Upcycle Cookie Wrappers into Chic Dresses

The Dumpling and I recently binged on a tin of Danish butter cookies—if you have never had them, they’re dangerously addictive. Within days, we finished the entire box and were left with a few dozen white wrappers that were too good to just toss out. Instead we painted and turned them into dresses!

My Post copy

Materials

Directions

Print the illustrations.

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The drawings are scaled to fit the butter cookie wrappers. If they do not fit the wrappers/liners you’re using, scale the images up (or down) in the print settings by adjusting the percentage in “Custom Scale” option. For example, enter a value between 101% to 200% to enlarge, or 1% to 99% to shrink.

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Paint the cookie wrappers. While we used craft paint and watercolors, any medium can be used. The former produced vibrant colors but left the wrappers stiff and crusty (therefore, hard to fold). The latter created softer effects but the wrappers ripped easily when it was wet.

Experiment with different folds to create the outfits. We started with folding the wrappers in halves, quarters, and sixths to make dresses and skirts, but eventually ventured into asymmetrical combinations.

Our Look Book

Skirts/Dresses

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Poncho

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Kimono

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The kimono, composed of four wrappers, was probably the most complex. The first is the bottom-most layer that creates the white collar; the second is the actual kimono; the third forms the sleeves; and the fourth is the sash.

Instructions for the first and second layers:

  1. Fold the wrapper into unequal halves. The greater the disparity, the longer the dress.
  2. Make approximately a 1/4″ horizontal fold from the top to form the collar.
  3. Flip the wrapper over. Fold the left and right sides toward the center, dividing the wrapper into thirds with the middle section being the largest.

Instruction for the obi: Continue folding the wrapper into horizontal halves until you get the desired width.

Instructions for the sleeves: Fold the wrapper into unequal halves. Then fold the left and right sides toward the center, with the middle section being the largest.

Umbrella

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Superhero cape

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My Kid Is A Terrible Dresser

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When the Dumpling picked her own clothes.

Several days ago the Dumpling insisted on wearing this monstrosity of an outfit: a red San Francisco 49ers jersey paired with patterned green pants. She ran around the room with only her diaper on, dramatically screaming “No! Nooo! Nooooooo!” to every alternative except for what she picked out.

Before becoming a mom, I always wondered why parents would let their kids out of the house in cringe-worthy ensembles—jarring color combinations, socks with sandals, dresses over pants, epileptic inducing LED-lit apparels…just to name a few examples.

Like many things, I sing a different tune now that I have a small toddler with a big personality.

Whatever fashion aspirations I had for the Dumpling were short lived. At its height, I dreamed of her living up the kiddy fashion hashtags on Instagram where she would wear trendy miniature versions of adult clothes, or we would twin with mommy-and-me dresses. The reality, however, is that children’s apparel is expensive for the number of wears that she would get out of them. It also didn’t help that the Dumpling hates getting dressed, so my bare standard these days is just to get her to wear pants. At 22 months, my daughter already has strong stylistic preferences that she is vocal about. This often translates to her picking out clothes that have clashing combinations or are out of season (she wore Christmas pants all year round).

The Dumpling may refine her taste as she grows, but in the meantime I implemented a strategy to combat her fashion faux pas. I would have a few pre-selected backup pieces for her to choose from in case she rejects my initial offering. This would give her the opportunity to make decisions under a controlled setting. Sometimes she would go with my first choice with minimal resistance; often it’d be a compromise where I picked the top and she picked the bottom; on occasions she would reject both and put something together entirely on her own.

When I picked the outfit.
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When she dressed for both Christmas and Easter at the same time.

Looking back at her old pictures, I realized that the Dumpling rocked whatever she wore. Her big smile and personality outshone even the most mismatched outfits.

If she asks about her choice of clothing in the future, I will just say that she was an accidental hipster.