It’s Halloween My Pretties: Costuming Time!

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Who doesn’t want to pretend to be a kid again? Take a break from “adulting” for a day, or an evening. Whether you like to plan and make costumes, visit the pop-up Halloween seasonal stores, or your local WalMart, Target, or craft store in pursuit of the perfect costume, everyone has a closet in their home full of clothes. Regular, every day clothes. If you have a last minute costume party or event, and no costume, go to the closet.

My favorite “closet costume” was my “Grandparent’s Day” costume from my teaching days – Homecoming week had dress-up days for each day of the wee, but this would be a great costume for Halloween, too. I decided to go “tacky office worker” and wear mismatched clothes, carry a cane (formerly my granddaddy’s), and shove a pillow under my skirt.

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Much of this look was completely unintentional, but I will use it again, someday. I put a square throw pillow in the waistband of my skirt. The elastic pushed it in so that my figure truly shifted! I didn’t realize I looked like I had saggy boobs until I went to the main office and the ladies who worked the front laughed until they cried. I was told the square corner at the bottom of the pillow looked like a hernia. Now, the purse and the separated pearls had belonged to my grandmother. I didn’t have time to get gray hair spray to color my hair, but I think baby powder would’ve worked. I just wrapped a scarf around my hair. And, yes, I did walk around all day with a scowl. I was a grumpy old office lady! 🙂

This next closet costume was so simple: black! Add ears and a tail, maybe a little makeup, and you have a black cat costume. I made the ears and tale, but you can always buy a set at a party store. CVS or Walgreens may carry them close to Halloween.

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The gloves had finger nails on them already – I found them and they’re actually witch gloves, but they worked okay as claws. Heavy eye makeup and eyeliner jumps up the dramatic cat look. I didn’t do the nose and whiskers, but if you do want to create the look, use an eyeliner pencil, and color the underneath part of your nose around your nostrils, and lightly draw a few whiskers on your cheeks.

There are a slew of easy DIY “closet costumes” available. Check out your character or idea and google it and “DIY” and then go look in your closet. You always have the option to be a ghost, after all, if you have a white sheet!. A white sheet also transforms into a toga, or wrap it around you and go as an Egyptian (my 4th grade Halloween costume). Got a trench coat? go as a detective or Sherlock Holmes (my 9th grade last minute Halloween costume).

My brother is pretty creative at costumes, especially last minute numbers. Can you guess who he is?

 

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Granted, he comes by the beard natural, but if you guessed Chuck Norris, you’re right. He grabbed one of my dad’s old karate belts and a hat, and there you go. (That is my St. Paulie Girl costume I made…a little more description and how to for another post.

Pick up vampire teeth at a drugstore, and yes I have seen them at CVS at Halloween – I bought them – and rock the subtle, “modern-day” vampire look. 😉

The point is, my Pretties, is you have no excuse! Tease that hair and go 80s, cut the neck out of an old t-shirt and rock Jennifer Biles, Flashdance 80s look. Wear jeans, boots, and a flannel and be a cowgirl or cowboy. The possibilities are endless and so is the fun.

Happy Haunting,

J.

 

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Halloween 2015: Where the Wild Things Are (or Were…)

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Halloween Morning, 2015, tailgating on college game day! College kids were yelling out their cars: “That was my favorite book!”

It’s that time of year when my writing and exercising suffers because I’m busy making costumes for our family. My early-morning free time before work inevitably becomes a cloud of material, polyfoam, thread, and snippits of sequins, fur, and other glitzy or scaly parts. I love it!

This year, I am making a Winnie the Pooh costume for Mac Attack. Next year, he may be too old to want to be Pooh, so I’m taking advantage of his love for the “hunny” grubbing, lovable bear this year. That post, when and if I finish, will be posted in the next few weeks. (It’s proving a bit of a challenge as I am a novice seamstress, at best!)

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Mac Attack’s first Trick-or-Treat outing, Halloween evening. Children were bounding up to us, excited to see their favorite storybook characters.

Last year, when my son was 6 months old, I brought home a copy of a children’s classic: “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak. It was my souvenir for him from my anniversary trip with my husband to New Orleans, and my visit to The Faulkner House. Mac Attack fell in love with the story! So, naturally, I thought it would be super fun to do characters from the book for Halloween.

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I am often overly-ambitious and can be a bit obsessive once I’m involved in a project. I love a challenge! So, I found two amazing sources on the internet that I used to create our costumes. The first was a fabulous blog “Tell, Love and Party” on how to make the Max wolf costume you’ll find here, and linked into her blog about her costuming experience was a great instructional YouTube video you’ll find here. I am no seamstress and have never followed a pattern and this video was a treasure to find!

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Mac Attack as “Max” and my beautiful mama – his “Memaw”

So, not only did I make the costumes, I decided to make the wild thing head pieces. I found instructions on Instructables.com, here. There are many options to choose from using paper mache, poster board, to paper plates. I liked this because it seemed it wouldn’t be quite so heavy as paper mache, and it would still have the big bobble-head look. 🙂

My husband wins the “Hubby-Daddy of the Year” award for rocking his Wild Thing costume! Especially since I ran out of time to make his shirt and didn’t paint on the orange stripes, but used duct tape, instead. In a colder climate, that would’ve been fine. Not in North Florida on a hot Halloween! With the polyfoam wild things head pieces in 70 degree weather, we were a hot mess. Literally. But it was fun!

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Mac Attack receiving his first candy while trick-or-treating!

If you are silly like me and want to do extensive head pieces and costumes, I recommend starting in late August, especially if you work full time, like I do. I didn’t get to finish all the claws or my costume, completely (layered feather leg look in “Tell, Love and Party” blog). Also, I didn’t finish all the hair on my wild thing, nor did I finish the beard part of my husband’s costume. Mac Attack didn’t keep his hood on because it was too hot. I used a lighter-weight fleece, and it was okay for a short period. I’d use a lightweight jersey or cotton material here in Florida, next time. I will resurrect these in another year or two, remake the Max costume, and add finishing touches to the monsters.

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Where the Wild Things Are Selfie

So, Happy Halloween! “Let the wild rumpus start.” 🙂

Prost,

J.