30 Oct
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Halloween Costume Craftiness

It’s a good thing I’m crafty.

I’m not sure what my children would do for Halloween if their parents didn’t enjoy creating costumes. By enjoy, I mean I’m excited at the start of the costume fabricating process, but by week three, I’m ready to send kids off in whatever I have finished. Our kids are notorious for picking costumes you can’t simply go buy at Target. They have specific visions for Halloween, and I relent. This year was no different.

teen boy dressed as Marty McFly from Back to the Future

Our teen, spurred on by the Back to the Future hype, is transforming into Marty McFly. He’s opting to give candy to children knocking at our door this year, but he could walk around the neighborhood if he wanted. I don’t care how old you are for trick or treating as long as you wear a costume and not just a wig or mask. I want to see you put some effort into being festive. I’m secretly happy we’re down to three trick or treaters instead of four. The amount of candy four kids can bring home on Halloween is ridiculous. One less bag of goodies to sort through and stop myself from eating is a good thing.

girl dressed as Hermione Granger for Halloween

Our daughter decided on Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame for her costume thanks to our summer visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I bought most of her costume and already owned a few accessories like a wand and Time-Turner. Bless her for picking something easy.

I know better than to ask our younger two boys what they want to be for Halloween. I should make a short list of costumes I’m willing to purchase or fabricate and allow them to choose from the approved list. This year we have a zombie LEGO mini figure and a Gondorian soldier. The mini figure was not particularly shocking for our 1o-year-old. His favorite thing on the planet is LEGO. I was surprised he specifically wanted a zombie. Our third grader is an ardent follower of anything written by J.R.R. Tolkien. His favorite book is The Hobbit, and he’s near finished with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The kid knows his Tolkien, thus a Gondorian soldier. When he told me what he wanted to be, I answered with, “You want to be a what?” I had a lot to learn.

Boys dressed for Halloween as Gondorian soldier

Here’s how Halloween costume planning goes every single October: I spend hours searching the Internet for photos of what the kids want and tutorials other people have posted on how to create specific costumes. I decide to pay no attention to anything I’ve read or watched and go it alone. I beg Craig to help me because I have no clue what I’m doing. Together we manage to pull off exactly, sort of, what the children envision.

Take the Gondorian soldier costume for example. It was requested it be made from metal and include chainmail. Um no. After wandering the aisles of Hobby Lobby, the soldier costume consists of silver poster board, silver scrapbook brads, puffy paint and cardboard. Pray it doesn’t rain or snow on Halloween. The costume required freehand drawing a tree and other “armor” details. It resembles Gondorian armor well enough for an 8-year-old to be antsy to don it for Halloween. Mission accomplished, I think.

boy dressed as a zombie LEGO mini figure

The LEGO zombie took more of Craig’s engineering mind. I’m known for saying yes to the children’s ideas or coming up with my own big ideas and leaving them with Craig for the initial implementation process. I rejoin the process after the hard part is over. The mini figure was one of those ideas. Styrofoam, dowels, poster board, cardboard and voila, a LEGO zombie mini figure was born. Not really voila. This was a process with much trial and error with a heavy emphasis on error. I had grand ideas of attempting a step-by-step tutorial, but it’s not going to happen. If you have specific questions, please ask. I’ll attempt to answer as best as I can.

The zombie is fashioned after an actual LEGO mini figure we own. There was more drawing with this one, but it turned out better than expected, ask my son who was shocked I drew the face “all by myself.” Originally, in our heads, the costume was going to have cardboard legs. We decided that would be difficult and uncomfortable to walk from house-to-house wearing and climb up and down stairs while trick or treating. Honestly, I was at the point in the creative process where I was done being creative and wanted to be finished.

man and woman dressed as Pac-Man and ghost

Craig and I were forgoing costumes for ourselves this year, but I caved to peer pressure from the children. We’re Pac-Man and a ghost from the iconic video game from our childhood. These are the easiest costumes we’ve ever undertaken in supplies, cost and time. While there’s much I don’t enjoy about Halloween (commercialization, candy, gory decorations), I do enjoy the creativity that surrounds the event.

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