Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Our (mostly) DIY Willy Wonka Halloween Costume

With 4 kids we've done a lot of DIY costumes over the years, but few have been as easy or as fun as this one: the original Willy Wonka!

We know Wonka doesn't wear glasses, but for full face pics of my
kids these days, I like to have a little more anonymity.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite movies growing up (I even did a paper on it for a class in graduate school), so I was thrilled that my kids also fell in love with it and my 2nd oldest decided on being the great Willy Wonka as his costume this year.

Amazingly I didn't even have to sew anything this time! We pieced it together with things we already had and a few thrifty purchases for a DIY'd version.  The bow tie was a cheap gold satin scarf I bought off Amazon and tied into a bow.

Technically I did sew up the faux vest and frilly shirt...back in 2014.

It was repurposed from this George Washington costume I'd made a few years back for my oldest.  I'm so glad I'd saved it!

The brown top hat was an eBay purchase.  It was more sensible to just buy than try to make.  The wig was a last minute addition from Amazon (search for kid's Willy Wonka wig).  He already had khaki pants for the bottom half was sorted.

The key part, the purple velvet jacket, was a specialty item that we had too.  A few years back Mini Boden did a line of Road Dahl story-themed clothing and this little coat was one of them.  We preordered it months in advance because it was so cool.  The lining is fully illustrated for the story with the classic Wonka gates and great glass elevator busting through the top of the factory:

It's like a wonderful hidden surprise, which is very Wonka-esque.  Amazingly the coat has fit for several years and will get worn by my smaller kids down the road so it's become a real treasure:

At the time we also got this Veruca Salt themed faux fur coat for my daughter (seen here with my Fur Lined Muff Tutorial).  The lining on that one is candy print in keeping with the theme.  I haven't seen the Wonka coat for sale recently but there are a few other items from the collection - including a sweet flip sequin golden ticket sweatshirt & Scrumdiddlyumptious tee (which we also have) - on eBay.

I also lucked out in that I'd already made some candy print treat bags for a previous Halloween (tutorial here), which tied in perfectly to his costume.

I'll admit I was pretty grateful it was so simple to put together.  With a 5th baby on the way, the thought of doing so many costumes for many more years is a bit exhausting.  And this particular kid has put me to serious work over the years with some creative, but complicated DIY'd costumes.  Like Darkwing Duck:

and a Roman Soldier:

His sister has also had some serious handmade requests over the years, like the fluffy chicken costume:

and Princess Merida from the movie Brave:

It can be tough for the older kids to not be a bit self-conscious about dressing up at Halloween these days, but when it's something cool & fun, they're all in, which I love.  And it's even better that he came up with it himself and I didn't have to slave over it! 

Happy Halloween!


  1. All of your homemade costumes are so cute and oh so thrifty! I always love being able to re-purpose things to make something new.

    Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!


    1. Thanks so much. And I agree, it's doubly nice to be able to reuse costume things again!


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