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Ideas on How to Dress Up Kids in a Fancy Dress Competition

Radhika has dressed up her kid in several fancy dress competitions held in school, society and other academies for about seven years.

It's always fun to see kids dressed up in colorful costumes. In many places, high-quality fancy dress and costumes are available ready-made in shops for hire or sale.

In a fancy dress competition, there are many lovely kids all dressed up and sharing the same stage. To impress the judges, you need an outfit that is homemade, hand-crafted, and unique.

I have some experience in making fancy dress costumes. Every year, I’ve gotten to dress up my son for the fancy dress competitions held during Ganapati festival and Navratri Pooja. My son also participates in fancy dress competitions at his school. As a result, I've had to find and make an interesting costume for him to wear in the competition every year.

These are seven costumes that my son has worn, which are:

  • Butterfly
  • Peacock
  • God Sriram
  • God Sri Krishna
  • Bridegroom
  • King Mahabali
  • Narada

Below I explain how I assembled the costumes. There are also some other ideas for fancy dress in addition to the ones that I've made for my son.

Though it's true it might be simpler to hire fancy dress from shops since they have such a wide selection of costumes, it is harder to find an interesting and unique costume since most of them would have been worn by other kids in competitions held in the past.

1. Butterfly

Fancy dress for a "butterfly"

Fancy dress for a "butterfly"

Normally, kids begin participating in fancy dress competitions in animal or bird costumes. They don’t have to do anything very complicated for their performance. Usually, they only need to move on the stage like the animal they are dressed as.

Many children would like to dress up as a butterfly, as did my son. For that, I had to figure out how to make a butterfly costume. I didn’t finish the costume in a day or hours’ time, however. I worked on this project whenever I got spare time, and luckily the outfit was ready in time for the fancy dress competition.

How I Made the Costume


  • For the butterfly body: Tight, dark-colored, long-sleeved top and pants
  • For the wings: Wire, fabric paint, light-weighted base piece that cloth sticks to when it's ironed, silk
  • For the headpiece: Soft fur cloth, drinking straws for antennae

The Body

I used a tight long-sleeved top and pants to make up the body of the butterfly. Usually dark colors work better for the butterfly body so it can accentuate the light color of the wings. I chose to go with a black and white combination for the entire costume.

The Wings

Designing the wings is a major part of this costume since it is the most noticeable part of the butterfly. To make them, I attached a white cotton silk cloth cut in the shape of the wings to a light-weighted base piece that holds clothes after they're ironed.

I had no idea something like this existed until I talked to a craft shop owner. Due to the reaction of some chemicals coated on it, cloth sticks to it when ironed. It is not stiff like cardboard, though, so the next step was to figure out how to make it stiff and keep it on my son's back.

For this, I bought a thin iron wire and bent it in roughly the shape of the wing. This wire, when glued on the back of the silk cloth wings, could bring up the butterfly wings and make them look alive. I then attached the wing to the back of the body by stitching, and decorated them with fabric paints and artificial flowers.

The Headpiece

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To make the headpiece, I stitched together a cap using soft fur cloth. I stitched cloth around two drinking straws for the antennae and sewed those onto the headpiece.

2. Peacock

Fancy dress for a "peacock"

Fancy dress for a "peacock"

How I Made the Costume


  • For the body and headpiece: I hired a costume from a shop
  • For the face: Costume makeup

You can make your own peacock costume if you have enough feathers, but I found making the peacock’s plumage to be an extremely daunting task, so I decided to hire this blue costume with feathers neatly tied in a row.

Some fancy dress may require you to paint your child's skin, especially their face or arms. I painted my son's face like the fan-shaped feathers seen on the crest of the head of a peacock.

3. God Sriram

Fancy dress for "God Sriram"

Fancy dress for "God Sriram"

Crown, armlets, bracelets and waist band

Crown, armlets, bracelets and waist band

Dressing up kids with gods' dress is a popular trend in fancy dress competitions. The year that my child wore this costume, he had to deliver a small dialogue in the competition at his school. For this event, I made the costume myself with the bow and arrows held in God Sriram’s hands.

How I Made the Costume


  • For the top and bottom: Silk fabric and thread
  • For the ornaments: Beads, stones, fabric glue, and thread
  • For the bow and arrow: Bamboo sticks covered in gilt paper
  • For the arrow holder: Brown paper covered in gilt paper, glued to the back of the costume
  • For the face: Costume makeup

The Top and Bottom

First I stitched the top and bottom of the costume as shown in the picture. The ‘dhoti’ or ‘thaar’ in the bottom part consists of a silk draped border stitched on the middle and joined to a side.

The Ornaments, Bow, Arrow, and Arrow Holder

I designed and created all the ornaments, including the crown, armlets, bracelets, and waistbands using beads and stones. I made bows and arrows with bamboo sticks covered in gilt paper. For the arrow holder, I used brown paper and finished it with gilt paper. It was glued to the back of the dress to place the arrows in it.


Makeup is crucial while dressing up as gods. Here, the dot on the forehead is a ‘Naamam’ which has a ‘bindi’ or ‘gopi’ surrounded by sandalwood paste.

4. God Sri Krishna

Fancy dress for "God Krishna"

Fancy dress for "God Krishna"

How I Made the Costume


  • Top, Bottom, and Ornaments: (same as the above God Sriram costume)
  • Flute: Purchased a flute and decorated it with crafting materials
  • Crown: Peacock feather

Many parents decide to dress up their kids like God Sri Krishna because Hindus are very fond of the God himself as a kid.

I didn’t have to make much for this dress since I already had the ornaments I needed. The only thing I had to do was fasten a peacock’s feather to the top of the crown as Sri Krishna wears it. I bought a flute and decorated it using crafting materials.

5. Bridegroom

Fancy dress for a "North Indian bridegroom"

Fancy dress for a "North Indian bridegroom"

A North Indian bridegroom wears the traditional ‘Servani’ along with a turban decorated by glossy materials. I bought this Servani from a nearby shop and made the turban with a silk cloth. This is the costume that North Indians typically wear in a traditional dress competition.

6. King Mahabali

Fancy dress costume for 'KIng Mahabali'

Fancy dress costume for 'KIng Mahabali'

One year, the theme for the fancy dress competition at school was "peace." There were the obvious choices of a dove, swan, Mahathma Gandhi, or Jawaharlal Nehru, but I chose the costume of King Mahabali from Kerala.

How I Made the Costume


  • Olakkuda (leaf umbrella): Coconut leaves, crafty glue, child's umbrella
  • Moustache: Human hair, double-sided sticky tape
  • Top and bottom: Sleeveless top and 'dhoti' from the King Sriram costume, silk shawl or uthareeyam

Olakkuda (leaf umbrella)

I just had to craft an olakkuda or leaf umbrella which the King holds while he visits his subjects annually. I fetched some coconut tree leaves from the garden and glued them to a kids’ umbrella using Fevicol. Gluing natural leaves is not an easy task, as they need some time to stick to the cloth. You can try using Crafty Glue for this, which is what it was meant to be used for.

Olakkuda or leaf umbrella

Olakkuda or leaf umbrella


I also needed a moustache to complete the king look. For this, I collected some short hairs and glued them on double-sided sticky tape. The tape, when fixed on the top of my son's mouth, gave almost the look of a real moustache.

Top and Bottom

I had him wear the sleeveless top and ‘dhoti’ which I had prepared for the Sriram costume, and I wrapped his back using a silk shawl or uthareeyam inserted inside the waistband. And that's how King Mahabali got ready to attend the fancy dress competition carrying the olakkuda.

7. Narada



One year, my child had to act as Narada, the Vedic sage, in a skit arranged by his music academy. I went to a nearby fancy dress shop to enquire about the accessories needed to dress him up.

Costume Components (I hired this one)

  • Dhoti
  • Shawl
  • Rudraksham beads
  • Wig
  • Musical instrument like a veena
  • Jasmine flower strings (I purchased these separately)

The set was available there and I hired it. It included a dhoti, a shawl, and a rudraksham beads ornament set. It also had a wig with round, tied hair on a headpiece and the musical instrument like a veena and a rhythmic instrument which are carried by Narada during his chanting of hymns and singing of prayers.

I had to buy some jasmine flower strings to form the garland and to decorate the tied hair. For the rest, I dressed him up like that of the Gods as mentioned above.

Apart from these costume ideas, Santa Claus, soldiers, folk men and women, robots, and spider man are some of the outfits that catch our attention during this event.

Fancy dress ideas based on birds

Kids love birds and those having colorful body, thick tail, feathers and crest look gorgeous in a fancy dress competition. Though there are several bird costumes possible, I suggest a few of them to try for your kid.












Golden pheasant



Fancy dress for chicken

Ideas on animals

Though there are a hundreds of ideas from the animal world are possible, some costumes linger in the minds of spectators with their showy appearance. Let's look at some of them.





Jelly fish








Fancy dress for zebra

Ideas from technology

Flat Screen TV



Smart phone


ATM machine



Time machine




Fancy dress for a laptop

Fancy dress for a robot

Fancy dress for ATM machine

Fancy dress ideas based on freedom fighters or National leaders

Mahathma Gandhi

Subhash Chandra Bose

Sardar Vallabh Bai Patel

Rani of Jhansi

Sarojini Naidu

Kasturba Gandhi

Bhagat Singh

Jawaharlal Nehru



Fancy dress for Mahathma gandhi

Fancy dress for Rani of Jhansi

Ideas on the topic political leaders

One of the political leaders whose name comes to our minds first is our own prime minister Mr Narendra Modi. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi all also have secured their own place in the field of politics. Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sushma Swaraj, Arvind Kejriwal, Manmohan Singh also can be chosen to dress up as a political leader.

Fancy dress as Sri Narendra Modi

Fancy dress ideas for social activists

Anna Hazare can be chosen for wearing fancy dress on the theme of social activists. His dialogues are so elegant that they can win the minds of the judges as well as the audience. Also some of the ideas that pop up in my mind are Medha Patkar, Kiran Bedi, Baba Amte and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Fancy dress as Anna Hazare

Fancy Dress for Different Teaching Themes

Mother Nature




Recycle bin

White flag



Mahathma Gandi


A car for carpooling








Fancy Dress for Characters from the Media


Fictional Characters

Cartoon Characters


Santa Claus



Harry Potter

Tom and Jerry


Hannah Montana

Dora the Explorer

The Hulk

Mr. Bean

Mickey Mouse



Minnie Mouse

Fancy Dress Ideas Based on Plants




A tree










Money Plant

Fancy dress competition

  • Festival art & craft activities for kids
    Kids enjoy celebrating festivals and I think we, parents should educate them the legend and significance of each festival occasionally. Making art & crafts are also a part of most festivals and let’s discuss some of them for the kids during these
  • Some common art & craft activities for kids
    Kids always get entertained with so many indoor and outdoor activities. Playing games, singing songs, drawing pictures and many other activities keep kids involved in doing something they like. Some art & craft activities have been discussed in d

© 2012 Radhika Sreekanth


deepika on January 20, 2016:

hi...i m to dress my child as a beautiful flower for fancy dress suggest me for making flower what type of paper it should be used which can be fold....

Dhannya Abhilash on January 05, 2016:

Hi, My daughter is in L.Kg and has a fancy dress competition in her school can you give me some ideas for her.

aarti on December 02, 2015:

I want to dresssup my boy as a sparrow in school fancy dress competition. Please give me some ideas for this.

Jyothi Chetan on November 02, 2015:


My daughter is 3yrs old she is in nursery. Her school has fancy dress program on 6th Nov. she needs to go dressed as Lotus/Lily n speak few words. could u plz suggest me about the dress Lotus/Lily.

Thank you.

lalitha on October 14, 2015:

How dress up girl kid like turnip?....and how to decorate to hair like leaves of turnip.

jayshri on September 28, 2015:

Hi, my son is in jr kg fancy dress theme is musical instrument .can u plz suggest me for dis l would like to do my own nt buying

ruchi agarwal on September 22, 2015:

can u give me some fancy dress competition ideas for my 5 years old son

Zakeer Hussain on September 19, 2015:

hello madam, my kid is 4 year old. I want to show him as Robot for fancy dress so plz tell me the accessories n costume for him so that i can prepare myself.

Roopa on September 13, 2015:

I want to up my daughter as a keralite ,so please give me suggestions

nilam on August 11, 2015:

Hi wat to make my son in go as u like competition

puneet kaur on August 05, 2015: kid is 3 yrs old...he has a fancy dress competition in school tomorrow on d topic mantra for health....pls give some ideas...

gomathi on February 26, 2015:

I would like to participate my son in Krishna fancy dress , studying in UKG in min cost

hi on February 07, 2015:

Hi radhika

my daughter is in jrkg she is 5yrs

her topic for fancy dress is bird

and i m thibking her to make dove as ,everyone will b think of peacock give me some idras bt i want dress of handmade or homemade and even suggeat me some lines for it

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on January 05, 2015:

Hi Fatema,

I have several times mentioned in previous comments that you can google to get dialogues. All the best.

Fatema Abdeali on January 05, 2015:

hi kindly suggest the lines for politician arvind kejriwal for pre school child

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on December 21, 2014:

Hi jyoti,

You might have heard of small butterfly poems or songs. Google it and choose the one you like. All the best.

jyoti on December 20, 2014:

Pls suggest me lines on butterfly

bhawna on November 11, 2014:


My 3 year daughter hs to become flower.. Plz giv some different ideas

Kalpana on October 06, 2014:

Hi mam,

Can you give some fancy dress ideas on moral values for four year old boy. Pls help me.

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on September 29, 2014:

Hi smita,

Is it just newspaper or newspaper boy?

smita on September 28, 2014:

My son is in 1std and since I don't have much time can u pls help me out bcoz tomorrow is making of newspaper fancy dresss can u L's help me out what and how can I make ?

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on September 14, 2014:

Thanks Ahdilarum for the support. Glad to know that you liked Mahabali costume.

Ahdilarum on September 14, 2014:

Yes. Fancy dress will always boost up the children as they will be viewed in different avatar. I liked the Mahabali costume a lot.

Beauti on September 07, 2014:

Hi,i m beauti my son is taking part in fancy competition,he want to be doctor how can i help him.Pls guide me mam

manasa menon on June 21, 2014:

Hi, I want to dress my child who is in 1std as krishna . Please send me some photos.

kavita on February 13, 2014:

My daughter is 10years old she is participating in fancy dress comp in school let me know which can be the best for her

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on November 29, 2013:

Hi Archana,

There are several ways possible to show the theme 'stop pollution'. One simple way is to write the importance of stopping pollution in a cardboard cut in some shape. Hang it over her head using a rope and teach her some dialogue that go with it.

Or give her some cloth bags to wear and let her tell "Say no to plastic to stop pollution......" and so on.

archana on November 28, 2013:

Archanahairadhika mydaughter is three given me some idea onstop. Pollution

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on November 15, 2013:

Hi nuha shaikh, swetha & Vishal,

Extremely sorry for replying back to you. I could not access internet for the past few days. So, I'm not coming up with any ideas as the competition would be over by now. Hope you all might have dressed up your kid in the way you like.

Vishal on November 11, 2013:

I want to make My child - Jashan prepare as a Penguin... please guide me how to dress up him like Penguin... Thanks in advance...

swetha on November 11, 2013:

please suggest three or four lines for spiderman fancy dress competition asap.


nuha shaikh on November 09, 2013:

hiii im nuha i want a commentary on jawaharlal nehru which will be said by the announcer on the fancy dress day

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on November 02, 2013:

Hi sunita,

As the topic is 'me and my mother nature', I think you can choose a costume for anything you like in Mother Nature. I've already given a reply on how to dress up as Mother nature in the comments part. Either you can choose a single creation of Mother nature or the whole.

sunita on November 01, 2013:

my daughter is 7 year old.suggest me some costume for fancy dress competition.topic "me and my mother nature"

Radhika Sreekanth (author) from Mumbai,India on October 24, 2013:

Hi swetha,

Without seeing your daughter, how can I suggest one for you? I've answered this question several times, please go through the comments part. Choose one dress from the ideas I've put forth, if you like them. All the best!!