Hot Glue and Thrift Stores: School Dress-Up Days

There’s only a few things in life that I’m “extra” about, and one of them is dress-up days for my kids. I truly love when my children come home from school with a flyer about an upcoming themed-dress day. It might be Book Character Day, Star Wars Day, Crazy Hair Day, or Dress like a President Day – all I see is a good project! Truthfully, I haven’t come across a theme that I couldn’t handle with my trusty hot glue gun, a trip to the local thrift store, and some out of the box thinking.

Pinterest Inspiration for the Win

I want my kids to participate in everything, so my first go-to for ideas is Pinterest. Living in the era of Pinterest is a double-edged sword. It can be a saving grace for inspiring DIY ideas, but also an overwhelming mecca of over-the-top costume ideas. I force myself to quickly scroll through for a few simple ideas, while considering what I have around the house, what I can purchase at the thrift store, and how much time and money will be required.

Unfortunately, I don’t own a Cricut or a sewing machine. Truth be told, I can barely sew on a button! Instead, I have two full project containers. The first one is filled with hot glue gun supplies, fabric glue, permanent markers (in all of the colors), no-sew HeatnBond adhesive, mod podge, and clear glue. The other is filled with random craft supplies: paint, googly eyes, colorful pom-poms, glitter, wooden sticks, stickers, letter stencils, wooden dowels, ribbon, and felt.

I also keep Halloween costumes, dance recital costumes, and tons of accessories stored away, knowing in the back of my mind that they might save the day for a last minute dress-up day. Sometimes, we’ve lucked out and already have the perfect costume to coordinate with the theme. Other times, it takes a quick trip to the thrift store on my lunch break. I consider myself to be pretty frugal, and I sometimes amaze myself with what I can pull together for a few dollars and a little bit of effort. I’m certainly not going to buy a brand new, “party store quality” costume!

A Good Theme Calls for Late Night Crafting

Full disclosure: not every idea comes together as quickly as I would like. There have been times when I’ve stayed up way too late hot gluing or painting. But honestly, the joy on my children’s faces as they help out and see the finished product is so worth it in the end.

Elizabeth Boudreaux
Elizabeth and her husband Nicholas have been married for 13 years. They live in Geismar with their 3 children, Addison (9), Parker (5), and Laurel (2). She is from Franklin, LA and moved to Baton Rouge after receiving her Master’s in Business Administration from Southeastern Louisiana University. She is a Budget Administrator for the Department of Public Safety. She relies on sarcasm, a dry sense of humor, and the occasional cocktail to deal with the daily demands of motherhood. She loves crawfish, clean sheets, vacuuming, and the latest crime documentary on Netflix.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here