Halloween is actually one of my favourite holidays (is it actually a holiday? What the heck do I call it?). It is a time to get dressed up, be playful + creative and relive the childhood years! And of course, eating all kinds of delicious sweets is right up there. But I have realized that there is yet another reason for why it is my favourite.
Before I became a mama, I was a DIYer. I loved it. It saved me money to do things myself and it acted as a creative outlet for me. I love envisioning things and then seeing it come to life. However, post mamahood, the time to do all of that drastically decreased and I had to be extremely picky on what I could spend the little free time I had.
I started making costumes. And not just for the girls, but for the entire family. Matching costumes are so much fun to put together! I also love the challenge of looking for something that is wallet friendly – there is just no way I am spending hundreds of dollars on something we will only wear for a day or two. Some years, I purchased a costume or two but I never spend more than $60. The DIY portion took me between a few hours to a couple days to put together – not long at all!
Here is what we did in the past (click to enlarge photo):
2009: Farmer + The Insects
This year, I dressed up in a farmer (slash cowgirl) outfit and J and K dressed up as insects! J was a bumblebee and K was a ladybug. I wish I could find the pic of us! Will post it when I do.
K’s ladybug: I bought the ladybug costume ( forgot where – it’s been too long!). It was essentially a red tutu with black pompoms glued on it and a headband antennae.
J’s bumblebee costume: I bought a yellow tee from Value Village and hot glued black ribbon across the front and back for the bumble bee! I also used pipecleaners and attached them onto a black headband.
2010: 80’s FITNESS FAMILY
K’s costume: I used a bodysuit from her dance class and purchased some bulk ribbon to go on as a belt.
For J and I: I just used our clothes from our closet and ‘vintaged’ them up a bit. We already had headbands for all of us.
This was a fun one. I had seen sushi costumes for sale but they were expensive! I decided to make my own out of some $1 store felt and a couple of old onesies (ie. stained) we had laying around.
For J and I: I picked up a couple of black tees from Value Village. For ‘Kikkoman’, I printed the font off the computer, cut them out and then traced them onto yellow felt and hot glue gunned it altogether.
K’s Ebi: old onesie. I loosely drew out the ebi pattern on paper then cut it out and then traced it onto the felt. It took a few tries to perfect the ebi shape and grass but I was happy with how it turned out. I didn’t forget the wasabi and ginger! I used pink and green felt and glued it onto a black elastic headband that would be hidden in their dark hair. Maybe in Liv’s case, I should’ve gone with a skin colored band. #baldbaby
Liv: You will see below that Liv had a last minute costume change. I thought two ebi was too much so last minute, I made Liv a different nigiri costume. I found textured maroon felt at Michaels ($3) and made it into a pillow. Wrapped a strip of black felt around the pillow and onesie and, voila, tuna nigiri!
2012: LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD + FRIENDS
This was one of my favourite family costumes of all times. Liv fell asleep on the way to the mall for trick-or-treating so she looks a bit dazed in a couple photos, hence the deer-in-headlights expression. I pretty much dressed her while she was asleep. We can’t go trick-or-treating without our Grandma! (Poor girl.)
My lumberjack: Shirt is from my brother’s closet, cargos were mine, beard was made from brown felt from the $1 store. I tied some string on it so it would be secured around my head when I wore it.
J’s wolf: Top and bottom in black (his own closet) and I made the wolf ears using a headband, glue gun and grey felt. Black nose was done with eyeliner. (J thought he looked like a pussy cat, which was not what he was going for – LOL!!)
K’s Red Riding Hood: Value Village, about $20.
Liv’s grandma: We were gifted the gingham dress and the cardigan belonged to Kate. We purchased the wig from Value Village for around $12. The giant pearl necklace were from our dress up collection.
2013: WIZARD OF OZ
My Tin Man: I purchased two oven liners from the $ store and glued a red heart made of construction paper on it. I used a glue gun to attach ribbon on the top underside of the liners so they would sit on my shoulders. I made a hat from construction paper and covered it with foil and added some string to keep it from falling off.
J’s Scarecrow: Plaid shirt was from his closet. I used an old hula skirt from the girls’ dress up box and stuffed it around his neck. I also found some dried grass from some of our Fall decor and slid some in the sleeves.
K’s Dorothy: Value Village, about $20.
Liv’s Lion: Old Navy, $8 on sale.
This was the year of FROZEN. There were SO many Anna and Elsas that year, it was so difficult to keep track of Kate and Liv!
Kate and Liv: I believe one dress was a gift and J purchased the other one from Target, about $30. I bought wigs for both as well, about $15 each.
My Olaf: I made a no-sew tutu from some leftover tulle I bought from Michaels. I cut three circles for buttons from black felt I already had and glue gunned it on. I made a cone nose from paper and covered it in orange felt. I attached an elastic that I had from my mom’s sewing box. The hair was simply black pipe cleaners (from the $ store), which I attached to a black headband.
J’s Sven: Brown sweater and bottoms were from his closet. I found brown reindeer antlers from the $ store and attached a plastic play food carrot onto a rope.
2015: HELLO KITTY + FAMILY
Another one in my top favourites: The Hello Kitty Family!
K’s Hello Kitty: Dress was found at Value Village, about $8. I cut out flower and buttons from felt and glue gunned them on. Ears were from Value Village, about $7. Tights and shoes from her closet. Gloves from $1 store.
Liv’s Mimi: Dress was found at Value Village, about $6. I cut out flower and buttons from felt and glue gunned them on. Ears were from Value Village, about $7. Tights and shoes from her closet. Gloves from $1 store.
My HK Mom: Dress was from a previous costume (I am so glad I held onto that!). I made the ears from stiffened white felt and sewed the hat and bow onto a headband. Gloves were from $ store.
J’s HK Dad: Top and bottom were from his closet. I made the ears from stiffened white felt and sewed it onto a headband. For the bow, I drew a bow shape on paper and traced it out of red felt. I attached elastic from my mom’s sewing box using glue gun. You can also sew it but glue gun is much faster. I made the bow from Gloves were from $ store.
K and L’s: Cookie and cupcake costumes were purchased from Winners, about $30 each.
J’s donut: I cut out a donut shape from cardboard and wrapped dough colored fabric ($7) around it. I then stuffed it with stuffing (old plastic bags will do!). Then I cut out icing shape out of pink felt and glue gunned it on ($5). I used leftover felt as sprinkles and glue gunned them to the icing.
My Chef: I took some parchment paper and made an accordian fold with it. Then I stapled one end of it on a strip of white paper (more detailed instructions here). I drew the letters for ‘CHEF’ on paper then traced them onto black felt. I then attached it to the hat with glue stick. I had the rolling pin and apron.
Update: Find what we dressed up as for 2017 here. 🙂
We can’t decide what to do for our costumes this year! K wants to be food. Liv wants to be a vampire – she told me the other day that I am her pet bat (alrighty then). Hope we can decide soon!
What are you plans for costumes this Halloween? Leave me a comment below!