Tag Archives: Halloween

Bat-Themed Kids Group Costumes

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When it comes to costumes I have a couple of rules. Fun, Warm, and durable.

Having four girls is rough business for dressing alike.  I tried to do it a lot when they were younger and then thought they’d hate it later and so it wasn’t worth the effort to find that much of one thing.  My girls find their own way of matching anyway. Weeping Angels last year and this year they wanted to do Batman Characters.  They were inspired by these pics on Pinterest.  (I can’t find the original source of these and they are just awesome, so if you know, tell me so I can add the right credit)

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The Cosplayer part of me wanted to take these and make them a little less poofy and more comic booky or kid appropriate gritty.  I started brainstorming.  Batman and Robin for the little girls wasn’t a big deal.  Joker with a tutu was going to e interesting, and Poison Ivy… well my Poison Ivy is 12.  I wanted her covered and still looking like a pre-teen.  A Challenge!

Confession time, unlike my wonderful counterpart Lexivsblog, I do not sew.  Machines drive me batty. Last year’s angel dresses were like a Grandma sweat shop.  My mom is a wonderful and giving woman.  Anything for her grandkids.  This year, I wanted to close down the sweat shop and give mom a break. I needed something that avoided the sewing machine.  These pins the girls picked out looked promising and I decided to use what I could from them with what we had around the house as much as possible.  The only times I make costumes is when it is cheaper than buying.  I wanted it done on the cheap.

The first thing I needed was the crocheted top.  I found these 10 inch tutu tops at The Hair Bow Company, and I was super happy to see that they are lined with a soft fabric.  At $4.25/each this was the most expensive part of their costumes.  Next I found Net instead of tulle for a grittier, gauzy look at 1.25/yrd.  I got four yards for each girl, not knowing how much I would need.

I used this fantastic cutter, cutting 4 in strips of the net.

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Then I tied the net through the crocheted top.

One half knot worked just fine.  It doesn’t come out easy.

Also…  word to the wise, netting rips really easily.  Be gentile.

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The skirt with cutting and tying, took about 30 minutes and for Robin’s fluffier, shorter costume, only used two yards. The others were equal to or less than two yards.  I have a TON left over.

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Not too shabby for about $7 and 30 minutes

but it needed more,,, and I was really worried about warmth and wardrobe malfunctions.

I poured through the girls’ closets for black long sleeved shirts and black leggings.

I also went through the dress-up bin and found an old Batman costume that was really worse for wear, dating all the way back to 2008.  All that was left was the mask and main piece.

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I cut out the Bat symbol from the old costume, and used the mask, and cut off the cape.  The sweat shop did open for making the bottom part of this costume into a skirt for Poison Ivy.

Robin’s R is a paper print out of the Teen Titans’ Robin Logo sewed onto a black felt circle.

Next came Poison Ivy’s Bodice.  The greenery I had was from an artificial grape vine. I stuffed the top with phone books and hot glued the leaves on, leaving the sides for stretchiness.  As it was, it was STILL hard to get her into it after.  If you do this, REALLY STRETCH the crocheted top before gluing.

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I wasn’t loving the plain-ness of the top so I added some tool which turned out to be very glittery.

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I used the same loops in the top to add some color to the top. I also hot glued a flower of the red tool and some Christmas holly berried to the center.

For the Joker’s costume I made a tulle tie and flower, but it just didn’t have the umph that I wanted.

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I poured through Joker costumes and comic book pics and realized that there are many versions of the Joker.

But What is consistent was that the Joker always has a sense of style and flair.  That’s what I was missing.  If the Joker were a girl and the kind of Dame to wear a tutu, what would she need?  I freaking fascinator, that’s what.

I cut a sort of pointy oval shape out of felt, hot glued some net for over the face, and tied a few shorter strips of the colored netting I had into a knot and hot glued that onto the felt and face netting.  Then I added a $.25 purple Christmas bobble to the top, twisting the stem through the knot.  It seriously took 5 minutes.

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I wasn’t sure how it would look bobby pinned on, but it turned out well!

I also added, from our button bin, a Card Fan tie clip and Cuff links.

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The costumes wear really well.

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So, I spent about 4-5 hours, and somewhere between $25-$30 total for four costumes… not too shabby!

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Filed under Budget, Children, Cosplay, Costumes, DIY, Family, parenting, Pinterest Attempts

Our costumes 2014 His and Hers

This year was a special one as we got to attend the Mystical Masquerade in Lindon, Utah.  The rules are black tie attire or costume, so we wanted costume that was close to black tie.  We searched high and low for inspiration and finally found what we wanted.

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Rick and Carrie as Dick Tracy and Breathless Mahoney

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Courtesy of Castle Park’s Mystical Masquerade Photo Booth

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Dick Tracy it was.

The main problem with Dick Tracy is it has fallen out of popularity and is hard to find anything, let alone quality costumes for him.  We found and special ordered the hat and found a trench coat online.  He had the rest in his closet.  As for me, We went for Breathless Mahoney and I didn’t think I could go for Madonna’s version.  I was feeling the comic one pretty strongly though. With a Veronica Lake vibe.  I actually had most of everything I needed.  I just picked up the wig, cigarette holder, and gloves.

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Make up was probably the trickiest and I used a tutorial you can find here:

It turned out really well!

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We had so much fun at the party!  Here’s some more fun costume ideas:

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Filed under Costumes, DIY, Halloween, Holidays

DIY baby fairy or ballerina

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I originally made these little tutu’s as a baby gift for a friend but just love them as regular dress up box items or fun, quick and easy Halloween costumes for the little ones. Whether this costume is to play in around the house, or wear over to Grandma’s for the first Halloween Oooooo’s and Ahhhh’s, these little skirts are sure to please! Here’s how you make them…

First assemble your needed supplies… elastic for the waist band (measure a little snug or short the measurement by an inch or two on the baby or child so that it still fits once you add all the fluff), needle and thread, measuring tape, pins, scissors, and tulle/ribbon in various colors.

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Lay out the tool on a flat cutting surface – measure and mark the width you want your strips to be -and place a pin in each to hold them together? I doubled over the tulle I had, and then layered three pieces together so I could cut the whole skirt all at once. If you have a rotary cutter and sewing mat this process goes crazy quick! (Remember to make the length of the strips twice the length you want them to be for the finished skirt. Each piece will be folded over and looped around the waist band as the attachment method.)

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Once you have all of your strips of ribbon and tulle cut into equal lengths, make your waist band for them to loop around. Make sure to make the waist a little smaller than the actual child. Once you start adding the fluff the elastic will stretch a bit and the final size will actually be bigger than you start with.

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Finally Take two to three pieces of tulle at a time or a piece of tulle and a piece of ribbon and match them up one on top of the other. fold all three pieces in half and loop them around the waist band making a small knot at the waist band to hold them in place. You want to make sure to have multiple layers of tulle in each loop to ensure the skirt is nice and full. Also having multiple colors in each loop creates a nice depth and whimsy.

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Aaaaaaaand vowala you have an adorable and fun tutu or fairy skirt in no time!

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Filed under Budget, Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Halloween, Party Planning

Trick or Treating: You’re doing it right.

Trick or Treating: You're doing it right.

This is how my angels trick or treated this year, and it was so fun to see how many houses LOVED it. Even the ones who aren’t Doctor Who Savvy, got a kick out of it.

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by | November 4, 2013 · 1:52 pm

A note on parenting aimed at the Halloween Hitler in Fargo

A note on parenting aimed at the Halloween Hitler in Fargo

This story has gone viral.  A woman in Fargo, SD has taken upon herself to dole these cards out to the trick-or-treaters she feels are moderately obese.   Other kids get something else.  You can find the story here: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/web/kmgh/news/u-s-world/woman-plans-to-give-obese-children-letters-instead-of-candy-on-halloween

One of the first hiccups in my parenting journey was sitting in a WIC office, being told that my 6 month old was too skinny. They were so concerned, they suggested adding entire sticks of butter to her diet. It worried me as, as a first time parent I was doing everything by the book and that seemed not only disgusting but horribly unhealthy. Being starving students didn’t matter… At the risk of high medical bills, I took my daughter to the pediatrician to see what was “WRONG” with my baby.

We were told that she was just tiny. She had been growing and developing consistently and was right on track in every way. For years, this weighed on my mind. She was such a little peanut and was consistently in the third percentile all the way up into 2nd grade. Every check up, exam, or sick visit I asked and they showed me her growth chart. Right on track. Now in 5th grade, she’s in the 25th percentile for weight, still a skinny minnie.

Now,…About this moron in North Dakota. I cannot imagine, worrying over a child who was borderline over weight, hearing doctors tell me I wasn’t doing anything wrong, or knowing there was an issue and trying to fix it while kids at school made comments or bullies tormented away at my baby’s self esteem. I imagine the break of a holiday with the family going door to door, getting a treat and being complimented on costumes and looking cool or cute and then hitting the door of a woman who says: You’re almost too fat. You don’t deserve to be part of this holiday.

Ick. It makes my skin crawl. This isn’t done out of love. It is done out of a need to control. A need so strong, it doesn’t matter who it hurts, as long as she plows her ideals into the public.

Now, a word on parenting “helpers” with good intentions:

No one knows what is in the heart of children and parents, what the reality of issues are or if there really are issues your five seconds of introductory judgments hint at. What ever the reason, put on some big girl panties, mind your business and keep your own back yard tidy.

When I grew up people worried about children’s health, gave out fruit and veggies or toothbrushes, pencils, spider rings, etc.. instead of candy.

Anyway, I guess my over all sentiment Here is: Yes, it does take a village, but every village has an idiot.

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by | October 30, 2013 · 9:44 pm

Halloween Party on a Budget

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This year has been very busy.  I have an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old that have birthdays just about a month apart.  Like children do, they reminded me well after both birthdays had passed, that I had promised them each a party the year before and we had only done family celebrations.

I could have told them to deal, but we’ve never really had a reason to have an October party before.  Fun!  So, I decided to plan a party, that would entertain loads of giggling 7-12 year old girls.

The 11-year-old told me she didn’t want cake or cupcakes…  She wanted Fondue.  So, on the invite, we gave simple food assignments for a Bewitching Fondue Soiree.  I tweaked this gorgeous invite you can find here:

http://serendipitycreative.blogspot.com/2011/10/freebie-you-are-cordially-invited-to.html

One pot of cheese Fondue, and one of chocolate.

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Every child invited was assigned Fruit, veggies, or bread to share.

Later, for the “birthday cake” we dipped angel food cake into the chocolate.

Time for games.  I went to a party store and got a roll of carnival tickets for $2.  For each game, I doled out tickets.  the same amount for each participant and extra for the “winner”.  Then, at the end of the party, they got prizes Chuck E. Cheese style.

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Some of Our Party Games:

Witchy Races.  Two girls, one broom, no hands.  They had to “fly” from start to finish.

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Ghost-Busting: It is a carnival game.  You get three shots to knock down the TP ghosts.  We went through a few rounds.

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courtesy of girlsvsblog

courtesy of girlsvsblog

The Making of the Mummy:  This one I was too busy helping with to take a pic.  With the TP from Ghost busting, you have a mummy wrapping contest.

Balloon-pop Charades:  Place charade ideas inside of balloons (i.e. Ghost, Ghoul, bat, vampire, etc.) and the kids take turns sitting on the balloon until it pops, and then playing charades normally.

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Paranoia Party Hats:  We had a hat making contest, using foil and scotch tape.  Let the kids be creative and do their own thing.  We gave awards to each kid.

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The Vampire Count Game: We found this at a kiosk in a mall in Denver over a decade ago.  The kids love it.  You can find the game here:

http://www.amazon.com/Daves-25-Anytime-Family-Games/dp/B000FEW3QA

It is like hide and seek and murder in the dark combined.  The kids each take a card and secretly look at it.  one of them will have the Vampire count and the rest a gravestone with a funny name on it.  Everyone, including the vampire goes and hides in the dark.  After a few seconds, the vampire gets up, starts shuffling around as silly as possible, trying to make everyone laugh so he can find them.  No one runs, they have to stay put.  once touched by the vampire count, they become one too until everyone is shuffling around acting silly. Then the lights go on.

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Filed under Budget, Children, DIY, Family, Food and Drink, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, Party Planning

DIY Weeping Angel Wings

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I looked everywhere for cheap wings to spray paint gray.  The cheapest I could find that weren’t fairy wings were $50.

I have four kids that need wings.  There’s no way in heck I’m paying $200 for one part of a Halloween costume!

Sooooooo–I sat and stared at my Costco Milk box and took out my roll of Duct Tape:

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I drew an outline of a wing, free-handed.  Then cut it out.

I chose the handle of the box to be where it was originally so I could fashion straps easier.

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I toyed for a while between having a solid piece with the handle holes for straps, or

what I actually did, which was to keep the natural bend in the box so the wings moved and

would work better through doors and such.

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Then I began with the Duct Tape.  I started with the middle.

After stabilizing the two pieces together, I began with the actual wings,

choosing which side looked the best facing out.  I really

wanted to support the middle to avoid ripping with the kids’ wear and tear.

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After doing one long strip up and over the wing and down again, I lined up the strips and

carefully pressed them together, using my hands to get a nice groove around the curve of a “feather”.
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It continued on like this until the wings were covered.

Then I begs making small-ish strips with the ends folded over for feathers.

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Place folded end downward where you want a feather and carefully cut out the

shape of a feather.  Repeat until it looks right to you.

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Voila!  Now for the straps.

I made two strips of tape folded over itself.

Make sure it can go over their shoulders.

Adhere to the inside of the wings and stabilize the straps.

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Filed under Budget, Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, talents

One very cheap and easy Halloween decorating idea

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One thing I like to do every holiday is paint the windows.  It razor blades right off and is a very frugal way of being festive.  I use tempera paint and free hand it, but you could use a stencil as well.  It takes little to no time at all and adds some flair.

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Filed under Crafts and Gifts, Halloween, Holidays, talents

DIY Big Black Frame for photo booth and decor

With an upcoming Halloween/Birthday party, I wanted a huge frame for a photo booth.  Turns out, it is a cute overall decor item too!

Simple black frame from press board

Simple black frame from press board

It started when the fall clean up for our city was taking the large garbage items.  I looked a the huge piece of press board we had in the garage and wanted it re-purposed or thrown out.  With the upcoming party, I thought I’d repurpose it for a photo booth.

Step one: Find a work station.  I had nothing that large, so I used to long tables.

Step two:  Measure out and trace your frame.

Measure and trace the guide for cutting

Measure and trace the guide for cutting

Step three: Use a drill to make starting your cut and making corners easier.

Step four: Use your favorite saw for the job.  I love my jigsaw.

The hole you drilled helps you start cutting lowering your chance of a snapped blade.

The hole you drilled helps you start cutting lowering your chance of a snapped blade.

Step five: Admire your handiwork.  Take a break and grab your choice of covering.

The cut out frame

Step six: Cover the baby up.  I was going for a Halloween look, so I used a Dollar Store black plastic table cloth and packing tape, as I misplaced the duct tape I wanted.  Your size and shape makes a difference in how you wrap.  Mine was really large and I made it six inches thick the entire way around the frame.  So I cut the table cloth into strips and taped it.

Duct tape would have been better, but the packing tape held.

Duct tape would have been better, but the packing tape held.

Step seven: Admire your handiwork again.  It’s not too shabby and it didn’t take long.

Wrapped frame

Step eight: Add embellishments like cobwebs and other decor.

Finished Product.

Finished Product.

 

For the party, I’ll move it out and prop it up, but for now, I rather like it by the door.

 

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Filed under Budget, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Party Planning