Monday, September 23, 2013

Our Handmade Halloween History

As summer comes to an end, it's that time of year again for us to get started on our Halloween costumes. Yes it's only September, but we've been doing handmade costumes for several years now and that takes lots of planning and time. Before the reveal of this year's costumes, I wanted to go over some past costumes that we've put together. Keep in mind that I only recently became somewhat crafty and starting any of these projects was very daunting. If you're attempting your own handmade costume, do your research, stick with it and you'll do great.

Naughty Noo-Noo from Teletubbies

The handmade costume tradition started years ago when Jadon decided he wanted to be the Naughty Noo-Noo from Teletubbies. He was pretty firm and there was no way we could change his mind. The problem was that this was an obscure character from Teletubbies that even those who watched the show didn't know about. So naturally, this costume didn't exist. We tried to commission someone on Etsy to make it, but that fell through so Andrew and I had only a couple of weeks to get this costume together. We brainstormed for forever before we were able to conceive how to even begin. We joked around a bit about how bad it was going to turn out, but our crazed minds were able to come up with a decent looking costume. We started with a large cardboard box with the top and bottom flaps folded in. We used felt, stuffing, and hot glue to create a cylindrical body. The eyes were made with toilet paper rolls covered in felt. The vents and on/off switch were hand cut and hot glued on. The costume was worn over the shoulders with elastic. The finishing touch was a vacuum tube attachment from our wet/dry vac as Noo-Noo's nose. Jadon loved the costume especially the "working" on/off switch and the nose. He didn't care that no one knew who/what he was. Most people guessed he was a vacuum, but there were a few random kids that recognized him.

Yo Gabba Gabba's DJ Lance Rock

The next year, Jadon decided he wanted to be DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba. It is possible to purchase a costume for this character, but it was so simple looking that I decided to make it myself so that we could spend less money on a better costume. The base of this costume is an orange sweater and sweat pants from Walmart. I cut out the lines from DJ Lance Rock's outfit from felt and hot glued them onto the costume. I probably could've done something else, but I kind of threw this together very quickly in one afternoon because I wanted the kids to wear their costumes for pumpkin picking. The belt is also made of felt with hand cut felt letters to spell out "ROCK." It was held on with safety pins in the back. The costume was completed with black wire frame glasses and a boombox made from a cardboard box and construction paper. I intended to make mini versions of all the characters to put inside the box, but I never got around to it and we turned the box into a treat or treat box instead with a hole at the top for the candy. Not very many people knew who he was and so Jadon got very accustomed to saying, "I'm DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba. It's a TV show on Nickelodeon." It didn't bother him though. He loved his warm and comfy outfit.

Pepperoni and olive pizza costume

Jadon comes up with his costumes almost immediately after Halloween ends and he had been wanting to be a Chewy chocolate chip granola bar (one of his favorite snacks) for almost a year before he suddenly changed his mind. He thought about some random characters that I deemed would be too difficult before he settled on being a pizza. Inspired by a billboard while on the road, he held firm in his decision this time and so I got started on making his favorite pizza. I used felt from the bolts (one of my go-to costume fabric choices) for the entire costume. I used two different colors of felt for the crust and cheese topping by cutting a triangle on a fold on the crust fabric and sewing the cheese part to it. A circle was cut out on the top for his head and Andrew cut out the pepperonis and olives. Andrew helped me sew the toppings on so he could practice his sewing skills although gluing would have worked as well. Jadon loved his costume and everyone seemed to enjoy it. He told us that his classmates kept pretending to eat him which he loved.

Reindeer pajamas

My first adult costume attempt actually came at Christmas before I tried for Halloween. My family decided to do an ugly pajama Christmas and so Andrew and I decided to go off the deep end with something really ridiculous: matching one piece reindeer pajamas for the whole family. Basically we used our clothing to trace out our patterns. The flap in the back is glued on and isn't functional. Andrew estimated the fabric to exactly what we needed, but then I decided to cut one piece out differently which resulted in too little fabric at the end for Andrew's costume. His long underwear turned into a romper which was hilarious when he walked into my family's Christmas party.

Black Swan and Robin Hood

My first costume attempt for myself was for my Black Swan costume. I made a corset from THIS Simplicity pattern and I made a tulle tutu and makeshift circle skirt to go over it. I actually had no idea how to make a circle skirt at the time so it involved Andrew trimming the fabric around the tutu. I glued feathers from a feather boa to the corset and added some rhinestones to finish off the top. I also had feather pad clips that I put into my hair. This was also the year that Andrew wore a brown cape (bought on clearance the year before), jeans, and a green shirt and borrowed a bow, quiver, and arrows to be BBC's Robin Hood. It was a simple costume, but his costume got plenty of compliments which may have just been because he was Robin Hood and he had cool weaponry.

Totoro and Mei

Andrew's costume request last year came down to Totoro from the Miyazaki movie and I was to be Mei. His Totoro costume was made from fleece with a felt tummy. I used his clothing again as a pattern to cut out the basic shape and then I sewed on Totoro's tummy and tummy marks. I used stuffing to make a fluffy tail and ears and sewed those on while the face was glued on. I convinced Andrew to do a drop crotch romper with this one which was truer to Totoro to show his huge belly. The legs are attached with velcro that I sewed on. This costume is a hit every time Andrew wears it and he loves it because it's perfect for our cold Halloween weather. My Mei costume took a lot less brainstorming and was made from THIS Simplicity pattern with a shirt and purse from Forever 21. After I completed Andrew's Totoro, Isabelle decided she wanted to be baby Totoro so I put together a costume for her as well.

Baby Totoro

Stick around to see what costumes we have this year! Jadon picked a pretty simple costume and Isabelle's costume is already complete which means I can spend more time on mine and Andrew's costumes. Hopefully they turn out as well as we hope. Fingers crossed.
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