Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween is typically a little stressful at this house. We never figure out costumes until the last minute. We always forget the brilliant 'family' costume idea one of us had from the previous year. Someone always chickens out of my standing recommendation that we transform ourselves into different members of KISS.  

And I still can't convince Carlo to be the Big Edie to my Little Edie, even though his debut in drag two years ago (he was Norman Bates, as "Mother," to my Janet Leigh, post-shower stabbing that year) was fantastic (although lumpy). 

This past weekend, we had a few quiet moments -- ALL FOUR OF US, IN ONE ROOM, AT THE SAME TIME -- and started brainstorming 'themed' costumes. We were trying to be classic killers from Halloween movies but just couldn't sell Maggie on being Regan from The Exorcist. Here's where we landed:

Carlo will be Frankenstein's Monster. I really splurged when getting his costume at the Salvation Army: his suit coat, mock t-neck shirt and short & wide pants rang in at a whooping $11.00.  I bought some spirit gum as well, and hope to adhere some of Paolo's plastic bolts from old toys to Carlo's neck.  Green and black face paint from Halloween's past still exist, so I'll have Carlo in fine shape for our party on Saturday.

I'm going to be Carrie White of the 70's cult-classic, "Carrie."  I remember it being shown on "Dialing For Dollars" on WNEP-16 when I was a kid and it scared the shit out of me. Especially that hand at the end...


My dress -- a shocking near-replica of the prom gown Sissy Spacek wore in the film  -- cost a mere $2.06. 

My dirty pillows will be hanging out all over the place. 

Margaret White: "I can see your dirty pillows. Everyone will." 
Carrie White: "Breasts, Mama. They're called breasts, and every woman has them.)

The dress is a 100% silk nightie, I guess, from The Company Store. Someone probably paid a decent amount for it back in the day, and I almost feel guilty about covering it in fake blood. I did treat myself to a $12.99 red wig from the Halloween place, but I can't feel too bad about that since we'll surely reuse that wig for some future costume.  All that remains for Carrie White is to make a corsage out of some dollar store flowers and find someone who will loan me a rhinestone tiara.  I have a little aluminum bucket in the storage shed that I'll carry with me (it's what the pig's blood lived in before it was dumped on Carrie) and I'm hoping that kind strangers will fill it with Take 5 miniatures. Or tampons. Whatever they have on hand.

Magna-Doodle is going to be the Bride of Frankenstein. I ended up spending about $6.50 on her dress and robe at SalVal, but again, I got really lucky with the simplicity and authenticity of both pieces. I think the robe is actually from either a spa or a hospital! It's very square and flow-y: perfect for the costume.  The trick with Maggie's ensemble will be her hair, which (Thanks, Internet!) I am going to attempt to create with a chopstick, a skein of acrylic yarn, a shit-ton of bobby pins and a bunch of white hairspray.  Black lipstick, some neck scars and a healthy dose of eyeliner and she's good to go.

Paolo settled on being Count Dracula -- and I accepted it because he already had a cape from his Batman costume two or three years ago. I thought I'd spruce it up by putting a red lining in it and once I got to that place, I realized the existing cape was too small. Back to the drawing board! Today, without a car -- and while simultaneously making bread! -- I started a new and improved cape.

Using some old black material from the Batman capes (Yes. I said capes, plural. Paolo had a Batman-themed birthday party three years ago, and part of the goody bags for his 6 or 7 little friends included a cape.) and what was left of the red velour from Maggie's 7th "High School Musical"-themed birthday party (I created a 'stage' in our backyard using cheap red velour), I got to work on a bigger and better cape. 

I started by pinning the fabric together, wrong-side out, and using some chalk to roughly outline the shape of the cape.
Then I cut it out. Roughly.
The miracle of this entire process is that I got the bobbin thingy in Maggie's sewing machine loaded and ... looped? I don't know. But I had the needle threaded and the bobbin loaded -- so I sewed it, and turned it right-side out so it looked like this:

Using an example from a friend, I made a 'cape neck' pattern out of that foamy stuff from the kid section in craft stores and then sewed a neck piece, which I will likely attach to the cape with velcro.

 This is what it looked like after I sewed it up.

 And this is what Paolo looks like in the not-quite-yet-finished cape!  He loved it!

I also made him an amulet, altho it isn't quite finished.

I started with a lid from a jelly jar.

Using leftover spray primer and glitter paint from some other project, I prepped the jelly jar lid.

Then I hot-glued some glass rocks (the kind you use in flower arrangements) to the jelly jar lid. I'll attach it (somehow!) to a red grosgrain ribbon and put that around his neck.

I'm super-excited to see how it all comes together on Saturday. And I love that we didn't spend that much money (a total of about $45, for FOUR costumes, with some pieces that can be reused next year). It was an expenditure of creativity, time and love. And hot glue.

Did I mention I also made homemade bread while doing all of this???

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