Halloween is where it all begins, I say. It’s how I start my pace and enthusiasm for the season ahead. I know by the start how I’ll tackle holiday season–two steps forward or a pace back, neither are wrong. I can check the tick of my own holiday energy by how I handle Halloween costumes (or don’t). This is not to say that I am the kind of woman and mother who spends days sewing and stitching. When my own pulse is right, I am the kind of mother that gathers what is at home and creates out of what already exists.
This Halloween, my efforts to gather and create where first shifted by River and Oak wanting to be a family of superheroes, instead of a family from a book, like we had decided last year. Later, despite my efforts to create the hero costumes out of what we already owned, Oak politely refused a black Uniqlo shirt and black pants with a felted yellow bat, that would, of course, make him Batman. He wanted the costume with pecs and arm muscles, and he left no room to argue. River, on the other hand, grew excited at the thought of black tights, a black shirt, and a black skirt (with pockets!) that she could wear past the holidays. I’d buy a witch’s hat and added tulle from a dear friend’s scrap fabric collection. For costume two, I ordered a white hoodie she could re-wear when she is done being Spider Gwen (will show finished results on Instagram later this week).
While I feel I missed the window of totally non-commercial Halloweens, I also think there is beauty in giving kids what they totally want, even if it’s not what you want. Oak and I agreed that we will reuse a costume from years past for next year, or go full-on creative. A reader suggested, checking the stoops and free groups for costumes right after Halloween when local people get ready to toss them. That way, we’ll have new (free) costumes for next year.
If you’re looking to make a fanc(ier) witch at the last minute, here’s what you’ll need:
+ Tulle (ask a friend, check Craigslist, or any fabric store)
+ Black satin, silk, jersey (or anything) to be cut for a cape
Parts of the look you can re-use or already have:
+ a black skirt
+ black shirt
+ black HeatTech leggings to wear when it gets later at night and you’re still trick-or-treating
+ a belt to attach the the tulle to the skirt (as to not damage the skirt)
How do you feel about store-bought and creative costumes?
This year I have an infant, so an old black hoodie she’s worn for a few months got some felt ears and a white feathered piece added down the back to make her a skunk. My husband and I added ears to hats/head bands we already owned to make us a family of woodland creatures. I loved making the costumes this year, but I’m not a stitch and sew kind of lady, I’m a hot glue and piece together gal. I’ll make my daughter’s costumes as long as she’ll let me, but if the mood strikes her to be something very specific (Batman with muscles) I’ll lean into that too, but possibly thrifted? Halloween for me has always been a fun kids holiday, so why not let them lead the way in what they want to be?
Love that Megan! Yes, i’m a glue glue glue person as well! And totally hear you. I’m always making suggestions, trying to get on same page, and if they push back, they push back! But definitely will thrift next years if he chooses the same! Two years ago i got mostly Ebay’d Vampires for them, which was so awesome. Congrats on the baby!!
My son is 2, so this is our first year really putting some effort in. He’s obsessed with fans (box fans, ceiling fans, you name it), so I made him a fan costume out of a diaper box – complete with rotating blades! I am NOT crafty at all, and have the glue gun burns to prove it. It certainly won’t win any prizes, but he was thrilled when he tried it on and realized that he could turn the blades from inside. We’ll see what the coming years bring (I’m sure at some point a spray painted box will not be so happily embraced), but I just like seeing him so delighted.
Oh My gosh Brandi!!! That sounds so cute! I wish I could see! Also that you are not crafty and still managed to take it on.
This year Angel created her own costume out of a cape from a previous Halloween costume. She dawned dark jeans, gold metallic blue blouse and brown boots and called herself “Moon Girl.” I painted a celestial design on one side of her face and she had more excitement and confidence this year than I ever saw before. It meant something to her that she used her own creativity.