How to Make a Mrs. Potts Costume

mrs Potts costume

How to Make, Build, Buy or Rent a Beauty and the Beast Mrs. Potts Teapot Costume

If you’re in a production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and are playing Mrs. Potts, the enchanted teapot, this is the best place to find information on making, buying, building or renting a Mrs. Potts costume for that production.

I have links to other helpful articles all about taking measurements, costuming Beauty and the Beast, caring for wigs and much, much more. We’ll talk about the headwear, wigs, costume pieces, and footwear needed.

Headwear

Mrs. Potts Costume Hats

Here are some suggestions for Mrs Potts costume hats and headwear. As you are probably aware, most of the enchanted objects in the Beauty and the Beast production require two sets of costumes (if not more, or additional accessories). They begin enchanted and then progressively become more object-like, then transform back into humans (spoiler, sorry, it was necessary for the article). So it’s best to make two Mrs. Potts hats.

The second, human, hat can be a plain mob cap (also sometimes called a mop cap). It’s a round piece of fabric with a gather to create a puffy top and a ruffle rim. Do not wear this hat tight down on your head, it sits around the rim like a visor would with a fun puffy top. If you have a design you’re going for (we’ve often done a rose pattern, like you’d see on china–to go back to the rose theme) you can decorate the hat with ribbon, dye or puffy paint.

The enchanted hat should be a bit larger and overdone. You can stuff it to make it poofier, or you can add some wide ribbon doubled over to the edge to make the ruffle wider. This should look a bit like a teapot lid.


Costume Top

Mrs. Potts Costume Tops – Jacket, bodice and blouses

Mrs. Potts is by far one of the most complicated costumes for Beauty and the Beast, and the skirt and tops are the most difficult to explain. Let’s begin here with tops. Again, we’ll discuss “enchanted” and “human” top versions. These should be similar, remind us of one another, be related to one another.
For an enchanted top, the best version I’ve seen is a quilted jacket with a tie at the top. It was fitted with a peplum type skirt that flowed into the skirt portion (which is the round pot-like part of the costume). The jacket was custom made so it was built with a larger puff on one side to be the “handle” and on the other sleeve to be the “spout” (when the arms were placed like so). However, you could simply do a colored jacket that you later mirror in the bodice.
For the human costume, I’ve seen this done several ways. I prefer the look of a bodice (please don’t attempt to go “sexy” with the bodice, this is Mrs. Potts, she’s motherly) to fit the time period and really define the “human” shape Mrs. Potts has once she’s transformed. Mirror the enchanted version by choosing similar colors. Pair this with a peasant blouse, long or short sleeved. You can also match this to the rest of the costume with colored ribbon.

Costume Bottoms

Mrs. Potts Costume Skirts and Dresses

One of the most important parts of the Mrs. Potts teapot costume is the hoop slip skirt. Again, Mrs. Potts needs to go from a tea pot to a human later, so how do we do this and make visual references to each costume?
One of the best Mrs. Potts skirts I’ve seen was done in a floral pattern along with a hand-painted rose. It looked like a china pattern. The skirt itself had a drawstring waist (simple) and was made with a hoop skirt type skirt pattern (like any southern belle halloween costume pattern you can find). It’s best to make two. The enchanted version will need to be 1-2 feet longer to begin with though for making the teapot. The human one just make as directed and wear with a hoop slip that has not been altered. In other words, you’ll need TWO hoop slips and TWO skirts, one longer than the other.
To make the enchanted skirt, leave room at the bottom for a ruffle (which is in effect, the “base” of the teapot). You can use the same fabric or add on a long piece of satin or other fabric at the bottom. Between the skirt and ruffle there should be a drawstring to gather in the skirt, just like a waistline. This will just be brought in enough to create the round circular bottom of the skirt. The round frame is made by altering a hoop slip.
It’s EASY! Just take a 4 or 6 bone hoop slip (each “bone” means how many hoops go down the skirt) and put it on an actress or on a dress form and adjust the hoops until you have a round circular shape instead of a conical shape. Each hoop should have a flat piece of wire or “boning” and a plastic or rubber piece of tube that holds the two ends together. You can adjust the diameter of each hoop by sliding them back and forth in their pocket.

Is there a reason I chose sweetheart slips to recommend? YES. They’re a good quality and I trust their design and quality. They are the only brand slip that I really like. If you don’t like the ones below, do a search for sweetheart slips. BTW, I do prefer the cotton versions over the silky versions, those can ravel with as much as you’re going to be messing with them.


Footwear

Mrs. Potts Costume Shoes and Footwear

Yes, even if your feet don’t show much or often, it’s good to have a plan for footwear! For a character like Mrs. Potts, you could go simple with a pair of black, white or nude character shoes (I’d lean more white or black due to the time period), or you could get something fancier if you wanted to. One idea is to find some fun shoes and add a buckle to the top. You could use any sort of jewelry buckle and hot glue or sew it to the top of the toe area or a pre-bought pair of shoe buckles.
Here are some things to look for in a shoe base. These styles have been popular from the 60s till now, so you can find fun things in your closet or at a thrift store to start with. Many 70’s shoes even come with buckles, but avoid platforms or patent leather. Look for: no platforms under the toe area, short coverage over the toes or all the way up to the ankle (not in between), shoe buckles, shorter heels (1 1/2″), squat heels that curve out then in then out again.


Hairstyles

Mrs. Potts Costume Hairstyles and Wigs

Mrs. Potts doesn’t necessarily require a specific hair style. I am including some options for wigs that I would recommend in case your own hair is unacceptable for the show, such as too short or an odd color like blue. These are lacey wigs, a brand that I trust and I have used these specific wigs before and like them.


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