I have many failings as a parent.
I suspected this would happen. It had to. Nobody is perfect at it and we are all just doing our best. There are the nagging things that I know would be better if I worked on them more…the whining, the not cleaning up after themselves, the amount of times I bribe them with lollipops… I mean, I could go on, but this is not a confessional.
The point is, for the large part, I know where my weak spots are, so I try to lean into my strengths. Fortunately for my kids, my strengths involve lots of sequins.
My kids might pick their nose and still use binkis, but as long as I have breath in my lungs, they will have kick ass Halloween costumes.
Playing dress up is a life skill as far as I’m concerned. My brother and I probably had other toys growing up, but all I remember is our dress up trunk. We put on many many productions and were constantly wearing wigs and animal noses and old rhinestone jewelry. If you know my brother as an adult, it might be hard to believe, but you should know that he spent most of his formative years in drag.
This was on my short list of experiences to pass down to my kids, and I started early. There is not a day that goes by in our house that someone is not in costume.
My mom made all of our Halloween costumes as kids. Never once did we get to have a store-bought mask or printed costume. We used what we had, or she magically crafted something out of nothing. One year, Halloween kind of snuck up on us and the day before, we realized we had no costumes. Without missing a beat, she went to the basement and returned with two huge empty dog food bags and with black tights and dog noses sent us to school as bags of puppy chow.
We were into it.
So, as I sit here and work on this year’s costumes, I have put together a review of our costumes to date. And by “to date” I mean the past two years. Their first Halloween they were just 5 weeks old and I had no idea what day it was…
2014 The ‘Bee-Bernardos’
As one year olds they went as bumblebees. They were super into ‘The Bee Movie’ and obsessed with all things bee.
I used black long sleeve onesies, black tights, and drapery pompoms for the stripes. I pinned tulle to their backs for the wings and a friend knitted them bee hats that were perfection. The stinger was the hardest part. My mom helped me. With silver lamé we sewed a cone and stuffed it with batting, then whipped a bottom onto it. We stitched the finished stinger to a piece a felt that was placed on the inside of the shirt. The results were cozy, wearable bee suits!
Of course, because they were 13 months old, I have no photos of them standing still….
Look at that bubba of a bee!
2015 Come One! Come all!
The kids have a cousin, Max, who is pretty much exactly the same age so we have started coordinating our Halloween efforts. Last year we went with a circus theme. Max was the ring master, Graham was the strong man and Ruby was a trapeze artist.
The Strong Man
This costume was inspired by Graham’s physique and a pair of striped pajamas that he had that were always a little snug. For this I ordered a child’s dance unitard and cut it to look like a singlet. I used a striped tee he already had, and black Chucks that he already had. The belt was elastic sequin trim and a belt buckle from the craft store. Stick on mustache from the Dollar Store. I also made him a barbell (not pictured) out of a foam pipe cover and two styrofoam balls that I spray painted. He refused to carry it.
This could be my favorite thing that I’ve ever made. It took about a billion hours because I am a lousy seamstress, but it turned out great. I ordered the leotard online and hand-stitched the rows of elastic sequin trim on the lower part of the bodice (only on the front). I tacked on the star suspenders individually so that when the leotard stretched they didn’t rip. The bustle was made out of a tutu that I found for $4 at the consignment shop. I cut it in half and sewed snaps onto the sides of it and then to the sides of the leotard so it could be removed. I hot-glued pink craft feathers over the top. Headband is an extra piece of elastic sequin trim with a big plume glued on. She wore pink ballet tights and a little vest over it for some warmth.
I am not sure where Max’s costume came from but it was insanely cute! This year they are all going as “Toy Story” characters… Graham is going to be Buzz (we borrowed a great costume from a friend), Max is going to be Woody and Ruby is going to be Jessie… I am in the middle of making cow-print chaps for her so I’ll let you know how that goes!
Next year I am gunning for them being a mariachi band…or the Three Amigos… but we’ll see how long I get to stay in charge…