17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Costumes and Cajoling

Here at Tales we love Halloween. In October, when you walk the streets of the neighborhood where we all met and established our friendships (before the great exodus)...you will see a grand enthusiasm for the holiday of Halloween. There are ginormous blow-up ghosts, pumpkins, bats...spider webs, skulls, cut-outs, grave stones and jack-o-lanterns everywhere. Halloween Decorations are more popular than Christmas...well maybe that's because I used to live in the Muslim Block of a neighborhood in Queens.

The point is, it's contagious.

Our Ward Halloween Party is pretty amazing. Everyone gets into it. There are so many fun, creative and amazing costumes every year; and the range from very little effort to a LOT OF EFFORT is totally acceptable and encouraging.

We put out so much amazing Halloween Karma, that we even had THE Napolean Dynamite, yes Jon Heder, in the flesh: Not his twin, not somebody dressed up to look like him, not someone's cousin from Idaho, the real, authentic ND/Jon Heder attend our party in 2005. He was happy nanny's guest at our party, and of course we rewarded him greatly for just being there, with our presence of course.

I know some of you in the blogosphere poo poo Halloween, and that's ok...but here are some Costume Ideas to make your Halloween really great:

Face it, it's fun to dress up. Costumes can be as intricate or as simple as you want...just get one together. I think it is particularly fun when you dress up with your family or friends as a theme. It was quite a hit when four Dads in our ward each dressed up as one of The Wiggles. Carrie used her crafty skeelz to dye four shirts and iron on a wiggles patch, add to it a pair of black pants and you have a wiggle. AWESOME.

Costume Categories:

The Wig:
Pick a wig. Any wig. Put it on. Leave it there. It might inspire you to put something else on, and something else until you have created your own original masterpiece.

One year I saw a neon red wig and it was the same that Jennifer Garner seemed to be sporting in a LOT Of Alias ads. I threw it on, and wore all black, and voila!

I found a site with a LOT of inexpensive wigs...click here.

The sky is the limit when it comes to makeup. You can learn to do all sorts of special effects: gashes, bruises, cuts, scrapes with a few easy makeup wheels and instructions...
I LOVE these ideas from Martha Stewart....grass? come ON!

For this type of costume you need to pull from your own closet, or maybe buy a piece or two from the Salvation Army, or as some of our readers call it, The D. I., and keep it cheap. Then you must make a trip to your local craft store for a few add-ons to make your costume complete. Once I did this as an old beauty queen. I bought an old Bridesmaid dress from the S.A. and made a sash from some felt and craft glue, topped my head with a blond wig I already owned and borrowed my daughters dress up tiara. I think I also spray painted some old shoes silver, but that is definitely going the extra mile. Here are a few more examples of this approach that I just love:

This family of three always has great ideas. I particularly love this one of the 3 Primary Colors. Look how simple it is to wear a solid color and add a Crayola sign.

Another year this family was the 3 Blind Mice: all it takes is some ears and sunglasses people...a little eye liner for whiskers and a prop cane for the little blind mouse and you are all set:

One of my fave crafty costumes of all time: PB & J: Check it out!

And here is Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. Grab a safari shirt from the DI/SA or ebay or wherever, and just add the name....STEVE.

This photo is a good segue to our next category:

Sewn/Homemade Costumes:
Pictured above is the little Crocodile Bunting that goes with Mr. Irwin. Obviously, you should only sew your costume from scratch if it brings you great joy! Here we have Madeline and Miss Clavel, all made from scratch:

And below, the three princesses all hand-sewn...Grumpy (non)Dwarf was bought off of ebay:

There are also some easy-sew options like this flower costume idea, or these cape ideas.

Store Bought:
Which brings me to the most popular category of STORE BOUGHT. I know it gets expensive to buy costumes for the kids every year, let alone the whole family and the dog. Here are a few ideas to make your bought costumes easier on the budget:
Ebay, Craigs List etc.
Buy off season...they will ALL go on sale on Nov. 1st, so buy for the next year then.
Costume Swap. Perhaps you could organize one like this? Or, you could eye someone's costume from this year and make dibs on it for next year?
Rent something FABulous (you don't have room in your apt. to store anyway)
Salvation Army/D.I.
Look for deals. I researched my DH's costume QUITE a bit, at a LOT of different websites, and I feel that my comparison shopping ACTUALLY got me a good deal.

Above you will see the Mrs. Incredible Costume. I was extremely dissatisfied with the Disney offering of the Mrs. Incredible Costume (they did not pay attention to detail, such as the height of Mrs. Incredible's boots etc.), so I decided to compile my own. Red unitard, felt/craft-made insignia, boots off ebay, black makeup for my mask on the face etc.

Here you will see our very special guest pictured with a gal who just compiled some medical wardrobe from around her house:

Which brings us to our final category:

Scrubs are good
Our red crayon up top was also in the family way. The nun costume would have been good for pregnancy, unless of course you felt that was disrespecting the office of the nun....is the nun an office?

There is the ever-popular pumpkin as a maternity costume...and you could go plenty of places with the sphere: a globe, beach ball, watermelon, basketball, the list goes on...just a white tee and some felt/markers/fabric pens....and the sky is the limit boy howdy!

There are also some quite clever ideas here. Thanks for the link Carrie.

If anyone would like to submit photos for a followup post, just email us at our email...which is somewhere on here....maybe on the sidebar? And if you would like to take a guess at what my Posse is going to be this year, click here.

Happy Costuming!


  • OK, I already bought Abby a bee costume, and I'm TOTALLY going to do the behive hair from the link! That's so cool and easy. Thanks!
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 10/17/2007 08:25:00 PM  

  • tracy m. YES! LOVE IT. Can't wait to see pix.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/18/2007 04:30:00 AM  

  • I love all your suggestions and you are totally right, getting into the holiday is totally contagious (and really fun).

    I miss Halloween in Queens. I fear that dh and I will be the only adults dressed up at our ward party this year. But we'll wear it with pride - especially the Mrs. Incredible catsuit costume with an almost 5 month pregnant belly. Nice.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/18/2007 08:15:00 AM  

  • Such cute and clever ideas! My mom always sews my kids' costumes and they have so much fun imagining anything they want and then requesting it every September. The best part is when the package of finished costumes comes in the mail from Grandma in Chicago! The sky is the limit if you have a seamstress available.

    I think it's awesome that the moms and dads are dressing up too. I'm sure the kids love that their parents are getting into the Halloween spirit along with them. You all had a pretty cool family ward. The pics are so cute. Thanks for sharing, Kage!
    posted by Blogger LJ at 10/18/2007 08:30:00 AM  

  • Gag. Bah humbug.
    posted by Anonymous the wiz at 10/18/2007 09:44:00 AM  

  • I was just telling a friend about the Wiggles costumes you guys pulled off. Fabulous post with so many good ideas! Happy Halloweeeeeeeen!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 10/18/2007 01:29:00 PM  

  • I have to say my favorite part is that you guys got to meet Jon Heder! I am such a nerdy fan!

    But seriously, I think I get into Halloween a little more each year. Some years I am more into the adult dress up part than others. (My favorite was the year I went as Carmen Miranda)

    But I always have fun with the kids costumes, as I am one who gets into sewing.

    I love that you go all out every year! That's really fun.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 10/18/2007 03:03:00 PM  

  • I have to say my favorite part is that you guys got to meet Jon Heder! I am such a nerdy fan!

    But seriously, I think I get into Halloween a little more each year. Some years I am more into the adult dress up part than others. (My favorite was the year I went as Carmen Miranda)

    But I always have fun with the kids costumes, as I am one who gets into sewing.

    I love that you go all out every year! That's really fun.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 10/18/2007 03:03:00 PM  

  • I'm LOVING Carrie in the Mrs. Incredible catsuit while preggers. That's awesome!

    Now, if only we all could give birth as easily as Elastagirl must have... can you imagine? Blooooop! Look at that, a baby!
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 10/18/2007 04:12:00 PM  

  • My favorite part of "Wiggles" Halloween year, was watching all the little kids at the party treat the 4 dads like they were freakin' rockstars. So hilarious.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/18/2007 06:01:00 PM  

  • Oh, Kage-If I had the legs for Mrs. Incredible like you, I just might borrow the costume. I LOOVVEE Halloween too! My Riverton ward parties are just trunk or treats on a Saturday afternoon. Where's the adult fun in that? I miss the Queens parties! I don't even remember what I wore, just all you peeps and your clever ideas.

    I'm not suggesting anyone wear these to a Ward Halloween party, but I was just in Vegas and Fredericks of Hollywood has some inexpensive costumes for an after party at home with dh!
    posted by Blogger Krista at 10/18/2007 07:24:00 PM  

  • krista, bring it on...you just got my dh reading this blog again!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/18/2007 07:35:00 PM  

  • Thanks for all the good ideas. I need these! I am bad about dressing up myself, even though we've gotten some pretty sweet Halloween Party invites this year. Usually I'm just too cheap (and probably not creative enough) to figure out a costume . I feel like it's just one day and why spend $$$ on that when I haven't even gone on a date with my hubby in who knows how long. BUT I do look back to when my mom & dad used to dress up for Halloween and that was AWESOME and really fun! I will try to get creative and not spend too much $$$ perhaps.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 10/19/2007 06:36:00 PM  

  • Love the ideas. I need to start figuring out what I want to be this year! Anyhow, I'm still in college and so what I find fun is dressing up with your roommates in a common theme. Last year my roommates and I were "Gang Green". We went to D.I. and bought a bunch of gangster clothing all in green. It was freakin' awesome. It was simple and all six of us had our costumes completed in about an hour stop at the D.I. AND each outfit was under $10.00.
    posted by Anonymous Mia at 10/22/2007 07:52:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home