Creativity in Disguise:Homemade Halloween Costumes

Finding time to express myself creatively has become a challenge. I get to think creatively at work, but actually putting pen (or paint) to paper is extremely rare. I thought my 3-year-old might have me covered in crayon and finger paint on a regular basis, but despite his parents’ interests, my son isn’t particularly “arty” – he’d rather explore and deconstruct.

But every October, my little guy gives me great creative inspiration when I ambitiously tackle the creation of his Halloween costume. I always have lofty ambitions, believing I can materialize any ideas I find surfing the net. I begin with great confidence, even though I don’t know how to use a sewing machine. This “catch” catches up with me in every attempt! But despite my shortcomings, I’ve found success in my two attempts at creating a bewitching wardrobe.

In addition to serving up a creative outlet, creating a costume from scratch provides a unique and economical outcome. If you’ve got lofty ambitions like me, or even moderate ones, I’ve outlined my process for creating a costume from scratch at a low cost:

1.      Find Inspiration

Whether online or in magazines or books, inspiration for great costume ideas is everywhere. For the owl costume I made, I found a pattern online for a cute owl hat on one site and a photo of an owl suit on another site. Piece together ideas to find something you feel comfortable constructing on your own.

2.      Gather Materials

Good instructions should provide you with a materials list, or you can use your imagination. For the cowboy costume, I walked the aisles at a local craft store finding items that looked like a good fit. For his yellow shirt, I even took one of my old t-shirts and cut it to fit him. Recycling is a great way to save.

3.      Use Some Ingenuity

As I’ve shared, I have a sewing shortcoming. When constructing the owl costume, I sewed felt to a brown sweatshirt by hand, and covered up my shoddy sewing by gluing a brown feather boa around the seams. I like to choose materials that can be glued or stuck together to minimize the thread and needle work.

Each year, the costume takes a good month to complete, but the satisfaction of creating something unique and by hand makes me feel proud. The comments from admirers don’t hurt either. I am also glad to share in part of a new tradition for my son. I wonder what creative inspiration the Christmas holiday will bring! Reindeer suit, anyone?

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