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How to make a minibeast costume

how to make an easy ladybird cape

A couple of weeks ago I read those words that strike fear into a parents heart. My 4 year old was taking part in a Minibeast concert at nursery and needed to dress up as a minibeast. I pride myself on being an organised parent but I only found out about the dress up a week before the event!

When I asked my son what he wanted to wear he said a worm, a snail and also a butterfly. We had a chat and compromised on a ladybird cape that could be worn with black trousers and a black long-sleeved tshirt.

how to make an easy ladybird cape


Equipment you will need:
1.5 m of red and black cotton fabric
sewing machine
sewing supplies (thread, scissors)
black long-sleeved tshirt

How to make a minibeast costume

1. Measure your child’s wingspan from their wrist, across the nape of the neck and to the other wrist. Divide this measurement in two to get the width of each wing.

2. Place the right sides of the red and black cotton together, measure, pin and cut out each wing. My 4 year olds wingspan was 115cm so each wing ended up as 60cm, which included a small seam allowance. Pin a curve and cut away the excess fabric.

how to make a ladybird costume

3. Machine the two pieces of fabric, don’t forget to leave a small gap to turn the fabric the right way. Hand stitch the gap and iron both wings.

how to make a ladybird costume

4. From the remaining black fabric cut a number of circles for the ladybirds spots. Pin them where you want them and machine in place. This has the added bonus of securing the layers of fabric.

how to make a ladybird costume

5. Sew the two wings to a long-sleeved black tshirt. I put a couple of long stitches through the wings and the tshirt to secure it but you could use velcro or snap fasteners.

As you can see my 4 year old was very happy with his ladybird cape. The fabric was light so he was able to flap his arms around and pretend to fly around with all his minibeast friends.


  • Reply
    Mums do travel
    May 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

    This looks amazing, I’m impressed. I have no idea how to make costumes for my kids so always end up buying something and feeling ripped-off!

  • Reply
    Mummy of Two
    May 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

    What a great costume at such short notice! Our school always leaves these things to the last minute too and most people end up buying something. I love to see children in homemade costumes!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2014 at 11:45 am

    That looks great! And pretty easy to do too. My 2yo loves ladybirds, I think she’d be so excited to have one!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    What a brilliant costume – I love it! I am so rubbish at making costumes but this looks great and hand made is definitely so much lovelier! Great post.

  • Reply
    S J Thurley
    May 30, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Wow…How clever are you. I have a friend who used to make all my kids costumes for them. Saying that I have just invested in a sewing machine so hopefully I might brush up on my skills, thanks for sharing xx

  • Reply
    mellissa williams
    May 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Very effective and even I could make it!

  • Reply
    Jess Howliston
    May 30, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    wow this is fab your very clever!! My little boy would probably demand to be the most complicated mini beast around and I would be dashing to the nearest fancy dress shop lol!! This looks so well made and something he could use again as a dress up! x


    • Reply
      May 30, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      I made it on the larger size so hopefully it can be used for World Book Day too!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Oh wow that looks fab, I bet he was pleased! Much simpler than something like a butterfly 🙂

  • Reply
    May 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Gorgeous little minibeast! How fantastic to have the skills to turn out something like this in one week. I might steal your design – or adapt it into a superhero cape, which I think would also go down well in our household!

    • Reply
      May 30, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      I think this kind of cape is versatile as you could put any design on it and it really did only take a couple of hours!

  • Reply
    Emily Shepperson
    May 30, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Love this! Such a great idea. Very simple but extremely effective.

  • Reply
    Kate Thompson
    May 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    This is fab! So easy and so effective! I’m always a bit scared to try and make costumes, but I should try as I can actually sew well!

    • Reply
      May 30, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      I find sewing quite relaxing and a good break from my ‘screen time’!

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    May 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    That is brilliant, well done. I don’t think my attempt would look like that x

    • Reply
      May 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      It wasn’t too hard and it felt good to make something rather than order it online!

  • Reply
    Kirsty Phillipson-Lowe
    May 31, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Wow this is such a fab idea! It looks great x

  • Reply
    Shell Louise
    May 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I usually find out about these a week before but then forget and end up rushing round the night before the costume is needed!
    That costume looks brilliant 🙂

  • Reply
    Izzie Anderton
    June 1, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Wow, you are so clever. I used to dread my twin daughters coming home from school & telling me that they needed to dress up. Fortunately, they’re all grown up now & happily create their own weird & wonderful fancy dress outfits at uni.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    this looks so great!!! Good job 🙂

  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    You are so clever, I wouldn’t have a clue how to make one. Looks good 🙂

  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    You are so clever, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Great job 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Prince (@BEAUTY_IIAO)
    June 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    being mum to 7 i always have plenty dress ups but they seem to be growing old and tatty now so i think i need to invest in some fabrics to start making them x

  • Reply
    June 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    This is one stunning looking cape!
    I totally love it.

  • Reply
    The Fairy & The Frog (@frog_fairy)
    June 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    How sweet – we love mini beasts. Thank for joining in the #ParentingPinItParty

  • Reply
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