By Nicole Loughan
There are a few things I know for sure my kids won’t be wearing for Halloween, one is the now defunct “naughty leopard” costume for toddlers that once graced the shelves of Wal-Mart. The other is a beautiful garment that I made. I love the idea of unique and thoughtful costumes, but I have never had the artistic skill required to make a good one, though I have tried. I gush over the skills of people with abilities beyond my own and when I find a homemade idea that I think I could actually make, I take a note of it or I cheat-it when it gets too tough. One way I fake an affinity for arts and crafts is with websites like Etsy or sites that promise easy DIY, in fact the words “for dummies” on the end of the directions is a plus for me. In the past year I have come across some very cute crafty ideas that I could either make or fake and I am ready to share for my other creatively challenged moms.
Yarn beards – My nephews were all sporting bright red yarn beards earlier this year. Which make very cute generic Viking costume or a character from “Brave” or “How to Train your Dragon.” Several different yarn beards are available on Etsy. If you are willing to give it a go yourself there are several sites dedicated to the craft of making the yarn beard. One of the simplest ones with the least amount of steps is a WordPress site named “how to make a beard.”
Bird of choice – Two of my crafty neighbors had the same idea last year to dress their sons as birds. They both used felt feathers, hot glued onto clothing. One of my crafty friends turned her son into a grey parrot by using a grey sweat suit complete with hoodie which she decorated in “feathers.” They were felt cut into large feather shapes which were 2-3 inches long. Independently my other friend used the same method, but instead of using a hoodie chose to make the birds crest by decorating a party hat with smaller felt feathers. They also made a paper-mache beak and painted it yellow, not that their son ever wore it. My very crafty neighbor shared with me that she first tried to use real feathers which were way to sparse and she knew she would never finish and also thought she would use thread at one point, but it was too cumbersome and so she chose to stick with the very effective hot glue.
Crochet for babies – Craft site are full of ideas for baby costumes such as crocheted mini mouse ears and skirts for baby girls, and owl crocheted hats with eyes and little ears. Another creative Etsy find was a crotched “Batman” cap with cape. Crocheted items that aren’t tight and don’t require a lot of maintenance are a great idea for little babies, who sometimes have accidents or refuse to wear costumes for long, hats and capes are good to throw on quickly and snap a few photos.
Cereal box – One of my favorite costumes from years past was a box of cereal. One of my friends had a creative mother who took the top half of a large furniture box and cut it to a long rectangle and made two arm holes. She made the cereal “Fruit Loops.” She spray painted the entire box red then on the front hand painted, with acrylic paint, a Toucan and hand lettered the words. She cut two holes in her strategically placed Os in the word Loops for her daughter to see. Other cereals without enough Os for good vision could cut a hole in the top of the box for the kids head and wear a cap which matches the overall box color like yellow for “Cheerios.” I am not as skilled at painting as this mom and would cheat by printing the letters and pictures of the cereal and would paste them on with a glue stick.
Happy Halloween, Bucks County!