2014 Halloween Review

Halloween is over and thanks to things like elections, aggressive holiday merchandising and why-the-hell-is-it-so-cold-already weather, this post seems impossibly passé. But because every now and then I love being exuberantly belligerent, I shall charge on, write and post this bad boy because, it was ONLY ONE FLAMING WEEK AGO.

So, for those of you remotely interested, I ask you to look up from your orange plastic jack o’lantern sugar coma sources and walk with me down my seven-days-ago memory lane of Halloween 2014.

Cuz, I’m still riding on the fumes of my costume successes this year. Yeah, so what.

First up, Mister Baby Pants. Last year, he really had no idea what Halloween even was, being all of 2 ½ years old. I had made an overly intricate quasi-T-Rex dinosaur costume for him out of green upholstery fabric scraps. He wore it for all of 10 minutes and then had a complete meltdown. I got one paltry picture during that decadent conniption which wound up being the sole record of his Halloween 2013 costume.

So when he asked this year to be a black T-Rex, I thought, “Seriously? Seriously? We’re gonna (bleeping) go through THAT mini purgatory again? No *bleeeeepity-bleeeeeeeeeeeping* way, t-h-a-n-k y-o-u.”

I decided to wait and see what would actually stick as the weeks progressed and he further pondered his selection. It wavered at one point to include thoughts of a vampire and a skeleton, but in the end, he came back to a black T-Rex.

(Random tangent: what happened to the old-school sheet and three cut-out holes ghost? Do I really need to single-handedly bring that CLASSIC back, because I’ll do it, dagnabbit. That is all.)

So, black T-Rex it was. 

I used the outer cover from an old kid’s ikea mattress we had in the basement, salvaging the blue canvas from it for the claws and stomach fabric.

The rest of the body fabric came for an amazing thrift store score: an entire roll of some Robert Kaufman leopard print cotton jersey, yards and yards for just $4 total. I’m absolutely not an animal print-wearing kinda gal, but I couldn’t pass up this deal and bought it last spring for no reason in particular (aka, hoard much?).

Aside from using it for two kid’s shirts and the odd birthday present bag, it sat up in my studio until I realized it would be perfect for this project.

Hello, no hemming!


Here’s what it all looked like pre-dye. I built in claw finger-covers into the sleeves which was a feature Mister Baby Pants especially enjoyed. I thought he looked pretty darn cute as is, but after further questioning, yes in fact, he still wanted it to be black.


I used his rain boots as a base to build the claws; this is the second time I’ve used rain boots as an armature and they are beyond perfect to build costume feet onto; plus they’re easy on, easy off!

Since I have a giant loathing for costumes that have their own faces, which in turn make the kid wearing them look like they’ve been swallowed alive by whatever the creature is, I made a concerted effort to make Mister Baby Pants’ face THE face of his black T-Rex persona.

I covered his bike helmet to make the big dino dome head and the day before Halloween I got him to put it all on.


Here’s the result post-dye and with under-five-minutes eyeliner pencil impromptu face make-up. The costume passed but the make-up was a fail, according to my client. He told me he wasn’t a leopard and wanted “scary T-Rex” face paint. 

So on Halloween afternoon, as we prepped for trick-or-treating,  I obliged with a second attempt, this time with a full set of face paints and my fingers crossed.


Ok, it was a bit messy, but it met his approval. Happily scary-looking for the rest of the evening, he channeling his inner black T-Rex like a pro method actor.

Next up, The Bub, who never wavered from his selection of wanting to be this:


Yup, this exactly: a Druddigon character Pokemon card.

I cannot tell you how much I adore his outside-of-the-box choice to be the actual card. And because I’m such a staunch supporter, I wanted to make it well, because at my kid’s school they have an annual Halloween parade and the kids get to pretty much stay in costume as long as they’d like during the day. So I wanted something that was going to be pretty user-friendly for him.

Cardboard was all fine and good, but it was pretty impractical for a 6-year old to handle on his own without it eventually becoming a total annoyance. Heavy and cumbersome, I wanted another idea and I found it in Pellon’s buckram fabric.


Hello, dream come true!

It’s light-weight, I can sew it, cut it without any fraying and then proceed to paint it, draw on it with crayons and colored pencils and then paint on it some more. 

I decided to reinforce the outer edge of the card with thin strips of foam, which I sewed in along the edges. Once that was done, I spent more time than any one person should, combing over every detail of that Druddigon Pokemon playing card.


Into the wee hours, after the kids were in bed, paint, paint, draw, draw…


And in the daytime, there were tiny epiphanies like using some weird blue rubber-coated gloves that were in the basement and adding pieces of foam covered in duct tape to make Druddigon’s hallmark claws.


On Halloween morning before school, a slap dash fire engine red face-paint application took place, with red hairspray on top.

Druddigon came alive for the day and he was lookin’ and feelin’ good.


The school Halloween parade was a success, garnering plenty of high-fives from fellow Pokemon insiders (who knew there were so many?) and even a joint-selfie initiated by a teacher wearing a Picachu outfit. 


The grey day was warded off with high spirits and great trick-or-treating, despite the garbage rainy weather.

I’d say that Halloween 2014 was a success all around. Until next year!