The Queen of Hearts Costume Design

When a family asked me to design a shoot for them around an Alice in Wonderland theme, my mind was immediately whirring away! Here’s a breakdown of the Queen of Hearts costume I designed for the mom of the family.
First up, was the sketch.
I tackled the headpiece next, using poster board, cardboard, artificial roses (red, of course!), and a headband.
Queen of Hearts headpiece construction

Queen of Hearts headpiece
Then, it was the collar. I did a lot of research about Elizabethan whisks and decided to model the queen’s collar after them. I used 3 partial decks of playing cards in varying sizes, 16-gauge wire, needle and thread and glue.
Queen of Hearts whisk construction

Queen of Hearts whisk
I used a red tulle skirt that I had made earlier with a white corset, stitched up a ruched shrug the day of, and made pleated cuffs and a pleated neck piece. Below is the completed look. I will post images from the shoot soon!
Queen of Hearts costume

Queen of Hearts costume

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  • Reply Edith

    I love the pic!!! Sorry I forgot about modeling the cuffs!

    December 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    • Reply kindradoo

      no worries, rosi! 😉

      December 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm
  • Reply Lynn

    Beautiful !!! You have wonderful ideas for the queen of hearts!!
    How did you do the cuffs and the ruffled neck pieces???


    October 8, 2014 at 8:29 am
    • Reply Kindra

      Thanks so much, Lynn!

      If you have a sewing machine and know basics (and I mean basics- I’m no seamstress!) the cuffs and neck piece are actually pretty easy. I started with a large rectangle of white fabric for each piece and ironed pleats into them until they were the length I wanted. I don’t have the exact dimensions of the fabric but leave it three or four times longer than you’ll want it to end up on one side and the exact width you want on the other. If you have been pleating a while and it looks like you’ll wind up short of fabric, don’t start over-just sew on another piece. The seam is easy to hide in a pleat. I left the edges raw because I liked the look but you could also hem those before you start pleating.

      Once you’ve got the size you like for the wrists and neck, sew a zigzag stitch down the center to secure the pleats. I put this seam a little off-center on the neck so you can adjust that to your liking. Over that seam on the inside, sew on your ties. I used strips of the same fabric (with raw edges again) as ties but you could also use ribbon, if you like. I liked the wrist ties left really long.

      If you need help with pleating (it’s really just a lot of measuring and ironing), there are a ton of great tutorials online.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your project! 🙂

      October 8, 2014 at 11:27 am
  • Reply Wonderland Family

    […] favorites from the Wonderland family shoot. For the making of the queen’s costume, see this post. What a beautiful family! Mad hatter: hat, accessories and photo by me. Alice: dress by Good […]

    March 27, 2015 at 11:23 am
  • Reply Melissa

    How did you make the collar?

    September 17, 2015 at 9:03 pm
    • Reply kindradoo

      Hi Melissa!

      Since the costume technically had two collars, I’ll address them both.

      For the card collar, or whisk, I first made a template from posterboard. It took a little trial and error but once it looked about right, I laid out the wire frame on top of it, wrapping the ends. After that, I bent the frame into roughly the shape I wanted.

      Next, I laid out my playing cards on top of my template, taped them together, and then sewed them together on my machine. After they were stitched, I pulled off the tape. I then attached the cards to the wire frame with stitches and glue.

      The inside white collar was made pretty much the same way as I made the cuffs (see the previous comment for the how-to). Just adjust the width of the fabric to be the desired height of the collar and you’re all set. I also added a second layer of fabric in a smaller size to add a little bit more depth.

      Hope that’s helpful! Let me know if you have any specific questions. Happy costuming! 🙂

      September 18, 2015 at 9:20 am
  • Reply Kristy

    Can you explain how you did the headpiece in more specifics? I want to make this and am just a bit confused, specifically with how the rose piece attaches to the headband and whether it is double sided or not. Thanks and I love your ideas!

    September 28, 2015 at 1:52 pm
    • Reply kindradoo

      Hi Kristy!

      I made mine single-sided but you could totally do double, if you had the inkling. I cut out the cardboard into a half-heart shape, tracing around the top of the headband at the bottom of the cardboard piece to make that curved cut-out. (I used a wide, stiff headband.) I painted the cardboard red and then glued the roses to it, stem side down. After that, I glued the curved cut-out end of the cardboard to the headband, again using hot glue.

      Hope that is helpful!

      September 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Kristy

    Thank you! I am making my daughter an entire queen of hearts outfit. Right now I am finishing up a tulle skirt and making a corset out of cards. This headpiece will go well with it! Thanks again!

    September 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm
    • Reply kindradoo

      Sure thing! I’m sure she will look fantastic. 🙂

      September 28, 2015 at 6:26 pm
  • Reply 25+ Queen of Hearts Costume Ideas and DIY Tutorials - Hative

    […] Get the tutorial via kindrakeitel […]

    October 14, 2015 at 9:47 pm
  • Reply Stephanie jeffreys

    great costume. Thanks for posting. I got to do this for Halloween this year. Do you know approximately how many roses you used for headpiece?

    Thanks! Steph

    October 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm
    • Reply kindradoo

      Hi Stephanie!

      I don’t know for sure but I would estimate around 3 dozen or so. Good luck with your project! 🙂

      October 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm
  • Reply Nithilah

    OMG!!! I just love this costume!! I am planning on making a queen of hearts costume for halloween. This website was really helpful. Thanks again!!!

    September 24, 2016 at 10:21 am
    • Reply kindradoo

      Thanks so much, Nithilah! Happy costuming and happy Halloween! 🙂

      September 24, 2016 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Patty

    Hello!!! I just love all these wonderful ideas. I have made the headband for my daughter, she will be the queen of hearts in just a few days. Is there any way I can make the rose section not stable on the headband? Any suggestions on how to keep it from moving so much? Thank you!!!!

    October 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm
    • Reply Patty

      More stable***

      October 13, 2016 at 9:26 pm
      • Reply kindradoo

        Hi Patty! Thanks so much- I bet your daughter will be adorable! 🙂

        To attach the roses to the headband, I stitched it first by hand, just wrapping the thread around the headband and then through the roses/cardboard. Around and around and around. Once that was done, I super glued like crazy, all the cracks and seams.

        Hope that is helpful. Thanks for stopping by!

        October 14, 2016 at 8:36 am
  • Reply claudia

    These are lovely ideas!
    i really want to make the headpiece, but i am having a hard time finding the right kind of roses. May i ask where you got yours?
    Thank you!!

    October 17, 2016 at 10:29 am
    • Reply kindradoo

      Hi Claudia,

      I found these in the Dollar Tree. 🙂 I’ve seen similar in a lot of places like big box stores and in crafting supply stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Hope that helps. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      October 17, 2016 at 11:27 am
  • Reply DIY Queen of Hearts Costume Ideas

    […] Get the tutorial via kindrakeitel […]

    January 26, 2017 at 6:06 am
  • Reply Priscilla

    Thank you….
    Your work has helped me a lot to be able to reproduce it to use for my ballet presentation ….

    September 4, 2017 at 11:03 pm
    • Reply kindradoo

      I’m so glad to hear that! 🙂

      September 9, 2017 at 5:26 pm

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