It’s July, which means it’s time to start planning Halloween costumes! Mickey’s not-so-scary Halloween party is back and we want to be decorated in style!
Planning our costumes is always fun because I can let my creativity run wild! Living on a budget, I make our costumes… But there’s just one problem with that: I don’t sew. At all. I can’t even sew on a button. I know, I failed in life, but… here we are. My solution? Thrift stores. I make a game out of it every year: we choose a theme then I go to our local thrift stores.
Of course, we always do a Disney theme, and it’s rare to find the perfect outfit in thrift stores, so I have to get a little creative. This is where it starts to get fun. A good pair of shears, some Stitch Witch, and a willingness to see the potential in an imperfect piece can go a long way.
Our Pinocchio costumes for example:
My husband’s waistcoat started life as a suit jacket. I cut off the sleeves and collar and used Stitch Witch (a heat transfer adhesive) to make a vest out of it. His belt ? You don’t find many of these in a thrift store, and when you do, they’re not red. It was a women’s scarf. I can’t tell you when the last time I saw a pair of pedal pants in the big and tall section, so it was my scissors and Stitch Witch saved the day again. I simply cut them out and ironed the seam together. My son’s costume was tricked. I bought it on Etsy because I wanted it to be perfect.
My blue fairy costume was a thrift store dress. It wasn’t what I had in mind, but it worked and fit Disney’s “don’t touch the ground” rule, so I rode with it. I bought the wings on Amazon. My wand, however, was made from scrap wood that I star-cut, a dowel, some ribbon I already had, and some glitter paint from the craft store.
Our Wreck-It Ralph costumes were by far the most laborious and where I cheated the most. This time my husband’s costume was the easiest. All I had to do was paint the striped pattern on his shirt (using stretch fabric paint). My son’s was pretty easy too. His shirt was a thrift store find. I bought iron-on patches from an Etsy shop and spray-painted one of his toy hammers gold.
My costume, however, made me reconsider all my life choices up to that point. I found all the basic pieces except my leggings and skirt at a thrift store. You all…. too many people go commando in leggings – this is definitely a “buy it new” item for me. Then I had another problem, Vanellope is wearing a hoodie. It was out of the question for me to wear a hoodie in September in Orlando. The sleeves had to go. Then to do the stitching on the hoodie….. I used pink shoe string and a tapestry needle for this. (Okay so maybe I lied…if it counts as sewing, I can do it. I don’t think it does). The leggings, though… oh man those leggings. I couldn’t find any barebones like his, nothing really close, so I had to do them. I used paint. (If there is a better way, please let me know in the comments because it was difficult). I dabbed each strip with painter’s tape (hint: painter’s tape doesn’t work well on fabric. If I ever do something like this again, I’d use removable cloth tape.) . Then I painted each individual strip. Be sure to use fabric paint; any other paint will harden and eventually render the garment unable to stretch/fit. For her licorice ponytail holder, I twisted pipe cleaners together. There are nicer things you can buy for this, but I was trying to be as economical as possible. Overall this was my favorite costume, but it was definitely the most effort.
In 2019 my family stayed home and I went to the parks alone for the Halloween party, so for the first time I didn’t have to compromise with two guys on our costume. So I decided to do something I always wanted to do (but got rejected), and made a classic Mouseketeer! It was fun and best of all it was easy! I already had the ears so that was something I didn’t have to worry about. I think a classic ear hat might have been better, but I liked the modern twist they put on the costume (and didn’t have to buy anything new). The shirt and skirt were miraculously found at Goodwill, so my thrift trend continued (but in a pinch, if you can’t, similar items can be found inexpensively on Aamazon). To finish, I bought a petticoat from Amazon and some iron-on letters from my local craft store. It couldn’t have been simpler!
What do you think? Do you like the idea of creating your own costume or do you prefer to buy something ready made? For our family, it’s a fun tradition to get into the Spooky Season spirit! As we usually travel at the beginning of September, we work on our costumes at the end of July, so we have plenty of time for mistakes!