General Costume Tips for Halloween

If you’re searching for last minute costume ideas, you’re probably searching for something cheap and easy. Here are some tips to help you make an impressive costume!

Raid Your Closet

If you don’t have time to get to a craft store, visit your closet for inspiration. I was digging in my closet for all my Halloween gear and found my long-lost beach sarong! With a couple hair elastics and a safety pin, I paired it with an all-black outfit to create a butterfly. And I can reuse all of the pieces because I didn’t permanently attach anything.

Butterfly Costume

Check the Weather

Nothing will put more of a damper on a kid’s Halloween than having to cover up the perfect costume with a boring jacket. If it’s going to be chilly, try to use a sweatshirt as the base of the costume. Some of my brother’s and my childhood sweatsuit costumes include a bat, rhinoceros, panda, skeleton, cat, witch, and clown.

Clown Costumes

Hot Glue Is Your Friend

One of the easiest ways to make a last minute costume is to cut out some felt and hot glue it to a T-shirt. It might not win any prizes, but it at least looks like you tried to get in the spirit of Halloween. I think my Clark Kent costume turned out pretty well.

Clark Kent

Safety First

Keep in mind what activities you will be doing in your costume. If you’ll be walking from house to house in the dark, make sure you can see in you costume, and that you can see your feet. Carry a flashlight or lantern so that drivers can see you easily in the dark. If you need to ride in a car, make sure you’re able to sit in your costume, or be able to remove any pieces preventing you from safely riding in a car with your seat belt on. For the sake of your friends, make sure you can use the bathroom in your costume without help. Being able to fit through doors is also a plus.

Have fun and Be Different

When you make your own costume, you have less of a chance of showing up in the same costume as someone else. Dressing up as something trendy in pop culture might be fun, but everyone else could have the same idea. Background characters that are still recognizable can be a huge hit. I was the only person at the party dressed as Toad from Super Mario Brothers!

Toad Costume

Happy Halloween!

Easy Halloween Costume–Bunch of Grapes

This is the easiest Halloween costume I’ve ever made, and it only cost about $5 to buy the supplies. It took me less than a half hour to complete it.

 

Materials

One Purple T-shirt

One Bag of Purple Balloons

One Green Handkerchief

Handful of Safety Pins

Costume Materials

 

Start by blowing up several balloons. I didn’t blow mine up very full, because overinflated balloons are more likely to pop. Pin each balloon to the shirt by sticking a safety pin through the tail of the balloon. Fill in the space, and use as many as you like. I decided not to pin any balloons to the back because that makes it easier to sit in a car.

Put on the shirt and decide if there are enough balloons. Then tie the green handkerchief around your neck to represent the grape leaves, and you’re ready to go trick-or-treating!

Grape Costume

Tips

Be careful going down stairs and walking in the dark! The balloons make it hard to see your feet.

Make this a group costume by having each person dress as a different color of grape–green, red, and purple.

Carry a bottle of wine and tell people you’re Dionysus, the Greek god of wine!

 

Other Easy Halloween Costumes

Pumpkin

Superman

Batman

Batgirl

Seed Bead Bracelet

I made a bracelet to match a pair of chandelier earrings I made for a friend. I used purple seed beads, a ribbon charm, and butterfly charms for lupus awareness. Butterflies and the color purple are also used for domestic violence awareness, which is appropriate since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Seed Bead BraceletMaterials:

Fine Jewelry Wire

2 Jump Rings

Clasp

2 Butterfly Charms

1 Ribbon Charm

Purple Seed Beads

Bead Tip

Jewelry Pliers

Crimp Pliers

 

Step 1

Cut a length of wire double the length you will need.  It’s always better to cut the wire too long than too short. You can always trim excess when you are finished. Thread a jump ring on the wire and place it at the halfway point. Then thread a crimp over both strands of wire, and close the crimp near enough to the jump ring to form a small loop.

Place First CrimpStep 2

Thread 5 seed beads on each side of the wire. Next, thread one seed bead so that the wires criss-cross going opposite directions through the bead. This should form a small circle.

Form a Small CircleContinue this pattern. I made 7 small circles this way before continuing to the next step.

Make Several CirclesStep 3

Depending on what type of butterfly charm you are using, you may have to modify this pattern. The hole for my charms when vertically through the butterfly’s body. Instead of criss-crossing the wire like I had been doing with the seed beads, I threaded both wires the same direction through the charm. After the butterfly charm, I made one more circle with 5 seed beads and a criss-crossed seed bead. The next circle was similar, but on one side of the wire, instead of 5 seed beads I used 2 seed beads, followed by my ribbon charm, followed by two more seed beads. This was the center of my bracelet, so I continued the pattern on the other half until both sides matched.

Step 4

When you reach the end, thread both wires the same direction through a crimp. Tighten the crimp, then trim the excess. Cover the crimp with a bead tip. Place a jump ring through the end of the bead tip, and attach each end of the clasp to each end of the bracelet.

Place the Final CrimpStep 5

Wear it!

Seed Bead Jewelry Set

What’s Next?

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays…that’s your only hint!!

Chandelier Earrings

I made these earrings for a friend to wear to a Walk to End Lupus, but they can be customized with different charms and colors.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the purple and ribbons would be appropriate for that or for many other social and health issues.finished earrings

 

Materials:

Jewelry Wire

2 Fish Hook Earrings

Crimps

Crimp Pliers

Seed Beads

2 Charms

2 Jump Rings

Jewelry Pliers/Cutters

 

Step 1

Start by cutting a length of wire.  I like to cut my wire a little long, because I can always trim it down later.  I started with about 6-8 inches.  Use a wire that is thin and fine.  I used 0.46mm.  It was a little thick for my taste, but it was all my local craft store had without being ultra-fine.

Place a crimp on the wire, and then a jump ring.  Then thread the end of the wire back through the crimp so the jump ring is in the middle of the loop.

crimp and jump ringWith the crimp pushed up near the jump ring, use crimp pliers to tighten the crimp.

tighten the crimp

Step 2

Thread seed beads on the wire, making sure to include the tail of the wire in the first few beads.  If necessary, trim the tail of the wire.  Continue threading beads until you reach the desired length.

 

Step 3

Thread a crimp on the wire.  Loop the wire through the jump ring, back through the crimp, and through the last few beads.  Tighten the crimp with the crimp pliers.  Trim any excess wire, and make sure the tip of the wire is tucked into the beads.

finish the loop

Step 4

Use the jewelry pliers to open the jump ring so the space between the two wire loops is open.  Slide the charm onto the jump ring, and close the ring tightly.  Then open the end of the fish hook earring and place the jump ring on the loop.  Close the space in the earring.

chandelier earring

What’s Next?

I made a matching bracelet for these earrings! Come back soon to find out how!

Pinterest Picks–Vol. 2

I’ve been in the car a lot this summer, and since I’ve mostly been a rider rather than a driver, I’ve had a lot of time to spend on Pinterest.  Here are some of my finds!

How to Tie a Scarf

My aunt loved scarves, and I’ve started wearing them more.  They’re very trendy right now, and this is a good chart showing how to tie a scarf several different ways.

 

Mod Podge Glass Tray

This is a nice way to customize a glass tray.  Keep an eye out at yard sales and thrift stores for inexpensive trays.  I would probably use maps like in the photo.

 

Painted Vases

This is another good way to use thrift store finds.  Just paint the inside of a glass vase!

 

Mod Podge Leaf Jars

The leaves will be changing colors soon (some have started already!) and this is a cute way to bring the pretty fall colors inside.

 

Placemat Purse Organizer

This is a purse organizer made from a fabric placemat that has been folded and stitched to make pockets.  My purse is the size of a small suitcase, so I will be trying this pattern out soon!

 

What’s Next?

I made some more jewelry for lupus awareness.  I have a very easy pattern for teardrop chandelier earrings.

Beaded Earrings

I’ve been making a lot of jewelry recently for lupus awareness.  I have several friends who have lupus, but this jewelry could be made with any color of beads or charms.  I chose purple, butterflies, and ribbons because I’m making jewelry for my friends to use as prizes as they fundraise for the Walk to End Lupus Now in Indianapolis in September.

Lupus Awareness Earrings

These earrings are similar to a pair I’ve made before, only bigger.

Materials:

4 eye pins

8 seed beads

2 small beads

2 larger beads

2 charms

Round-nosed jewelry pliers

Wire cutters (I have a pair of 2-in-1 round-nosed/wire cutter pliers)

Two earring bases (I chose fishhook earrings)

 

Getting Started

Start by choosing which beads and charms you would like to use.  I’ve always heard that odd numbers are pleasing to the eye, so I chose three items for my earrings–one bead, one butterfly charm, and one ribbon charm for each earring for a total of six items.  The butterfly charm is more like a bead, which is why this earring can be made with two charms.  Do not choose two charms that only have one ring to attach it to the jewelry.

I think it’s easiest to start with the bottom of the earring.

Open the eye pinStep One

With the jewelry pliers, gently pull the eye of the pin open a small amount.  Slide the charm into the opening of the pin.  Using the pliers, gently close the pin again so the charm is firmly attached.

Step Two

SCreate an eyelide a seed bead, the middle bead, and another seed bead onto the straight part of the pin attached to the charm.  Cut off any excess, leaving enough to make an eye at the end.  Slide a new eye pin onto the pin with beads and use the round-nosed pliers to create an eye around the eye of the next pin.  The two pins should now be attached.

Finished earringStep Three

Slide a seed bead, the final bead, and another seed bead onto the straight part of the pin, and cut off any excess.  Slide the eye of the earring onto the final pin, and use the pliers to create an eye around the eye of the earring.  All of the pieces should now be firmly attached.

All you have to do now is wear your finished earrings!

 

What’s next?

I’ll be making a couple bracelets and some more earrings, all for lupus awareness!

Pinterest Picks–Vol. 1

I’ve been on the road a lot this past month, and haven’t had much time outside of the car for crafting.  Time in the car can be a great time for crafting…but it’s also a great time for napping!  I had planned to crochet, but instead I spent most of the time on Pinterest.  Here are some of my favorite crochet pins I found.

 

One of my trips this month was to wine country up in the Finger Lakes of New York.  So what better way to start this list than with a free crochet pattern for a wine tote?  This is a great way to give a bottle of wine as a gift.

I’ve been driving my mom’s old car recently, and the seat belt is itchy and scratches my neck.  I’ve adjusted it as much as I can, but I’m going to make this seat belt cover to make it more comfortable.

This scarf looks really easy.  There’s no pattern with the link, but all you need to do is crochet circles and stitch them together.  Then stitch an M on them all.  This looks like a good way to use up scraps.

Another way to use up scraps–a reusable Swiffer!  I have some leftover Pipsqueak yarn from a baby blanket that I think would catch dust well.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t start your Christmas crafts until it’s too late to finish them by December.  Now is the time to start thinking about Christmas crafts if you want to finish them before you have to start thinking about all the shopping, baking, and decorating.

Happy pinning!