Crafty Crocodiles!

Thursday 3rd March was World Book Day:

Girl’s school had made the decision to celebrate on Friday 4th March as there’s no PE on a Friday and would minimise disruption and also meant the school hall was free for the costume assemblies. Just before half term, we’d received a note saying that the children could dress up as their favourite book character.

This gave me nearly two weeks to help Girl work out what she wanted to dress as, and sort her costumer out. Typically though, I didn’t even think about till the Sunday before, meaning I would only have evenings after work to get creative and/or spend a fortune on a costume.

The conversation went like this:

  • Me “What book character do you want to dress up as?”
  • Girl “A princess”
  • Me “Which princess, from which book?”
  • Girl “Belle from the DVD”
  • Me “No, it’s for World Book Day. What’s your favourite book at school at the moment?”
  • Girl “The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl. CAN I GO AS A CROCODILE?”
  • Me “Er, Ok, I’ll see what I can do”

So, hoist on my own pedantry, I start to think about a crocodile costume. And this is how I went about it!

Firstly, I nipped out to my local supermarket & purchased two cheap, turqouise (closest I could get to green) pillow cases, a box of eggs & a cheap green school jumper.

Secondly, I rummaged through the cardboard waiting for recycling and found my mum’s discarded box from her ukelele (don’t as, that’s a whole new story on its own!). And as it was tapered, I decided it was perfect for a crocodile head.

That was it for Monday, so off I trooped to work on Tuesday, trying to work out how I was going to pull it together. Whilst as work, I managed to reduce my colleagues to giggles. Other Half telephoned and asked if I’d bought eggs from anything specific as he wanted to use them for the kids’ tea. I answered “The box” and half the office could hear the confused silence!

Tuesday evening I begain work. Job number one was to paint the ukelele box green, I then chopped up the egg box for eyes and nostrils, and used printer paper to act as teeth. These pictures are the result:

Next job was to make a body & legs for my crocodile. To do this I pinned the cheap school jumper to the closed end of a pillow case, and cut out the head hole, and undid the seams so the arms of the jumper could peek through. The idea being, Girl would wear the jumper, then put the pillow case over the top so her arms were covered.

I then pinned a pair of her jeans to the open end of the second pillow case, and cut around them, leaving a little room for hemming and movement. I also put some velcro along the seam at the top of the trousers for functionality, and this was the result:

At that point, I went to bed!
Next evening was tail constructing. I got another phone call at work from Other Half asking if I needed another pillow case and if so which colour. Cue more office giggles when I answered “Green – it’s for a crocodile”.
Pillow cases duely bought, I began work on the tail. I placed a piece of cardboard inside and pushed it to the closed end. On the outside of the pillow case, I pinned some white paper & traced the line of the tail. I then cut through, the paper, pillow case & cardboard. I then hemmed the cardboard inside the pillow case so it was stiff and stuck out.
The final job was to get the crocodile head to sit like a hat, so I made a cardboard ring and fixed it with double-sided tape inside the head. And I was done!
This is how my Girl attended school:
I hadn’t realised at the time, that there was a prize for the best costume in each class, I put the effort in because my little Girl asked. But when I found out she’d won…. (*Blub*)

The moral of the (crocodile) tail is: anything is possible with 3 pillow cases, 1 jumper, 1 egg box, paint, sticky tape & of course, a ukelele box!


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