Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Halloween Costumes

It's hard to believe it's time to start thinking about Halloween.  But back-to-school is here and Halloween is close on its heels.  

As an avid home sewer for my children, I always find the idea of making them an intricate Halloween costume hard to swallow.  It can be a lot of effort, and they only wear it once or twice.  Plus you can find nice costumes at consignment stores for $5 or $10.  You can't even buy the fabric for that, let alone the time you would spend!  Although now that they are getting older, the holiday will be more memorable, so I am feeling ready to make the big kid something to remember-- if he wants it.  


So where should I look for ideas?

There is always the blogosphere.  A search for "DIY Halloween Costumes" or "Kid Costume Tutorial" shows a ton of ideas for one kid or the whole family.  Everything from a dragon tail to a Dr. Suess family has been written about.  My favorites are the add-ons like the hats and tails.  That way, your kid won't be too hot or cold, especially since the weather here is so variable then... and mostly hot.  One year, we put our son in a Raiders Jersey and went to a party and it was so hot he couldn't even keep that on (That idea, by the way, was inspired by a trip to Target and trying to only purchase something we would use again).

Another option is going to a local fabric store. JoAnn's has a number of options.  You can sit and look through pattern books and choose a pattern, then buy the material and sew something up.  They also sell ready-made costumes there (how opportunistic- for those who are inspired then decide not to do it).

You could also look through your child's books for a character, or choose an animal or object they like, and go from there.  I tend to shy away from the sexualization (the skimpy dresses for the girls and the swords for the boys) of the holiday, especially for the little ones, and gravitate towards the animals and objects like balls, fruits and vegetables.  

You could also look to found objects and used items for inspiration and draw an idea from what you have around.  A kid could be a package being delivered from UPS and all you'd need to do was take a package and put arm and head holes in it and duct tape it over the shoulders.  You could take balloons and strap them to the child to be a bunch of grapes.  They could also be an Olympian and just put on their favorite ballet leotard or a bathing suit and you could make a medal from ribbon and a circle of cardboard with glitter.

For the littlest ones, though, especially without siblings to dress with a theme with, there are such cute non-mobile baby costumes.  Who can resist a tiny baby as a pumpkin?  Or in a pumpkin?  I saw a woman with a newborn one year dressed in  brown with leaves in her hair (a tree) and her baby in a Moby carrier with her baby in an owl cap. So cute.

Whatever you end up deciding to do for Halloween, it is fun to participate somehow

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