Adventures in Costume Design.
I’m not sure which is better, a $20 store bought costume or a handmade costume. There are pros and cons for both. This year my son wanted to be something I just couldn’t buy at the store and he was so excited about the idea, I thought it worth a shot to try and make it. He wanted to be Dusty the plane. But not just any Dusty, specifically “fireman Dusty” to match his toy. My husband and I looked online for ideas (thank you Pinterest and Google images), and we found examples by other parents from last year. We made note of what we liked and what we thought could be done a little better and then came up with a strategy. So three cardboard boxes, 4 roles of duct tape, two batteries & LED lights, and one half of an Easter egg later, here are the final results.
While total cost was dramatically less than buying a costume, it took 4 nights all together for this build. Also note all the laundry that didn’t get done.
This is where I started to get excited. Once the details were added, I felt really good and proud about the costume. Self assured that we “nailed it,” I couldn’t wait to hear our son’s reaction the next morning. Our son on the other hand immediately pointed out all the things it was still missing. 3 year olds’ are the worst critics :).
Special credit to my husband Matt who insisted on adding LED lights to the wings (we had some lying around the house). I wouldn’t have included that, but he was right, it really completed the look, and added extra safety.
Finally time for a test run. Literally, there was running involved. We took the costume to the National Museum of Play at The Strong’s Spooktacular Halloween Party event. My son loved all the attention he got for the costume but as soon as it became evident that he couldn’t run, climb, slide and play much with it on…it came off. Quickly and often. My husband and I spent most of the time carrying it around. But we did get to observe some things in need of tweaking. The tail needed re-enforcement and the straps needed an adjustment. The real test will be Halloween night. What was most interesting was how many compliments my husband and I received, from kids and adults. Which we found a little embarrassing (after all, that is not why we built it). People did seem to really like it, but I wonder if they noticed how little wear it was getting.
In the end, I was very proud of how it came out and that my son was excited to see the final product, but I think next year we’ll see if we can talk him into something like Spiderman.