Halloween 2015 was pretty epic. Last year I chose everyone’s costumes for them, but this year I thought I’d let everyone choose their own – well, except for Josh, who seems to have no preference every year but who is always a good sport about dressing up. :)
Carson’s first and only choice was Revvit from Dinotrux, a new show on Netflix he’s pretty obsessed with. (I mean, dinosaurs crossed with construction trucks? Two of his favorite things. How could that not be cool to a four-year-old boy?) I like making Halloween costumes…which is a good thing, because Dinotrux came out in August and as far as I know there aren’t any commerically-purchasable costumes anywhere. Not even Pinterest tutorials. Gasp!
So, in case you don’t know, Revvit is basically half chameleon, half power drill.
(Still, I think it could have been worse. Carson could have picked Ton-Ton.)
But I think our costume turned out pretty good!
(WARNING: What follows is a super long description of how I made all the costumes. Don’t read it if you don’t want to; just look at the pictures and call it good.)
I started with a yellow sweatshirt, yellow pants, and a green hoodie (all found at our local thrift store. I love that place!). I had to sew the pocket of the green hoodie to the front of the sweatshirt to cover up a logo. Then I cut off the green hood and sewed it to the sweatshirt.
I added some black and gray patches and shapes to make it kind of look Revvity/construction-y.
And I sewed and stuffed eyes out of felt and stitched them to the hood.
I used one of the sleeves from the green hoodie to make the tail. I had some extra black faux-leather from last Halloween that I used to make a black cap at the end, like Revvit’s tail. (Carson loved pretending it blew air, like in that episode with the sandstorm where Revvit has to blow sand out of Ty’s gears… Yeah, we’ve watched them a lot.)
A must-have for Revvit was a measuring tape tongue. I just bought a yellow measuring tape from the craft store and sewed it right inside the collar. Carson stuffed it down his hoodie when he didn’t want it out.
But the hardest part was definitely the drill heads. Revvit just wouldn’t look like Revvit without them. I would have done them differently if I had to do it again and hopefully had them turn out just a little bit better, but they worked.
I used those white foam boards, like 2 poster boards glued on either side of a thin sheet of foam. The Dollar Tree has them. I thought they would be stronger and maybe even a little lighter than cardboard.
This is the kind of intense part (that reveals how sucked into projects I get). I found some free online (and easy) 3D imaging software and actually designed my own drill bit heads! They weren’t totally accurate or anything, but that didn’t matter. Then Josh used another program to print them out into paper shapes that could be folded together.
I cut out the paper shapes with the foam board and, using duct tape and a lot of hot glue, assembled them. This is the part where I got a little sloppy. We were getting down to the wire. It was the evening of my mom’s ward’s trunk-or-treat that she invited us to, and it was basically like this:
So true about Halloween costume preparation in our family. So true. Why is it that costumes are never finished until the evening of the event?
But, even though the paint on the drill bits wasn’t dry for my mom’s trunk-or-treat, the good news is that by the time our ward trunk-or-treat came around, Carson’s costume was good and finished. That’s the good thing about multiple Halloween events, I guess.
Once the drill bits were painted and glued to the costume, I think they turned out great.
I wanted them to be removable so I could wash the costume, so for the ones down Revvit’s back, I glued them to another strip of the leftover black leather. I sewed ribbon straps to it to make it kind of like a little backpack. Then Carson just slipped it off when he wanted. Like when he wanted to play at the zoo.
For the one on his head, I used the foam along with some other cardboard pieces (like the inside of a roll of duct tape) and more hot glue and paint, and then glued a big circle of velcro to the bottom of it all. I sewed the other side of the velcro to the top of his hoodie. (And this was probably the very worst part of the whole thing, because I didn’t realize that I had bought adhesive velcro, but not a strong enough adhesive to stick to the fabric. I didn’t think was a big deal – I could still just sew it on – until the glue started gunking up my sewing machine. And then my thread and needle and scissors when I had to sew it by hand. Shoving the needle through the glue and fabric took fooorrrrreeevvver. And gave me blisters.)
But it all turned out good, because Carson could take the drill bits on and off, and they were reasonably sturdy. Carson did keep trying to drill into the ground with the drill bit on his head, making me nervous that he’d break it, but it withstood!
The best part was people actually recognized him! At first we went to a couple small Halloween parties and an event at the zoo, and mostly we just got a lot of confused looks. But when it was time for our ward Halloween trunk-or-treat, tons of kids recognized him. Hooray! (I felt a little bad for Carson when he ran up to me as the event was starting, yelling excitedly, “Mom! Mom! Someone recognized me!”)
So that was our Revvit!
As for Annelise, her first costume choice was her cuddle bear, her favorite little stuffed bear blanket she sleeps with every night.
I was all for it (I thought it was going to be easy), but when we went to shop for costume pieces she changed her mind to be a princess. (Actually, she changed her mind to be Revvit, but I wasn’t about to make two Revvit costumes. So I talked her into princess.) We bought the costume and everything was good, until she changed her mind again and wanted to be Katarina Kitty-Cat from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Well, it was late enough in the game that I proposed a compromise, so we ended up with Kitty-Cat Princess:
Don’t you love that attitude?
Actually, I think that dress was a mermaid costume that I got by mistake…but it was at the thrift store and didn’t have a label and it was less than five dollars and it fit, so we just went with it. Nothing’s all that weird about a Kitty-Cat Princess Mermaid…right? ;) (It did make me feel a little silly.)
Still, a cutie, right? :)
I thought at first Josh and I weren’t going to dress up. We could just wear old costumes or something. But then we got invited to a couple’s costume party and I started to get excited, thinking about ideas. I was stumped, though, and couldn’t think of anything. Until I came across this idea online and knew it would be perfect.
I found the shirts, shorts, and shoes all at our favorite thrift store (in one trip! Seriously, I love that place). I made the bow ties and suspenders, which are really just strips of fabric.
And then the box. I used those foam boards from the Dollar Tree again. I liked them more than cardboard because they were flatter, and white on the inside, and I could paint them while they were pre-assembled, and I wouldn’t have to worry about finding two big matching boxes.
My mom is a teacher and has a projector, so I brought the boards over to her house and traced the image of a box of Nerds candy there. Then it was just a matter of painting.
I’m not going to lie, it was fun. I wouldn’t spend all this time on homemade Halloween costumes if I didn’t enjoy it and if I didn’t love having a project to work on. Plus using real live paints and brushes again was fun and made me think of my art classes in high school when I actually used real live paints and brushes and felt like a legit artist.
My big fear with painting the boards was that they would warp. They did at first, pretty badly, so I tried adding a coat of white paint to the back side, hoping that would cause them to warp the other way and it would even out in the middle. :) I don’t know if that worked or if it was just time, but the warp completely went away after a while.
When the boards were painted, we assembled them in box form with duct tape and hot glue, taped on straps, and voila! Our best couple costume ever, I think.
Oh, wait! I forgot to say the best part! I used Rit dye! Successfully! Without accidentally dying anything purple! I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with Halloween and Rit dye, and Josh thought I was brave/crazy for attempting it again, but I took caution to the next level – we’re talking gloves, disinfectant, a sterile kitchen, a load of white laundry I didn’t care about to test the cleanliness of the washing machine – and in the end I had some perfectly dyed purple shoes and socks!
Pretty snazzy shoes, right? I told Josh he should keep them and wear them all the time.
It was awesome being a nerd with Josh. The costumes fit us, I think, and we had a blast at the parties we went to.
So I think Halloween 2015 was a success for everyone! The kids had fun, for sure. For Annelise, it was 100 percent all about the candy. But Carson liked being Revvit, too, and he was even really nice about giving candy out to other trick-or-treaters. He kept looking for more people to give candy away to. :)
Hope your Halloween was a blast, too!