Wear this DIY genie costume on Halloween and amaze all your friends with the optical illusion that you are genie emerging from a magic lamp. This is a great costume for kids or adults, men or women. All you need to make this DIY genie costume is a small plastic lamp, tulle fabric and polyester stuffing. Want the full tutorial? Your wish is my command! Use the following instructions to make this genie Halloween costume yourself.
DIY Genie Costume
It’s a tale as old as time: you stumble upon a dusty old lamp and give it a rub. Smoke starts to billow out of the lamp and out pops a magic genie. The genie grants you three wishes, but there are some rules:
- you can’t wish for more wishes,
- you can’t wish for someone to fall in love with you
- you can’t wish for someone to die.
So, what do you wish for?
Naturally, I would wish for a self cleaning house, millions of dollars, and for my loved ones to be safe and healthy.
My women’s genie costume was inspired by this one that I saw online a few months ago. I knew I had to make my own version of this costume but with a few changes. I didn’t want to paint my skin blue and I didn’t want to wear a turban and run the risk of cultural appropriation (not cool!). So my look is an “I Dream of Jeannie” meets “Aladdin” look.
Where does genie folklore come from anyways?
Feel free to skip this next part if the history of genies and Aladdin might bore you but I find this really interesting so here we go:
Genies (also called Jinn or genii) are spirits in cultures of the Middle East and Africa. The term genie comes from the Arabic word jinni, which referred to an evil spirit that could take the shape of an animal or person. It could be found in every kind of non-living thing, even air and fire. Jinn (the plural of jinni) were said to have magical powers and are favorite figures in Islamic literature. To the Mende people of Sierra Leone in Africa, genii are spirits who occasionally try to possess living men.
In contrast to Western versions of jinn, in the Arab world they are not known for their “Aladdin”-like wish-granting — though they can be commanded to perform tasks by wizards.
The original Aladdin story was actually set in China. Aladdin is one of the stories compiled in The Thousand and One Nights — a collection of Middle Eastern and Indian folk tales, however, it did not appear in the original Arabic text. It was added by a French translator, Antoine Galland, in the early eighteenth century.
Although Galland heard the tale from an Arabian storyteller, the Aladdin story is firmly set in China (so not the Middle East at all, but the Far East). The tale had nothing to do with the original One Thousand and One Nights tales, and doesn’t appear in any of the manuscripts. But, since Galland added it to his version, it has become arguably the most famous story (not) in the Arabian Nights.
So there you have it. From there the Aladdin story has been told over and over again through many interpretations. Now thanks to Disney we all seem to think that genies are blue creatures that live in lamps, grant wishes and sing songs about friendship.
Supplies for DIY Genie Costume
- 6ft piece of white tulle
- Polyester stuffing
- Small plastic lamp
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Black pants, shoes and socks
- Black string
- Genie shirt and vest
- Bangle bracelets and other jewelry
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The plastic lamp is a fun prop and looks just like the one from the Aladdin movie. It only cost about $5 and my daughter can use it as a toy after Halloween.
Directions for DIY Genie Costume
Begin by looping the rope around your waist and cut enough length that you can pull it back and forth between your legs a couple of times. You should need about 6 ft of tulle that is 8 inches wide.
Take the end of the tulle and stuff it in the opening of the lamp. Feed it though and tie a knot in the end so that it cannot be pulled through the lamp. I took a small piece of polyester fill and tied it in the tulle, then secured it with a pipe cleaner so that the tulle would not slip out of the lamp.
Begin gluing small pieces of fluff to the tulle. I picked off cotton ball sized pieces and glued them to the tulle with a hot glue gun.
Work your way up the piece of tulle making the fluff thicker and wider as you go. This will make the “smoke” coming out of the lamp look more realistic.
Add enough fluff so that the length of “smoke can go back and forth between your legs a few times and wrap around your waist.
When you are ready to assemble the costume put your black pants, socks and sandals on.
I bought the rest of my genie accessories from the thrift store. I bought a purple satin puffy shirt and metallic vest as well as come bangles.
The rest of the jewelry came from my own Crafty Little Gnome Jewelry collection.
How to Assemble the Genie in a Bottle Costume
- Place the lamp on one of your sandals and slip the base under your sandal straps to help keep it secure. Tie it to your ankle with black string.
- Take the fluffy smoke and tie it to your legs with more black string. Make sure you leave enough slack so that you can still walk. The black string will get lost in the fluff so your won’t see it. You can pull a few pieces of white fluff over if you need to hide it.
- Wrap the smoke around your waist and tie the free end of the tulle to itself so it is secure.
- Start granting wishes!
This costume could easily be adapted to many different popular genies. You could make the top half, I Dream of Jeannie, Genie from Aladdin or Shimmer and Shine from the popular kid’s cartoon.
What’s your Halloween costume this year? Tell me about it in the comments!