Thursday, November 1, 2012

Handmade Halloween

I can't remember ever wearing a store-bought costume as a kid, although I probably did at some point.  And, except for my son's first birthday when I couldn't resist buying him an adorable fuzzy giraffe costume, my kid's have always had (at least partially) handmade costumes, too.  Not that there's anything wrong with a store bought costume.  I've seen some really great commercial costumes, including some today at my kids' school.  It's just that it's really fun to make a costume, whether it involves finding just the right pieces at a thrift store, using spray paint and a hot glue gun, or stitching one up from scratch.  (I'm also cheap, and don't like paying full price!)

This year my son asked to be one of the Gogo Crazy Bones he collects and plays with constantly.  He wanted to be Targy, the one pictured above.  It's pretty specific and obscure -- most people had to ask what he was -- but people loved the costume anyway.  I used plastic tubing and wire to shape the head piece and then attached it to a bicycle helmet with strapping tape.  I covered it in red pleather with white pleather stripes.  I mostly sewed the red pleather (I used some red duct tape, too), but I ended up attaching the white stripes with clear tape.  And the white pleather circle is glued to the red sweatshirt with fabric glue.  The red pleather pants, though, are completely sewn.  Hint:  laying tissue paper over the shiny side of the pleather makes it so much easier to sew!  The mask it pleather over a cardboard form -- this part was very last minute and not as successful as the rest of the costume.  Apparently, it was kind of uncomfortable and made it hard for him to see, so he ended up not wearing it most of the time.

My daughter's costume was easier,  She's wanted to be a werewolf since last Halloween, so I've had time to think about it too.  I used faux fur and stitched up a pair of straight tube arm warmers with thumb holes and leg warmers with an extra flap to rest over her shoes.  I roughly followed the pattern I used last year to sew her bat hat, to make this year's hat/hood.  The tail and neck piece are my own design.  The shirt and jeans were thrifted.

Here's a not-so-scary photo of my sweet werewolf, and the three of us together, out trick-or-treating.  Did I mention that I whipped up a quick Amelia Earhart costume for myself last Halloween?  No?  Well, here it is, recycled and reused again this year.  Handmade felt hat with ear flaps, sunglasses-made-aviator-goggles with a bit 'o felt, and a white scarf made by sewing together strips of a chopped up t-shirt.  The jacket, khaki pants, and tall boots are from my wardrobe.

By the way, I end up spending much of the time before Halloween frantically finishing these costumes that I always start a bit later than I wished.  We're lucky if we get a few decorations up and the pumpkins carved... but at least we've got the costumes!

Hope you had a great Halloween!  Did you make any costumes this year?