Costumes for History Days
Costumes for History Days…. Evacuees and Egyptians DIY style !
History was always my favourite subject at school and I still remember my first trip to Kentwell Hall and being put in the stocks! There will no doubt be a history re-enactment day in your new term calendar but have no fear you can easily whip up a costume at home with a little help from charity shops, paper plates and brown paper!
With Duxford on our doorstep, you might be lucky enough to have a WWII trip and need an evacuee outfit. The child of the 1940s wore simple clothes that you can easily find from your school uniform or home clothes. For boys – find a cap or woollen hat, a pair of knee length shorts, a school shirt and a tank top or blazer. For girls – find a beret, headscarf or woollen hat, knee length skirt or dress and a cardigan. Any hand or Fair Isle knits are ideal and give that WWII authenticity! Get a Paddington style brown paper label and attach with their name and school. A small brown leather suitcase or an old-style satchel look great along with a brown paper covered box with a string strap….in other words a gas mask!
If you have an Egyptian day forget the authentic loin cloth for boys (too chilly!) and use a large white t-shirt or convert a pillow case making head and arm openings. Boys need a knee length tunic whilst girls finish at the ankle. These make fabulous white tunics which are the basis for any Egyptian, Greek and Roman costume. You will easily be able to accessories from your local charity shop. Old curtain tie-backs provide wonderful cords to make belts and headbands. Plaiting old ribbons and black wool can make an effective headband with a youth lock worn for boys. Add a cord belt and black eye lids – which protected them from the sun apparently! Hair was black and plaited – so don a wig or even spray that hair! A jewelled collar adds a finishing touch – cut the centre from a paper plate and paint yellow (gold) and stick on self-adhesive jewels, paint with metallics or deconstruct some charity shop jewels! It’s fun to look up Egyptian names and choose one for the day! Crafty Cleopatra here we come!
Fret not and always remember that dressing up is a bit of fun and will bring the subject to life. We are always at the end of the phone if you would like any advice and can supply costumes and accessories if required too from our Arkesden shop.
Tel 01799 551182
Next time: Vile Victorians and Vicious Vikings!