When my sister and I were very young and she was pregnant with our little brother, she was a clown, my sister was a strawberry that she created from a pillow and seamed up some edges and slipped it over her head and I was a fairy that she fashioned out of a leotard and some fabric she made into sleeves and the fabric was torn to represent wings. After thinking about the costumes we were when we were little I had to call my mom to find out why she did it and what else we were that I couldn't remember and of course she remembered much more than I ever did.
First of all, she made our costumes because that is what they did as children and my mom has a super creative talent. Making costumes from basically nothing, but stuff from around our house and getting a couple of accessories let her creative juices flow, not to mention saving money in the family budget. She talked about when I was first born they didn't dress me up because I was only a few weeks old, but the following year they fashioned a devil costume out of red footie pjs, then purchased the tail, horns and fork to complete the outfit.
Another year when my mom was pregnant with my little sister and she dressed up as a pink bunny rabbit. She used a pink sweatshirt and sweat pants outfit she already owned, then used a powder puff as her tail and purchased a set of ears and got a carrot and then drew some whiskers on her face. She dressed me up as a Raggedy Ann and used cloths from my actual large Raggedy Ann. She created the hair out of red cray paper and purchased the stockings.
After my sister and brother made it into the world, my mom dressed up my brother as a skeleton. She created the look with a pair of sweats that were all black, then cut out white felt pieces for the bones and painted his face white. My sister has been an Indian I have been a cat numerous times, which was relativity easy to do with a leotard, a fuzzy tail from the store and a headband with ears on it. One year I was Dolly Parton, we went out to Good Will and got a white dress that was busty enough in the front to allow for the blown up balloons we used to fill it. We had to purchase the blond wig that we teased, all other accessories came from our closets. That year my brother was a cowboy, everything came straight from his room since he was going through a phase of never taking off his cowboy boots. My mom was a Mime that year and she dressed in all black, painted her face white and her lips black.
A few tips my mom gave me to creating a good costume are as follows:
- Keep it simple, ask your child what they want to be, then look around the house and see how you could fashion it out of what you already have and only purchase what you need.
- Weather, make sure the costume is warm enough for your climate. Growing up in Colorado, it made sense to always have a warmer costume, but in other parts of the country it may not be as vital.
- Be Thrifty, with the items you have to purchase, go to second hand stores and find items that you need to complete the costume.
- Comfort, keep in mind how comfortable the custom needs to be for trick or treating. When using footy PJs in a costume, add a few extra pairs of socks or a pair of shoes underneath to allow for comfort and warmth for a enjoyable night of sacking some candy.
- Be Creative, put a twist on an old favorite. My sister was once a Princess Ballerina a friend of her's was a Tinker Hell (adult), but just putting a twist on something that you already have the materials for is a great way to save some money while creating a great costume.
Our daughter was Maggie Simpson for her first year and she was a Ladybug last year. This year is still up in the air, since it is my husbands turn to decide. But both costumes have been hand made or second hand so far. The thought never crossed my mind to purchase a store costume because I have only ever known to make one myself, and not until recently did I ever realize I was being thrifty at the same time.
What are you Halloween traditions? What is one costume that you wore that sticks out in your memory?