The Evolution of a Halloween Costume

This year my feeling on Halloween costumes remains unchanged.  If I can make it cheap or find it cheap, it works. I just hate paying much for costumes unless it’s an unbelievable deal, simply because I have a hard time with the idea of purchasing something that may be worn once.  When I was a kid we usually had homemade costumes that could be worn as something else later like pajamas.  To this day I still love that idea!

Last year's costumes.  I did buy his because I found one super cheap.  We took the extra step of making it light up.

Last year’s costumes. I did buy his because I found one super cheap. We took the extra step of making it light up.

The Professor has a timeline of different costumes that he is going to wear for Halloween from now until he turns 32.  Every year a superhero, every year a different one.  Last year he was Iron Man.  At the same time he chose that costume, he announced his candidacy for Batman for the following year.

I really didn’t want to buy a costume again this year.  All of the promises that he would use it for pretend play didn’t happen.  So I’m trying to go a different route, figuring I’d make the cape and find him things he could use again.  However, finding a long-sleeve Batman shirt in the right size was a little difficult!  I finally found him a long sleeved shirt that had thermal sleeves.  How do you cover up thermal sleeves?  You make a cape with sleeves, that’s how!  Here is the link to the pattern we ended up using:  http://www.vanillajoy.com/the-nearly-no-sew-batman-cape.html

I found instructions on a number of sites on how to make a Batman symbol and mask out of felt, and how to make a utility belt out of yellow duct tape.  In the end I actually spray painted a cat mask that I found in the Hobby Lobby clearance!  I used a roll of the tape and an empty fettucine box to make a rather cool utility belt.  I even made a bat light.  And yes, loyal batman fans, I realize that batman wasn’t the one that actually used the bat light.  Details, details…

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He’s a pretty cute batman…

And then there was the other child, the one that changes her mind every 28 seconds about her costume.  At least until she came up with this idea last month:

“Mommy, I want to be a dancing flower for Halloween.”

“A flower?  Like a flower around your head flower?”

“Yes.  A dancing flower.”

So we googled “homemade flower costume”.  I can tell you this, that flower costumes range from the adorable to “what does this have to do with a flower”?

She kept looking at the baby costumes.  I reminded her that she is not a baby.

Reprinted with permission from Coolest Homemade Costumes.

Image used with permission from Coolest Homemade Costumes.

We finally found one that seemed to be the closest to what we were envisioning.  It was on a website called Coolest Homemade Costumes, as seen in the image above.   I found a green shirt with sparkles, and coordinating material.

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Shirt from Wal-mart and material to make a tutu from JoAnn Fabrics!

As it got closer to the time where she needed the costume, I started to panic.  I have PTSD from first grade and therefore am totally paralyzed with fear when it came to the head part of the costume.

Huh?

In my first grade class I had to play a flower in Mary Mary Quite Contrary’s garden.  Whoever made the tops had to be a person who loved inflicting pain upon small children.  That part of the costume was so heavy it weighed my head down and cut into my chin.  I can close my eyes and feel that stupid flower on my head.

Somehow I convinced her that perhaps a crown was better.  Then I came home a few days later and found her watching Sixteen Candles (I guess she’d been watching 101 Dalmations on ABC Family and Dad just never changed the channel, I guess it could have been worse).  You know the wedding scene at the end where all of the bridesmaids have flower crowns?  She was sold.  Easy peasy.  We were now a “Dancing Flower Princess” complete with a homemade hippie girl floral crown!

Our beautiful dancing flower princess, crooked crown and all!

Our beautiful dancing flower princess, crooked crown and all!

I can’t take credit for any of the sewing on either of the costumes, my mom is really good at sewing and volunteered her services.  She ended up making the cape and the tutu.  I stuck to the things that were more my speed-the non-sewing parts.

I will offer one word of caution if you are thinking about making a sparkly tutu:  the sparkles come off.  I am not kidding!  By the time we were done with her costume it had looked like we either had a glitter fight or had invited a bunch of strippers over for lunch.  There were sparkles EVERYWHERE!  On the floor, on the furniture, all over me and my mom.  I went into work to get something and my boss looked at me and said “Do you know you’re sparkly?”  Why yes, yes I do.  As a matter of fact, Monday was the first opportunity to show off their costumes at the library, where the kids decorated pumpkins in their costumes. Apparently she still had plenty of sparkles to lose-the library was also quite glittery in the aftermath…

Why is that?  To quote the great philosopher…

Glitter (2)Did you make your kids’ Halloween costumes this year or did you buy them?  Any stories you’d like to share?

Homemade Awesomeness: Costumes of Halloweens Past

I must admit I feel a pretty big twinge of guilt when I do the whole store bought costume thing for my kids.

My Mom is one of the most talented ladies I know.  She sews!  Now while I am capable of sewing, I don’t have the patience or the attention span to take on anything very big.  I have ambitions-I have actually bought patterns for things that I would like to sew.  I think maybe if I had a real area devoted to such a thing, I might take it on.  At least if I had that then I could leave things spread out and not have to put them away each time.  Yeah, I’ll keep thinking that.

All of our costumes when we were kids were homemade and of the reusable variety.  They were usually designed to be pjs later.  The masks were usually the more complicated part-they were almost works of art.  Each year we would come up with the idea and Mom would do the rest.  I have some pictures of some of my costumes from my childhood, and from when I was a little older too.  There are some other pictures that I would like to find, and maybe share later on, like the year I was a three eyed alien.  Remember, I’m a GEEK.  Another year I was Mighty Mouse-what may seem like something that would be easy to find wasn’t so much.  Another homemade mask of sorts-a Mickey Mouse mask turned into a Mighty Mouse mask.

Now that I’m an adult, I approach Halloween costumes with the idea that they can either be reused later as pjs or dressup.  No costume has ever just been worn once!

What were some of your best homemade costumes from when you were a kid?  I’d love to know what you came up with!

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