The theme: Monster's Inc
From left to right: Emma is the one-eyed, slithery-haired Celia; Ethan is Mike Wazowski; Esther is "Boo"; and I'm big, tubby, furry Sully.
Although I only took a week to make these costumes, I began gathering the supplies about a month in advance. Celia's dress is her key costume feature. I found a fun, scaly green fabric at Joann's, and traced around a dress that fit Emma nicely.
Her collar was next. We found a spool of tulle ribbon in the perfect color, gathered it up tight, and sewed it by hand to the neck of the dress.
For the hair, I braided Emma's real hair into lots of tiny french braids, and sprayed it purple with costume hair dye. I bought 5 snakes from the Walmart toy aisle ($1 each) and spray-painted them lilac. (A word of advice: get the right paint for the job. These were sticky, and kept leaving paint everywhere. I coated them with mod podge, which helped, but it would have been better to start with the right paint.) I painted googly eyes on the snakes, and since I really wanted them to have rattles, I glued popcorn kernels to some of their ends. I know that's a little over the top. Oh well.
The trickiest part of Emma's costume was the mask. But the solution turned out pretty simple. Cut a large eye shape from a piece of plastic canvas, glue on a felt eyelid and pupil, add some pipe-cleaner lashes, and tie on with a thin piece of elastic. Emma actually hated the mask, and only wore it for pictures, but it was fully functional--as in, she could see to walk. Her arms are covered in purple cut-off tights.
Ethan's costume was the most time-consuming, so I had to work on it throughout the entire week. We started with an exercise ball that looked like it would cover his bottom once he was inside it. It was my mom's ball, and I didn't want to ruin it, so I covered it completely in plastic wrap.
I marked where I wanted the holes to be--for his arms, head, and legs. Then I mixed up a thick solution of flour and water, and dipped in the newspaper strips to make paper mache. Each layer has to be completely dry, which can take 12-24 hours. I put it outside in our front yard to speed this up. The first night it got really cold, and the whole thing split into two pieces! Luckily, I was able to patch it up with more paper mache. I gave the sphere three coats in all, but it was still a tad bit thin at the end. I think 4 would have been perfect.
When the sphere was completely dry, I deflated the ball, and it came away from the costume perfectly. I spray painted the costume with white, and then bright green, about 4 coats in all. The eye is sticky-backed foam, and so are the teeth. I filled in the black with magic marker and painted in the blue eye.
For the rest of Ethan's costume, I found the hard hat at party city for really cheap, and it was already the right color. I printed out the logo and glued it on. His arms and legs are covered in green tights, and since he wanted to be in character from head to toe, I found him some green gloves for his hands, and spray painted a pair of Daddy's tube socks to pull over his shoes.
This was the most time-consuming costume, but it was so worth it! He was very proud, and all night we heard people call out, "Mike Wazowski!"
Esther's resemblance to the movie character was the whole reason wee chose Monster's Inc for the costume theme. On Halloween night, she did not disappoint! She must have posed for 50 pictures. But getting her there was no easy task. This was probably my most-hated costume to make thus far!
The body of the costume was a tube of lilac satin--the cheap costume stuff from Hobby Lobby. I sandwiched two layers of satin with a layer of quilt batting in between, and then sewed the quilted stripes across the body.
For the head opening, I used an embroidery hoop at the top of the body and the bottom of the "hat". Speaking of the hat, I have no idea what to tell you about how to make that work. It didn't. But once I made it look mostly right, I added the mop for the hair, the styrofoam-ball eyes, and some craft foam for the teeth (left over from Ethan's costume.) The eyeballs were painted with craft paint. Everything was sewn or hot-glued on.
For the flippers, I found some scaly-looking fabric, sewed it into a flipper-type tube, and hot glued them to the sides of the body.
Underneath the costume, Esther was wearing Boo's other outfit--a pink shirt, some leggings, and socks.
I cannot express to you how much Esther hated wearing this costume. It was difficult to get on and off, the hat either covered her eyes, or fell back so that the top of her costume was pulled up over her face. This was not my best moment in costume design, but for one night, it was worth it. She looked so cute!
The last costume is mine, Sully Monster. I started with 5 yards of blue fleece, a yard of white fuzzy faux fur, and some felt. I used McCall's Pattern 8953, and switched between the kangaroo body and the lion head.
Since the only fur I could find was white, I had to get a little creative. I bought a package of polyester dye, and a can of fabric spray paint. They both worked beautifully.
I will definitely be keeping these two products in mind for future projects.
My costume was not the most recognizable, but it was fun to get into. And with my little entourage, most people knew where I fit in. I considered painting my whole face, but to avoid scaring Esther, I only painted my nose. And then added a little extra fur to my eyebrows with spirit gum.
So, what do you think? What did you all do for Halloween?
If I left any details out, feel free to ask questions in the comments!