Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My family really gets into this time of year. We decorate our house with cobwebs, skulls and creepy things. My Mom takes creepy pictures like the one in the feature image and we go carve pumpkins. The best thing about Halloween is getting to dress up. I love to dress up and go trick or treating with my family.
Lets talk about costumes. A lot of people go out and buy a costume from one of those big Halloween stories that show up around this time of year. That’s cool. My family in the past has done that because we haven’t had time to make our own, but it’s really a big deal for us to design and make them by hand. It’s easy to buy a costume. The thing about buying a costume is that you can buy all kinds from superheroes to princesses, but you are limited to what is out there for sale. If you like a not popular character like my Dad, who loves Blue Beetle you have to look really hard to buy a costume and it can cost you a lot of money. He found one though, it came all the way from China and took FOREVER to get here.
Going to those big costume stores can be a little crazy. There are so many costumes to pick from and they can cost a lot. It’s best to have an idea of what you are looking for before you go. You can order online, but then you don’t know how good the costume will be until it comes in the mail. It could be epic or junk! You can always make most of your costume and then add on some bought stuff. We did that the year-I was Luke Skywalker from Star Wars episode 4. My mom made my costume from a Karate outfit she bought (online cheap), some scrap material she used for my leg wraps and blaster holster she made out of a baby leather jacket (that was mine). We used a bought Star Wars blaster that she painted. It was totally EPIC!
If you are creative, making your costume can be cheap. Think about stuff you have around your house. The year I wanted to be a robot, my Dad made my costume out of a couple of comic book long and short boxes. He covered it with shiny duct tape and bought a silver tubing that people use for their driers to make the arms. For the control panel he used packaging he found in our recycling bin with some battery operated Christmas lights. For the face he used my Mom’s broken camera lens. The only problem with that costume was it was hard to walk in. I couldn’t bend my knees to get upstairs. I actually fell over once going up a set of stairs and had to be helped up. Not cool.
Making a costume can be hard for some people, but you get to be anything you want! Since you can’t always buy a costume of a character you want to be, making one is your only option. My family has a good time making our costumes. Since my Kid Sister and I are close in age, we have dressed up in like costumes. One year we went as Jesse and Woody from Toy Story 2. My Mom made those using Hanes t-shirts and some extra fabric she bought. Mom says she uses Hanes t-shirt for a lot of costumes. With Jesse she added yellow felt to the front of a white shirt and around the cuffs. She sewed red cord in the design across the front and added the buttons. For my Woody costume she used a red fabric marker and a ruler to draw the red lines on the yellow Hanes shirt she bought online. My Dad who sews better with the sewing machine than my Mom made the cow skin vest with fabric they bought and felt. Mom made my boot covers out of felt too. The hats and my belt were bought from the Disney Store. The year before that Mom used red and green Hanes t-shirts to make me a Robin costume. She said she used a seem ripper to pull apart the sleeves on red shirt and then did the same to the green shirt. After that had Dad sewed the green sleeves on the red shirt body. Using yellow tread she made the lines in the center of chest and added the “R” with fabric paint on a black iron-on patch she cut into a circle. Dad then sewed yellow fabric into a bought vampire cape. I wore green sweat pants and my black sneakers and I was the Boy Wonder!
If you’re making your costume with your family, it’s best to pick what you want to be early and remember you can’t go changing it. Mom usually asks us at the end of September what we want to be and gives us a deadline to tell her. Once we pick there is no going back! When you know what you want to be it’s time to make a plan. Make a list of the things you will need. It’s a good idea to get a lot of pictures of what you want to be to look at. This will help you with what you need to make and what you might want to buy. If you can’t sew, it’s okay. Can you buy leggings or a t-shirt that will be the start of your costume? Mom said there is this stuff that lets you fuse fabric to fabric using an iron or you can use fabric glue. Something else you can use is make-up. All the stores that have Halloween stuff have it. How much you use is up to you. If you do use make-up remember to test it on your hand to make sure you don’t breakout in a rash (that could be gross). Oh and check out You-Tube for ideas and how to videos. There are a lot of ones out there and they can be very helpful. There are lots of really good ideas out there for costumes, you just have to use your imagination. I saw that Stampy (Stampylongnose) posted a photos of a costume a kid sent him of a Stampy Cat costume he and his family made. It was made using boxes, tape and paint. It was amazing. The same box idea could be used to make a Creeper costume or a Steve costume. This year I bet there will be a ton of Elsa’s and Anna’s from Frozen (surprised my Kid Sister didn’t do that). We’re going to post some of our favorite ideas in a gallery below, but for more ideas and Cosplay DIY check out Acts of Geek on Pinterest.
This year I have challenged my Mom with me being a Peashooter from Plants vs. Zombies. Yup a Peashooter! My Kid Sister is going to be a Cone-head Zombie (a girl one because she doesn’t want to dress as a boy). The costumes are not done, but have been started. For my Peashooter Mom bought a pack of those punch balloons and some plaster wrap from the craft store. She blew up the balloon and dipping plaster wrap strips in water she covered it so it was a big round ball. She then used a few plastic containers that you get at the deli at the grocery store (a big one – 32 oz and small one 8 oz.). She cut the bottoms off of each and nested the big one in the little one so that the tops were facing opposite each other. Then Mom put a foam ring she bought at the craft store in the flower section and placed it on top. She then covered it all in the plaster wrap strips and attached it to the big ball. It all had to dry for a while. Once dry she popped the balloon and traced a big circle on the bottom for me to put my head through. Then tracing a half of a plastic ornament ball she picked up she cut the eyes out. She will be covering the plastic ornament balls with two layers of black tulle and glue them in place for the eyes. The whole head will be painted green and leaves will we glued to the top. Inside she is adding a piece of foam for me to rest my head on and straps to place under my chin so that it will hopefully stay in place. For my body Mom bought a white long sleeve shirt from Hanes ($5.00) and white girls stretch pants from Target (only $3.00). She used Rite Dye to make them green, along with a pair of my white socks. We’ll add leaves to the body when it’s done. There is still a lot of work to do, but we’ll be sure to post pictures when she is done.
For my sister’s costume Mom bought a brown paper witches hat at the craft store. She cut the tip off and bent the edges in. Then she cut the base into a square with rounded edges like a traffic cone. She had my little sister paint it white and then she’ll paint it neon orange. After that Mom plans on making it look dirty with some more paint since Zombies get dirty. This cone will be attached to a headband for my sister to wear. For her costume she is going the wear normal clothes, but Mom said they are going to make them look dirty and ripped up a bit since Zombies are again not clean and kind of a mess. On Halloween Mom will paint her face all gross so she totally looks dead. Almost forgot my Dad is going to be Crazy Dave – pan on the head and all!
I hope you will share your costume ideas and pictures with us at Acts of Geek on Facebook. Some of our AOG team were nice enough to share photos with us of them dressed up in costume. Check them out along with pictures of my Kid Sister and I. Remember to have fun this Halloween and be safe!