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Grocery Getups: Flapper

Source: Halloween 2004, Special Issue 2004


Going to the supermarket takes on a whole new meaning when the goal is to look for ingredients for costumes. Who knew you could use ordinary household supplies to create Halloween haute couture? Add some craft supplies, and construct the costumes in most cases with just staples, packing tape, and glue. They're easy to make, and you and your child can work on them together. But the first thing you'll need to do is go grocery shopping. Take your trick-or-treater on a trip down the aisles, and let your imaginations run free.

What's shaking? The Charleston is the sweetest dance in town when the flapper wears a dress of shimmying sugar packets. This gal has pink cupcake-cup roses at her hip, in her hair, and on her shoes; her necklace is a stapled strand of cellophane-wrapped candies.

Try our other Grocery Getup Costumes:

Space Invader

Knight and Dragon




Hula Dancer


  • 2 boxes sugar packets

  • 1 pack paper cupcake holders

  • 1 pack mini-muffin holders

  • 1 pack wrapped candy


  1. For the base of the dress, we sewed pieces of two adult T-shirts together; you can use an old sundress instead. Start by cutting two adult medium-size T-shirts horizontally just below armpits. Then cut off the finished hem from the bottom of three sleeves (two of these will become the dress straps, and one will be used for the flapper's headband); discard the rest of the shirts' top halves.

  2. On one shirt, fold and pin a tuck on both sides. Hand-stitch in place at top and bottom (shirt will fit closely at the hips and chest and billow slightly at the center). Turn inside out.

  3. Trim other shirt to this new width (leaving enough fabric for a small seam allowance); turn inside out, and machine-stitch trimmed edges together.

  4. Line up cut edges of both shirts, with hems at top and bottom; sew shirts together to make one tube.

  5. For the straps, cut two of the sleeve hems so they're no longer loops; line up with tucks, and sew to dress.

  6. For the fringe, place sugar packets side by side, and staple together at top to form a strip; packets should not overlap on side -- the dress will get too heavy.

  7. Make each strip long enough to wrap around the dress (we used about two dozen packets per row); 8 to 10 rows should suffice. Slip a piece of cardboard inside the dress to separate the layers, then hot-glue strips to lower half of dress, beginning at the bottom -- the rows should overhang each other slightly to hide staples.

  8. To create a scalloped edge along bottom hem and at the waist, fold paper cupcake holders in half; attach using hot glue. Dress can be worn over a white leotard and fishnet tights, if desired.

  9. You'll need 8 to 10 cupcake cups to decorate the headband and shoes, and 10 to 12 larger paper muffin cups for the cabbage rose at the hip. Fold the cups in half, one or more at a time, varying the number you use.

  10. Nestle one half circle inside another on the perpendicular; staple together at the center. Build the flower by adding more and more "petals," placing each at a quarter turn every time; staple each layer.

  11. When finished, pinch, twist, and rustle the paper for flourish. Thumb the crimped edges; trim the interior of the flower with scissors. Cover the staples on the back with tape. Attach roses to fabric with hot glue; use small safety pins to secure to ballet slippers.

  12. Staple cellophane-wrapped candies end to end.

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