Sip on delicious cocktail ideas!
Mardi Gras Kiss
Bourbon Street Blackberry Brut
Fat Tuesday Iced Tea
Cajun Whiskey Blackberry
Bayou Bloody Mary
- Simple black zippered dress from a thrift store
- Two yards of black ribbon
- Six yards of black double-folded bias tape
- Lots of strands of purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras beads
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Hand sewing needle and strong thread
- Sewing machine and black thread
- Measuring tape, pins, and scissors
What to Do
- Begin by measuring around the widest part of your body, usually either the hips or the bust. You’ll make strips of beads to this length and then trim them as needed to get the perfect fit.
- Cut the bias tape to the length you measured. Using the sewing machine, sew a line of stitches about 1/4 inch from the fold of the bias tape.
- Cut the Mardi Gras beads into six-inch sections, sorting them by color.
- Open up the open side of the bias tape and finger press it to keep it open while you work. Apply a line of hot glue to about 12 inches of the bias tape, right in the seam you made in step 2.
- Take a small section of Mardi Gras beads and press one end into the hot glue. Continue pressing sections in until you have covered the area with glue. Add more glue and more beads, working in sections, until you’ve completed that piece of bias tape. Set it aside to dry.
- Repeat with each piece of bias tape, using one color of beads at a time. When you’re done, you should have enough beaded fringe to cover the dress.
- When all the pieces are dry, pin the first piece of fringe to the hem of the dress. Locate the seam in which the dress’ zipper is installed, and begin pinning from that point. Sew the fringe in place just above the line of stitching you created in step 2.
- Add another strip of fringe about six inches above the first one, and continue to add strips all the way up the dress. Trim the excess bias tape and beads as needed to accommodate the narrower portions of the dress.
- Use the black ribbons to embellish the straps of the dress. You can simply topstitch the ribbon over the straps for a fancier look, or you can add bows to the shoulders.
Jester’s Hat and Cape
Jester hats are popular for Mardi Gras, and you can make your own with these easy instructions. Add a festive cape for a complete costume.
Things You’ll Need
- Four pieces of stiff craft felt in green
- Four pieces of stiff craft felt in purple
- 1/4 yard of purple or green felt
- Gold craft bells
- One yard of purple satin fabric
- One yard of green satin fabric
- Two yards of gold satin fabric
- One yard of wide satin ribbon in purple, green, or gold
- Sewing machine and purple, green, and gold thread
- Scissors, tape measure, and dressmaker’s pencil
- Pins and hand sewing needle
- Regular lead pencil and a 36-inch piece of string
What to Do to Make the Jester’s Hat
- Start by measuring the circumference of your head, keeping the tape snug. Add one inch to this measurement.
- Lay out your 1/4 yard of felt fabric and mark a rectangle that is three inches tall by the length you found in step 1. Cut out the rectangle.
- Make a mark half an inch in from the end on one long side of the rectangle. Repeat on the other end of the same long side. This will allow for a half-inch seam.
- Using the craft felt in purple and green, cut several long, thin triangles. The should be about four inches wide on the bottom by about eight inches tall. How many you need will depend on the circumference of your head.
- Starting by one of the marks you made, pin the short bottoms of the triangles to the back of the long felt strip. Alternate colors as you go around the band. Adjust the spacing as needed to make it even. Stop when you reach the other mark you made.
- Sew the triangles in place and remove the pins.
- Sew a half-inch seam to connect the two ends of the band. Try the hat on to make sure it fits, and adjust as needed.
- Finally, hand sew gold bells to the end of each triangle.
What to Do to Make the Cape
- Lay out the gold satin, folding it in half with the short sides together. Tie one end of the string to the lead pencil and one to the dressmaker’s pencil.
- Place the point of the lead pencil on the fold of the gold fabric, right near the top edge. Have someone hold this pencil in place while you pull the string taught and draw an arc across the fabric. Cut out the arc.
- Spread out the green satin without folding it. Place the folded gold satin on top of the green satin, and use it as a pattern to cut the same arc in the green. Repeat with the purple.
- Unfold the gold satin with the right side up to create a semi-circle. Place the green satin right side down on top of one side of the gold, and pin it in place along the top. Place the purple satin on the other side, pinning it the same way.
- Cut a shallow dip in the middle of the cape to accommodate your neck. You’ll use a ribbon to tie this, so it doesn’t have to be exact.
- Sew the top seams of the cape using a half-inch seam allowance, stopping when you reach the neck hole.
- Hem the open front of the cape and the circular bottom hem, using the appropriate thread color for each color of fabric.
- Fold the wide satin ribbon in half, finger creasing it. Insert the raw edge of the neck hole into the folded ribbon. Pin it in place and topstitch.
- Try on your cape and enjoy.
More Fun Mardi Gras Costumes You Can Make
Try one of these fun costume ideas to create or enhance your look for Mardi Gras:
- You can make a Mardi Gras mask to go with your costume or to dress up a simple outfit. This is a perfect choice for anyone who needs an easy, last-minute look for the holiday.
- You can also make your own masquerade mask to give any costume a little extra mystery and flair. Find patterns to make your masquerade ball gown to complete your look. This is an elegant choice for ladies.
- Create a clown costume for Mardi Gras this year. Clowns are perfect for this light-hearted holiday, and you can choose from an elaborate costume to a simpler look, depending on the tip you have available.
- Homemade pirate costumes are a popular choice for Mardi Gras, especially since the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Add ropes of Mardi Gras beads for even more flair.
- If you’re looking for a different style, make your own Greek goddess costume. Some of Mardi Gras’ origins can be traced back to Greek and Roman times, so a goddess costume is a fun choice.
- Take your inspiration for the Mardi Gras Zulu Parade and make a grass skirt to wear. This makes an easy and inexpensive costume.
At its heart, Mardi Gras is about fun and celebration. You can’t go wrong when you make your own creative costume that keeps these ideas in mind. Whether you choose to be a flapper or pirate, you’ll fit right in with the rest of the party-goers
Where to Find Mardi Gras Costumes
Although they don’t specialize in Mardi Gras, Party City offers a great selection of costumes for this event. You’ll find a wide range of complete costumes, including the Adult Mardi Gras Queen costume, which consists of a purple, green, and gold dress and retails for $40. The Parade Mardi Gras Jester costume is an even more elaborate look, featuring a giant jester’s head, purple, gold, and green jumpsuit, and purple shoe covers and retailing for about $100.
Party City has locations all over the United States, and you can use the store locator to find one near you. For the best selection of Mardi Gras costumes, you may have the best luck shopping online. Consumer reviews vary by the store location, but according to Yelp, most consumers report that customer service is adequate and prices are very reasonable.
Orders ship the same day if they’re placed before 5:00pm, and you can make returns at any Party City location or online within 30 days of purchase.
8 Mardi Gras Appetizers
Yield: Makes 12 appetizer servings Total time: 25 Minutes
- 2 (16-oz.) jars mixed pickled vegetables
- 3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons bottled olive oil-and-vinegar dressing
- 12 small dinner rolls, cut in half
- 6 Swiss cheese slices, cut in half
- 12 thin deli ham slices
- 12 Genoa salami slices
- 6 provolone cheese slices, cut in half
1. Pulse pickled vegetables in food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely chopped. Stir in olives and dressing.
2. Spread 1 heaping tablespoonful pickled vegetable mixture over cut side of each roll bottom. Top each with 1 Swiss cheese slice half, 1 ham slice, 1 salami slice, 1 provolone cheese slice half, and roll tops. Cover with plastic wrap. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
Note: We tested with Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera pickled vegetables and Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing.
2.Southern Shrimp Cocktails
- Yield: Makes 12 servings
- 12 unpeeled, jumbo cooked shrimp
- Rémoulade Sauce
- 12 whole pickled okra
- 12 very thin crispy breadsticks, broken in half
- Garnish: grape tomato slices
1. Peel shrimp, leaving tails on; devein, if desired.
2. Spoon 1 heaping Tbsp. of Rémoulade Sauce evenly into each of 12 individual serving glasses. Place 1 shrimp, 1 whole pickled okra, and 2 breadstick halves in each glass. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.
Note: To cook shrimp at home, bring 3 qt. water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Cut 2 lemons in half, and squeeze juice into boiling water; add squeezed lemon halves to water. Add 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 bay leaves. Return to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 to 2 lb. unpeeled, jumbo raw shrimp, and cook 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink; drain. Plunge shrimp into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Cover and chill.
- Yield: Makes 16 cakes (serving size: 1 cake and 1 tbsp. sauce)
- 1 (8-oz.) package fresh lump crabmeat, drained
- 3 whole grain white bread slices
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Vegetable cooking spray
- Salt to taste
- Garlic-Chive Sauce
- Garnish: lemon slices
1. Pick crabmeat, removing any bits of shell. Pulse bread slices in a blender or food processor 5 times or until finely crumbled. (Yield should be about 1 1/2 cups.)
2. Stir together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Gently stir in breadcrumbs and crabmeat. Shape mixture into 16 (2-inch) cakes (about 2 Tbsp. each).
3. Cook cakes, in batches, on a hot, large griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-low heat 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Season with salt to taste. (Keep cakes warm in a 200° oven for up to 30 minutes.) Serve with Garlic-Chive Sauce. Garnish, if desired.
Garlic-Chive Sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice add zesty flavor to Mini Crab Cakes.
4 Hot Crawfish Dip
- Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 (1-lb.) package frozen cooked, peeled crawfish tails, thawed and undrained
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- French bread baguette slices
- Garnishes: sliced green onion, chopped flat-leaf parsley
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in crawfish and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream cheese until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Serve with toasted French bread slices.
We could call this Saints Dip for last year’s Super Bowl winners! Parmesan cheese helps hold ingredients together. You can also serve this versatile recipe with crackers over a block of cream cheese or toss leftovers in a Caesar salad.
- Yield:Makes about 4 cups
- 1 cup Italian olive salad, drained
- 1 cup diced salami (about 4 oz.)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini salad peppers
- 1 (2 1/4-oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
- 4 ounces provolone cheese, diced
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Serve with: French bread crostini
Stir together first 9 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours before serving. Stir in parsley just before serving. Serve with French bread crostini. Store leftovers in refrigerator up to 5 days.
6.Smoked Paprika-Glazed Andouille
- Yield:Makes 10 to 12 servings
- 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Cook sausage in hot olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Stir in minced garlic paprika; cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add vinegar and chopped fresh thyme; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Serve with wooden picks.
7.Creole Shrimp Deviled Eggs
- Yield:Makes 2 dozen
- 12 large eggs
- 1/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
- 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked shrimp
- 3 tablespoons sautéed chopped green bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 green onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Cooked shrimp
1. Place eggs in a single layer in a stainless steel saucepan. (Do not use nonstick.) Add water to depth of 3 inches. Bring to a rolling boil; cook 1 minute. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Drain.
2. Place eggs under cold running water until just cool enough to handle. Tap eggs on the counter until cracks form; peel.
3. Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Mash together yolks, yogurt, and next 9 ingredients until smooth using a fork. Spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves. Top with cooked shrimp. Serve immediately, or cover and chill 1 hour before serving
All the iconic flavors of this Southern stew are skewered together into bite-size Grits-and-Gumbo Tarts.
- Yield:Makes 3 dozen
- 36 unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup uncooked regular grits
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup finely chopped andouille sausage
- 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 36 (1/2-inch-thick) fresh okra slices (8 to 10 pods)
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 36 (4-inch) wooden skewers
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and devein shrimp.
2. Bring broth and milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened.
3. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage and next 3 ingredients, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir sausage mixture into cooked grits. Spoon 1 rounded tablespoonful grits mixture into each cup of 3 lightly greased 12-cup miniature muffin pans, pressing lightly.
4. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Make an indentation in center of each tart, using back of a spoon. Cool completely in pans on wire racks (about 30 minutes). Remove from pans; place in a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.
5. Sprinkle shrimp and okra with Creole seasoning. Melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add shrimp and okra, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Thread 1 shrimp and 1 okra slice onto each skewer; place 1 skewer on each tart.
6. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or just until warm. Serve immediately.