“If you’re going to New Orleans, you oughta go see the Mardi Gras,” whistles Professor Longhair from my speakers. Can you guess what I’m doing (besides dancing?) If your family is anything like mine, you are making your family’s Mardi Gras costume! Masquerades and costuming have been a part of the New Orleans Mardi Gras experience for hundreds of years, some recorded experiences going back as far as the 1700s. Costuming runs deep thru the veins of most natives and those who have fallen so madly in love with this city. I mean, everyone has a costume box, right? (Ok, maybe not…)
A tip one learns quickly about Mardi Gras costumes: It must be able to adapt quickly and easily to weather changes. My best carnival costumes have been ones that didn’t matter if it rained, temperature changed 20˚ in six hours, or the wind almost blew me off my ladder. I love costumes with head gear. If you have to put on a poncho, you are still festive and fun. With this in mind, I thought I would share a few easy DIY New Orleans Mardi Gras costume ideas that are great for the entire family this carnival season!
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Easy DIY Mardi Gras Costume #1: Krewe du Monde
This is probably one of the quickest, easiest, and naturally Nawlins ideas for a group costume. For this easy DIY Mardi Gras costume idea all you need to do is go to Café du Monde, order beignets for breakfast (or a late night treat) and ask for a few hats. They are usually free with purchase. (Morning Call hats will also look great with this costume.) This idea can be used for young and old.
Kiddos and pets would also look adorable as beignets. All they need is a brown shirt. Lightly dip a brush in white paint. Dab the brush on the shirt, making a powdered sugar look. Voila! Baby beignets!
- Black bottoms
- Black bow tie (Black ribbon tied in a bow works just fine.)
- Black bottoms (shorts or pants)
- Café du Monde hat
Easy DIY Mardi Gras Costume #2: Mardi Gras Bleu Puppy
With the stunning sculpture on Veterans Memorial Blvd., there is no better photo op for you and your litter of bleu puppies this Mardi Gras.
Here’s what you need to complete the look:
- Blue shirt (tank, tee, sweatshirt)
- White & black face paint
- Signature bleu puppy ears (supplies listed below)
Simply cut out pieces 1-3 of the template and trace them on the respective foam sheet. Template piece #1 should be on the medium blue tone (royal blue), #2 on the lightest blue tone (neon blue), #3 on the darkest blue tone (navy).
Cut out the foam shapes once traced. Center #2 atop of #1 and secure in place with hot glue. Center #3 atop of #2 and secure in place with hot glue. Once ear has cooled, place a line of hot glue on the headband in desired position. Place ear in line of glue and hold in place until glue cools. Ta daaa! Ears that can be worn over rain coats, hats, and hair dos!
Face Paint: Using the white and black face paint, one can create the pup's signature nose and snoot. Ladies can even add gold eyeshadow to complete the look!
Easy DIY Mardi Gras Costume #2: CrayNola Crayons
Just like New Orleanians, crayons come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes. On Mardi Gras, I can’t think of any better way to show off all of our different shades of cray. We have Who Dat black, beignet brown, pothole grey, crawfish red, street tile blue, gator green, Mardi Gras gold, K&B purple, tigahs orange, and Roman Candy pink.
Here’s what you need to complete the look:
- Plain, colored t-shirt for each member of your family. (I purchased ours from the dollar store.)
- Printable iron-on transfer sheets for LIGHT fabric (I prefer Avery brand. Can be found at any major office supply store or major hobby/craft store.)
- InkJet printer
- Download the CrayNola logo here. (They are already flipped for proper printing. Yes, they are supposed to be backwards.)
- Using an inkjet printer, print the logo on your iron-on transfer pages for LIGHT fabric. (If one uses the transfers for dark fabric, the logo will have a white background.) Trim the image to size once printed.
- Affix the logo to t-shirt by following the ironing instructions that came with the transfers.
- Let transfer cool. Peel to reveal!
Bam! You have some CrayNola crayons! One can accent his/her color with accessories that match the assigned shade. Hobby, party, and dollar stores have a plethora of fun accessories in plain colors.
You can even print these logos at a reduced percentage to create smaller logos. Smaller logos can be ironed on to colored felt. The felt logo can then be trimmed and added to baseball caps, baby bibs, headbands, etc. The world is ya oysta, dawlin'!
Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all! We can't wait to see your costumes!
Hope is a fifth generation native New Orleanian. To answer the question we all start with when we meet someone new in NOLA: "What's the name of ya school?" Grace King! After graduating from the University of New Orleans, she spent 7 years working in local government. She left the traditional workforce when her son was born to live her lifelong dream of being a soccer mom. Hope happily lives in Gretna (which she never thought she would say, but now can't imagine living anywhere else. #Bestbank ) She loves supporting the local art scene, crafty crap, and spending time with with her two favorite guys - her volunteer firefighter hubby & adorable son.