This Mom Made Her Kids’ Costumes and We All Died

So I have a problem. The best kind of problem you could have for Halloween… I go hard when it comes to costumes.

2014: Chick and Daddy & Me Set

My daughter was 6 months old. I wanted something funny, but also cute. Ultimately, I decided on 2 costumes: a chick and her daddy!

For the chick, I used a white long sleeve onesie and some yellow polka dot leggings that I already had. I bought a big white boa and wrapped it around her while she had the onesie on and CAREFULLY pinned it in several places. I knew if I hot glued it onto the onesie without it on her, that it wouldn’t give or stretch when I tried to put it on her and it would either pop off or just not fit.

I found a boa hair clip at Joann’s and clipped it onto a headband that she already had. I then hot glued a yellow felt triangle and black beads on it to make a chick face. I also added a red felt comb.

For the shoes, I used a free pattern and sewed her little soft “crib shoes”…. I was going to stop there, but ideas kept popping into my head. I used some stiff felt and cut out chicken feet and attached them to the top of the shoes. Then as a final touch, I used some yellow tulle to make little elastic ruffles that I slipped onto her ankles because….why not? Haha!

For the Daddy costume, I had to get pretty clever. I also kept this a total secret from him until Halloween day! He’s a lineman for a local power co-op. I found one of his old work shirts and stole it. I stitch-ripped the name tag and company name off. I found a plain baseball cap for a few dollars on clearance somewhere and sewed the company name tag onto it.

I got boys navy pants, some little work boots, and a white button up at a secondhand children’s clothing store. I tried so hard to find a tan button up but struck out. I dyed the white shirt with RIT dye and then sewed my husband’s name patch onto it.

Oh, wait…hello?! My husband has a bushy beard! I looked up DIY yarn beard tutorials online, then went and found felt and yarn that matched my husband’s auburn, orangish beard. I free-handed and cut out a general beard shape from that stiff felt to fit my daughter’s cute little face.

Then I sewed rows and rows of yarn loops onto the beard (via tutorial) and cut the loops to form a shaggy beard. I originally was going to attach it to her face with elastic, but I ended up attaching it to the hat and it worked out even better!

And what could be better than a bushy beard? Bushy eyebrows? I used my brow pencil to give her brows a little umph! She’s going to kill me one day when she sees the pictures. I’m fine with that.

2015: Grandma Toddler Costume

I saw photos of toddlers floating around the internet dressed up as old people and it was hilarious.  Being crafty, all I could think of was how badly I wanted to do that….only better. Yes, the cotton balls as hair was a cute idea, but my mind took it to another level. I thought I could wrap “hair” around sponge rollers. Hair…hair…silky gray YARN!

I started wrapping the yarn itself around the rollers and I didn’t love the look, then something in the back of my crafty brain told me to brush the yarn. So there I sat on my living room floor one night, cutting 12″ pieces of yarn and brushing it. It literally looked just like gray hair! Then I wrapped the 12″ sections of “hair” around sponge rollers and it looked amazing.

I found an old fleece hat and put it on a medium-sized ball of some sort and started hot gluing the rollers to the ball. I only glued them on parts you would see: the top and sides mainly. Then I wrapped a silk scarf from GOODWILL around it. The glasses, crocheted neck scarf, shoes and purse were all from GOODWILL. Those saddle shoes were an EPIC find….and they were her size. They were 30-some year old Stride Rites!

The dress and sweater fell into my lap because my neighbor decided to finally purge her 27-year-old daughter’s childhood belongings. I was in the right place at the right time! I used tan knee high panty hose over cream tights because it’s cold in Indiana on Halloween. I used an old brooch from my late Nana on the front of the crocheted scarf.

My husband made the tiny walker out of PVC pipe and spray painted it silver and black. In hindsight, I wish it had all been silver. We added tennis balls to the back and for the front wheels, I remembered I had some plastic caster wheels in a junk drawer that came with a plastic set of Rubbermaid drawers. They fit perfectly! Then we attached a giant pill organizer on top of the walker with hot glue and filled it with Mike and Ikes to look like pills. I used brown eyeliner to make face wrinkles and my child magically started eating the Mike and Ikes and somehow the way they were sitting in her mouth gave her the perfect little old lady face. It looked so great that I let her eat probably 25 that night…

2016: The Walking Dead – Michonne

We are HUGE fans of The Walking Dead and the idea of having her be Michonne just popped into my head one day.

For the wig, I bought a $3 black crocheted hat from Joann’s and some black twisted wooly yarn. I cut the yarn into long strips and simply pulled each strand through a different hole of the hat until the ends matched up in length and then I let them hang.

I didn’t have to knot them or anything to keep them in place. I didn’t do the entire hat, just most of the top and front and sides. Then I added a piece of fabric that I found at Joann’s that looked similar to Michonne’s headband and I braided a piece of tan fabric to put over it.

In hindsight, I wish I had done the hair more of a brown color. For the outfit, I found $12 combat boots at Shopper’s World, used some pants she already had, found the sweater at a secondhand children’s clothing store and added some 99¢ dark red acrylic paint to it for blood. Then I cut the fingers off of some $1 black gloves, and finally just had to figure out what to do for the belt and vest.

For the belt, I found some studded belt-like material that’s sold by the yard on reels at Joann’s. I bought just enough to fit around her waist, then held it together with black electrical tape.

For the vest, I ended up making it with some pleather/vinyl type of fabric from Joann’s. No pattern. I just winged it and it worked. I laced up the sides for fun because my mom already had some matching string and the little grommet tool thing and matching tan grommets. I have no clue why she even had that stuff.

Lastly….the katana. I found a $5 ninja sword and sheath at one of the Halloween stores and I spray painted it brown, then hot glued white ribbon around it in a crisscross pattern to mimic Michonne’s. Then I found an old thin belt of mine and cut it and used it for the strap. Other than people thinking she was Jack Sparrow, it was a total success.

2017: Trolls

I wanted a duo costume of some sort since baby brother was now in the picture. I tossed around ideas like a hunter and a deer, a Starbucks drink and a barista, but my daughter wanted to be Poppy, so I went with it. I made it all.

I used Brindille and Twig patterns for their base layers: long sleeve raglans and leggings. He got the B&T footed leggings and I made the feet bigger than the pattern called for and tried sewing little toe shapes on the ends of the feet.

For Poppy’s dress, I used blizzard fleece and traced one of her Carter’s dresses. I left all the edges raw. I hand drafted the shape for the little piece up by the neck. For the bottom of Poppy’s dress, I used a sponge brush and painted a mint color onto it and then used white felt to hand draft and cut out the designs that run along the bottom.

For the wig, after some trial and error with a poster board rolled into a cone shape, I eventually just sewed her up a quick gnome-looking beanie with a 3-inch band around the bottom. I stuck a styrofoam cone inside of it that sat on top of her head and was up inside the point of the hat.

I found the pink fur fabric at Joann’s and hot glued it onto the hat with the cone inside. Be careful if you do this!  Then I styled the fur to look like Poppy’s by brushing it upward and hairspraying it and parting her bangs to the side and whatnot.

Goody makes an awesome Poppy headband that’s sold at Wal-Mart, but they were all out of stock. I found a $3 hard green headband at Joann’s and hand-drafted the flowers from felt and hot glued them on. I also glued Poppy’s felt ears to the sides of the headband.

For Branch’s vest, I used B&T’s ringer tee pattern and just cut the shirt short and cut it open down the middle to make a baby vest 🙂 I cut out little half circles and hot glued them onto the vest. I didn’t do the back side of the vest in the leafy scallops. No point!

For Branch’s brown shorts I used B&T leggings but didn’t add any elastic or waist and I cut them off at the knee. I got glued green squares onto them and then got the genius idea to use a piece of the green fleece to make a rope to cinch up the waist of the pants.  I just cut a few little holes around the waist of the pants and threaded the green strip of fabric through it and tied it.

For Branch’s wig, I was bummed. Our Joann’s was out of the blue fur and I was worried that if I bought another color and tried spraying it with blue hairspray that it wouldn’t turn out, so I went with felt.  I sewed up a quick hand-drafted beanie and hot glued blue felt onto the beanie. Then I hot glued some ears on and done.

I THINK that’s all!

Yes, I’m crazy for making these elaborate Halloween costumes, but the thrill of DIY costumes that are cheaper (usually!) and look better and more detailed than store-bought costumes is just too much fun. It’s all about thinking outside the box and using what you’ve got to make things work. The more I get going with making something, the crazier detailed ideas pop into my head. I love it! My friends and family look forward to seeing what I come up with every year now….so I guess I have a reputation to maintain. I don’t mind one bit. After all, if you can DO IT BETTER YOURSELF, and you have the means to DIBY, then why not?!

Psst! Just one more. Here’s a Dopey costume I made for friends <3

Happy Halloween!

This post is a guest contribution, written by Sarah Webb, SAHM and Crafty Costume Connoisseur

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