Yesterday we exploded the Halloween boxes. I don’t know how many other families had to step over a pile of skulls to get to the breakfast things but I know I did.
Now that the boxes are breached I can get to the art of decorating, but, the real meat of Halloween is the costumes.
Niamh has been pushing to be Tiana from the frog prince and I just didn’t want to get into a. the culture and skin issues because that is just too hot a thing right now
b. that dress is no easy costume, it is a giant awesome dress but not a ton of work
c. the movie is about 10 years old
d. I kinda like them to have a theme if possible and that can’t work with Tiana unless I wanted to make 3 giant crazy princess dresses (and I don’t)
In reflecting on what is fun for us this year Pokemon Go has been the new ‘it’ thing. It’s a fun little game you don’t have to spend much time on but it does give a good reason for a walk. I already played ingress so I know the local spots but I am constantly amused by the little beasties. I can imagine the design team for this just being given a ton of candy and no sleep and told to ‘be creative’. So, I told Niamh she could be Tiana but I was going to be a Pikachu. Fiona, who is still in my mind control for some things, wanted to be a Polliwog and Zoe instantly and passionately wanted to be a Dedenne (we don’t even have one of those? No idea how she knows about it.) That sold it, Niamh now wanted to be a poki too and she chose a Flarion.
Now to the fun part – costume design and creation. Given that none of these are human that does make decision 1 an important first step;
- make a costume that looks as much like the animal as possible including mask and extra legs like the Lion King or
- take the important elements of the character and make an outfit of it.
I like option 2 because I usually end up with elements we can keep using in the year. The dress from rainbow dash has actually stayed in our winter wardrobe for 2 more kids.
Here are my sketches for the costumes. I’m thinking tunic style dresses with leggings and each head piece will be a bit different. They all also have tails… I’ll be working on ways for making that happen without putting a hole in the dress. For the two with more poof to their charactes I’ll be adding toule skirts, they are so easy to make and are good additions to the dress up bin after. I ordered leggings and I hope the colors are right because dyeing fabric is not really my favorite thing to do. We got lucky and found all the right colors and fabrics for the costumes already and once our weekend house guests depart this weekend out comes the sewing machine.
Speaking of house guests…. I have a guest room to reclaim so that is next on the agenda!
I believe we have final decisions!
I’m excited to get started
Such a fun holiday! This year we were a tad more low key than last year with the outings, but, we still went to quite a few. Here is a selection of my pictures from my iPhone because my real camera declined to work (but is now healed so good pictures to come). I consider Halloween a 2 week event;
If I was faster I would have gotten her with her feet in my shoes but she is still cute out of them
We went to a spooky concert at the highschool where they did 4 pieces and then they let the kids try out the instruments.
Another cute outfit and she was helping me make graham cracker crumbs for a halloween pie
Grumpy Twlight Sparkle – I can’t wait to get good pictures of these costumes
and finally a dashing young dad who really loves his daughters – enough to dress up like a pony (Shining Armor)
Today was one of those great days where I got a TON done and the kids were relatively easy and all is well at the end of the day*. Today I dropped the kids off**; 1 to school bus, 1 to preschool day and I got to the grocery store, 2 banks, the post office and then I went for a run. I didn’t time this run since it was with the stroller and my plan was to run to the park so Fiona could play but instead she took an early nap. While she slept I worked on getting the garage ready for cars and the major thing in the way of that is a dresser that needs painting. I took the plunge and put Fiona in daycare for 2 hours so I could paint the dresser (tots and neat painting don’t mix). I have a thing later in the month that I need daycare for so Lars has been pushing me to give her a trial run but it was still hard to drop her off. It was odd having the house so quiet but it was nice to know I could focus on something for more then 10 minutes.
Unfortunately the productive Monday is following a weekend of doing things that made a mess so I’m not exactly ahead.
I spent my ‘free’ time over the weekend constructing pony costumes. I’m making a fairly elaborate Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash for Zoe and Niamh respectively. I’m making some version of pony for Fiona but not a well known one because I have no idea what she will keep on. I’m also planning a modified pony costume for Lars and I too.
The weather kept us inside and the one 2 hour outing Lars took the girls on I used to construct one single set of pony wings. I also finished one unicorn horn and 2 ‘body’ portions. I went to the thrift store and got womens shirts of the right color and cut them down to make dresses. Niamh’s looks great, Zoe’s is a bit less awesome because she pitched a fit about me using pins so I had to cut carefully while she was wearing it. I actually feel bad about my plan to ‘pony’ Niamh’s dress because it came out really well but if I can do it once I can do it again and she will look just as cute.
I like recycling a shirt nobody wanted and for $4 I have a cute costume body. The fabric would cost more then that (it is really nice soft wool blend)
The other messy thing this weekend was a ton of tomato sauce. I turned this
with just my ninja, a pot, and a lot of time waiting (all the better for making costumes during) and a friend cheering me on. That 25lb bag of roma tomatoes was only $10! I’m skipping growing my own and saving what I spent on plants to spend at the farmers market.
I’m super glad that I am getting these projects underway/done but action in one area leads to things sliding in the other. The kitchen is suffering from costume mania and canning time so I think that is part of my work for today (now its Tuesday). I also have to tackle the massive pile of clean laundry dominating my bed before I can go to sleep tonight. Please don’t visit today, it is a wreck! They do say that creativity comes from chaos and today in the random extra time between getting ready and heading out to the bus all three of my girls were sitting at my disaster of a kitchen table coloring and creating happy as can be. Even Fiona colored on the paper most of the time. No picture of that, I wouldn’t even put it up for shame of the piles of random stuff on the table, but it is a picture in my head forever.
*this was partially written last night pre bedtime and bedtime last night was VERY BAD. Both bigger girls creating drama and tears over nothing things and carrying on for over an hour. Tonight bed at 7 with no movie! Mean mommy declares it!
** This didn’t fit but I have to laugh at the number of times I drove to the daycare yesterday. I went at 8:40 with all three girls and I should have dropped #1 and #2 there but #1 forgot her backpack so we raced home and back and made it in time. I brought #3 at 3pm, I went back at 4pm to pick up #1 from the bus, and back again at 5pm to pick up #2 and #3. I made 5 trips to the same place in one day – do I get a prize?
This post is my how-to for the Firestar costume I made for may daughter for Halloween. I know that was a month ago but I had a request for directions so here they are.
My daughter fell in love (in a 4 year old girl way) with Firestar – a very very very lesser known Marval super hero. She is on “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends” but basically she wanted to be a superhero and this was the only female one she knew. Anyway, as costumes go it was pretty easy and I think can be adapted to most of the superhero women out there.
Here is the total shopping list;
craft foam in red and orange – how much depends on the size of your costume.
red duct tape
First, the body suit. Firestar is ALL YELLOW and you may know, they don’t sell bright yellow leotards so I had to dye my own. I’m not an expert in the matter of dyeing, I basically followed the directions on the RIT dye bottle and I used a bucket because I’m not going near my washing machine with anything that could turn all my stuff yellow. My only two pieces of advice here is 1. get matching tights and leotards – if you get pink get pink, if you get white get both white then they should end up the same color when you dye them. 2. Get cotton, it takes the dye better.
The nice thing is that after Halloween, a pair of nice yellow tights are a decent add to a wardrobe where the little girl wears dresses 90% of the time.
Follow the directions on the box, I won’t risk my washing machine but I have a nice bucket for the messy jobs.
Next major component of the costume are the flame boots and gloves. I used red gloves from the store, boots we already had that she could slip her feet into and out of easily and then craft foam for the flames.
Measure the wrist and the length from wrist to mid arm. Draw the wrist section with a slight curve and then draw lines radiating out apx 30 degrees with a length equal to the wrist to mid arm measure and then connect the two points with an arch. This will make a cone like glove. If you want more flare or less adjust the angle of the line. Make a paper patter fist so you can adjust length and curve easily then trace two onto the foam. ** Don’t make these too long, the orange level of flame will increase the total length by an inch and you don’t want to impeed elbow movement.
I forgot to take a picture of the flame for the gloves but it is done the same way as I show in the boot step below.
I tried to use velcro to close the glove but it didn’t work out well so I used red duct tape to make a wrist band just large enough for her to slip her hand through.
This is more tricky and I can’t say I’m 100% pleased with how it turned out but it did last the Halloween season. The boot upper and toe are in two pieces on purpose so the foot can move easily.
Step one – the upper – wrap a rectangle of foam around the top of the boot and cut to measure. Make the height just taller then the boot (flame will make it taller). The foam should part over the foot/toe section of the boot and that is fine.
Step two – Hold the foam upper in place around the boot and slip a piece of paper over the foot/toe and slightly under the foam. Trace the opening over the foot and around the bottom of the toe. cut out that pattern slightly large and check for fit. Use pattern to make two toe covers.
Step three – Cut out the toes and using a big needle and elastic thread sew a running stitch (just up and down, nothing fancy) all along the top and then a long piece under the sole of the shoe. You can’t just tie the elastic in two spots in the foam because it will rip out quickly – foam is versatile but not strong. Most of the thread is covered but for the bits that did show I used a red sharpie to color them in.
Once you have the basic covers fitting the way you like add velcro to hold the uppers closed. The other part of the velcro is under a flame that will cover the gap.
Now it is time to add flame!
On each red piece I free handed a flame design alternating between high and low, single and double flames along the respective top edges. The more ‘random’ the better and for lack of a better word I just cut ‘wiggly’ fire and it turned out pretty well.
For the orange level I used a strip of foam large enough to cover the lowest point of any of the red flames and high enough to show about a half inch above the red. Be careful not to get too tall but otherwise just cut the proportions so they look right. Copy the length and curve and if you want to speed things up cut the two pieces together – that not only speeds up the process it also makes them match.
I used spray glue on the red and then stuck it onto the orange – the other way around leaves sticky spots on the orange that will attract dirt and cat hair etc on the showing side.
Using more foam fold a rectangle in half (so both halfs match). Cut what I think of as an angular butterfly and eye holes that are slightly rounded triangles I am sorry, I never took a picture of just the mask! It is secured with more elastic thread.
My kids for some reason like wigs. Niamh has had a wig in her costume for 3 out of 4 years. This is an adult red devil wig I found at WalMart with the horns cut off but I’m sure any red wig you find will work.
Put it all together and you have Firestar! In doing all my research there are many many versions of firestar so minor variations would be basically un noticeable by all but the most pure of purists. Given that only about 5 kids recognized Firestar I’m not stressing – those that did recognize it thought it was great and everyone else thought it was just a cool super hero costume.
If you have any questions leave a comment.