New This Month


Spider Princess Costume

Source: Martha Stewart Living


Try our other girl's paper Halloween costumes: Cat-Girl and Pumpkin.


  • 3 packages (20-by-90-inch) sheet crepe paper in black

  • 1 package (20-by-90-inch) sheet crepe paper in white

  • Tape measure or ruler

  • Scissors

  • Thread, in black and white

  • Sewing machine

  • Straight pins

  • Black seam binding or ribbon

  • Black Velcro fastener

  • Black 3/4-inch elastic, for headband

  • Toy spider

  • Black yarn, for spiderweb cape


  1. Open two packages of black crepe paper, but do not unfold. Cut one package of folded paper crosswise to create strips in each of the following widths: 9 1/2 inches, 2 1/2 inches, 2 inches, and 6 inches. Set aside; repeat with second package. Cut the folded white crepe paper the same way, creating two strips in each of the following widths: 2 inches, 3 1/4 inches, and 2 1/2 inches. You will use these strips to make the spider skirt.

  2. Using bodice template (as indicated for spider costume) enlarged to 200 percent, cut out two bodice front pieces and four bodice back pieces from black crepe paper. (Working with double layers of crepe paper makes the costumes sturdy enough for sewing.)

  3. Alternate double layers of black and white strips (following measurements indicated in illustration 4). Stitch strips together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  4. After all strips have been stitched, fold seams open, then fold skirt in half crosswise and cut along fold. You will now have two panels -- one for the front and one for the back of the skirt.

  5. With contrasting white thread, hand-baste with long stitches across the top and bottom edges of the front and back skirt panels.

  6. Tug on basting thread to gather top of back skirt panel until the width of the top of the skirt is equal to the width of the bodice; pin skirt panel to bodice. Repeat with front panel.

  7. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, machine-stitch front and back bodice pieces to corresponding skirt panels. Push seam allowance to bodice side, and topstitch 3/8 inch from seam to secure.

  8. Gather bottoms of skirt panels by pulling on basting threads until width of each measures 22 inches. Fold up a 1-inch hem, and machine-stitch in place.

  9. Stitch together shoulder seams with 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  10. Cut ten 7-inch-long pieces of black seam binding. Stitch a pair under each arm, on each side of waist, and at the back of the neck opening. Use these ties to close the costume once it is on the child.

  11. Snip Velcro fastener in half. Using the hook side only, secure one half tab to the back of each shoulder behind shoulder seam. The fastener will be used to attach the spiderweb cape. If desired, edge-stitch sides of skirt together.

  12. Cut a length of elastic to child's head size, plus 1/2 inch for seam allowance. Stitch band into a loop, then hand-stitch body of toy spider to front of headband.

  13. Using a large piece of cardboard as a work surface, position pushpins as shown. Cut four 42-inch lengths of yarn

  14. Tie end of one length to top-left pushpin; stretch straight across and tie other end to top-right pin. Loop remaining three lengths around top-center pushpin, and create "spokes" for the web, attaching to the pins as shown. 

  15. Then, working off the ball of yarn, begin weaving web between spokes, tying knots at each intersection. Weave a small length of yarn through the yarns at top center pushpin; tie to secure. 

  16. Pull out pushpins. Tie a 10-inch length of yarn to each end of top of web, for wrist ties. 

  17. To attach web to costumed child, press yarn onto Velcro fasteners on shoulders, then tie yarn ties to wrists.

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