Craft Confessions | How to Make a Cowboy Costume

A few weekends ago My Main Man and I were lucky enough to be invited to a murder mystery dinner with some good friends from church. We may enjoy dressing up a bit :). MMM chose to be a cowboy named P'Elvis Swaggerin' and I was a ranch owner named Helena Handcart (try saying that out loud and then giggle), which required a very honky tonk wardrobe for both of us. We didn't want to break the bank, but I think we managed to come up with some pretty good outfits!


DENIM. You know, just basic jeans with a few holes or patches here and there.
BOOTS OR BROWN CASUAL DRESS SHOES. MMM had to wear the latter, but they really worked just fine.
PLAID OR STRIPED DRESS SHIRT. You can get away with so many shirts for this!
BANDANNA. All we had on hand was a pink one of mine, but it worked well since we later found out MMM's character had a homosexual love affair!
BOLO TIE. What? You don't have one of these hanging around your house? Neither did we, so I slammed together a 10 minute craft and MMM was bolo-riffic! Here's how it went down:
Pieces: Thrifted belt with cowboy looking belt buckle. Twisted pleather string (found in the jewelry section at a craft story). Hot Glue. 

Directions: Cut two lengths of pleather long enough to go around neck and hang down as tassels for tie. Glue two ends together, side by side. Wind remaining pleather string around glued ends for about 1 inch. Repeat for other end of tie tassle. Remove belt buckle from belt strap and discard strap. (I had to hack through mine with a knife, but some buckles are meant to be removed really easily, so you may be in luck.) Fold pleather tie in half, laying both tassels across back of belt buckle. Determine appropriate tightness of buckle against tassels to allow for tie to be adjustable after everything is glued down. (For me, this meant I needed to glue a spacer string under the buckle's back and then glue that against the body of the buckle.) Glue the buckle closed with tassels inside. Place over neck, and adjust for tightness. 

(As with any era, women wore quite a range of clothing. Here's how to dress like more of a wealthy, upstanding cowgirl.)

BOOTS. You can go heel or not, leather, lace-up, whatever. I think you have a whole lot of flexibility here.
COIFFED UP-DO. I basically did my hair in two parts.

(1) Tease portions around the front of my head, hair spray (a lot) and twist back to create a poof around the crown of the head. 
(2) Twist all of the remaining hair into a flat bun and pin into place. Then hairspray like it's going out of style!
FLOWERY HAIR CLIP. This happens to be the clip I wore for my wedding day. That's not weird to recycle it, right?
BUTTON-UP SHIRT. I probably could have done with a different shirt here, but this was all I had so I made it work! Since I was supposed to be on the wealthier, snootier side, I made sure to button the shirt to the top and the sleeves to the end to ensure maximum cowgirl modesty.
BROOCH. Technically, mine was an oversized earring, but anything gold and shiny should do.
SKIRT. It probably would have been more appropriate for my skirt to touch the floor, but this is what I had access to, so I made it work. Guess how amazing this skirt is? It was orignally a huge bedskirt I bought for $2 at a thrift store. I just cut off a portion long enough to wrap around my waist, sewed a seam up most of the back, and safety pinned myself in when it was time for the party. It was so simple and cheap!

And that, my friends, is how to make cowboy costumes on the cheap. Perhaps you already knew all this, but I thought I'd share just in case!

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