Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saintly Costumes


Dressing up as dearly beloved Saints for our All Hallows' Eve Party and All Saints' Day (and anytime really!) is a much loved tradition in our family. It is a wonderful way to teach our children even more about the saints, since they learn so much through playing and imitating. Even St. Therese dressed, in a costume she made (complete with ball and chain), as St. Joan of Arc for a play she wrote to perform while at Carmel.

Along with keeping up with our homeschooling schedule this year, the thought of coming up with costumes was overwhelming me, and so I did order a few costumes from Our Coats of Many Colors.

I placed the order back in September, when they had a sale, but even still, if it had not been for hubby's overtime this summer, they would have definitely been out of our budget. Other than that, I am extremely happy with them!! I am sure that I would have spent more (or almost as much) if I had tried to make them myself. The kids and I will still get to be a little bit creative through adding the finishing touches. We ordered: St. Therese, St. Clare (which actually comes with a brown cape), and St. John Berchman. (My oldest and youngest will be dressing as St. Patrick and St. Anthony, wearing hand-me-downs from my brothers!)

As far as ideas for keeping costumes cheap and easy, I loved reading Charlotte's list! It finally motivated me into finishing up this post (I had been meaning to since I posted Saintly Games)...

Last year I received a forward from a couple friends containing the following list of ideas for Saint costumes! It was created by Diane Bokulich. Thank you Diane! I have updated the list with a few of my own ideas, as well as a some photos, and thought I would post it here to share.


ALTAR BOY:
  • St. Dominic Savio (Died age 15, patron saint of boys, altar boys, & choirboys.) Pictured as altar boy or in suit with bow tie.
  • St. John Berchmans (Patron of Altar Boys) Pictured in Black Cassock.


ANGELS:

For children, an adult T-shirt works as a great tunic, or use a dress. Add a sash or belt at waist and sandals, as well as a halo. Wings are easy to find at the store, or you can make them using cardboard wrapped in tin foil.
  • St. Gabriel the Archangel with either a horn at the belt, or a bunch of lilies.
  • St. Raphael the Archangel a fish (fake or made from cardboard) and a staff would work well.
  • St. Michael the Archangel see KNIGHT/AMOUR or just put sword in belt.
  • Cherubim or Seraphim instrument hanging from belt
(When I was about 10, my dad, being the totally innovative man that he is, made me the coolest angel wings/halo ever! He took some old Christmas lights and attached them to the edges of the cardboard wings and metal halo that hovered over my head. He somehow rewired them to a battery pack (he is an electrician). I don't know how he did it, but my sister Jen and I LOVED those angel wings! :)

Link: These wings look similar (but probably bigger) to our St. Michael wings.


APOSTLES / MONKS/ FRIARS / OLD TESTAMENT:

Use and adult T-shirt, with a rope, sash, or belt around the waist, sandals, and there is your costume! Or use brown, gray, or black material, cut a hole in the top when folded in half. Use face paint for beard.
  • St. Peter: have keys or net hanging at his waist
  • St. Francis: cut out a bird and safety pin it on his shoulder, put on some patches. One year a friend of mine pinned all sorts of stuffed animals to the base of her sons habit. It was SO cute!
  • St. Brendan: 400-500’s, Irish missionary monk in brown habit that went to America before the Vikings or Columbus!
  • St. Constantine, St. Benedict and St. Anthony the Abbot: all were monks, place rosary in belt
  • St. Theophylact: Asian Monk, 8th century, established hospices, imprisoned the last 35 yrs. of life.
  • St. Joseph: foster father of Jesus, carpenter by trade, hang a hammer from the belt.
  • St. John the Baptist: fake fur or leather & sandals. Perhaps tie a strip of cloth around the forehead.


BEGGAR:

  • St. Benedict Labre “Beggar of Rome”, homeless (1700’s) very shabby clothing


BISHOPS:

Large white T-shirt with sash, rope, or belt. Wear a cape. Or, go to St. Nicholas Center, they have a complete costume pattern! This pattern could be modified for any bishop!
  • St. Nicholas: Santa Claus was actually a bishop from Myra: colors white, gold, red
  • St. Patrick: colors: green, white (shamrocks, Celtic cross)
  • St. Valentine: pictured in red and white


CANDLE CROWN :
  • Saint Lucy of Syracuse: also known as Saint Lucia, (283-304) was a rich young Christian martyr. A white robe or dress, a crimson sash, and a crown (usually a wreath of greenery) with candles. The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take her life. (glue battery powered candles to a wreath)
You can also make a fairly easy candle crown out of cardstock! I posted pictures and links here last December. You can also scroll through all my past St. Lucy posts here. A Lucia Crown can be found here.


CHAINS:
  • St. Vincent de Paul: ragged clothes with chain (captured by pirates, sold as slave)


CRISTERO BOY/MARTYR:
  • Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio: a Christero boy who was sentenced to death by his godfather at the young age of 14. Last year, one of my sons was determined to be Blessed Jose Luis. The costume was super easy. We just rolled up a pair of jeans, and the sleeves on a long sleeved white dress shirt (with a tee shirt under) and then made a flag out of felt. We added the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe (off an old tee-shirt--I have also seen fabric at the store that could be used). He wore a simple wood cross around his neck, and also brought along his stick horse and cowboy hat.


DOCTOR:

  • St. Gianna Beretta Molla: She was a Doctor, and died in 1962 to save her daughter.


FARMER:

  • St. Isidore: loose peasant blouse, pants, don’t forget a sombrero for the sun!


GARDENER:
  • St. Rose of Lima: Dominican-white habit, crown of flowers (& SEAMSTRESS)
  • St. Phocas the Gardener: He used surplus crops to feed the poor. Even cared for the soldiers sent to execute him for being a Christian to the point of feeding and sheltering them, and digging his own grave in the yr. 303.
Link: This crown of flowers is perfect for St. Rose of Lima. It is also available in purple


KNIGHT / ARMOR / SOLDIERS:

Buy plastic armor or make from cardboard & tin foil or gold/silver Posterboard, Tin cans. Or, if you want to be really creative, check out this Chain Maille!!
  • St. Joan of Arc
  • St. George and the Dragon
  • St. Gengulphus
  • St. Michael the Archangel
Link: Many of our Knight Costumes are from Costco. My boys also love this King Crusader Costume. You can find pictures of our St. Joan of Arc costume here.


MAID:

  • St. Zita: Italy, servant at age 12--- apron, simple dress, hair kerchief


MARY:


  • Blessed Virgin Mary: A white tunic (you could use a dress or adult t-shirt), sash, and a blue shawl or veil made from a piece of material.
  • Queen of all Saints: Same ideas as above, using any combination of white and blue. Add a gold crown for a finishing touch.
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe: She appeared looking like an Aztec princess. Wear a ivory flowery Dress, a black sash (sign of pregnancy) & a blue veil with stars on it. (Chiquita was Our Lady of Guadalupe once in a costume my mother-in-law made. It was my most favorite costume ever!)  (Link: Another homemade Our Lady of Guadalupe veil.)


MEXICAN INDIAN:

  • St. Juan Diego: Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image is still on his tilma in Mexico. Use rough material such as canvas (or use poncho) tie around neck, attach a picture of Our Lady on it.
Links: Here is a sombrero option, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and crochet roses pin on nicely too! 


MOUNTAIN CLIMBER OR SKIER:

  • Bl. Pier Frassati: Italy, 1901-1925. Nicknamed "Terror" due to his practical jokes. Smoked a pipe!, "Man of the Beatitudes" "He testifies that holiness is possible for everyone..."-JPII Outstanding athlete and mountain climber, promoted Eucharistic adoration, spent his fortune on the needy and visited the sick, contracting the disease that killed him.
  • St. Gianna Beretta Molla: Italian. She died in 1962 to save her daughter. She also liked to mountain climb and ski!


NATIVE AMERICAN:

  • Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha (Lily of the Mohawks), daughter of Mohawk chief and Christian Algonquin mother. Dress as a Native American. Cut fringe on adult brown T-shirt. Add a wooden cross around neck. When she died, all her Smallpox scars vanished! I have also seen (and purchased) costumes at second hand stores, and added a band with feathers around the head for a cute costume!


NUNS / SISTERS:


For habit, cut a hole at the top of some material folded over or use an adult T-shirt. For the Guimpe, use a white turtleneck (Fit the face into the neck of the turtleneck, and then pin the shirt behind the head). Use a piece of fabric for the veil (I once used a black mini skirt found at the second hand store). Then add a cord for the belt.
  • St. Teresa of Avila: Brown habit. Carmelite, Doctor of the Church!
  • St Brigid of Ireland: often pictured in Celtic colors, began life as slave & heard St. Patrick preach
  • St. Scholastica: (black habit) Twin sister of St. Benedict often seen with a crosier, if child is little, use a walking cane
  • St. Therese of Lisieux: France (the little flower) Carmelite at age 15. (Brown habit, white cape, black veil)
  • St. Colette: Poor Clare, France (habit of patches) restored rules of St. Clare, named after St. Nicholas.
  • Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta: missionary to the poor & sick. White gown/veil with blue stripes along edge.
  • St. Rita: Black habit, add thorn to forehead (we did this using a sticker!)
  • St. Clare of Assisi: friend of St. Francis, (brown tunic and cape, black veil) patron saint of television. (My daughter will be using a monstrance from her brothers play Mass Kit this year, but in the past we have made one out of Foil!)



NURSE:

  • St. Bertilla Boscardin: Sister that cared for wounded Italian soldiers in WWI.


PEASANT:

  • St. Bernadette: Lourdes, France, saw Our Lady: dark skirt, apron
  • over the top, blouse & veil over the hair. Blessed Francisco: trousers, white shirt, cap, and perhaps a jacket.
  • Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Lucia could wear the same as Bernadette.


PRIEST / BROTHER:
  • Bl. Damien of Molakai: missionary to the lepers in Hawaii (1800’s-black robe, black shawl, round glasses, beard, black brimmed hat or straw hat)
  • St. Ignatius of Loyola: Spanish, founded the Jesuits (often seen in black)
  • St. John Bosco: He wore a black cassock. Perhaps use a large black T-shirt, with a white turtleneck underneath. He founded the Salesians to work with and educate boys.
  • St. John Mary Vianney: (or Cure of Ars) Pictured in white, 2 black strips below his neck & red stole
  • St Philip Neri: Founded Oratorians: wear black T-shirt or sweater with white collared shirt underneath. (Make sure the collar sticks out) Wore 3 pointed black hat, make from black foam sheets or Poster board.
  • St. Martin de Porres: Dark skinned Dominican brother, son of Spanish Knight & Negro freed-woman from Panama. He helped the sick & poor, patron saint of interracial justice. White robe with black on top, like a T.
A priest collar can also be made by wearing a black turtleneck and placing a white sticky label at the neck!



PRISONER:

  • St. Maximillian Kolbe: blue striped prison uniform & glasses, priest died at Auschwitz so a man with a family could live.
  • St. Edith Stein: also died at Auschwitz.


ROMAN SOLDIER:

Red tunic, armor, roman hat with brush…this one is very easy to find and purchase.
  • St. Longinus: pierced the side of Jesus on the cross, converted, and was martyred by Pontius Pilate.
  • St. Sebastian: was officer of the Imperial Roman army, and captain of the guard. Assisted Christian prisoners, martyred for his faith.
  • Acacius of Byzantium: A centurion in the imperial Roman army, martyred (with bunch of thorns; in armor with standard and shield)
  • Adrian: A Pagan officer and body guard at the imperial court of Nicomedia. He was so impressed by the strength and faith shown by persecuted Christians that he declared himself a Christian, though he had not even been baptized. He was immediately arrested and tortured.
  • Martin: joined the Roman imperial army at age 15. Encountering a beggar he cut his heavy
  • officer's cloak in half, and gave it to him. Later he had a vision of Christ wearing the cloak.
  • Theodore: Roman general and covert Christian during a time of persecution Eustachius: Pagan Roman general, converted to Christianity following a hunting trip during which he saw a glowing cross between the antlers of a stag


ROYALTY:


For any royal saint, make a crown (cardboard with tin foil, gold/silver Poster-board). Burger King also has great crowns. Princess & king costumes are very easy to find and modify for saints! A couple of my girls favorite princess dresses can be found here and here - you can see them wearing the dresses here.

GIRL
  • St. Queen Elizabeth of Hungary: carry a basket of bread
  • St. Margaret: Queen of Scotland, Scottish tartan clothing.
  • St. Bathildis: Queen of France
  • St. Adelaide: Queen of Germany and Italy
  • St. Helena: First Christian queen of Ukraine, lived 879-969 (relics found to be incorrupt)
  • St. Isabella: Princess of Spanish King, then Queen of Portugal (peacemaker-1200’s)
  • St. Ursula: Legendary princess, the daughter of a Christian British king

BOY
  • Emperor Charles of Austria: (1900’s) Austrian military garb, crown, medals on chest
  • Good King Wenceslas: Bohemia. He could also wear armor along with his crown.
  • King Casmir: Poland (15th century, add a lily)
  • King Louis IX: France (13th century-crowned at age 12) Shown wearing: a crown of thorns
  • King Edmund: Model ruler in Germany, martyred
  • King Edward: England, the last of the Saxon kings
  • King Solomon and King David: (Old Testament garb)
Last year, one of my daughters choose to be St. Cecilia, using one of her pink princess dresses. All I did was add a halo, and make a harp out of pipe cleaners and painted cardboard!




SAILOR / SHIP CAPTAIN:
  • St. Godric: England. Referred to as a "pirate", until converted during a voyage, being touched by the life of Saint Cuthbert. Lived a rough life of penance, known for his close familiarity with wild animals, his supernatural visions, and his gift of prophecy. Wrote the earliest surviving example of lyric poetry.1100’s
  • Bl. Joachim Firaiama-Diz: Member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. Japanese sailor. Captain of the ship that brought Blessed Peter Zuñiga and Louis Flores from Manila to Japan. The ship was captured by Dutch pirates. Martyred with his crew, 1600’s.
  • Bl. Joannicus of Saint John: Sailor. Nephew of the captain of the ship. Martyred with Ignatius of Azevedo and the other Jesuits on board by by French Calvinist pirates. 1570.


ST. SEBASTIAN:

This was a popular costume at our All Hallows' Eve party the past couple years! A couple boys creatively had arrows sticking out of their tunics (made from old t-shirts) in memory of how this saint was martyred! One boy even showed up tied to a large branch tree!



SHEPHERD / SHEPHERDESS:

Both could carry a crook (if child is little, use a walking cane)
  • David: as a young boy, sash around the head, sandals, slingshot & bag for pebbles at waist
  • St. Patrick: as shepherd slave when boy
  • St. Germaine: skirt, shawl, head kerchief (right hand deformed, from France)
  • St. Genevieve: saved the city of Paris from Attila the Hun)


STIGMATISTS:

There are many! Either use costume paint for the wounds of Christ, or wrap bandages around hands.
  • Fr. Francis of Assisi: grey robe
  • Padre Pio: brown robe
  • St. John of the Cross: black robe
  • St. Frances of Rome: black habit with a white veil, accompanied by her guardian angel, and sometimes carrying a basket of food
  • Faustina Kowalska: black habit, white collar, give out Divine Mercy image
  • St. Colette: brown habit of patches, black veil


ST.VERONICA:


She wiped the face of Jesus. Wear a dress or adult T-shirt tied at the waist,
sandals, & veil. Biblical costume. (Attach a picture of Jesus’ face to veil.)


TOGA:

  • St. Helen: Married co-regent of the Western Roman Empire led group to Holy Land & found the True Cross. (326)


VIKING:
  • Edith of Polesworth: Viking queen, became Benedictine nun, 900’s
  • St. Olaf II: King of Norway. Viking pirate that converted in 1010, labored to spread the Gospel.
  • St. Magnus: For this costume, we made the flag of the Orkney Islands out of felt to go with his costume and I picked up an inexpensive ax, since St. Magnus was killed with an ax. My son also brought along a play stick horse and his sword.


MARRIED COUPLES:
  • Blessed Louis and Marie-Azélie Martin: The newly beatified French parents of St. Therese. Marie would have her hair in a bun. Both pictured in suit/dress of the time.
  • Blessed Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi of Rome: (1880-1965) First married couple beatified together. Maria would have her hair in a bun. They were both Italian and are poth pictured in suit/dress of the time.
  • Saints Joachim and Anne: Our Lady's parents (bible garb)

To finish off any of the costumes, you can use gold pipe cleaners, or bendable wrapping ribbon wire (made from stars or gold) to bend into halos to put on any saint!

The options are endless for coming up with saints costumes, plus there are SO many saints to choose from. You can find so much information about the saints online... Here is a great place to start.

It may be getting late, but you can also find pre-made costumes at the following places:

I would love to hear which Saints your children will be dressing up as this year, as well as how you plan on making the costumes! I am always looking for new ideas! :)

All Saints in Heaven ~ Pray for Us!

14 comments:

  1. We ordered some tunics from Oriental trading, headpieces too, pretty cheap, like $5-6 each. in blue, brown, purple, white and pink!

    (we still need to order a white one for our angel)

    We are doing:
    St Rose
    St Cecilia
    St Francis
    an Angel or Mary (the little ones always like carrying baby Jesus)

    I love this post!! You did such a great job! You really should write a book. Or put all your posts into a book and sell it!

    Anyway, For St Francis, do you have any ideas for the hair?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Jamie!! I think I will add Oriental Trading to the links above!! I had forgotten about those. Often times Oriental trading offers even more discounts and free shipping. Just do a search for current coupon codes!

    As for hair for St. Francis (we are using my brothers old St. Francis costume for St. Anthony), I have been searching everywhere for our hair piece and can't find it... (I think I loaned it out a couple years ago...) Anyway, I am planning on using a piece of furry fabric, and sewing a strip into a circle. This works really well on lighter hair children (or practically bald in Snuggles case!) I have a picture of one of my boys friends, whose mom made something similar, that I'll either add to this post later today, or email to you so you can see it.

    Last year, we actually had a few children show up with *REAL* tontures! It was awesome!! Their parents gave them buzz cuts afterwards! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. All I can say is WOW! Between you, Charlotte, and Stef compiling these ideas - what a fantastic service you are doing for Catholic families!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are great! Thank you for your ideas and your pictures of your beautiful family! God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I have been at a loss this year for new ideas. I am sure my kids can come up this something with ALL the wonderful ideas you have given me. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Jessica!!

    Can't wait to see it...although the real haircut might just work, as he needs a haircut right now....I just might have to do that!!

    Again: Great job, this is great, I will be the first to buy that book!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awww Jess!!! They're all soooo cute!!! You did an amazing job!

    God Bless,
    Katrina

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jamie ~ You are so funny! Don't hold your breath! Maybe in 20-30 years I will have the time! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my goodness! What a post!! Thanks for all the great ideas. We are going to an All Saints party and I need to get to the craft store- quick!
    :)
    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great post, great ideas for costumes!!!! We are doing the following~
    Bump- just helping this year
    Punky- St. Joan of Arc
    Munco- St. Francis (but now leaning towards St. Michael the Archangel) I am glad we have options for both in our costume trunk!!!
    Blessings~
    +JMJ+

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! Your children look fantastic! I just finished Kateri's headpiece, a strip of ribbon with a craft feather glued at the back. I made her a tunic from a nativity pattern and made the sleeves 8" wider for a 4" fringe, then just sewed the seam on the outside instead of turning it in (and also cut fringe along the bottom eliminating the hem). We found some inexpensize mocassins in the slipper dept, and she tied two sticks together from the backyard to make a cross. M. is going to be Mary, with a white dress and a blue mantle from scrap fabric. I made a crown to hold her veil on from a styrofoam ring wrapped in pink organza and pink ribbon roses. C. is Elizabeth of Hungary with a princess dress from the dress-up bin and a basket of bread/roses. M. is still so bald, I am making him a tunic from the leftover brown fabric, and I'll draw in his "tonsure" with a brown eyeliner pencil. : ) I like your idea of sewing the brown fabric together, but he'd never keep it on his head... he hates hats! We have to dress for a party tomorrow, and I was having trouble figuring out what to wear, but my dear friend Kimberly gave me the best idea... I just learned tatting a year ago, and since Zelie Martin was a lacemaker, I'll put my hair in a bun and bring my tatting! I can't tell what my husband will be because it's a surprise. I'll tell after this weekend! : ) Thanks again for all the great ideas... I'm sure I'll be referring back to this post next year.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want...HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like to spend my free time by reading various internet resources and today i came across your blog and I understand that it is one of the best free resources available! Well done! Keep on this quality!

    ReplyDelete

You can find my Comment Policy and Guidelines here. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I love hearing from my visitors here at Shower of Roses! May God bless you all!

Note: All comments are moderated.