To all the Halloween Costumes I’ve Made

It’s the one time of year during which I wish I had better sewing skills. I mean, I can hand stitch things: sew a button or make a quick patch, but I do not own a sewing machine. I do, however, like the idea of making Halloween costumes for my kids when I can. In honor of such Mama O. made costumes, I dedicate this post and will share my AWESOME costume for this year.

To all the Halloween Costumes I’ve made, you’ve helped me find new ways to be creative and resourceful to ultimately make my kid’s happy. There has been frustration and exasperation along the way, but in the end, we’ve made it through the struggles and pulled it together in time for fun trick or treating.

The Creativity Costume Award

Way back when I started making Halloween costumes it was out of necessity. Exhibit A: Big Sister wanted to be a Puppy Ghost, her most inventive costume idea to date. We bought a puppy hat the the grocery store, so that was convenient. I sort of cut up a sheet (I think) and may have hand sewed some ribbon on to tie the sheet around her. It wasn’t complicated, but she certainly was excited. Puppy Ghost, you win for the most creative costume and the easiest execution. Big Sister still thinks of this costume even four years later.

puppy ghost costume

Exhibit A. 2012: Big sister as a Puppy Ghost, and Little Brother as a firefighter

The Recycling Theme

Fast forward a year, and I had really wanted to use a cardboard box train costume for trick or treating, but it was a bit too heavy and awkward to actually wear. The kid had fun in it for a birthday party though!  Cardboard costumes, I will come back to this idea again and again, so maybe someday we’ll have a chance to work together.

Decorated with green and gray paper final cardboard train costume

Exhibit B- cardboard train costume for two!

No Sew, Readily Available Costume

Instead in 2013 I had a kitty cat, which involved turning a black sweatshirt inside out and adding some easy to find cat accessories (ears headband, pin-on tail). Thank you, cat costume, for being a great, go-to costume for any age. Perfect. Purrfect!

2013 trick or treat - the Cat

Exhibit C: the infamous and easy cat costume.

Classic Costume Award

In 2014 Grandma helped sew a pumpkin costume for Little Brother. I assisted by sewing on the velcro and the black felt pumpkin face. As you can see in Exhibit D, he is not terribly thrilled about it. Boo…but still, Pumpkin, you earn the classic costume award.

Another classic costume, is the witch, something I threw together with black clothing and stuff we already had around the house.

Beautiful Costume Award

The lovely Elsa dress wins for most beautiful costume. Obviously I had nothing to do with it beyond some hemming on the dress and cape. All the credit goes to a talented seamstress on Etsy. Thank you for the lovely dress, which lasted us for two Halloweens.

my last minute witch costume

Exhibit D: Grouchy Pumpkin, Mama O. the sorta good Witch, not frozen yet Elsa

Warm and Cute Costume Awards

This award is a tie between the shark and crazy cat lady cosutmes. Grandma stepped in and made Little Brother a shark costume using a larger than normal sized gray sweatshirt, sweatpants and felt for the teeth, belly and fin. She used some sturdier material / plastic insert to help add stability to the fin. Shark, you were a warm and adorable costume. We didn’t see many other sharks while trick or treating either, so you win extra points for uniqueness.

The crazy cat lady again came together with things I had at home, stuffed cats and my bathrobe. I simply used safety pins to attach numerous cats to my bathrobe and slippers. It was warm, cute, and all around awesome! Crazy cat lady, and cat costume, you may be my go-to costumes again in the future.

Go Mama O's family costumes

Exhibit E: Elsa, Crazy Cat Lady, Shark

For this year, I was encouraging Little Brother to use a cardboard box to be a present. I was cutting it up and planning on attaching a bow to a hat and everything. Then Big Sister proclaims that she wants to be an owl for Halloween, so Little Brother must change his mind and be an owl too. Sorry, cardboard, maybe another time! I’m still holding out hope for you.

Best Costume Ever

To date, owl costume, you win as the best costume I’ve ever made. Truth be told, this was a lot of cutting up fleece feathers, 78 for one alone, but once that part was done, it came together quickly. This tutorial, by Lynnea McCoy, was the most helpful! I started with oversize t-shirts, knowing they’d layer clothes underneath, and glued fleece feathers on them, as you can see Little Brother modeling below.

owl costumes by Go Mama O.

Exhibit F: purple & blue owl, and green & blue owl!

Grandma helped sew the cape onto Little Brother’s t-shirt (with her portable sewing machine), and sewed an elastic loop on each side of the cape. You can see the capes spread out in Exhibit F. When my kids have their hands in the elastic loops, they can then “flap” their wings better. I also opted to cut out fleece and paste it on cardstock on top of an existing mask. Aleene’s Original Glue was my adhesion of choice and has worked really well so far. Stay tuned for the final picture of both kids as owls and a report on how they held up during trick or treat.

Thank you costumes, and Halloween, for the opportunity to create for my kids! Until next year!

Halloween Now and Then

It really is fun looking back at pictures to see how we’ve celebrated through the years! My kids sure are growing up!

#ThrowbackThursday: Halloween Crafts Through the Years

In the spirit of Halloween and #tbt, I wanted to share our Halloween crafts that are now decorating our dining room walls.  Many are a throwback to my kids crafts that they made in years past. I save special art projects in a big plastic tub that is stored under my daughter’s bed, and rummage through it as the seasons change for decorations.

The kids helped me arrange their crafts (my son’s on the right; my daughter’s on the left) and most of them ended up on our dining room wall.  Here they are in their glory:

halloween crafts Go Mama O.

From top: all of the crafts together, spider web plate, pumpkin on a paper plate, bat handprint craft.

While I don’t have step by step instructions, I think many of the pictures are self-explanatory, but to help you out, here are some notes:

  • The ghosts are probably the oldest projects that we have. The kids made them using marbles dipped in paint and rolling them around over the ghost cut out in a tub. I have an old wash bin that I like to use for such projects.
  • I LOVE the hand print bats! My son and daughter each have some, and we hung more up on our dining room chandelier.
  • The spider on the purple plate was a craft that a room mom prepared for a 4K Halloween party. She wove most of the “web” together on the plate and had the black pom pom spider pre-attached to a piece of a plastic straw.  There wasn’t much for the kids to complete at the party (maybe just string the spider on the web, and then tape the web on the back).
  • The pumpkin & candy corn pieces are super easy – just cut up your squares & let your kids glue away.

What are your favorite Halloween crafts? How do you save and display your kid’s old artwork?

Last Minute Halloween Costume for Mom

I’m not overly enthusiastic about Halloween myself.  I’m not obsessing over my own costume or planning a big Halloween bash. Instead I was the mom hemming up my daughter’s Elsa dress that I bought a size bigger on Etsy (a necessity for layering clothes underneath thanks to cold Wisconsin Trick-or-Treating), and I was putting the finishing touches on my son’s pumpkin costume that his grandma made.

We went to an indoor Halloween Hullabaloo party in our neighborhood, and about an hour beforehand, I decided to dress up, using whatever I could find in our house.

It started with this black, sparkly fabric that was hanging in my daughter’s closet. My mom and I had talked about making a tutu out of it, but the sparkles just shower off of the fabric, so it would be a tutu that would leave a sparkly trail behind (ugh). It was the perfect cape for me.  I just tied the ends together at my neck (real fancy, I know).

I bought a small witches’ hat at the end of last season and raided my closet for black clothes. Seriously – a witch costume is the easiest, and best last minute costume!

My daughter helped add my accessories – a purple cat pillow curled around my neck that also disguised my crudely tied cape, a spider (former glow spider) that I twist-tied onto another necklace of mine, and a magic wand (former glow stick) that I put in my belt.  I loaded on dark eyeshadow & eyeliner and I felt “witchy” enough.  Here was the final result – me & the kids all dressed up:

my last minute witch costume

Grouchy “I don’t want to wear this” Pumpkin, Mama O. the sorta good Witch, not frozen yet Elsa

While this costume was perfect for an indoor party, I don’t think I’ll be wearing it this Friday with the forecast calling for high of 40 degrees. Ugh… well, maybe I can wear my black wool coat over it all, or I’ll just stay inside & handout candy!

What are your plans for Halloween?  What’s your favorite last minute costume? Happy trick or treating!