Monday, October 13, 2008

halloween costumes you can make at home

My mom isn't the craftiest person I know, but she did made us some great Halloween costumes growing up. Like the clown costumes someone was wearing for at least four years in a row. I remember a great Rubik's Cube costume my friend had made out of a cardboard box back in the 80s. He was the coolest kid in the neighborhood that year. (Here's a similar creation with a tutorial.)

I haven't ventured into the do-it-yourself costumes yet, mostly because my kids only want the Buzz Lightyear and other licensed character stuff. But this year I might just get my chance to make something. J wants to be a ghost. Not any old white-sheet ghost. A black ghost with red eyes, showing his skeleton that glows in the dark and whose bones are bleeding. Any of you have a costume like this I could copy?

My crafty friend Heather got a jump start on her Halloween costumes this year--way back in May! Okay, she was really making them as dress-ups, but I thought they would be perfect for Halloween! Check out the cute ideas she came up with. . .

She made these faux-leather chaps out of marine vinyl, purchased at the fabric store in several colors. She made up the pattern, but you can see it's not too intricate. She also made a matching vest, then just added an old hat, a bandana, and cowboy boots. So cute! A few tips from Heather:

Some of the marine vinyl had a somewhat tacky finish and it wouldn't feed though the sewing machine, so I gathered used dryer sheets and placed them over the top of the vinyl and then cut it off when I finished stitching. Then I just pulled any remaining fibers from under the stitches. Two of the three types of the marine vinyl I used didn't present any problem. Also, you can't really pin it prior to stitching...any holes made by the pins will remain - same thing if you stitch it and then have to pick it out. I actually used scotch tape to hold the pieces in place while I stitched. It worked pretty well. Probably the best recommendation I can make is to stitch slowly as you hold it in place with your fingers.

Red Riding Hood

Heather used a Butterick pattern for the cape, but she says it was so simple she wonders why she didn't just make it up herself. (It looks very similar to a hooded towel with a little lace and ribbon embellishment.) She really made these capes for her neice, but did so in a wishful-thinking state of mind (she has two boys!). She successfully coerced her darling son to pose for the pictures. Here is her tip for this project:

I used a lace mending tape for the bottom of the corduroy cape because the bottom is rounded and the corduroy was too bulky to fold up and hem.

We've found a couple of great sites for do-it-yourself costume ideas. Check out this Popeye family we found on And this "road trip" costume from FamilyFun, complete with instructions. Both sites have lots of creative and fun ideas for costumes you can make yourself!

Better get sewing--only 17 days until Halloween!

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4 Responses to “halloween costumes you can make at home”

~Kimberly said...

Wow your ghost costume request wasn't specific or anything!! That is funny how he was so particular on the details!

Good luck with that! I'm attempting to make my kids' costumes this year (gulp!)

Lainey-Paney said...

What great ideas.
I live in Dallas (don't know where you live...) & we actually have an I-75 here. That costume is a blast!
Now...if I could only get my kid to wear it & not try to pick off all of the cars!

...I seriously may try that little costume some time!

Pennies In My Pocket said...

OMGOODNESS! How cute! Great ideas...thanks for the links, too! The road one is killing funny!

Thanks for coming by on Friday when I was featured on SITS! I just got back in town and having a blast visiting everyone who stopped in! LOVE your blog!


Anonymous said...

These Halloween costumes are super cute.! Well, its really a great experience to make Halloween costumes at home.

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