The feast of All Saints can be panic-inducing for parents needing to hurriedly put together a saint costume for their kids. Here are a few quick ideas and links for some costumes that you might be able to throw together easily and most with little expense! (I also have a whole post with tips on making costumes inexpensive and easy to do over here.)
Our Lady of Guadalupe
This year Philomena wanted to be Our Lady of Guadalupe. This costume usually consists of a red or pink dress, a black sash, and a green veil. We made one trip to a thrift store and found:
- A red Christmas tablecloth for $6.00
- A scrap of black fabric for $1.50
- A 3 yard remnant of green fabric for $8
- A basic dress pattern for $0.50
This could easily be made with any red dress, but I wanted to try sewing something from scratch so I used the basic dress pattern and the tablecloth to make the red dress. I sewed a long strip of the black fabric to be the sash, and then I just put the green fabric on her head and roughly cut it in the shape of a veil all the way around. I found some gold ribbon in the Christmas bin to sew on the outside edge of the veil. We did make one splurge on this costume, which was this package of fabric stars here on Amazon for $7.99. We could have cut stars out of yellow scrap fabric, yellow construction paper etc. but since the other costumes this year were free or really cheap, I splurged on the pre-made stars! To save money I just used white thread I had for everything, instead of buying matching colored thread for everything.
By far the most expensive costume we’ve ever made due to huge piece of veil fabric and stars, this was $23.99.
(side note that I was also wanting to splurge a little on this costume because our family really loves OLG, and I can see girls using this on her feast every December for many years to come!)
This year Zelie is going as her namesake! I lucked out with this dress as-is from Goodwill in the big girls section! It is meant to be a super short dress on a teenager, but makes a perfect full-length dress on her.
- The black dress with lace was $3.99
- The two pieces of lace for the collar was $2.00 and I quickly stitched it along the top
- The little scrap of lace for her to be working on was $0.50
The grand total for this costume was $6.49, and it just took minutes to hand sew the lace collar around the top.
Last year Philomena went as her patron!
We already had the blue silk scarf from this set here we have used for years. To make the rest of her costume I first went to Goodwill. There I found:
- This dress for $4.99 at Goodwill. (It was actually a grown woman’s dress that I made smaller to fit her with some pretty rough, basic sewing skills. Because I couldn’t find a dress that worked in a kid’s size, this was a bit pricier than if we had bought a kid’s dress.)
- The gold tie for her waist was a $0.99 curtain tie
- A $0.75 bag with little corn cob holders that I spray painted silver to be arrow tips
At Hobby Lobby I found:
- A wooden anchor for $3.49 that I spray painted silver
- Two dowel rods for $0.74 each to be the arrows
At Michaels we found the the flowers for her crown and the palm branch. These were all about $7.00 and way more expensive than past years, but fake flowers were almost all gone at two Walmarts, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar Tree with all of the supply chain shortages right now!
This brought the total for her costume to $17.95. We will be taking very good care of these flowers this year for future use as they are what made this year so expensive!
Zelie chose to be Saint Cecilia last year. Her costume was a $3.99 dress from Goodwill, another $0.99 curtain tie for her waist, a toy lap harp we already own, and then about $6.00 in fake flowers, bringing her total to about $10.98 for the year. (You could also cut out a harp from cardboard and make strings out of yarn, or get a cheap toy harp like this.)
St. Joan of Arc
Philomena was Saint Joan of Arc, once. We found a simple tan shirt and floral dress for the French peasant’s garb that came out to $6.50 altogether from the thrift store, and got a breastplate at the dollar store.
For the flag I spent $1.09 on a 1/4 yard of blue felt which was actually twice what we needed.
I cut it into a triangle and offset it a bit, hot glued it together with a stick from the backyard, and traced a fleur de lis we printed off and filled it in with a less than $2 bottle of fabric paint. The grand total was just under $11!
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Zelie was St. Elizabeth once (she is pictured above with St. Joan of Arc). We used a princess dress we already owned, along with a play crown and chapel veil we had.
I just bought the necklace, basket, and roses for $1 each at Goodwill. I tightly wrapped a bread boule on All Saints Day and added it to her basket. The total cost of her costume including the bread was $3.50 for us!
Here is the year Zelie was Saint Agnes. This holy saint is always pictured in simple garb with a cinched waist holding a lamb, often times with a shawl and a palm branch. For Zelie to wear here, we found a Princess Lea costume dress at Goodwill for $3.25 that I removed the belt from. I added some rope we had in the garage (you can find rope at Dollar Tree in the floral craft section usually), a stuffed lamb we had in our play bin, one of our favorite silk scarves pinned as her shawl, and a palm branch I got at Hobby Lobby for $2.
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Philomena chose to be the Blessed Mother one year. I found this white dress amongst the regular girl’s clothes at Goodwill for $3.99. It had some rennaisance-esque sleeves and little green flowers I removed. We used a blue sash from Dollar Tree that we already owned around her waist, a family rosary for her arm, one of those favorite silk scarves as her veil, and she is using her favorite dolly as Baby Jesus.
St. Helen who discovered the true Cross of Christ could easily be made using a toy crown like this and a cardboard cutout of a cross.
St. Maria Goretti
Lovely young St. Maria Goretti is always pictures with a simple shawl around her shoulders and the white lilies signifying her purity. Any shawl or scarf around shoulders and dollar tree flowers would make this costume in a hurry.
St. Kateri can be made with an Indian costume like this and adding either a cross necklace or a small crucifix.
St. Lucy is famously depicted with her eyes on a plate that could be recreated with a brass dish from the thrift store with eyeball candies glued onto it. The tall palm branch should be easily found in any craft store or even Walmart fake flower section.
The mother of the Blessed Virgin is usually depicted holding the scroll teaching Mary herself, so a simple dress, a scarf around the head, and a rolled up scroll would make this costume really easily.
St. George or St. Martin of Tours
If you can snag a roman solider costume like this on Amazon or at a thrift store, you can easily do either of these saints. You could also grab any basic soldier armor and a big scrap of red fabric for a cloak and it work just as well.
(That breastplate Philomena is wearing as St. Joan of Arc was from Dollar Tree and there were several other additional options like a shield and a sword that could be combined for this. With three of those Dollar Tree armor items and a $3 yard of red fabric from the craft store this can really be done on the cheap!)
St. Dominic Savio
This marvelous young saint is always shown in a suit with a black tie around his neck. Some scrap fabric and a feather pen to scrawl out his famous “Death rather than sin” quote or a crucifix in hand makes this saint costume quickly.
Saint Mark could be done with a toy stuffed lion like this, a feather pen, and a scroll made of rolled up paper. You might be able to find a generic Bible character costume like this at Goodwill to make the look a bit more complete. Otherwise, I’d just have a boy wear a plain shirt and pants and drape some scrap fabric around him.
Our favorite carpenter is often depicted either as a traveler with a staff in hand and a headpiece secured with rope on the way to Bethlehem. You could easily do this with a big stick and scrap fabric secured with Dollar Tree rope, or grab a Christmas pageant costume like this one here. You could also follow the photo here and have a boy hold a toy saw and a lathe. No matter what his characteristic lillies can be bought cheap to go along with either outfit.
Remember that this is supposed to be fun, not high pressure. It’s fine to take a few elements that a saint is pictured with and go with that. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect down to every last detail of a costume. The point is for our kids to be excited about the saints, their stories, and their virtuous lives, not Pinterest worthy photos!
I hope these ideas can help you get your children ready to celebrate the Church Triumphant this All Saints Day.