blogGoing old-school for Halloween

October 31, 2014
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Set a personal record for costume making.

I don’t recall wearing completely store-bought Halloween costumes growing up. Sure, pieces may have been purchased, but the bulk of each costume was usually homemade. I may have had one at some point, but it must not have been all that memorable as any recollection of it has escaped my brain. My mom made me some great costumes, and when I was a little older, I took on the costume creating for myself. As an adult, I took a short hiatus from Halloween, allowing things like college, work and life to distract me from my favorite holiday. For the past 3 years though, I have forced myself, no matter how busy or stressed, to be as festive as possible. This year, I hit an all-time personal record…maybe even 2.

I’ve been making all of my costumes since the Halloween revival of 2011 and since then, I’ve tried to share my costume making love with those around me. Last year, I took on creating one extra costume in addition to my own. This year, I completed 2 extra on top of the one I made for myself. Yeah, I may have been sewing and spray painting final touches on Halloween night, but I accomplished it. A remarkable feat for me since I’ve never sewn a costume. My costumes usually require things like dying of fabric, sculpting or wig-cutting action…things of that nature.

Since Halloween is more of a month than a day to me, the first costume was made “early”. That’s if you can count mid-October as early. That first costume was a tarantula costume. I had seen some spider costumes before, but in all honesty, they were a little goofy. If the kid wanted to be a tarantula, I wanted the costume to have a real tarantula “feel”.  We had recently learned the parts of a tarantula’s body, so this was also a good learning project. I may have ended up with hairy fabric bits all over the house, a couple broken needles and a few glue gun burns, but it was well worth the work. By far, this was one of the coolest kid’s costumes I saw this season. Even better was that the costume was loved by the wearer.

My costume was Atom Ant, of 1965 Hanna-Barbera fame. I say fame, but knew full well that most people wouldn’t know who I was. My costume was the least complex of the 3 costumes, only requiring some fabric dying/painting and a thrift store trip. Despite the seeming ease of construction, the costume did come with some challenges. First off, I insisted on creating oversized faux weights out of paper mache. That would have been relatively easy, if I hadn’t decided to finish half of it the night before Halloween. The most difficult part was the helmet, something I also tried to created the night before. Unfortunately, when I woke up on the 31st, the helmet shell I had created had been crushed. I was very close to calling it quits and dressing as a sheet ghost. Luckily, I found a major score on the interwebs and was able to have the perfect helmet.

Then, there was the fruit bat. That thing was literally finished a half an hour before heading out for the night. For some reason, I had anticipated this being the easiest of all 3, but I was wrong. Of all the parts to the costume, I thought the hood and ears would be the most difficult. Again, I was incorrect. Despite, my complete lack of experience in the bat hood/ear making department, it came together relatively quickly and looked great. The most challenging part was the damn wings. I seriously almost called it quits, but the opportunity to see my husband run around like a fruit bat was to amazing to pass up.

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