At the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade, you will see families in jeans, college students in sundresses, and a wide variety of people wearing outlandish costumes. Just about anything goes. To join the throngs of wildly costumed parade participants and spectators, here are some inexpensive DIY costume ideas to get you started.
Search your closet, attic or even your favorite thrift store to compile an eclectic mix of green clothing in a variety of hues, patterns, and textures. (You could also choose to permanently dye white or cream colored clothing with a green clothing dye kit from the grocery or craft store.) This is your ideal opportunity to match stripes with plaid and polka dots. Don't forget to pull out green sweaters or green flannel pajamas as possible costume material, if the weather is cooler.
Make a Shirt
Choose an old T-shirt to paint, or pick up a new one to embellish. Put a sheet of aluminum foil or a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to avoid paint bleeding through. Cut a potato in half. Dip the potato in green acrylic paint. Stamp the potato on the shirt four times in the shape of a shamrock, re-dipping in the paint as needed. For children's shirts, choose a smaller fingerling potato to print shamrocks. You could also let your kids go wildly free form with green fabric paint or glitter glue. Be certain to dress in old clothing to create your shirt(s), because all of these options will easily stain clothing.
Create a Hat
Pull an old green baseball cap out of the drawer, spray paint a straw hat green, or purchase an outlandish thrift-store hat to decorate. Gather art supplies from around the house, or purchase a selection of materials such as pipe cleaners, feathers, ribbon, beads, sequins and tulle in shades of green. Create a masterpiece by attaching items to your hat with either hot glue or needle and thread. The taller your creation, the better it will stand out in the crowd.
Be a Queen
To mimic the Sweet Potato Queens, find an old prom dress, pull out the high heels and a feather boa. Consider wearing fishnet tights with your ensemble. Curl your hair, coat it in hairspray, and make up your face with green eye shadow and bright lipstick. Don't forget beads, dangly earrings and a small clutch purse for queenly glam.
If you don't want to decorate a hat, consider a top hat or any other interesting hat from the dress-up box. Or embellish your head with a green wig or green hair dye from a party supply store. (Pipe cleaners are useful if you want to create green braids that stand on end.) Green suspenders make an excellent addition to most St. Paddy's costumes, as does green face paint or nail polish. Old Navy is an excellent source for inexpensive flip-flops of all colors, including green. Fairy wings or other accessories leftover from Halloween could also round out any costume choice.