Friday, November 13, 2015


It's nearly Thanksgiving already, but let's talk about Halloween, shall we?

Charley has been talking about what she wanted to be for Halloween since November 1st of last year. Disney princesses were talked about the most often, with Rapunzel obviously leading the pack. We (or, I. John just goes along with it and helps in the crafting.) really like to make Charley's Halloween costumes so I was dreading her choosing a Disney princess this year. We could definitely pull something together, but if you were to lay an actual dress-up princess dress next to one of our creations, she would undoubtedly choose the dress-up dress every time. So I just crossed my fingers things would change before Halloween was here.

At about a month pre-Halloween Charley was still very much leaning towards Rapunzel. I didn't want to tell her she couldn't be that but I was brainstorming ideas on how I could get her to change her own mind. She's very much like her daddy in that if she believes something was her idea she will get enthusiastic and excited about it. Now if it is a suggestion that you make to her, she's resistant. BUT! The way around that (and I have a decade's worth of experience with this thanks to her daddy!) is to plant seeds so you still get the ultimate outcome you want. Don't tell John my secrets. (Hi John!)

So, one day Charley was playing at her desk and I was perusing Pinterest. I typed in "DIY kids costumes" and marveled over some of the ideas. I then invited Charley over to look at the cute costume ideas too. And that's when she spotted Astrid from How To Train Your Dragon.

She LOVES these moves and the Netflix series too. She was sold! It was one of the first ones she saw but she kept coming back to it. Not even this octopus (which would have been my pick!) could sway her.

I was perfectly fine with her choice though. It was very much a DIY costume and it wasn't a Disney princess. (Which she dresses up as every single day of her life.) My tactics worked and she was excited too. In case you aren't familiar (which I don't think anyone at all we saw while trick-or-treating knew who she was), this is how Astrid looks in the movies.


In another interesting turn of events this year, I didn't wait until the absolute last second like in years past. Sure, there were things we still finished up on Halloween day itself, but it wasn't the whole costume that we completed at the last second. All of the sewing parts were done a couple weeks in advance, which John was very thankful about. Things always get a little stressy between us when I inevitably wait until the night before Halloween and I'm rushing him through stuff on the sewing machine. So he and I were both glad to get those parts done early.

So, with Charley being Astrid who is one of the dragon trainers in the movie, it meant Laney needed to be her dragon of course! Astrid's dragon is blue with yellow wings. Not wanting to spend a lot of time or money on a costume for Laney who isn't really trick or treating anyways, I was just going to get a blue zip-up hoodie and sew some yellow wings underneath the arms and add big eyeballs and horns to the hooded part. Done! But, about 10 days before Halloween the blog Hip2Save posted that Wal-mart had a dragon costume for only $5! I didn't like the one she shared, but after perusing around I found a blue dragon costume that even had the yellow wings for only $7. Sold. It wasn't much more than I'd spend on a jacket and supplies.

She had too much cheek to velcro the hat closed.

Back to Charley's costume. So we used a combination of a few different tutorials we found. In addition to the one up there, this one was really helpful too. Mostly everything we did came from something in one of those two tutorials. So, it definitely wasn't our own ideas, but I still think it came out great!


Most importantly, Charley loved it! I loved that it was a little out of character for her to NOT be something super girly and princessy.

We used these supplies:

  • An army green long-sleeved shirt from last year. The sleeves were too short for this year so it was a perfect free shirt to ruin. 
  • denim looking leggings
  • faux leather
  • elastic tape
  • black ink pad for "distressing" the metal spikes a bit
  • green duck fabric
  • 1 sheet of grey fun foam
  • 2 bags of Crayola model magic
  • leather roping
  • 1/8 yard faux fur
  • her regular boots
  • and at the last second we made the shield and axe from cardboard
Charley and I made the spikes from the model magic together. We let those dry overnight and the next day Charley painted all of them silver. While she painted I made the skulls and the "metal" pieces for her headband from the model magic as well. The model magic is very light and takes paint very well. We did have a couple of issues with it though. I must have made my skulls too thin because a couple of them crumbled when I tried to glue them to the skirt or shoulder armor. Luckily I'd made extra though. Also, even though they'd stayed glued onto everything for about a week leading up to Halloween and Charley had tried the stuff on a few times too with no issues, for whatever reason just before we set out to trick or treat, the little spikes started falling off! We used hot glue but they were falling off both the faux leather AND the shoulder armor so I don't think it was an issue with what they were adhered to. Not a huge deal, but something I'll consider if we use the model magic again in the future.

I just used velcro to make the faux fur loops that slipped over her regular boots. The armor on her shoulders was just strips of the grey fun foam held together at both ends by brads. John secured the armor to her shirt, but I think he used another brad through small holes he made in her shirt to get them to stay. It was either that or safety pins. I think we tried both and can't remember what ended up working better. Regardless, they stayed secured all evening, even if some of the spikes were already missing before we even got to our first house to trick or treat!


The weapons were a last minute addition. The shield was a cardboard circle painted black, and I used leftover fun foam to make a border around the edge. I cut a smaller circle to place in the middle and used an extra skull there and extra spikes around the edges. We just made a velcro loop on the back to put around her arm so her hand was freed up for carrying her pumpkin.

The axe was also cut out of cardboard and then painted silver. I used the black ink pad to distress it a bit too. For the handle, I asked John to get one of her dollar store rakes or shovels out of the garage so we could use the handle. I was just going to paint the handle brown or black. Instead, he came in from the garage with the best axe handle ever! He sawed off a piece of a tiki torch we had in the garage that we haven't used in years. It was perfect! He used zip ties to secure the axe head on top and I added the last of the extra spikes on it as well.

The underskirt was triangular pieces of the duck fabric sewed over a piece of elastic. The outerskirt was strips of the faux fur sewed to a belt, and then the belt closed with velcro. I hot glued the skulls and spikes on top.

Also! This costume also consisted of my very first french braid! I get the technique. I know how it is supposed to work. It is my fingers that don't quite get it yet. But they sort of somehow got it together that day! Charley however started whining about it hurting when I got closer to the end so it ended up being a french braid into a ponytail. But still! Not too bad right?!


Laney napped maybe only an hour the whole day of Halloween so she was not having the pictures or especially not the hat part of the costume. So I never did get a good one of both Charley and Laney together. Oh well. I try not to get too bummed when I don't get great pictures. I definitely don't want to spend too much time trying to take good pictures instead of enjoying the moment of which I'm taking pictures. You know?



In the end though, I was pretty darn proud of Charley's costume! Can't wait to see what we will do for next year! Even if Charley starts refusing our homemade costumes, I'll still have Laney to do with as I please. Perhaps she'll make a good octopus next year!



And finally, a couple weeks prior to Halloween the owner of the company for which I work sent out an email asking us to dress up for Halloween in the office on October 30th if we'd like. Also mentioned that there would be prizes for the top 3. A few days prior to the 30th I started asking around to see who was going to dress up and I wasn't sensing a whole lot of participation. I decided my chances to win something for the costume contest were pretty good and so I tried to think of something to throw together really quickly. Tuesday evening while perusing my closet for something anything to pop out at me I figured it out. I threw together a couple of black/white striped pieces, a longer black cardigan, boots and tights and became the Hamburglar. 


I purchased the red tie from Goodwill and the black mask from Michael's. I borrowed the hat from my niece and used felt and ribbon to make the rest. It cost me around $6. And as I suspected, there were only 8 participants in the costume contest, so yours truly brought home first place! 

I won dinner for John and I at a place of our choosing. So tonight we are cashing in on that offer and going to Melting Pot. I know I should have chosen McDonald's for our dinner for giving me the easy costume idea, but another time, Ronald and pals, another time. I'm super excited to have a dinner date at a place that is most known for their DESSERT. My mouth is watering at the thought of it!

Anyway, the good candy from our kid's candy loot has all been consumed and our thoughts are no longer on Halloween but focused on Thanksgiving (who am I kidding) Christmas. Bring on the holidays! My little crafty self goes into overdrive this time of year and I'm feeling pretty trigger happy with my glue gun. 

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I love it!! I really, really wish I'd thought of getting Eleanor a dragon costume when Paul went as Hiccup last year!