Hurricane Sandy & Halloween

I am incredibly fortunate to say that my family and I were unscathed by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. Dear friends of ours in Breezy Point were not so lucky as their family home burnt to the ground. My heart goes out to them along with everyone else who has suffered from this storm.

On a much lighter note, I thought I’d show you what I was up to while we were cooped up in our home while Sandy passed through town. The greatest thing we contended with was copious amounts of cabin fever. Mixed in with that was the realization that I had two, count ‘em, two solid days of Halloween costume-making at my disposal. 

I had done nothing in the realm of costume-making thus far this year and thought I’d better hop to it on Monday. In years past, I would have started much sooner but there was simply no time this go around. So I scored when both school and work got canceled and I had time to work while my husband wrangled Mister Baby Pants and The Bub.

Unlike last year’s grand use of my serger, this year involved no sewing. None. Zip. I had asked The Bub a few months ago what he wanted to be and he never wavered. 

Robots. Let’s be robots.

And so that’s what I made. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’m so incredibly happy that I bought a big fat nothing to make them. I used stuff around the house along with select things that were headed out to the trash/recycling anyway. Repurposing at its finest.

So with gloomy grey skies gathering to darken our windows, I got out the kids paints and enlisted some help to paint up all the boxes I had put aside for the project.

The wind whistled and howled while I meticulously sliced up a bowl of wine corks that had been accumulating over the year. Funny thing was I thought my husband was saving them for something and he thought I was saving them for something. So that seemed like the perfect time to turn them into silver rivets. I’ve never sliced a cork before and most of them were easy to cut with my x-acto knife. But some of those faux corks were extra tough and I wound up using one of the kitchen knives. Probably not the best for the knife, but hey, it did the trick.

Mister Baby Pants got the addition of a baby bottle mixed in with his robot innards. I had fun working on the fly and sorting everything out as I went along.

Along with cardboard boxes, paint, duct tape and a lot of hot glue, I also used a paper towel roll and a random plastic vacform I had kept because it was such a curious shape. It was originally part of the packaging for some biorb fish tank plant decorations we bought not too long ago. I turned it into two lightbulbs for the tops of both robot helmets and embellished the insides with gold glitter paint and a red duct tape trim.

Aside from the corks, I think my other best repurposing involved the robot boots (and armbands/sleeves). Hedging my bets and thinking that The Bub would probably not change his mind about wanting to be robots from some months back, I had set aside and was now able to use two giant and now deflated mylar balloons that he had gotten for his birthday back in August. My weird hoarding paid off!

I knew that amount of semi-matte silver, from the inside of what were once Hotwheels balloons, would come in handy. I duct-taped pieces of the material over rain boots for both boys and their clunky-looking-but-actually-lightweight-and-flexible footwear was spot on. 

I initially only intended to make Mister Baby Pants into a wind-up robot, but when The Bub saw that addition, he wanted the same thing. So two keys were cut for my boys.

The Bub was very pleased with the result, especially when his friends saw what he was dressed as. 

And although Mister Baby Pants could have done without the helmet and kept flinging it off (this was the only good photo I got with him somewhat wearing it) he looked pretty awesome too.

Here he is, with two cork rivets popped off, no helmet in sight and trying to ditch us as fast as he can. Go robot, go!

We got a good solid 15-20 minutes of them both pleasantly wearing everything before things started to spiral. Having a robot voice-changing megaphone thingy helped delay the end of all things robotic.

After even that novelty wore off and we had stuffed our bag full of candy from an impromptu neighborhood trick-or-treat party (thrown in lieu of our annual Children’s Halloween Parade, which understandably took a back seat to the effects of Hurricane Sandy), we were all done. I was the designated carrier of boxes and bits for the walk home and I think I even left a trail of a few corks along the way.

We had a WONDERFUL Halloween, all things considered in this storm-ravaged city. I’m thankful nothing worse happened to us and I’m thrilled that we got our costumes done and out the door in time to enjoy them this evening.

All the very best to everyone, for both Halloween-celebrating and city-rebuilding. Let’s get the power back on, the flooding out, the houses rebuilt and everyone’s lives back in order as soon as possible.