Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I have always loved creating costumes. Although, in my early years, I did have a few mishaps. I constructed the first costume for my brother when I was 18 and he was 5. I had no pattern and no idea how to begin. I powered through hoping that it would be amazing. Snoopy was popular with five-year-olds at the time so I dressed him in a Snoopy head and all that went with it. He looked adorable but, while trick or treating, I realized that I didn’t attach the head to the body well enough to keep it from moving around and misplacing the eye holes. At one point, he couldn’t see at all and fell off of our neighbor’s steps into the bushes. He wasn’t hurt but my pride sure was. Back to the drawing board, I thought, as I brushed leaves off of Snoopy’s tail and checked for injuries.
The next year, I dressed him as a seven-up bottle out of foam and felt that completely covered him. To keep the bottom of the bottle round, I used a round piece of cardboard with holes for his legs. Experience would have shown me that after walking in a Halloween parade, cardboard might chafe a little … sorry, Bart. On another Halloween, my parents asked me to make them bumblebee costumes. With yellow and black striped fabric I made full costumes including head pieces that I was sure were attached well. I wanted the eyes to bulge out like a bee so I used plastic candy cups glued to the face mask. They went excitedly off to their Halloween party and actually won the contest for the best costume. Unfortunately, after being awarded their prize, the plastic eyes fogged up, impairing their sight and they had to help each other off the stage.
My kids still talk about the year that I dressed my five-year-old son as a tooth with a bow tie, my seven-year-old daughter as a tube of toothpaste and my 11-year-old daughter as a toothbrush, all out of foam covered in felt. I thought they were adorable but after Halloween my five-year-old son said, “Next year, I just want to be a Ninja Turtle from Kmart!” Out of the mouths of babes, as they say.
I have made costumes throughout the years for most of our family members and I thank them for their willingness to be a part of my experiments. I will always love making costumes and will always find another victim … I mean willing subject. Happy Halloween!
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