Another reason that I really love building fun costumes for the kids or dressing up as a family was my divorce. They were so shaken by it and still experience confusion/pain from it. I discovered that these costumes were something tangible the kids could have, wear, and show off. They could see the time/effort I was putting into building them since they normally would sit and watch while the costumes were being made. It was something they could touch & see that reminded them that they were worth people's time and effort. Also, after the divorce there were little signs of a lack of self confidence within everyone in our house. I think when the kids hear positive feedback about how cool they look, really helps lift their spirits and feel more secure in their awesomeness.
So let's take a look back at some costumes. Not all of these are from Halloween. Some are from birthdays, holidays, and other random events. I think it's neat seeing how our level of making costumes has evolved over the years. As my kids get older they start having more imagination and input, so that just makes things way more fun. This isn't an extensive list by any means. Just a few of my favorites that I picked out:
Link from The Legend of Zelda.
I think she wore this outfit two years in a row.
Stevie sketched out the shield and we made it with card board and painted duct tape. Even years of play and being beat with play swords, that thing still is holding up. Besides the ears, we didn't have to buy anything else. Whenever I think of Stevie in costume, I always picture this.
Titus as a detective.
Side note: I seriously loved this costume.
Stevie and Neela as My Little Ponies.
Of course, Stevie thought the boa mane was "too itchy" :)
McDonalds worker and French Fries
We had Titus's 3rd birthday at McDonalds. We wanted to blend in, so Stevie dressed up as some fries and I put together a McD's uniform. My favorite part of the party was asking random people if they needed anything and just pretending like I worked there as I strolled behind the counter for condiments. :D hahahaha
One of our more recent additions to our costume collection. At first, Olive was pretty adimant that the costume wouldn't be acceptable unless she was wearing only underwear and a cape. Fortunately, we comprised with some skin tone colored tights/shirt (you know... since she would be at school).
Side note: I really dislike buying clothes specifically for costumes if I can avoid it. It just seems wasteful; so if you notice a lot of these shirts are just inside out and backwards to make them more plain.
We found this old sequence shirt from a yard sale and got the top hat from Bouncin Balloons and Costumes. We were ready to go... Until Neela swapped toy animals and decided to be a "Moose Tamer" at the last minute. hahaha
Ninja Turtle (Michelangelo)
Titus and I had been planning to go see the Ninja Turtles movie in the theatre for a few weeks. The night before I thought it would be fun to put together a costume for him to wear to the event. So I just scrounged together some supplies (plastic toy bin, old t-shirt, pipe cleaners, and a magnetic fridge letter) and started after he fell asleep. My favorite part was the girls noticed what I was doing and stayed up late with me building the costume and helping me size it just right so it would fit perfect! I still think about both of those nights fondly. Building the costume with the girls the night before, and Titus loving his outfit a little 'too' much, while running up and down the isles, swinging his nun-chucks, and doing karate during the movie. I threw something together just so we could be ninja turtle twins together that night.
Fox in Socks
Pretty proud of this one too. The reason? Stevie did the whole thing by herself. So proud :)
When Neela told me she wanted to be a cowgirl, I was a little disappointed that year because I was expecting something a little more 'out there'. However, when we started putting the costume together, it quickly became one of my favorites. I love the little twine rope we made.
My mimi loves to entertain and used to host big family get-togethers at Christmas time. Being a good grandson, I wanted to assure that year's party would be a night to remember. So I colored my body in highlighter under my shirt. In the middle of the party, I cranked up "Carol of the Bells", stood up, threw off my shirt, and flipped on my strategically placed black light. It was a magical Christmas.
After much begging and pleading with his mom, she agreed to let Titus have a mullet for his first haircut. Why? Because seeing a three year old with a sweet mullet is hilarious and awesome. So we took advantage of this every chance there was and dressed him like our favorite "Firework loving, Sweet Home Alabama singing, radio station custodian."
'Eevee' from Pokemon
Stevie begged for an Eevee costume. So we sat down together and whipped one up together with some old clothes, felt, and a hot glue gun in about an hour. I think I included this one of the list, because Stevie loved it so much. She was so proud of how good it looked, that in turn of course made my heart explode with joy :)
'The Wizard of Oz' Tornado
Hahaha. You knew this one would be on here. Titus asked me to come up with something "super cool and different than anyone else". I suggested the tornado, and he was all in. This is probably the best costume on the list, but oddly enough it was maybe the easiest to make. We found some old cardboard and brown packing paper. We cut a hole out of the cardboard, taped on the paper, spray painted it, added some printed pictures, and make a little belt and head mount. I just love when my kids say how much they love their costumes. And for sure, that boy loved his costume that day.
I mean seriously though.. does anything in the world exist that's cuter than 2 year old Neela in this costume?
Uncle Sam/America's National Animal Bird (Eagle)
Two of my absolute favorite things to do are:
1) Dress up for events that aren't costume parties
2) In the middle of the event, take off my costume to reveal my other secret costume hiding underneath (in this case it was a female cheerleading top with Eagle across the chest)
This was one friends the Orozco's birthday parties. It was "America" themed. So of course, you gotta go full patriot on everyone in that scenario.
'Young Kristoff' from Frozen
This was thrown together in 3 minutes, but it has stood the test of time in my mind as one of my favorites.
Titus loves street magicians. Of course, he wanted one of those "beards that are there, but hard to see". Hopefully, he just won't actually grow one when he's older. haha
She's rocking her cowgirl hat with a safety pin to the side. That girl loves some nature/animal explorers almost as I love her in this costume. ;)
Monster Truck Enthusiasts
There was a monster truck show close to where we live. To blend in with the crowd, Titus and I dressed accordingly.
'The Wizard of Oz' - The Wizard/Man behind the curtain
This one was overkill. I admit it. hahaha. But Titus was so so pumped about the Wizard of Oz day because of his tornado last year. I threw around some suggestions but he really wanted to be "the wizard and I want a BIG costume." So we did just that :)
The rig we built to hold up the costume so he could actually wear this thing.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from 'Alice in Wonderland'
Recently, our friend gave us tickets to go see a children's play of Alice in Wonderland. The girls LOVED the play and begged to be these guys for Halloween. So we put these together last Saturday. Super easy. Super cheap. Super cute :D
'Sexy' Wilson from "Home Improvement"
This one was for an actual ADULT (not kid) event! hahahaha. So I wanted to do something fun. Even though this is still probably my favorite costume I've ever made for myself, I think a lot of people just didn't get it at the event. But I'm still laugh imagining that Wilson was secretly wearing a daisy dukes and a tied-button shirt behind the fence. Plus, I couldn't help poke fun at the way costume companies will basically release a "sexy" version of every character in the history of ever. Seriously, I've seen a 'sexy poop emoji' costume. hahahaha. We are the weirdest generation.
Dress Like a Senior Citizen Day' at School:
Crazy Cat Lady and Grand dad who records every family get together with his video camera from 1997.
Still proud of these. Hahahaha.
As you can probably tell from this list, Titus is main "costumer wearer". That kid loves a good costume. (Side note: He already has a job at the costume shop waiting for him. hahaha)
This year Titus saw some 'shark masks' for sale in a store. They were super expensive, rather cheap looking, and terribly hot/uncomfortable. To his major disappointment, I wouldn't buy one and encouraged him that "we could make one even better at home!" So before we left the store, we bought some light blue poster board. It was relatively easy to build it in my mind before we started, and to my delight, proved to be not that hard to actually put it together with random supplies/stuff we had lying around the house.
I can tell you that about 15 years of wearing large character costumes, that the key to comfort is a good halo. We made one out of duct tape, got it snug, and attached it to the the back of the mask, so it would rest comfortably on his head. That way he could put his focus where it needed to be: Getting Candy.
My favorite part about this mask is the coloring. It looks like it was some killer paint job in my opinion. Actually though I was originally not even going to paint it. After wrapping it with the light blue poster board, I accidentally scratched it. So I took it to the garage and did a quick pass of dark blue spray-paint on the edges and back. It's neat how our little mistakes can turn out to be blessings in disguise. :D
Making costumes- Yes!
Cleaning up the mess- Ugh... the worst.
Homemade costumes are just the best! So let those creative juices flow :D Get out the old hot glue gun and see what you can come up with!
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,