Halloween is a fun time to get creative. For me, the entire month of October is a busy time, with two of my three daughters (ages 2,4 and 7) celebrating birthdays. While I've always loved the idea of sewing them costumes from scratch, it’s an endeavor that I have never accomplished (or even attempted).
Instead, I find creative ways to use reuse what we have, while embellishing them with a few new accessories – using a combination of some sewn and some bought with the intention of them getting reused again too. For me, it is a good mix. And for a lot of busy moms, it’s a doable approach to making a child’s costume that still holds the potential for creativity and the opportunity to avoid commercialized costumes.
This year, my oldest daughter has chosen to be a Star Fairy, adapted from one of the Rainbow Magic fairy books published by Scholastic Books. For her costume I bought the skirt and the wings, and the rest we had at home. On her shirt I sewed a three-layered appliqued star with rickrack sewn on the shirtsleeves and waistline. Her star wand is made from a tree branch found in the yard, with a felt-made star and wrapped with pipe cleaner for something shiny. Instead of buying new sparkly fairy shoes, we compromised on covering her everyday shoes with a fun fairy design, also sewn of felt.
Felt works nicely for quick projects like this because the edges do not ravel, it’s easy to sew, inexpensive (about 35 cents a sheet) and is something we keep readily available at home. For my oldest two girls' costumes, I used felt to decorate t-shirts we either had at home or I picked up at the store. These will be reused this winter as shirts or as extra undershirt layers for warmth. The same goes for the leggings under their skirts.
My middle daughter has chosen to be a yellow jacket – not to be confused with a bumblebee. She corrected me on that one! Again, for her costume I bought the skirt along with the wings and antlers. On her top, I simply sewed strips of yellow felt onto a black t-shirt. I added the yellow rickrack to her newly bought black skirt. For the holidays I’ll probably sew a red ribbon over the top so she can reuse it as a fun Christmas skirt. Her shoes are hand-me-down tap shoes from our dress up pile, which
I just added a yellow ribbon to from my stash of scrap materials in the sewing room.
Wings and fun play skirts are something in our house that go into the dress up bins to be enjoyed again and again. So when it came to dressing up my 2-year-old, that’s where we went first. Out came last year’s ladybug wings, paired with a red play silk and ribbon tutu skirt. In a hurry - getting ready for this post - I grabbed her striped tights and decided to call her a Rainbow Lady Bug Fairy. Because, when you’re two, that is really all the fun you need. And, it’s what reusable costumes are all about!
For boys, the options are endless too: Superman capes, cowboy vests, ghosts and more. I hope my sharing this has given you some inspiration of your own.
Labels: crafts, frugal, green, guest post, parenting, sewing, thrifty, with our own hands