Archive | October 2013

How I Made Past Halloween Costumes—Part 3: Toad (from Mario Bros)

I think Halloween might be my favorite holiday! I wrote posts last year about how to create a pumpkin, Batman, Superman, and M&M costume, and I thought I’d write about some of the costumes I’ve made in the past.  I’ve already written about my panda and Batgirl costumes.  Now for another one that was part of a group costume!

mushroom hat

Try to space the spots out evenly

Toad (from Mario Bros)

This costume works best when you’re accompanied by other Mario Brothers characters.  I was going with two people dressed as Mario and Luigi, and I didn’t want to spend the evening in a formal gown as a princess.  So I looked at all the available characters and got my creative juices flowing.

The most important part of the Toad costume is the mushroom hat.  I started with a plastic colander.  I wanted a plastic bowl that was cheap and the right size, and after trying on all the bowls at Wal-Mart, I decided the colander was the best.

50_505816363012_6218_n-duo

That’s my friend, Beth. She’s dressed as a nerd.

Even though the colander looked mushroom-sized on my head, it wasn’t a snug fit at all.  So I went to the floral area and bought one of those foam rings you use to make a flower wreath.  Again, I tried them all on until I found one that would fit my head and fit inside the colander.

Then I bought some white fabric to cover my hat.  I don’t remember if the fabric was from the remnants shelf or if it was from the bargain bin, but if all you’re looking for is white, you can usually find something cheap.  I also bought red felt for the spots.

I started off by wedging the floral ring into the colander.  I think I had to shave it down a little with scissors.  Then I centered the white fabric, gathered it neatly over the contours, and stapled the heck out of it on the inside upper edge of the foam.  I pulled the fabric nice and taut so the hat wouldn’t fall apart.  Then I traced red circles using the inside of a role of tape and glued them on.  I added a purple vest I found on sale, a white shirt, and khakis.  I don’t have a group picture that I’d like to use, so here’s a picture of me by myself as Toad.

What’s next?

I might come up with a few more costume ideas, or I might get started on some of the posts I’ve already promised, such as newborn hats and cross stitch.  You’ll just have to come back and see!

How I Made Past Halloween Costumes—Part 2: Batgirl

It’s my favorite time of year—time to start getting ready for Halloween! I wrote posts last year about how to create a pumpkin, Batman, Superman, and M&M costume, and I

Poison Ivy, Two Face, Robin, Batman, Catwoman, Batgirl

Poison Ivy, Two Face, Robin, Batman, Catwoman, Batgirl

thought I’d write about some of the costumes I’ve made in the past.

Batgirl

I needed a Batgirl costume as part of a group of friends who were all going as Batman characters, but I didn’t have a ton of money to spend on it, or a lot of time.  I did, however, have a lot imagination!  First, I looked through my closet to see what I could use.  I found a black long-sleeved dance leotard, black tights, and some short black workout shorts.  Batgirl also needs a mask with ears, a cape, a belt, boots, and gloves.

You’d be amazed what you can make with felt! I made a belt and arm bands with yellow felt.  I had a friend help me make some felt boot covers.

boot cover

Leave the bottoms open so you don’t slip on the felt

All you have to do for those is cut out a shape that roughly boot-shaped and big enough for your foot.  Sew up the back and the front, but leave the top and bottom open.  I attached some elastic to the bottom to hold them in place, kind of like stirrup pants.

I used yellow kitchen gloves, and had a friend help me sew a bat emblem on my chest.  Because my chest stretched the leotard a bit, I wanted to be in the leotard when I attached the emblem.  Otherwise, the fabric would pull strangely and not look right.

Finally, I made a black mask much like the one for my Batman costume, and borrowed a friend’s black swimming cap (optional).  I made the same kind of cape as the Batman costume, only I made this one blue instead of black.

I have totally believable crime-fighting skills!

I have totally believable crime-fighting skills!

What’s next?

I’ve already published the first part of this 3-part post, and next I’ll write about how I made another member of a group costume–Toad from Mario Brothers.

How I Made Past Halloween Costumes—Part 1: Panda

It’s my favorite time of year—time to start getting ready for Halloween! I wrote posts last year about how to create a pumpkin, Batman, Superman, and M&M costume, and I thought I’d write about some of the costumes I’ve made in the past.  I broke this post into three parts to make it a little easier to digest.

Panda

One of the things my mom taught me about making a costume (particularly for trick-or-treating) is to make it warm.  My mom got really creative with sweatshirts.  When I wanted to be a panda in 5th grade or so, I looked at pictures with her, and together we figured out how to make the best panda costume ever.

We started with a white hooded sweatshirt, and cut off the arms to reduce bulk.  Then my mom sewed some black ears on the hood.  Pandas have black upper bodies and arms, so we took a black sweatshirt without a hood and cut off the bottom half.

I put the black half sweatshirt over the white armless hoodie, added black sweatpants and some panda makeup, and went out to get my candy!

I would love to show you a picture of the finished costume, but this costume was so long ago that I’m not sure where any pictures of it are. So here’s a picture of a real panda until I find a picture of me!

What’s next?

One of the things about taking such a long break from my blog is that I have at least a half dozen ideas for blog posts floating in my head right now.  So I don’t really know what’s next, except that I will continue to share costume ideas throughout October.  Check back soon for Batgirl and Toad!