Here they are!
I didn't take very many progress pics of these homemade costumes, because well, there are 6 of us, and I didn't really start putting everything together until 48 hours before the event. But I'll take a minute and share some of the secrets behind the final looks.
We are totally hooked on the idea of the family theme costume. The kids love it. I love it. We're going to ride this wave until somebody jumps off. Ethan's Peter Pan costume was simple. The green shirt was from the lady's department at the thrift store. $2. We cut into it a lot, and slashed the edges. Then we overlapped the front, tied on a couple belts, and made a leafy sash to go on top. The leaves were from a poinsettia Christmas decoration that I found at Walmart for $.99 each. Way cheaper that buying ivy in the silk flower section. I'm not a big fan of the disney hat, so I made him a woodland crown of sorts with floral wire and more leaves. Then, since his face was way too clean to be the king of the lost boys, I smudged it up with some eyeliner from my makeup bag. His pants didn't show in any of the pictures here, but they were a pair of brown skinny corduroys that I cut off and frayed below the knee. No tights for us, thank you. This costume cost less than $10 total.
Mr Smee was the most popular of the night. I lucked out with this one, as all three pieces were at the same thrift store. Red hat, $1.00. Teeny onesie that I cut off at the midriff, $1.00. Blue pants, also cut off, $2.00. And the glasses were drawn on with a thin sharpie. I practiced this the day before, so when it was time for final makeup, he was ready and held his head really still! I loved seeing that little tummy all night! This costume cost less than $5.
Tinkerbell was also fairly easy this year. Our Dollar Tree always has fairy wings, so no need to reinvent the wheel. Then all I needed were tutu ($4 at a resale event), leggings (free from her dresser) and the shirt (about $1 from the thrift store). I added some leaves and another Christmas ornament--a glittery flower--for more detail. Then I painted some $6 shoes from Walmart green, tied on some jingle bells, and she was done! Esther's entire costume was under $15. And some of it--the leggings, shirt, and shoes--can be worn again. We just might paint those shoes to match her mood!
Seriously, every piece of everyone's costume this year just happened to be at the right place when I needed it. Emma's dress is an adult woman's shirt dress. I was about $5. We cut off the collar, and then put it on backwards to hide the front pockets. The topper was a pretty, yellow, Bohemian shirt from a different shop, about $2. We cut it off at the armpits and fringed everything. Her boots were from her closet. The feather is a double layer of craft foam, with a pipe cleaner glued between. The headband is some seam binding that I had. Emma's entire costume cost less than $10. She was so comfortable in this costume, that she wore it for the whole day, and part of the next day. She was a little cold on Halloween night, so it would have been good to wear an undershirt and some leggings maybe. She was bummed that not everyone remembered her character from the story and kept calling her Pocahontas. Next year we'll have to give her a starring role.
Be still my heart!! I didn't know if he'd go through with it, since the good captain is one of the more frilly characters in this theme. But he did! The kids are still talking about how daddy stayed in costume the whole time with them! This was the only costume that took very much time, but it still just took the better part of an afternoon and evening at home. I found the (ladies, large, iridescent) trench coat for a surprising $3.50. The purple stretch pants (also ladies!) were $2. I pulled in the waist of the coat with some "darts" made with large safety pins. I added some ruffles of white fabric with hot glue, and made his neck ruffle by gluing it to a circle of elastic. He wore it like a necklace around his neck. I glued some gold ribbon ($1) down the front. His socks were from his drawer, and he already had the shoes, too. I made the hat from a diaper box, a shoe box, a cereal box, and some black felt.
The brim is an oval with three sides pulled up into a triangle. For the feather, which stood strong and noble all night, I used a hanger and a white feather boa ($7). I bent the untwisted hanger in half and glued one end of the boa to the bent end of the hanger. Then I weaved the boa in and out of the two wire ends of the hanger. I put a dab of hot glue about 3 inches down from the bend, and scrunched the woven boa up into it. Then I put more glue 3 inches below that, and scrunched some more. I continued down the hanger, gluing and scrunching, until I reached the end. Then I poked it into the hat. It was the best part of the costume. I'm ready for Martha to call me and ask me to demonstrate the process on her show. Martha? I'm ready.
I cut the hook + handle shape from the felt. It looked like this.
Then I cut off the top of the bottle, and shoved the long side of the hook inside.
I used black felt, white glue, and some paper clips to cover the bottle. I held it at the top with a sturdy rubber band. And the hook was carefully wrapped in foil, with glue to secure. And that's how I made the perfect hook for $2. Sharp looking, huge, and harmless. Donnie's entire costume cost less than $15.
There are a few photos still missing from the night. My costume was TicToc the Croc. I borrowed it from my friend Mary, who made the entire thing from felt and glue. It's awesome. And it was awesome to not have to make it! Here's one of the only shots I have of it.
(How awesome is Emma in that one!!)
I also decided to make a cardboard pirate ship to fit over our red wagon...two hours before the carnival started. Eli kept standing up in the wagon and knocking over the ship, so we ended up stashing it behind a bench for most of the night.
Well, there's another Halloween over and done with. Time to clean my house.
Here are a few tips on making your own family theme costumes:
1. PLAN Find a picture online of each costume. Print each one out in the top left hand corner on a separate piece of paper. Staple them together into an inspiration booklet and keep it in your purse. This will help with the planning. If you want, make a list next to the picture of the different pieces you need, and cross them off as you get them.
2. SHOP EARLY I tend to shop thrift stores pretty regularly--about once or twice a month, so I'm there anyway. If I have my design booklet, I can quickly check out each section of the store for what I need. Remember, just because the piece is for a certain person, you might find it in someone else's department. Donnie's coat and jacket were in the plus-sized woman's section. Ethan's shirt was in the ladies, and his pants were girls, too. It's also easier to start with an oversize item, if you plan to alter it very much.
3. WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE I have a busy life. I am mom to four kids, I'm homeschooling, I'm a pastor's wife, I participate in the #31DAYS blog series every October, and I still have to deal with the daily grind of dishes, laundry, and cooking. I did not start actually making these costumes until the Wednesday before Halloween (which was on Friday). If I had started earlier, I probably still wouldn't have finished until the day of. And my house would have been a mess of half-finished costume pieces. My advice is to wait at least until the week before. I know it sounds crazy, but it has actually saved my sanity. I collect all the pieces ahead of time, and then work for a couple days on the actual costumes. That's it.
4. DON'T FINISH ANYTHING What?! These costumes do not have to withstand 6 weeks of performances on Broadway. They are only for one night. So don't worry about finishing the hems, tucking in the seams, or making sure things match up just right. It's going to be dark. No one will notice. I know some of you think I'm nuts, but people go crazy for these slapped together, last minute family costumes. No one is looking at the hems! If you can hot glue it, don't bother with the sewing machine!
Follow these four simple guidelines, and you can have your own family theme costumes done in less than a week. For almost free. I'm getting better at it each year.
Have some pics of your family's costumes? Share the links in the comments!