Parenting Guru: DIY Halloween Cupcake and Harry Potter Robes Take Home the Prize
I love Halloween. Ever since I was a little girl Halloween signified the start of the winter holiday season. As a parent, I don't mourn the end of summer for long. When Halloween is right around the corner, it brings wonderful autumn smells, brisk air, red-golden leaves and the anticipation of family gatherings, and lots and lots of laughter with my family.
When I became a mom, I looked forward to making costumes for my children. Back in the day when they actually taught sewing in Home Economics, I learned how to work a sewing machine. It was all I needed to start crafting my own creations.
Often all it takes is a simple item lying around to spark an idea. My husband is an avid swimmer. One day he left a red swim cap on a table and my 1 year old put it on. That was the impetus for my favorite DIY costume. Or, when I saw what maniacal fans my children are with Harry Potter, the tailor in me aims to please. And sometimes, DIY costumes take home the prize.
Cupcake with a Cherry on Top - 3rd Prize
Without a pattern I bought about 2 yards of light brown felt. I had my daughter lie on top of the fabric while I measured around her. I sewed some simple stitches up and down the brown felt to give the impression of the cupcake liner. You can see from the photo that I cut two equal sides of the cake (front and back) and two sides for the frosting. Simple shoulder ties keep it in place. The red cherry colored swim cap tops off the cupcake for this costume. It was so easy, plus because any baby in this costume looks so cute, it actually won a prize at our town parade. My nephew was dressed as a baker. He had that costume from a play so it really paired nicely with the cupcake.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Robes - 1st Prize (for our dog, anyway)
Last year my 3 Harry Potter Maniacs put a spell on me to make each of them a Hogwarts robe. I used the online instructions from BurdaStyle.com which you can download for free once you register with this site. While I could have purchased the robes at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I thought the $100 price tag a bit steep. I purchased fabric, thread and iron-on patches to make them myself. While I did save by doing it myself, the effort to make them was more than I anticipated. It probably took about 40 hours to make 3 robes.
My limited tailoring skills did require help from a friend who has professional sewing skills and has a sewing machine that can finish off the edges so they don't fray. I purchased inexpensive white shirts to wear under the robe and we purchased "authentic" neckties from a visit to the theme park. My girls ironed the school crest patch to complete the outfit. With all of this effort, I don't foresee making another costume for quite some time. That $100 pre-made robe was looking better and better when it came down to the wire. But the look on my daughters' faces when they put them on? You got it. Priceless. Oh, and when my girls donned their robe on our Golden Retriever? First Prize in a Best Pet Costume contest!
DIY Thelma and Shaggy - Goodwill Hunting
Every other year we attend a fun Halloween party at a friend's home. Our friends out-do themselves which brings out the creative challenge in all of the guests. Last year my husband and I went as Thelma and Shaggy from Scooby Doo. All of our items were Goodwill finds for under $5.00 a costume. The orange soccer socks from one of my children completed my outfit.
Making Halloween costumes is easier than you think. Most of all, the love and memories that go into the effort is incalculable. I realize I've been doing this for 20 years. The magic and anticipation is still there.