Oct 28, 2014

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Costumes

With less than an hour to spare I got my kids' costumes done and they loved trick or treating in them at our local zoo! Thankfully it's not even Halloween yet so they'll get to wear these costumes again...which makes me happy since they were a LOT of work to make! (Why, oh why, can't I just buy my kids' costumes and save all the craziness of making them?)

Early this year my kids watched the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie for the first time and it's probably the first non-animated full length movie they ALL loved. I also let them watch the Johnny Depp version, which they thought was ok, but the first version captured their imaginations more and I was not-so-secretly planning out how all 4 kids could dress as the characters for Halloween this year. They really didn't get a choice. (Sorry, not sorry.)
I love my little Willy Wonka, Wonka Bar, Oompa Loompa, and Violet Beauregarde! Want the details on how I made each costume? Here you go...

We have to, of course, begin with the Willy Wonka costume since he is the most central character to the story. After unsuccessfully trying to talk my son into being Willy Wonka, my daughter looked at the character's purple coat and Gene Wilder's curly hair...and asked if she could be Willy instead. She was perfect as Willy Wonka and loved every minute of walking around in this costume with everyone recognizing her!

The purple coat was made with the Basic Blazer pattern by Blank Slate Patterns. I lengthened the coat quite a bit and angled the pockets. The shirt is a white collared button down I found at a thrift store, the khaki pants are hers, and I used gold ribbon for the big bow tie. I self drafted the floral vest using a basic t-shirt as a starting place. My only regret with this costume is that I ran out of time to make a brown hat, so we had to settle for a cheap black costume hat, and that I couldn't find a cane for her to complete the outfit. As a bonus, since I live in a cold climate, this is the warmest Halloween costume ever and is perfect for the chilly Halloween night we're going to have this week.
And what good would it be to have Willy Wonka and no Oompa Loompa costume? My 3 year old was very unsure about this costume at first. But the minute he saw himself in the outfit with his face painted he started singing the song and dancing all over. He told everyone we saw what he was (like they couldn't tell) and constantly made us laugh with his over-the-top enthusiasm!

I self drafted the pants and made them out of cheap white muslin I had on hand. The brown t-shirt was made using the All You Need is Jammies pattern by Heidi & Finn. Then I made brown and white striped fabric by cutting 1.5" strips and serging them together. That is what I used for the collar, the lower sleeves, and the lower legs. I bought buttons, green hairspray, and face paint. Henry added the cuteness. :)
Now for the easiest one, the Wonka Bar. This one took the least time and was pretty easy. First I found the 'Wonka Bar' logo wording and scaled it (in InDesign - but you could do this in a variety of ways) to fit the size of the candy bar I wanted to make. Then I printed and cut out the letters, then cut out felt letters using my paper templates. I cut two lengths of red felt (I think they were each about 70 inches), then cut two rectangles of dark brown felt. I sewed it down, then appliqued the letters on top of it. Then I sewed the red felt pieces right sides together, leaving an opening on one short end. For the structure of the costume I cut a piece of cardboard the same length and slightly narrower than the red felt. I cut a rectangle for my son's head and tested it to make sure it would stay on his shoulders. Then I slipped the cardboard into the red felt 'pillowcase' and cut the felt following the neckhole in the cardboard. Then I simply stitched up the neck opening and the bottom I had left open, added a couple flaps on the sides to hold it all together, and that's it!

And finally, the most complicated and time consuming costume of the bunch was Miss Violet Beauregarde...the blueberry! I was most excited about this one and found an inspiration picture online of another costume where they used an exercise ball and paper mached it to get the blueberry shape. So...I tried that technique and it didn't go so well. (and the mess of paste and paper had to sit in my kitchen for days to dry - ugh) I couldn't get the paper mache hard enough (even with multiple layers) to hold up by itself so we ended up using drywall mesh tape and drywall mud. When it got hard enough, I deflated the exercise ball and cut holes at the bottom and top for her head and legs, and arm holes. Then we reinforced the holes with duct tape to make sure it wouldn't rip under its own weight.
I found a bluish/purple knit fabric at JoAnn Fabrics and used it to make a pair of leggings and long sleeved t-shirt (using the All You Need is Jammies pattern by Heidi & Finn). Then I draped a long piece of fabric (it took almost 2 yards) over the ball, tucking it in and duct taping it to the inside of the ball. I folded the front to sort of make a placket and sewed on buttons and red ribbon to complete the outfit. Then, of course, we had to paint her face blue (it washed off just fine - phew).

Now "I have a blueberry for a daughter."

All in all I spent about $100 on supplies and many hours putting these costumes together. I'm SO pleased with how they turned out! Now I'm thinking up what theme we can all dress up as next year. What do you think...do you like when families dress up as a theme? Or do you hate it?


  1. Holy cow - WOW! You did such a great job on these costumes.

  2. Ok, this officially makes you my favorite person in the world. This is genius!! You are SO talented.

  3. These are so, so cute! You did a fantastic job making them, too. They look great!!

  4. These are perfection! If only you could cut that musical part out of the movie. You know, where Charlie's mother is singing?

  5. Hi would you be interested in selling these costumes? They are adorable!!

  6. OK these are brilliant!!! Thank you so much for linking them up to my link party!

  7. Any chance you will sell these costumes? Particularly the Wonka Bar? Thanks.

  8. Hi there! I came across your blog looking for Willy Wonka costume ideas! I am attempting the Violet costume and was just wondering what your process of the drywall mud and mesh tape was? I have the supplies but don't know exactly what to do with them..lol..can you help? Thank you!

  9. this is awesome! how did you do the drywall tape ? i am doing a similar costume for my kids and need HELP! i have 2 months i still feel like its not enough time lol lol ! Can you help a mama out ! oxoxox thanks so much


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