Our luscious garden had the perfect materials for this year’s Halloween costume which is a forest elf or fairy costume made from twigs, leaves, and pretty makeup. Usually, our daughter likes being a villain like her DIY Maleficent costume, Queen of Hearts, dark angel, post-apocalypse costume, or soccer zombie costume. So this was a nice change to see.
I first had this idea when I saw how big our elephant ears had gotten over the summer because we all look like elves and fairies next to them.
It’s such a simple costume and I wanted to do so much more but you have no idea how much actually went wrong along the way. First off the weather has been terrible all year and even though we’ve been thinking about doing this since we got back from Germany, the fact that there have been continuous downpours hasn’t helped to get this blog post finished.
We’ve been busy every weekend with soccer and birthdays… I also bought a new camera and am still learning which is partly the reason for some of the photos being a little blurry. It’s a learning curve for sure and I don’t have all the right lenses yet.
forest elf or fairy costume tutorial
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Since this is a Halloween costume, you can and should of course let your imagination take this costume to whatever you want it to be. That’s the fun part of dressing up. I just thought it was also interesting to address the history behind the stories about elves and fairies. Since I’m from Germany (born and raised), I especially find Germanic folklore interesting and forest elves often appear in those stories. They also appear in Norse and old English folklore.
What’s the difference between elves and fairies?
Both fairies and elves are supernatural beings as part of old folklore, mythology, and fictional stories. They both have many similarities which make them easily confused with each other.
There are however some unique differences between elves and fairies:
Elves are both female and male and supposedly live in forests which is why a lot of people call them forest elves. Fairies on the other hand are mostly believed to be females and live anywhere outdoors even water. Forest elves have pointed ears and feet whereas fairies do not but have big wings attached to their back that help them fly. Also, forest elves are believed to be normal-sized or small in stature compared to the tiny body of fairies.
Both forest elves and fairies live in harmony with nature and the natural world. Forest elves supposedly are amazing carpenters and masters in the crafting of bows and arrows. compare to fairies not carrying weapons.
- tan tank top/dress (HERE), tube top-dress (HERE), or for colder weather a bodysuit HERE, HERE or HERE
- leaf branches in different colors from any yard
- flat elastic string cord
- belt (similar one HERE)
- dried moss (HERE one color or a variety of colors)
- gold crafting wire (HERE)
- elf ears (HERE or HERE)
- fairy wings are optional and these HERE are perfect (we chose not to get them because we simply wanted her to be a forest elf)
- fresh branches/sticks from a tree
- if you don’t have long hair like my daughter then you can use a wig like this one HERE or HERE
- a variety of makeup and this is what I used:
– primer (I used this one HERE)
– pale foundation (I used foundation color HERE in fair)
– a variety of green eye shadow (HERE in hunty, HERE in zodiac)
– green eyeliner (this one HERE is what I used and it is awesome for the details)
– gold glitter liner (HERE in midnight cowboy which I’ve had for years and it’s awesome)
– black eyeliner (HERE)
– cream eye shadow (HERE)
– gold cream or powder (HERE in honey color)
– black mascara (I use nothing but this one HERE)
– eyebrow pencil (HERE)
– glitter lip gloss (love this one HERE)
Simple forest elf costume instructions:
I had taken photos along the way about how we made the crown and skirt and they all got deleted accidentally…soooo this is my best attempt at explaining to you how we made this super simple costume.
We hope you enjoy it anyways.
For the forest elf crown, I cut down fresh thin branches and removed the foliage. The Key is that they are fresh and bendable. If they are dried then they break way too easily.
We lost the photos for these steps but when you look at the photo below then you can see exactly what we did and my daughter pretty much made the crown herself.
All you need to do is take the twigs and form them into a crown while wrapping them with the gold crafting twine. We added some small plants and the moss but you can go all out and add gemstones or more plants and twigs and even fake butterflies or other insects.
The leaf skirt for the forest elf or forest fairy was so so easy that I’m almost embarrassed to say what we did. I knotted a flat elastic cord around her waist and literally just hung branches on it the way it is pictured below. I had her wearing the band and just kept going all the way around her waist with different colored leaved branches until the skirt was full.
After that, I used a belt that I tied over the branch ends. If you don’t have one like mine, any belt would do or even a pretty scarf. And you can just tuck some more leaves into it afterward and use some more wires to help them stay attached.
I originally wanted to use bark for her costume somewhere which I had collected in abundance but she was so frustrated with her tight shirt that I skipped that idea. Remember she grew up with sensory issues (you can catch up on her journey HERE) and tight clothing still bothers her sometimes although things have gotten much much better.
Here is my movie about how I applied the makeup that you can see in the below photos: It’s not difficult at all.
And now we are ready to share a ton of photos with you which is always our favorite part. She was complaining along the way through. I’m not going to lie 🙂
You can use glue for the ears but we chose not to because it worked well without and we didn’t want to risk getting her hair stuck in glue.
And it was freezing that day for the first time. Go figure!!! It’s been ridiculously hot nonstop but when we have time to do this it ends up being wet and freezing cold.
And I’m really really curious as to what and if you are dressing up or what your kids are dressing up as. Please do tell.