Living naturally, most of the time.

We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids

Welcome to the August Carnival of Natural Parenting: Creating With Kids

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they make messes and masterpieces with children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I’m not the mom who knits during parent meetings or makes her children little felt figurines all the time. The latter I’ve done twice, practically under duress. Knitting makes me cry. Someday it won’t, but I can’t predict when that will stop.

Likewise, I stand in awe of people who actually make clothing their children wear in regular life, like this mom from my son’s preschool. Getting my children dressed in relatively clean clothes is enough of a victory for me; I doubt I will ever celebrate much in the way of self-styled schoolwear.

But Halloween costumes? Those are a project I will not outsource. Mine were almost always homemade, and while my mom was a superb seamstress the likes of which my kids will never see from me, I am proud to throw off my perfectionism when it comes to forcing a needle and thread into a costume.

My son’s first getup at age seven months was inspired by a friend’s adorable gift of a knitted acorn hat. I found him some brown pants at Old Navy and a green onesie at a consignment store onto which I sewed felt leaves. Volia, a tree! Daddy and I got craft store fake leaves glued onto craft store green tees, so we were a whole family tree, a bi-arboreal Maple-Oak mix.

My son’s second year I let him lead with his hair, an orange mullet

Halloween 2007 - Clown

Halloween 2008 - Leopard

perfect for a Bozo look, and his third year he got to wear the homemade leopard costume I’d worn as a child. So those were quiet years for craftiness.

But when he said he wanted to be a frog at age three, I took up the challenge. I found green pants he could wear again and paired them with a green shirt onto which I glued and then sewed brown swatches in a froggy design. Styrofoam eyes got sewn into green felt that got sewn onto a green hat, and the look was topped off with green gloves that got worn by yours truly later in the winter. Decidedly homemade, clearly not fancy or perfect, but thoroughly fun for him and full of heart.

Halloween 2009 - Frog

This past year, the boy got in his head that he wanted to be a scarlet macaw when it was still summer. Apparently this is the real name of the bird always just called “parrot.” It has a lot of colors. And wings. With my newborn in my arms, I told him that was fine if he still felt that way closer to Halloween. He did.

So I cast around on a local moms list for a red shirt and red felt, and I scored. One mom even left her castoff on my porch for me, and the other pickup we made on the way to preschool. My husband scoffed at first at my efforts but then joined in a late-night feather gluing session with supplemental store-bought felt.

Halloween 2010 - Scarlet Macaw

It might have been the day of the neighborhood parade that I sewed the eyes and red head onto one of three faded U of M baseball caps my husband had littered around the house and that I sewed the feather panel onto the red shirt. But whether at the last day, hour or minute, it all came together in a fashion that seemed to impress the parents at the park. Little do they know this is the only sewing I do all year.

Almost three months now before Halloween, my son is asking to be a firefighter, and I haven’t gotten any lightbulbs of inspiration for the baby, who just turned one. So if you check back in November, I can’t promise exactly how much of a Jessica original or two I’ll have to show for myself. But I do know that I will make a good faith effort to show my kids once again that the process of creating a look is part of the whole fun. And I do hope that I can keep up a tradition of keeping my sewing needle from getting rusty by at least putting it to some use when the leaves start to fall.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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6 Responses to “We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids”

  1. That is truly a gift of love when you set aside your normal habits to do something so special for your son! Those are awesome costumes – especially love the scarlet macaw! When your son gets older, he’ll most likely realize just how special those costumes are. :)

  2. My mom made several of my Halloween costumes, and they are definitely my favorites to look back on. I haven’t made anything like that for Kieran yet, but you’ve definitely inspired me to try!!

  3. Stacy Krock says:

    Wonderful post like always mate ;)

  4. Wendylori says:

    What an adorable macaw costume. I have some great memories of making homemade costumes as a kid …. maybe I’ll have to try that next year with our son.

  5. how fantastic – you are so talented and creative. Costumes are something I cannot do at all, so I really admire you. Looks like a lot of fun is had by all!

  6. Isn’t it awesome that our kids don’t really care how talented or in my case untalented we are? :) They just want us to be there! Awesome post! And I have to say, by the pictures…you do great!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Let’s Make Juice! « high needs attachment - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  2. Sugar & Spice & Baking on the Kitchen Floor | lovenotesmama - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  3. Creating in the Kitchen with Kids - Child of the Nature Isle - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  4. How To Do Crafts with Kids | Natural Parents Network - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  5. Family Soccer Kick Around « living peacefully with children - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  6. Creating With Kids: 4 Ways That Work For Us « Intrepid Murmurings - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  7. Family Draw Time Art Show | Kate Wicker - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  8. Young Scientist Makes Purple Potion « Wild Parenting - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  9. Creating the Opportunity for Art | Monkey Butt Junction - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  10. Creating Memories Together on Skype | LivingMontessoriNow.com - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …
  11. Heart of the Home | Life, Intertwined - [...] We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom …

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