It would appear that sometimes a person can bite off more than they can chew. As Halloween was quickly approaching last week, this appeared to be the case for me (and continues to be so as I am just now sitting down to blog about last week).
This year I had promised my three children that I would make or put together their Halloween costumes. My thoughts of “How hard could it be?” quickly turned to “What was I thinking?”.
Griffin’s costume was by far the easiest. He wanted to be Frankenstein. I started with a purple shirt (as Griffin was convinced Frankenstein wore purple), Poly-Fil quilt batting, and an old, black suit jacket. I used the Poly-Fil to bulk up his shoulders. Originally, I placed it in between the purple shirt and the jacket thinking my clever positioning would be enough to keep it in place. It, of course, was not. So, as we were getting ready to walk out of the door to go trick or treating, I used black electrical tape to secure it to the inside of the jacket. To complete his attire, I also dug out a pair of black pants and shoes.
But of course, Frankenstein would not be complete without the bolts coming out of his neck.
We had some plastic bolts from a toy tool set that was perfect. I laid the bolts out along with a hanger and a request for Dan…
and he produced this!
He ended up using a different wire, but the end result was perfect! The bolts were secured with black electrical tape.
As we prepared to go trick or treating, I attempted to paint his face to resemble Frankenstein. I also sprayed his hair with black, temporary hair color.
The end result was a very happy ten year old!
Can’t you tell? He’s ecstatic!
Supplies Needed for Frankenstein Cost
Purple shirt Had
Black suit jacket Had
Black pants Had
Black shoes Had
Bolts / wire Had / made
Temporary hair color $2.24
Face Paint $.97
Total Cost: $3.21
While Griffin’s costume required very little work ahead of time, Owen’s was a different story.
Owen’s costume started with a coonskin cap that I had purchased for him this Summer. After I saw how very proud he was of that hat, I told him I could make a Halloween costume to match. He could be Davy Crockett. Now he didn’t have a clue who that was. Nor did he know the type of clothes that he wore. However, none of that mattered as long as he got to wear his beloved coonskin cap. To accomplish this, I started with a half a yard of tan fabric.
The idea was to make the top be like a smock. I, however, do NOT sew. So, this is my method to creating almost an entire costume without sewing. I doubled the material over, and laid one of Owen’s shirts on top to use as a sizing guide. Now if you do this, you will want to cut the material a little larger than the shirt.
Once I got the material to the size I wanted I straightened it out, and laid a long strip of stitch witchery near the edge.
While I folded the edge of the material on top of the stitch witchery, I ironed into place. This created a nice smooth, straight line. This process was repeated for all four sides of the material.
Once that was done, I ironed the entire piece of fabric. Then, I doubled the material over again, lined up the edges and pressed what would become the top.
In order to create the head hole, I referred back to his shirt as a sizing guide. Speaking from past experience, the head hole can always be made bigger. However, it is much harder to make it smaller once the material has been cut. Keeping all of this in mind, I drew the desired head hole with pencil to serve as a guide. I then cut the fabric along the line.
With the head hole cut out, and confirmation that it was the correct size, I moved forward. I took a piece of brown felt and laid it over the head hole. This would ultimately serve as a collar of sorts and help finish the edge of the fabric. To anchor it in place, I used a bead of hot glue all along the edge. I then flipped the material over and concentrated my efforts on the inside of the smock.
I cut the felt into wedges, so I could pull it through the backside of the smock.
Each piece of felt was then hot glued back to the inside of the smock. This helped to reestablish the head hole.
I then trimmed each wedge of felt to complete the inside of the collar.
With the inside secure, I flipped it back over and trimmed the felt (of the exterior of the smock) to a more desirable shape.
Next it was time to focus my attention on trying to create the iconic fringe. I cut the felt into long three inch strips. I did this with the material doubled over. This enabled me to cut two identical pieces of felt each time.
With the material still lined up, I began to cut each strip of felt. I cut approximately 2.5 inches, leaving a half inch of felt uncut. This process was repeated many times until I had several pieces of “fringe like” felt.
The pieces of homemade fringe were then cut to the desired length, and attached to the smock with hot glue.
To complete the smock, I hot glued strips of ribbon to each side of the interior. This created ties for the sides of the top.
For Davy Crockett’s pants, I started with a cheap pair of pants from Walmart. In much the same fashion as before, I attached the fringe to the side of the pants. The side seam, in this case, served as a great guide for this. I also added fringe to the bottom of each of the pant legs.
And finally Davy Crockett was complete!
However, there was one problem. Owen got a little confused as to the person he was supposed to be portraying. He couldn’t remember if he was supposed to be Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone. By the time Halloween came along, he was “Davy Boone”.
Supplies Needed for Davy Crockett Cost
Coonskin cap Had
Half yard of tan fabric $2.25
Yard of wide brown felt (plenty) $2.99
Stitch witchery Had
Hot glue Had
Long sleeve shirt Had
Total Cost: $11.21
With the boys’ costumes complete, and Halloween quickly approaching, it was time to focus my attention to Ruthie’s costume. She wanted to be a Baby Ruth candy bar. Of course, she did. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was willing to try. I started with a piece of posterboard, which I penciled the desired words and design on.
I then took red acryclic paint, and applied it to the areas that I had previously penciled on the posterboard.
Once the paint dried, I used a blue marker to accent the letters. In hindsight, this was not the best idea. It sprinkled on Halloween, and this caused the blue to smudge. So, if I were to do this again, I’d either double check the weather forecast or paint the entire thing. Nonetheless, I didn’t think of this at the time.
And in much the same fashion I made Owen’s costume, I created Ruthie’s. I again made a smock. This time, however, I made it longer as this was going to serve as her entire costume. With the smock starting to take shape, I laid it on the floor along with blue felt and the posterboard. All of this was attached with hot glue, of course. To finish it, I added ribbons to the side of the smock just as I had for Owen’s costume.
Acrylic red paint Had
Blue marker Had
Two yards of silver satin fabric $6.98
Blue felt Had
Red ribbon Had
Long sleeve shirt Had
Total Cost: $7.48
Total for all three costumes: $21.90
And the feeling of completing all three costumes? Priceless – almost as sweet as a candy bar.
Only At My House,
*Editor’s note – The amount of fabric needed for the smock you wish to create will vary. This will depend on the width of the fabric, and on the size of the costume you are making. Please keep this in mind when purchasing any fabric for your own creations.