I was digging through some old photos recently, and found these. My mom always made my brother and I the coolest Halloween costumes when we were kids. Look at this awesome Raggedy Ann dress — and she even made these red-yarn wigs for us! (I loved this dress so much, I even wore it to school a time or two.) That little Raggedy Andy is my brother, who would kill me if he had any idea I was posting this.
And then, in an earlier year, here’s my Mrs. Beasley costume. I freakin’ loved Mrs. Beasley. I wish I still had my talking Beasley doll – she said things like “Wanna hear a secret?” (Her recent resurrection as an expensive Ashton Drake collectible is kind of disturbing. Voiced by Cheryl Ladd?? But I digress.)
If you’re still scrambling your own costume together this weekend, here are a few easy ideas I worked up for a project earlier this year. Maybe one will spark your imagination. They all start with a basic sweatsuit.
Dinosaur: Start with green sweatpants and a hoodie. Sew felt teeth along the hood, and glue styrofoam balls to the top for eyes. Sew felt spines all along the back of the hoodie. Create a long felt tail, and attach it to a web belt so it won’t weigh the pants down. (A lesson I learned when I made this costume for myself some years ago. It’s also nice to have a removable tail in case you need to drive somewhere.)
Shark: Start with grey sweats, but get a matching hoodie a couple sizes too big, so it’s longer and the hood opening is bigger. You then taper the side seams toward the bottom hem, so it takes on a more shark-like shape. Make a fin from two layers of grey felt, with chipboard inside to stiffen it, and sew this to the back of the hoodie. Then you can add teeth around the hood, and glue on some felt cut-out eyes.
Ninja: Starting with a black sweatpants and hoodie, you’d sew a panel of black fabric across the bottom of the hood opening, so only the eyes are showing. Then you can stencil on red insignias here and there with freezer paper. A strip of red fabric makes a sash, into which you can stick assorted cardboard ninja weapons.
Superhero: Starting with a sweatsuit, you can embellish it with sheets of craft foam — cut out and hot-glued to the sweatshirt, they make easy, dimensional embellishments. Imagine them as wide, space-age epaulets on the shoulders, and as a utility belt, and as shoe covers! You can also come up with an insignia for the chest this way. And be sure to stuff the sweatshirt with some fiberfill, to create “muscles.”