Friday, October 29, 2010

Make Your Own Halloween Costumes

Start with a box
Today is the day of most elementary school Halloween parties, pagents and pumpkins parades. Petula Dvorak of The Washington Post ran an interesting article about homemade and store-bought costumes for kids. In our house, Halloween is just another excuse to craft. We start brain-storming costume ideas a few weeks before Halloween, collect materials and work together to make whatever the kids want. The only Halloween rule in our house is you cannot change your mind about a costume the morning of Halloween. Up until then, all changes are possible, if negotiable.

So what tips can I give about making your own costumes for Halloween? It comes down to one simple rule: start with a box, construction paper, markers and glue. With these items, you can make almost anything. Your kids wants to be a car? A box is perfect. Take off the top and bottom of the box. Add four holes and string to wear the box. Use construction paper or paint to create the body. Cut four big wheels, headlights, etc. Draw on the door. Let your kid zoom around.
Your kid want to be a TV? Use a box again. Cover the box with tin foil. Print out a color picture. Use bottle caps for knobs. Locate some old, abandoned antenna and your kid is set.
Last year the neighborhood girl scout troop decided they wanted to trick or treat as candy bars. The girls had a ball making M&Ms, Hershey Bars, Hershey Kisses and other chocolate treats. All the costumes began guessed it, cardboard boxes the girls collected from local merchants who kindly set the boxes aside for the girls after unpacking merchandise.

Crafty iPod
This year one my kids bucked the trend. We used poster board rather than a box to make an iPod. The recycled science project and broken headphones took on a new and certainly sweeter life.

There are some very real bonuses of a costume made from a box -- apart from the low cost and crafty fun. Since you wear regular (but coordinating) clothes under the costume, the costume can easily be ditched if you or your child is the only one to show up in costume; disaster averted, reputation spared (an especially important factor for teens through twenty-somethings where events are often costume-optional). Also, since weather can vary at Halloween, it is good to know the box costume can be worn with or without a coat (an important factor for the elementary school set).

Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

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