Monday, October 28, 2013

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas

Holidays from now through Valentines Day can be a time of fun and joy and making memories or they can be the source of incredible stress. I am trying to relax, rethink priorities and enjoy these special times for our families regardless of our economic situations. When I grew up, half a hundred years ago, all costumes were homemade. All treats came from someone's kitchen or from their harvest. I honestly believe we enjoyed life more. I know the memories are sweet and worth sharing with grandchildren.

Please search your memory for costume ideas that cost little or nothing and share them here, through your comments. Thank you.

Grown-ups and babies need not be excluded from Halloween dress-up fun. Thing 1 and Thing 2 required only wigs, long johns, red socks on hands & feet and imagination (and quite a bit of stuffing).

The prize winning baby flower began as a green hoodie and sweatpants. The petals, made of pink felt costing only pennies and were embellished with rhinestones from a discarded pageant dress.

If you have a tambourine lying around the house, some old curtain sheers and Christmas tree icicles, you have the makings of a dancer.
A plain gray skirt, white blouse, a very simply made white apron and some white paper for a collar and cap and your little Pilgrim girl is ready to go.
Some angels don't even need wings. A little gold garland for a halo and a tie around the waist and no one could refuse treats to this one.

However, if wings are requested or required, remember that wire coat hangers make perfect frames for a covering of tulle or curtain sheer fabric. Angel wings are a single piece, while fairy wings each have two parts.

And...angels are never too small. This is my first grandchild, 20+ years ago, dressed in a teenage aunt's petticoat pinned under her little white, hooded sweater. Coat hangers and aluminum foil provided the wings and halo. Cost - $0. Memories - priceless!

Sometimes we only need to work with what we have. A little girl with very long hair almost instantly, and certainly economically, becomes Pippy Longstockings. The hair was gathered into two pony tails. Then the center of a straightened, wire coat hanger was shaped across the top of the head, like a croquet wicket and each end was threaded down through the pony holders on each side. The hair was then braided around the wire; the braids secured at the ends and the wire bent up and out. A few exaggerated freckles and with a look like this, the rest of the outfit hardly matters...but it is an easy look to duplicate.

This cute, cute (and prize winning) dinosaur costume requires no pattern at all. A green hoodie and sweat pants provide the base with fabric from a second pair of pants used for footies and mittens. The gold colored chest, knee patches and identifying dinosaur "plates" are felt.

The little white cat is made of fabric from a fuzzy thrift store bathrobe. Notice the piece of monofilament line attached from the end of the tail to the back of the neck to keep the tail lifted when "kitty" is upright. The nose is a triangle of pink felt attached by fine elastic that goes around the head. It has momofiliment "whiskers" hot glued in place.

The baby chick emerging from a cracked shell is about as adorable as a toddler costume gets. In trying to locate a pattern for this little chick, I came across a different approach to the same idea that you might enjoy seeing. Click HERE for the link. The bat and spider costumes were amazingly simple to construct with a black hoodie or sweatshirt and black sweat pants as a basis. The spider legs are connected to each other at the tips with black yarn so that they move up and down with the child's arms. The additional black fabric used for the ears, bat wings and spider legs and the red and blue fabric pieces on chest and tummy were all bargain priced on a remnant table.
NOTE: Another source for incredibly inexpensive fabric is the neighborhood thrift store during a clothing "bag sale".

Combine sewing skills with imagination to delight your child and everyone else. Copy your child's favorite stuffed animal. A little inspection will let you know how many pieces are needed and what shape they should be. With the cooperation of a child willing to lie down on freezer wrap while a rough pattern was drawn, this Tigger, made completely of felt with the stripes simply painted on, became an instant Halloween favorite.

Imagination jumped into high gear with the pretty yellow dress that is so much more. If you are familiar with Beauty and the Beast, you well know Bell & Chip, the tea cup. This dress has a large hoola-hoop sewn into the hem and a small hoop sewn in the hem of a shorter under-skirt. The wearer can grab the hoop at the hem of the long skirt, lift it over her head and "taa-daa", Bell becomes Chip, the teacup.

One little girl not only wanted to be Raggedy Ann, she wanted to be sitting in a rocking chair just like the doll that had been in her room as long as she could remember. Fortunately the request was made months in advance giving the creative mother plenty of time to strategize. The chair is made of styrofoam, duct tape and black paint and is attached to a simple, long, black skirt. The wig is made of red yarn, of course, and the outfit - sewn by Mommy.

I know there are a hundred ideas out there. PLease share them through your comments.