*Purchasing through my affiliate links earns me a small commission to keep creating!*
How do you turn a pile of clothes on a bed into costumes with scrumptious colors, layers and textures?
To start this story, we’re going to have to travel back *gulp* thirteen years, to my senior year of college. I took a textiles class to fulfill the art credit I needed to graduate. I was drawn to the textiles course because…obviously. Also, I had a hankering to try my hand at weaving ever since I inherited some linen woven by my great-great-great Grandmother, Kajsa (Kye-suh) Sjöquist. I believe it was even made from flax grown on the family farm in Småland, Sweden.
Setting up the loom was intense! My professor had a huge hand in helping me. If I messed up the placement of even one, vertical warp thread, the finished piece would have a flaw in its pattern through its entire length. *Yikes!* Speaking of patterns, I selected designs for all of my projects from the Manual of Swedish Handweaving. It was a library book that I had pored over as a teen. (Nerd alert!) I remembered it and asked my mom to check it out and mail it to me from Washington to Oklahoma. Yes, this is quite the saga!
Of course, the actual scarf I used as part of Emma’s Marzipan Elf costume is the only piece I didn’t take photos of while it was on the loom. *Sigh* It was the third and final project I had to complete for the class. I made it from scraps of leftover yarn in my professor’s stash, and scrambled to finish it in time before graduating!
Moving along! Most of Emma’s costume pieces were either from her or my closets. Here are a few of the thrifted items.
And…Here are all of Emma’s costume pieces! Her hat (as well as most of the others) were hand-me-downs from friends. I know how to knit and crochet, but haven’t in years. I look forward to dusting off those skills when teaching our kids!
So, you’re probably sick of hearing about scarves, by now. I still hope you will indulge me one more time: The scarf on the right was made for me by my dear college roommate. I still wear it to this day. The scarf is so soft and I love the color! This scarf became the shoulder sash of Elliott’s costume.
The brown, velvet blazer was also part of my college wardrobe, and the green shirt is mine, as well! Everything else was hand-me-downs, or thrifted. Here are all of Elliott’s costume pieces.
Eliza’s purple cardigan began as a sad, stained sweater that I dyed for her Pilgrim costume, a few years ago.
I love the green, embroidered blouse that was layered under Eliza’s hand-me-down sundress. Too bad it’s not my size!
In case you didn’t already know; red is Eliza’s favorite color. So, naturally, she wore the red hat!
Oliver kept toasty warm in a thrifted thermal top and vintage, wool sweater. (I made sure he wore a turtleneck in between so he wouldn’t feel itchy!)
So many of our friends have generously given us their kids’ outgrown clothes, over the years. They know that I use all sorts of things to make costumes . . . And I do! Oliver got to wear two, cute, hand-me-down pieces: The hat and the shoulder scarf! His boots were from Zulily.
Most of Annika’s costume pieces came from the YWCA Thrift Store. How cute is the corduroy, double-breasted jacket and the ribbon-laced boots?
The rest of Annika’s costume pieces were her own clothes.
AND . . . If you don’t believe me . . . Here is our family’s 2020 Christmas Card! Can you see how many articles of clothing they also wore as Marzipan Elves? I can count three, not including their boots, which were cropped out of these photos.
However, you can sure see the footwear in these shots that didn’t quite make the Christmas card . . .
Oh, Annika. She used to flip out whenever a camera was around. These days, she practices her nonconformity through another medium: Clowning.
Future album cover/Annika descending Mt. Sinai
And, there you have it! Thank you for going on a time travel adventure with me. Maybe it’s overkill to share how deep the origins of my inspiration go. However, if you’re still reading, I hope that means that you understand.
More Nutcracker Content
- Marzipan Cookies – Homemade Nutcracker: How we made the delicious cookies that accompany this project.
- DIY Upcycled Wool Mitts and Pins: Follow this link for a tutorial on how to make these beautiful mitts and coordinating pins.
- Marzipan Reed Flutes – Homemade Nutcracker: Follow this link to see the final photo shoot!
- Marzipan Behind the Scenes Bloopers – Homemade Nutcracker