Indian and Vampire Princess

Yesterday and today, we have celebrated Fastelavn (Shrovetide) across Denmark. I have mentioned this in here several times before, but in brief it’s a yearly occasion when primarily children dress up in costumes, and get together to “tilt at the cat in the barrel”, or basically they take turns to hit a suspended barrel filled with sweets and other goodies with clubs. And no, there’s not an actual cat in there.


I made the children’s costumes myself, and I wanted to show you – I think they turned out pretty good. Ronja was an American Indian (still not quite sure what to call this, to be politically correct), and Frida was a vampire princess – their own choices.

I made Ronja’s costume very much inspired by this tutorial. The fabric is faux suede, and besides this I used ribbon, feathers, and wooden beads for decoration. Mads made her a bow and arrow, which we embellished with feathers and a bead, tied on with a strip of faux suede. I made her a necklace with leather cord, to which I attached a small medallion, made with a small round Hama bead design, a piece of the feather trim I got for Frida’s dress, and two pieces of faux suede sewn together and used as backing. I glued it all together with a glue gun. I used strips of faux suede to tie in Ronja’s hair, and made an arm decoration and covers for her boots to make them look right. The face paint was pretty straight forward, but I did sponge gold coloured face paint onto her face, to give her a bit of a golden skin-feel. I don’t think I ever got around to telling you about my face painting craze, really – it escalated last year, and I love creating these small short-lived designs. Also, I am lucky enough to have girls that want me to paint them. Mads gave me a gift card for a face painting course for Christmas, which I am looking so much forward to using!


For Frida’s costume I decided to make a black tulle skirt. It was created from one of the many tutorials on how to do no-sew tulle skirts – I looked at this one. I didn’t have enough silk ribbon to add that to the skirt as well the way it has been done in the tutorial – otherwise I would have. Actually, my mom did most of the skirt, since I was running short on time, and she was visiting, but we both enjoyed the cooperation. For the corset, I found a pattern in one of my sewing magazines, SYmagasin 11/2011. It was for a dress, but I only used the top, and my mom and I worked together to create a pattern for the fabric that goes over the top of the tulle skirt. It doesn-t show so well in the pictures, but it has points in a shape that’s similar to the edge of a Batman-cape, and this part I attached to the corset. I added a feather trim that I found in STOF 2000 to the straps – the fabric is from there as well – and the ties are plain black silk ribbon. For embellishments I created a necklace from black silk ribbon with red rhinestones and tied it in a bow on the back of her neck. Frida’s pig tails are sprayed with a ton of hairspray and tied with black tulle and silk ribbon. I used the main fabric to create her diadem and glued on white rhinestones, added cardboard on the back side to give it hold, and Mads helped me spray paint a hairband black to glue it on to.

Frida’s face paint was a result of her wanting to be scary, but not too scary, and we agreed on the spiderweb combined with black and white flowers. I think she was worried that her friends wouldn’t want to play with her if she was too scary, but that seemed to work out alright.  🙂

The girls both enjoyed Fastelavn this year, and Frida even won a prize for best costume among the 4 to 6 year olds. She didn’t quite get what was going on until afterwards, but the prize was a gift card for the cinema, so I think we will get a nice outing out of it. I must say, I was a proud mother, because I did spend quite some time creating that costume – as well as Ronja’s, by the way. You can see more pictures in my Flickr if you’re interested.


  1. Rachel says:

    Astrid, they both turned out amazing!! What a lovely job you did! I have had the pleasure of making several Danish friends where we live in China (all with the company Novo Nordisk). Some of the nicest people I have ever met! They have shared about their special dress up day in February… and to see you using my tutorial for this celebration was so wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing, and linking back to me! I added your photo and a link to you at the bottom of my tutorial as a Thank You!!! 🙂

    I hope the girs had fun!

  2. Astrid says:

    Rachel – so funny to hear from you again. And what a coincidence that you have Danish friends through Novo Nordisk – and that you already know about Fastelavn. 🙂
    Your tutorial is great and inspirational, and I am so thankful for people like you, sharing the ideas you come up with in photo tutorials – what would the rest of us do without them! Thanks again – and hugs for you!

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