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!

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!

I’m OVER Halloween (and it’s not even HERE yet)!

Yes, I said it.  I’m over Halloween. I was over Halloween this weekend actually.

We have already been celebrating this holiday a few times already.

Day 1: Thursday night was Trick or Treat downtown.  Here are probably the two best pictures I will get from Halloween this year:

smiling big sister dressed as a kitty

One happy, cute kitty

Little brother dressed as a tiger

Little brother still figuring out trick or treat

Dressed in multiple layers (as Wisconsin trick or treat MUST), we met friends and walked downtown to trick or treat at a few businesses.  It was great to get out of the wagon, walk inside & warm up a bit.  After about an hour, we took a break at the Italian bakery for dinner.  This is when big sister started to be “over” Halloween as well, when the kitty ears came off.  Crazy, sugar high ensues before bedtime.  Parents consume wine thereafter.

Day 2: Friday we wanted to show off our Halloween costumes to Grandma & Grandpa and Great Grandma.  My daughter refused to put her kitty costume on.  “It’s not Halloween yet.”

Hmm…hard to argue with her, so I let her be (though I DID ask again when visiting Great Grandma, and got a grunt / no in return).

Day 3: More trick or treat with our cousins.  Big sister kept her kitty ears on for about 5 minutes. After this, she was an earless kitty.

saturday trick or treat

Little brother refused to get out of the stroller, so he enjoyed “valet” trick or treat.  Luckily the treat-givers were typically sitting in their driveway, so it made it easy for Daddy O. to drive straight to the candy.  Lucky little guy!

valet trick or treat

Little brother not getting up to trick or treat, saying “I’m good here.”

More crazyness occurs after getting home (despite our 1 piece of candy only rule).  Little brother melts down, wanting to sleep with his ghost candy bag.  More wine after surviving!

Day 4: Sunday – no Halloween costumes or trick or treat today.  Only a little drama involving candy.  Big sister finds a feather in her Halloween candy and calls it the “best treasure of all.”  Hmm..maybe we should hand out feathers instead of candy?We carve pumpkins and roast pumpkin seeds that actually taste good – really good!

Day 5: Pre-school field trip – Big sister wants to change her costume to last year’s costume – a puppy ghost.

puppy ghost costume

Big sister as a Puppy Ghost in 2012

We somehow convince her to just be a kitty. Ears apparently stay on when she sees her friends in costume. Kids took a field trip to an area nursing home and sang Halloween songs.  It apparently was a HUGE hit.  More candy came home! There was drama at dinner (as to be expected) over what candy to have for dessert (or dinnertime bonus as we call it in our house).  More wine anyone?

With only ONE more day of official costume wearing and Halloween festivities, I am READY for Halloween to be over.  Until then, I’ll grab a candy bar to help me cope!

How do you feel about Halloween and multiple celebrations?  Do your kids try to change costumes mid-stream like mine?  Have a Happy Halloween!

Cardboard Halloween Costume FAIL

Happy October everyone!  I am still sort of wondering where the month of September went, but oh yeah – my 2 year old’s birthday, Oktoberfest beer, and a great picnic at a beer garden, not to mention all the fun stuff that we tried to cram in that we didn’t do all summer long.

During September, I became annoyed with the number of diaper boxes in my house that hadn’t yet made it to our recycling bin.  AND I was inspired from reading a Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween book that had a train costume in it.  AND I made a cardboard train for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, so shouldn’t my son have a train for his birthday too?  Wouldn’t it be awesome if that train could be made in September and still be around for trick-or-treating six weeks later?  AND aren’t trains so easy to make out of boxes?

As you can see, I had MANY reasons for thinking that a cardboard train costume would be a good idea.  Probably the MOST important one of all was the idea of making a large Halloween costume that could fit my kids, who would inevitably need to wear winter coats in order to trick-or-treat comfortably in Wisconsin. (Sigh…it never fails to be cold for Halloween).  Gone are all those dresses and thin costumes – we need layers people!

So I started making the “greatest” train costume ever with a diaper box and two other boxes cobbled together with a lot of tape.

cardboard train in the early design phase

phase 1 diaper box train

I covered it with cut up grocery bags to give it a cleaner look.

phase 2 covered diaper box with brown grocery bags

covered in brown grocery bags – phase 2 cardboard box train

Finally, I browsed through my scrapbook paper stash and found some green paper – my son’s favorite color to jazz up the engine.  I used spray adhesive to make this part easy.

When finished, it came time for the ultimate test: would my kids wear it?

My son’s response – no way!  I could barely get it over his head.

My daughter’s response – for about 5 minutes!  It was a little too back-heavy, to which my engineer husband said, “Yeah, you should really balance it a little better.”  I gave him a nasty look, encouraging him to give it a go then.  He has not taken me up on this challenge to date.

Ultimately, this is a costume built for two, as modeled by my daughter and her cousin at the birthday party.  Aren’t they adorable?!  My dad also suggested that you place a bowl of candy in the opening on top of the train, and have the child walk in the driver’s seat.  I also tried putting it over our wagon, but it didn’t fit. That could be cute, but as it is right now, it is a cardboard Halloween Costume FAIL.  Bummer.

Decorated with green and gray paper final cardboard train costume

Final – cardboard train costume for two!

Do you have any cold weather or cardboard Halloween costume suggestions?  What are your kids dressing up as?

Here are some really cute ideas in the related articles: