Last week I went to a conference in Atlanta called Type-A. One of the parties was sponsored by Disney, and it was a costume party. You didn’t have to wear a costume. The organizers made it clear that nobody should feel pressured. And I wasn’t planning on wearing one. I just had too much to do before the trip to bother about it.
But then, two days before the conference, inspiration struck. For some reason Darla, from Finding Nemo, flashed into my brain. Remember Darla? She’s the little girl with braces and pigtails who has a reputation for killing fish. Purple sweatshirt, headgear, and a fish in a bag? I could throw that together in two days! And so can you.
It turned out rather amazing.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fake braces
- 2 ponytail holders
- Purple sweatshirt (cotton or poly-cotton blend)
- Iron-on transfer
- Inkjet printer
- White polo shirt
- Plaid skirt
- White knee socks
- Black Mary Jane shoes
- Small Nemo stuffed animal
- Large clear plastic bag
- Twist tie
Some of the links that follow are affiliate links. Clicking on them will not cost you a thing, and I will get a very small commission if you end up buying something. Using these links is a nice way to say “Thank you” to me for putting this post together!
I used these fake teeth with braces on them. If you use this particular kind, there are two things that the directions don’t tell you. These teeth use little white beads that you heat up with water and press into the fake teeth, then mold them to your own teeth – that’s how they stay in. The directions say to use very hot water, but the hottest water from the tap didn’t work. I needed to use boiling water.
Second, out of the package the teeth are rather straight, not curved like a mouth. There’s no way I would have been able to wear them, so I took a chance and tossed them into the boiling water with the beads. After about 30 seconds the teeth themselves were soft enough to bend to the shape of my mouth, and they cooled that way.
These teeth would probably be too big for most kids, and they’re really the only fake braces that I’m seeing on Amazon. You’d have to check a Halloween costume store. You could also try trimming the teeth with very sharp scissors or a sharp knife, but I’m not sure it would work and I’m not responsible if you hurt yourself. If *I* were going to try trimming them, I would do it after putting them in boiling water, so that they’re a bit softer.
As for the headgear part, I used picture-hanging wire. A thicker wire would probably look better, but I wouldn’t have been able to weave it into the braces. I slipped it between the braces and twisted it behind my neck, so that there were no sharp ends.
Another option is to forget about the fake teeth/braces altogether and make some headgear with tinfoil. This method might be best for kids. You can have them hold the tinfoil in place by biting down on it with their teeth. And it might keep them quiet. :-D
Darla’s sweatshirt is awesome. I’m planning on wearing mine frequently and non-ironically. It’s also very simple to make.
You need a purple sweatshirt or long-sleeved crew-neck shirt (not a hoodie – no zippers!), and it can’t be fleece, because fleece might melt under the iron. You need a cotton or a cotton-poly blend. I used this purple sweatshirt, and it was perfect. If this costume is for a child, this one would work. The white polo shirt goes under the sweatshirt.
You need these iron-on transfers, because they’re super easy to use and they don’t require you to print the photo backwards. Follow the directions they come with to the letter, and they will work beautifully. Print the Rock N Roll Girl image (here’s a pdf if you like those better than jpgs) as big as you can on the transfer – it should go right to the edge (unless you’re putting it on a very small kids’ sweatshirt, then you might want to print it a bit smaller). Then cut it out carefully before ironing it on.
I did the ironing on a wooden floor, with a pillowcase underneath the sweatshirt. The first time I did it I forgot to take the backing off of the transfer, which meant that I had to start over with a second print. So don’t skip that step. :-) (Hey, it was 2am and I was delirious.)
The skirt is pretty easy. There are lots of plaid skirts out there. I bought this one. The “real” Darla’s skirt has a lot of yellow in it, but nobody is going to notice if yours doesn’t. The socks are simple too. You probably have some in your house somewhere. And the shoes, well, if you want to get them right you want something black with a strap on top. But much like the skirt, it’s not one of the more important details of the costume.
Pigtails with a deep side part. Easy-peasy. My hair is super long, so next time (I’m doing this again for Halloween) I might try to tuck my pigtails under so that they look shorter. But it all totally worked as it was.
The fish is easy. Just get a small Nemo stuffed animal, put it in a plastic bag, fill the bag with air, and tie it with a twist tie. Shake violently while yelling “Fithy, why are you thleeping???”
If you only have a zipper bag, cut the top off. I used a bread bag, which was the exact right size. A local bakery might have one. Plus, then you’ll have fresh bread. Bonus!
Or, if you want to dress as Darla with your child as Nemo, that would be super awesome!!
If you got something out of this post, I would really appreciate a share on Twitter or Facebook, or a pin on Pinterest!