Our fall family favorite activity is making costumes for Halloween and other fall events. It started rather simply as traditions sometimes do. When my little boy was 2, he wanted to be Barney Fife for his birthday and then use the costume again for Halloween. The memories that we made that year were special. We had so much fun making his costume that we decided we would do it every year.
What makes it so special is that we have to be very creative and do it together as a family. I do not know how to sew, so I have to try different methods to make the costumes. This is how I found out how amazing duct tape can be. We are very frugal when making the costumes, so we try to use things that we already have. If we decide to buy anything, it must be inexpensive.
Here are a few of my favorite costumes that we have made through the years.
We used an old white shirt that belonged to my older son. I dyed the shirt and the material for the hat a tan color. For the hat I used a cheap black sun visor, dyed cloth, and duct tape. To make the badge on the front of the hat, I printed a picture of a badge off the computer onto card-stock.
We used part of a tuxedo we had from a wedding and some old sweat pants that were too short. We also used some white socks that would go to his knees. I used coffee filters for the ruffles.
The costume for Abe was made by using black poster board for the hat, clothes we already had, and a ribbon for the tie. We found out a few years later that mascara makes a great beard.
Lone Ranger and Tonto
We used fleece and scissors to make the Indian tunic. The Lone Ranger was made entirely by using things we already had. We also made stick horses from mops and socks that we had purchased from the dollar store.
Our ideas for our costumes do not always go as planned. This past year both boys wanted to make “Lego” characters for Halloween. We decided to buy as much as we could from the dollar store. It took several weeks to get a plan and make our costumes. We truly enjoyed making our costumes and thinking outside the box to make a plan with the items we found.
But when they day came for them to wear the costumes, they started to fall apart. It also rained that night so we were afraid the paint might run. I told them I just wanted a picture of them in their costumes and that we would figure something out for the rest of Halloween. Luckily, they enjoy dressing up, so we had plenty of supplies on hand for emergency costume #2.
Emergency Costume #2
Even though those costumes did not go as planned, it will be one of my favorite fall memories.
I encourage your family to try to create your costumes instead of buying one that is already made. Don’t think they have to turn out perfect or that you even have to know how to sew. Let your children come up with the ideas and then work on them together. The tradition of making our own costumes is one in which we make great memories by creating things together. Even if the costumes don’t work out as planned, you have a memory to last a lifetime!
Sharla Orren has a BA in Sociology from Henderson State University. She loves homeschooling her two boys, ages 10 and 6. Her husband is the Youth and Family Minister at their church. She currently has her own blog, Look at What You are Seeing, in which she writes about homeschooling, natural living, homemaking, and time management. She also serves as a storm spotter and data collector for The National Weather Service.