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3 Easy 'Tricks' to Plan and Make a Fab Costume in Time for Halloween

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I LOVE Halloween!

I adore it!

It's not so much for the bats and the spiders - I do think those are pretty cool - my love of Halloween is really all about the COSTUMES! I almost went into costume design in university and eventhough I chose biology (why I find those bats and spiders so interesting) I still love making costumes.

Handmade costumes really look so much better than those icky nylon ones you buy off the rack at Target. You know the ones that are basically a onsie and ties at the neck. Woody's cowboy vest and boots printed right on. If you'd like to make your own costume, whether you are an expert seamstress or this is your first time, There is still lots of time!  You simply need to plan it out. Check your planner, see how much time you have to dedicate to your costumes. Then, calculate how much time you'll need to make the costume(s)... then double that!! It always takes longer than you think, believe me, I am absolutely talking from experience here ;)  Next, take a good honest look at your October schedule and see if it's do-able.  


If it looks like you may be cutting it close, I have a few tips to help you carve (pun intended) off some time:

Buy the basics - You can find simple pieces of clothing to use as the base of your costume. 

My 4 year old wanted to be a yellow and orange triceratops last year. I bought a yellow sweat shirt so that I could spend my time of the fun part which was the head piece. I made a hood to house the head piece and sewed it all to the sweat shirt. I sewed some front feet to the sleeves. He then wore a pair of his own orange pants with the tail attached to elastic around his waist.

Triceratops full Triceratops
Search Your Home - You don't have to make everything

My 6 year old wanted to be Han Solo, just like his big brother had been the year before. Honestly, this was the easiest costume I've ever 'made'. I found an old pair of riding boots that fit him (his brother has huge feet and had worn my favourite brown Scapa boots!). I stitched red ribbon down the length of a pair of his jeans, found a white shirt and stitched a simple vest from some leftover fabric. His Daddy's belt wrapped around his waist twice finished the outfit. The blaster pistol was a bit of a challenge. Nerf had one but it was white and orange (why tho???) so I simply painted it brown and metallic grey like Han's.

Han Full Han pose
Adapt Costume Pieces that you already have - get creative and reuse older costumes

My then 10 year old (the one who had been Han first) wanted to be Darth Maul (do you see a Star Wars trend? It's gets better so keep reading), I had a grad gown in our costume closet that usally got picked over as the kids rooted around looking for things to dress up in. So, I cut it up a bit. using strips cut off of the length for the belt and hanging bits at his waist. We used hockey tape around his wrists and boom! He looked fabulous! 

Darth Maul full Philippe-Darth-Maul-2016

I learned to sew when I was 13 and I've been making costumes every year since.  I even turned my Hot French boyfriend into Frankenstein less than a month after we met. Apparently he had fun, because he's still letting me dress him up all these years later.

My favourite costume creation of all time has to be my Queen Amadala from 1999. The new Star Wars movie had come out and there were huge 12 foot posters of the main characters hanging from the ceiling of our movie theatre, including Queen Amidala. I saw it as a challenge!! Google was brand new and so there we NO photos of her online so I made my hot French fiancĂ© take me to movies probably twice a week. I'd stand and sketch her costume from the poster while he waited in line for tickets. I really had no pattern and I made the headdress with one of those foam wreath forms on my mother's head while we gossiped.

Queen-AmidalaUnfortunately this is the only photo I have of this costume, even more tragic is that fact that if I want to take a new one, I'd have to lose a few (or 10!) pounds.

You may be a newbie at sewing, and this may seem daunting, however if you love to decorate your planner and if you want to make your own costume, then I'm sure you've got the talent to make something simple yet fabulous! So grab your planner and come up with a plan and schedule it in! If you have trouble creating plans for big projects like this (and events too) well then you are in luck! I've got a fantastic new class coming out on Monday, Plan Your Next Event at Big Picture Classes. Don't let the title 'trick' you, it's also geared towards planning a project like costume creation :D Click here to find out more or and sign up in the green tag below to get a reminder email when class opens on Monday.