Wednesday 31 October 2012

Homemade Halloween

Halloween always guarantees a long list of projects. For me, it doesn't make sense without homemade costumes. Now that we have kids, it is even more fun helping them come up with costume ideas and being as resourceful as possible putting them together.

This year, our good friend Tanya had a Halloween costume party. She goes all-out with the decorating and food, which means it's only polite to go all-out with the costumes. There was a lot of work ahead to have 5 happy halloweeners ready for the party.

Our almost 5 year old wanted to be a superhero. He wanted a green cape with a yellow lightening bolt, a mask, and a belt. We talked about his design and whipped up his costume pretty quickly, mostly because he put a lot of pressure on me to finish it. Despite what he demanded his costume look like, when asked which superhero he was, his response was always "Spiderman".

We knew that our second born would want to be a princess, and I had big dreams of making a dress with bustles and ruffles... and anything but Disney. I was fortunate to have a beautiful handmade dress on loan, that happened to be exactly her size (and exactly what I had envisioned). My sister made the crown from starched lace and added a few embellishments. I hot glued it to some alligator clips and it stayed-put all night.

Margaret and I were a team costume. I was Cinderella, and she became her little mouse friend, Gus Gus. For her costume I scoured her closet to mix and match an outfit that matched, and then sewed her a hat with some big floppy ears.

My costume had a bit of a twist. Instead of the elegant, princess Cinderella, I chose to be the pre-transformation servant Cinderella.

Jesse was a brave man and sported the Jolly Green Giant costume which I thought was appropriate since he has quite the green thumb, and is also a giant. It was a simple no-sew costume.  I just cut one of his old t-shirts and added a bit of length, hot glued the leaves right onto the shirt, and made a crown of leaves to clip into his hair.

The costumes came together very well. There was a bit of cuteness overload with the kids, although our princess didn't want her picture taken. Jesse's makeup went on a little rough, but we smoothed the green out by washing half of it off when we got to the party. The green on my hands wasn't coming off, so we were a little concerned, wondering if Jesse's face was going to be green for weeks.

To compliment my costume, Jesse made me pose on the floor in the laundry room. At this point, I was really hoping his face would stay green for weeks.

Two days before the party, Tanya and I made chocolate and caramel covered apples (and one onion!)  and rolled them in crushed honey-roasted cashews. We sharpened sticks from a nearby woodlot and stuck them into the apples which gave them a very natural look. A much better alternative to popsicle sticks.

To balance out the prettiness of the apples, Tanya's daughter's American Dolls were wrapped in cobbwebs and hung from the railing.

I made some homemade meringues and piped them into bone shapes and used food colouring to make little colourful kisses. I put a couple streaks of colour up the sides of the piping bag before filling it with the white meringue.

Halloween is always more enjoyable if you skip the branded, mass-produced costumes and put your own together. For us, it's fun to have a costume that's unexpected. We are also happy our kids aren't caught up in buying a specific costume that every other kid in town will be wearing on halloween.

Well, for now...

1 comment:

  1. What great costumes! And I couldn't agree more - home made all the way.

    I'm teaching kindergarten right now, and while the store bought Batmans and Marios were adorable, the little girl who came in a home made Big Ben costume stole the show as far as I was concerned :)