Tuesday, October 29, 2013

From the Director’s Chair: Halloween Costumes on a Budget!

From the Director’s Chair: Halloween Costumes on a Budget!
 Julia @ Kids Matter
          Hello all! How is everyone enjoying this fine fall weather? I know I am just about to burst at the seams over fall. It is absolutely my favorite season. It brings out my creative side, and I find myself more flowery, romantic, and day dreamy than normal!
          I always start a knitting project, which is inevitably a scarf, because I struggle to knit anything else. This year I am going to push myself and learn to knit a dog sweater for my Pit Bull, Piglet. She is white with a pink nose and ears, so naturally it will be pink, much to my fiancĂ©’s chagrin. (He disagrees with clothing for dogs.) Pit Bulls have thin coats and she trembles in the cold. So, Pink sweater is shall be!
          I also start writing a new novel, baking new recipes for the upcoming holidays, reading haunting tales (Carrie, currently due to the movie coming out next weekend), and walking in the park more.  But, most importantly, I start my shopping list for my All Hallows’ Eve costume. Most of my materials are items already in the house. I did not grow up a wealthy child. We went without a lot and I usually made all my Halloween costumes. My grandmother and I would start designing in June, and the final project would be ready a few weeks before the holiday.
          I am a huge advocate for do-it-yourself costumes. It inspires you to think creatively. If you sit and think about what you want to be on this one night, what would you write down?  Remember, you can be anything you want! Now, take that list and think about HOW to do it UNDER $25. I did that every year of my life growing up. And every year, I shocked my mother with how creative and frugal I was! (And STILL brought home the blue ribbon)
          The following list includes my favorite costumes over the years. Some are from my childhood, and others are from adulthood. And no, you are never too old for Halloween. Even passing out candy or trick or treating with your kids should and must require a costume!  
1.   Lenore from “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe
2.   Joker Card
3.   Fairy
4.   Lightning Bug
5.   Lady Bug
6.   Persephone (Goddess of spring)
7.   Poison Ivy (Batman villain)
          The top one would probably have to be the lightning bug costume.  I will break it down to show you how I executed it and saved on costs.
Lightning Bug:
I simply wore black yoga pants, green sneakers, and a long sleeved black t-shirt. I curled my hair and wrapped it into two HUGE buns on top of my head. I fastened bright green pipe cleaners ($2 at Wal-Mart) end to end to make two long pipe cleaners, then twisted them around each bun. I also used two pipe cleaners that I twisted around a pencil to make tight curls as my bug antennae. Then, I took bright green eye shadow and lipstick ($2 together at Wal-Mart) and did a ‘beauty’ makeup. I used the green shadow on my eyes accented with black liner and shadow I already had. I also used the green and black eye shadow as blush to create green glossy contours on my cheeks! I finished that makeup with long sparkly fake lashes ($2.99 Wal-Mart) and green lipstick. The BEST part however, was my wings! I took some old wire hangers and unfolded them to straighten them out. I used two hangers per wing. I then molded the two hangers together to make long ovals. Then I took some black spandex material, which I bought at my local fabric store ($2.99 per yard- I bought 1½) and hot glued the material to the wire. I also had some black and green glitter on hand and glued some of that on them as well.
Next, I went to a party store and bought three pearly bright green balloons (39 cents each), three green glow sticks ($1 each), and green glow in the dark jewelry ($1 per tube) to wear at my wrists. I blew up the balloons to a medium round size and slipped a glow stick into each. I then cut a pair of green and black striped tights (4.99 at Wal-Mart) and used one of the legs to stuff the 3 glowing balloons into. I tied the top of the stocking closed and CAREFULLY attached a safety pin to the top knot and bottom toe. I then hot glued 2 elastic pieces (99 cents per yard) to the top and bottom of each wing/arm to hold my wings on. I safety pinned my glowing back to the top and bottom of my shirt. When my arms were resting at my sides the back was hidden, when I raised my arms, my glowing back was visible. Total cost for costume awesomeness? $23.97 after tax! That is way cheaper than most store bought costumes!
So, there you have it, costuming on a budget. What will you make for yourself this year? With your child? Sit down with your little one and find out what they want to be this year.  How can you make that happen under $25? What a Challenge!!!
Until next time! Happy Halloween and if you pass out treats… A plea from all those who are young, or young at heart- NO RAISINS!

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