Do you remember your homemade Halloween costumes that you wore when you were a child? Who helped you make your Halloween costume? Did you put it together yourself, did your parents help you, or did your grandparents come to the rescue with a special homemade Halloween costume?
How did you feel about your homemade Halloween costume? Did you think it was the best costume ever? Or did it turn out to be an embarrassing moment for you and you didn’t know how to get out of it? I remember my homemade Halloween costumes and some I made for my children…
Gypsy Lady – Fortune Teller
My grandmother made my sister and I both the same Halloween costumes. It was very simple but I loved it and was excited when I finally fit into my sisters a few years later so I could be the Gypsy Lady all over again. I loved telling everyone’s fortune!
My homemade Gypsy Lady Halloween costume consisted of an orange skirt with 2 rows of green rick rack sewn around the bottom and a sequined ribbon sewn in between the two, a few inches from the edge. My Nana glued playing cards here and there on the rest of the skirt with the numbers and pictures showing. She also made a green vest to match with the matching sequined ribbon and orange rick rack which I wore over a peasant look top. To complete my homemade Halloween costume, I wore a gypsy style bandana on my head and, of course, beads and bangle bracelets.
When I was about 10 years old, my mother made me a pumpkin Halloween costume. She cut sections out of orange material. The sections each became wider in the middle and then tapered narrower at the ends. She sewed a small hem at the top and bottom after sewing the sections together and pulled a elastic through each. After sewing the sections together, she sewed the face on. It was very easy…except she didn’t leave openings for my arms! (She told me, “Pumpkins don’t have arms.” So I believed her reasoning…except later I learned the real reason was that she had forgotten.) With the pumpkin I wore a black turtle neck and black tights. To make the pumpkin fill out, I was stuffed with newspaper…which was a good idea…except it RAINED!!! and my Aunt had to go with me to carry my Trick or Treat Bag…Aunt Ruth was a very loving Aunt, but I thought I was old enough to go around our street by myself. I was a very wet pumpkin with an attitude when I returned home.
Of course, I the mother, thought this was the best, most original costume in the grammar school Halloween parade…but my second born daughter thought otherwise. I took white toile netting and sewed rows together simulating the shape of a Christmas tree. Kari wore a white turtle neck and white tights underneath. On the “branches” were gold garland and balls, except back then the balls were glass so needlessly to say…by the time she got home…there were very few Christmas decorations on her tree. It was a bit itchy, too! If were to make it again, I would make a white felt jumper for underneath and use non-breakable balls. Better yet, the layers of the tree branches could be cut from white felt and sewn to a white felt jumper underneath it. Small presents could be dangling from the bottom row. A headband with a star could go on the child’s head for the final decoration.
Nana and Poppy have put together homemade Halloween costumes for ourselves, too. When our kids were in grammar school, Poppy would dress himself up in a homemade Halloween costume and visit the school during their Halloween celebration in the afternoon. He was a policeman at the time so it was okay for him to walk through the school in costume…added safety for all.
One year, he put on an old suit jacket…backwards…and wore black pants and heavy black boots. For his face, he used masking tape and taped large bolts on his neck and head. He then used some Halloween makeup on his face and neck to camouflage the tape and add a deathly look to him.
Big Ghoulish Dummy
About 6 years ago, Poppy put on my Granny’s mask, a bandana over his head, and a big work jacket, jeans, and big work boots. He sat lifeless on the front porch. He really looked like a big dummy! When the older kids came up he would suddenly jump up and make a scarey noise. They loved it. When the little ones came up, he would move just a little bit…just enough for them to not be so sure if the dummy moved or not. They were very curious. They loved it, too. Years later they would walk by the house and tell him how much fun they had coming to our house on Halloween. (Well, Kaitlin didn’t love it…ahh Poppy, not nice!)
One more…he put together pieces from the kids’ old clown costumes, wore a long black wig we had, and painted a mustache and beard on his face…he reminded me of a not so appropriate satellite radio talk show host who is tall and has long dark hair. Now that was scary!
And another comes to mind…our two younger children were clowns so my husband put on one of my maternity dresses…yes I got that big…tall sports socks, sneakers, a scarf on his head, dangly earrings, and makeup. He was so NOT gorgeous!
Homemade Halloween costumes make great memories! It gets even better when it becomes a tradition for grandchildren and grandparents, children and parents, or friends to make together. Start with an activity that will get everyone in the Halloween mood. Coloring free Halloween pictures gives everyone a chance to chat about what homemade Halloween costumes they would like to make together. When you are done coloring, sit down over some special Halloween cookies and tall glasses of milk, sketch your costumes, look around the house to see what you can put together, and take it from there for original homemade Halloween costumes!
Granny before Nana
Oh, what was Nana? When I was pregnant with our third child…I put on a flannel Granny nightgown, my hair in curlers, and big fluffy slipper boots….I was the first one ready for bed when we got home! Other years I wore the Granny mask, scarf, a long black skirt, and a shawl. I was a Granny before I was a Nana!!