lion King. I’ll give them bonus points because they do have The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland available at times.
I heard a rumour that Disney Villain costumes for kids did exist because I found a Maleficent one on ebay. But it was in the UK and it was one costume out of the entire world wide web. I couldn’t figure why with the upcoming Maleficent movie that Disney wouldn’t want to get ready to dress up the next generation of kids. Though they didn’t have a part in Snow White and the Huntsman, the Evil Queen is iconic enough in her Disney brand that most people would recognize the costume instantly.
Is it that she had a poisonous apple? Is it because she tried to kill her step child? Is it because the costume contained too much fabric and unlike the cropped tops of Jasmine and seashell bras of Ariel, she wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the little girls on the street? I found some Evil Queen costumes this year for ‘tweens’ and adults but those costumes had less in common with the Evil Queen from Snow White than they did from the Halloween Costume explanation in Mean Girls:
“In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
Tiny Fay, you rock!
My daughter couldn’t possibly be the only little girl in the world wanting to dress up as the Evil Queen. She was Rapunzel last year. She was Princessed out and wanted something new.
So it was time to leave the ease of online Halloween costume shopping and horror of all horrors go back to the days where we made our Halloween costumes…by ourselves. This took a bit of thrift shopping and advanced planning to find the right pieces but I think we did ok.
I was heavily influenced by Annie Leibovitz‘s (brilliant doesn’t even cover the word for these) Disney portraits featuring different actors as different Disney characters.
This is the one featuring Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen from Snow White. I am linking you up to that photo rather than having it on here because I don’t have copyright permission to use it and well Disney’s got a lot of money to spend on lawyers that they could sue me with considering they just bought Star Wars/Lucasfilm Ltd. for FOUR BILLION DOLLARS.
And this is how our homemade Evil Queen Costume wound up looking.
For any parents out there who are looking to make this costume, here’s what I used/did to get this done.
Dress – From Value Village. It’s a plain black velvet long girls dress. Originally from the GAP, layered with a black turtleneck under it. I really wanted a deep purple one but couldn’t find one to save my life. And I am nowhere near able to make one on a sewing machine.
If you’re looking for a good alternative every single year Walmart and other Halloween suppliers sell this dress. It’s called the Sparkle Witch Costume and it also comes in a black and purple version. You can take off the gold bow trim at the front very easily and use that as an Evil Queen dress. This is what we originally were going to use but my daughter outgrew it by the time Halloween came around (I bought it last year post Halloween on clearance) and by that point we had the velvet one.
Cape – A adult sized crushed velvet Vampire costume cape. Store bought. The lining was $2 purple fabric from Value Village that my mom sewed in (yes I just wrote my mom). Technically the Evil Queen’s cape has a red lining but because I couldn’t find a purple dress, we went with the Evil Queen purple colour instead. If you find a purple dress, just buy a pre-made Vampire cape with red lining.
Evil Queen Headpiece – A $2 fleece balaclava that I got at Dollarama and then just trimmed the front of it in the classic Evil Queen V shape on the forehead. Also great for wearing on cold Halloween nights. The crown I made out of gold sparkle craft paper and used velcro adhesive tape on the inside to tape it to the balaclava so it wouldn’t fall off.
Belt – Burgundy Cord with Tassels. Value Village find but you can buy these at any major fabric store or specialty shops.
Ruby Pin – Thrift store again. My mom found it. It was tarnished metal mixed with gold around the ruby so I took some acrylic gold paint and fixed it up. I couldn’t believe she found one in the shape of the Evil Queen pin.
The Evil Queen collar – this was the only major DIY of the entire costume. I wanted the cape to be washable after Halloween for re-use for other costumes and playtime so I decided to make a removable collar. Because it had to stand up, I needed to use a stiff paper. In which case I took bristol board paper and cut out a collar template that fit the measurements of the cape. Then I traced and cut out two pieces of white foam sheets just a bit bigger than the bristol board template and glued them both together over the bristol board template.
That made for a stiff collar that could stand up but also be flexible enough to bend around the curve of a cape and not have the paper rip.
I then took velcro adhesive tape, stuck it on the bottom of the collar and the top part of the cape and them stuck them together. The adhesive on the back of the velcro strips is strong enough that it will stick on for the night to fabric but can easily be removed at the end so I could wash the cape afterwards. I also used the velcro tape on the front to extend the front closure of the cape to allow it to sit on the shoulders more vs a traditional vampire cape that goes right around the neck.
Striped rain boots not included. We got walloped by rain that night.
Her little sister went as Snow White of course. Nothing says I love my sibling like wanting to feed them a poisonous apple.
Can we stop taking photos yet Mom? I want to go get candy. That facial expression is completely genetic. *whistles*
Ok out of my way Snow White. I have neighbourhoods to conquer for Kit Kats and Smarties.
If you want to see the most amazing home made Evil Queen costumes here are two that are my favourite. Both are on their respective Flickr accounts.
This one is by Angela Sews and she made her daughter one that Disney should really be asking how to replicate and sell in their stores.
And this is by far the best Adult Evil Queen Costume I have ever seen by a Jamie H. from Southern California.
I hope everyone had a great Halloween! Until next year. A little birdie told me that someone wants to be someone from the yellow brick road.