Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There's Still Time to Make a Halloween Costume!

Around 1:00 this afternoon I decided I wanted to dress up for the trick or treaters who will be hitting the streets in a few hours.  The caveats?  I didn't want to have to buy anything.  I wanted to be comfortable sitting outside even though it is going to be very chilly.  I wanted to craft something.

Little did I know that a mere two hours later I would have crafted four Halloween outfits, almost entirely with things I had around the house.  I did end up making a lightning trip to Walmart for some baby t-shirts because, like babies, dogs have large heads and fat bodies so baby shirts are an inexpensive alternative to dog shirts.  (Yes, the dogs get outfits too!)

No Bones About It Shirt

  • plain t-shirt
  • bleach pen
  • something to keep the bleach from bleeding through- I used the lid of a plastic box
I started by sketching what I wanted to draw, though if you're a better artist than I am you might be able to skip that step.  Then I carefully recreated my sketch on the shirt.  I ran out of bleach when I was almost done, so I had to redistribute some with a spoon.  I left the bleach to soak in while I worked on the other projects (45 minutes, maybe?) and then rinsed and dried it thoroughly.

There are things I like and things I don't like about how this shirt turned out.  I like the way the variations in color make me think of an x-ray.  I don't like how much the bleach bled and distorted the design.  If I were to do it again I would start with finer lines so the bleeding would leave me with the result I wanted.  Check back later for a photo of the final result.  It's still in the wash.

Doggy No Bones About It Shirt
  • baby t-shirt
  • glow-in-the-dark paint
  • something to hold the t-shirt flat and rigid while you work

I was planning on making skeleton t-shirts for the dogs using the same process, but I had to improvise when I ran out of bleach pen.  Instead of bleach I used glow in the dark paint for the dogs' skeleton shirts.  Once again, I sketched what I wanted the design to look like before I started.  I felt the dogs' backs to see about what bones would show on the shirts.  I was concerned that the paint might not dry in time, so I placed the finished shirts in front of a space heater.
Bonus tip: For people who have children instead of/in addition to dogs, you could use these same ideas to make costumes for your offspring!

Wo-Man-O-Lantern Shirt:
  • dark-colored plain t-shirt
  • contrasting t-shirt
  • scissors

My third and final project was the least successful.  I got the idea from a Halloween-themed episode of My Name is Earl, but the character who wore the shirt in the show was a man and the execution was different on a woman.  
The idea of this shirt is that it would look like a jack-o-lantern on your torso.  I started by cutting out paper shapes for the eyes, nose, and mouth and sticking them to the shirt using double-sided tape.  I then used small, sharp scissors to cut out the shapes.  Unfortunately, even though I thought I positioned the eyes such that they would not create a peep show, I failed.  I had to arrange the shirt very precisely in order to not have a slutty pumpkin look.  Of course the reason I was willing to sacrifice this shirt is that is was in my Goodwill donation pile because it is too small.  It might look less scandalous on someone with less to make the pumpkin's eyes pop out.
For more ideas for costumes, check out the video below, which was sent to me by the fabulous Chenille.

Happy Halloween!

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