5 DIY Dance Costume Customization and Creation Ideas

As a dance mom or dad, the challenges and time commitment may be taxing but the rewards are well worth it! Driving to and from practice, competitions, making time for homework, sitting breathlessly waiting for the awards ceremony…but then seeing that smile as your child’s name is called makes it all seem worthwhile.

When it comes to the expenses, these too can add up. One of the best ways to combat this problem is to start adding more DIY costumes to your repertoire. Aside from the cost saving aspect, aren’t you sick of looking through the same old standard dance costumes without finding one that fits the number just right? Making your own costumes can help you become even more involved on the road to competition days adding an extra boost of pride as you eyes are glued to the stage as you watch from your seat.

If you are afraid you aren’t “crafty” enough for this, have no fear! Many existing costumes can be customized with a few simple steps to fit perfectly in with your theme. You don’t have to start them from scratch, but you can if you would like! Add some feathers, rhinestones and sequins and you have transformed a drab outfit to a one-of-a-kind costume. You will be amazed with what you can do with a little creativity…and lots of rhinestones!

1. Customized Dance Skirts

Many times, your child’s dance skirt can be transformed with just a few simple modifications. Whether it’s a ballet wrap, tutu or tiered skirt, there are many ways you can customize and transform any costume. There is something about the sparkle of European rhinestones that can add that much needed pizzazz to any outfit. There are several ways you can adhere these rhinestones to the skirt which will vary slightly depending on the fabric.

Adhering rhinestones to tulle
If you are working with a tutu or any tulle fabric, sew on rhinestones are your best bet. The best part about this type of customization is that it is simple. If you can sew a button, you can easily sew on rhinestones. Choose different colors, shapes and sizes as accents on the skirt and start sewing away! You don’t have to stop at the skirt, you can also sew on a few matching rhinestones to the leotard to add a complete look.

Adhering rhinestones to chiffon
If you are working with chiffon, you will want to go with the hotfix rhinestones. These already have the required amount of adhesive attached to them and you simply use the heating wand to fasten them tight. On a chiffon ballet wrap, adding a few rhinestones around the bottom can add an eye catching modification to a costume. The best part is that they will stay put even through the washer and dryer and you won’t have any embarrassing mishaps of them flying off mid-recital!

2. Tap Shoes – Glitter and Rhinestones
The theatrical platform of jazz and tap is a great one to add a touch of drama with all things shiny. One of the easiest and most breathtaking ways to do this is to customize your child’s tap shoes with glitter rand rhinestones. There are many ways you can do this. One popular technique involves simply fastening rhinestones around the laces while another trend is to jazz up the heel only with rhinestones. Choosing stones that match the costume is a great way to bring the whole look together. If you are going for an ultra-bold impression, some costumes may actually have the entire top of the shoe emblazoned with crystals.

3. Headbands

Headbands can add to the number whether it’s a contemporary piece or a classical ballet recital. This is one of the easiest parts of your dance costume to customize. If the base of the headband is elastic, you can easily sew in a few rhinestones of your choice. With so many colors, styles and sizes available you can make the sparkle big and bold or more subtle as it suits the number.

If you would like to customize your headband further, try this DIY trick. First you will need a plastic headband, fabric matching the dress or leotard, batting and rhinestones and a hot glue gun (and hot fix wand if you are going that route).

Step 1: Wrap the headband in the batting to make it puffy. Glue it to the plastic headband with the ends on the inside so they will not stick out.

Step 2: Take the matching fabric and cut it into several strips that are long enough to wrap around the headband several times. Make them anywhere from an inch to two inches in width.

Step 3: Now wrap the fabric much the same way as you wrapped the batting and glue it on the inside of the band as well.

Step 4: It’s time to make it sparkle! Sew in sequins, add hotfix rhinestones or attach ribbons to make the headband match the theme of the costume and you are ready to go!

4. Hip Hop Pants/Sneakers

Hip Hop is the perfect genre to break out and try new costume ideas. You can even start with the basics and customize them to make them trendy and edgy. Harlem pants are a staple of hip hop costumes so purchase a pair and then get creative. Aside from the normal classical pretty ballerina type rhinestones, there are also spiked, colorful and fun-shaped sew on rhinestones that will be perfect for this type of costume.

If you prefer to leave the pants as is, you can also easily customize your child’s dance top or jacket in the same way.

5. Makeup Accents
One unique way to customize your child’s appearance on competition days is to use individual rhinestones in the hair or even on their face.

One of the most dramatic looks is the combination of makeup and rhinestones to create a mask as part of the costume. This look is easy to achieve and will stay in place without damaging the skin.

Step 1: Clean and properly dry the area of the skin that will have the rhinestones attached.

Step 2: Select skin glue and dab it onto the areas you will be placing the stones. You can use a Q-Tip if the glue does not come with its own applicator.

Step 3: Use a tweezers to pick up one rhinestone at a time and place is into the glue, pressing the stone down for several seconds until it firmly adheres.

Step 4: Continue the process until complete.

For all your rhinestone needs, check out RhinestoneShop.com. Choose from an assortment of gems to make your dance costume truly unique. RhinestoneShop carries Hot Fix rhinestones as well as sew on gems to make customization easy for all your dancewear.  

Jason Pistiner

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