Photos and text by Gabrielle.
On Saturday, we went to our church Halloween party. It was a “trunk-or-treat”! If you haven’t heard of a trunk or treat, it’s basically a chance for all the families in our congregation to get together and see the kids dressed up in their costumes. Our congregation covers a big area geographically, which means we don’t all attend the same schools or live in the same neighborhoods, and won’t likely get to see each other on actual Halloween, so this is a fun substitute.
Families gather in the parking lot at the church and the kids go from car trunk to car trunk trick-or-treating. Some people decorate their trunks, but it’s not a requirement. I especially love trunk-or-treat for very young kids. It happens in broad daylight, in a contained area, with no moving vehicles, and there are lots of familiar faces — so it’s less intimidating for little ones than actual trick-or-treating from house to house, and it doesn’t take up a lot of time.
The only downside of our trunk-or-treat, is that it moves up our costume deadline by a week. That’s not really a bad thing, in fact, I like that I don’t have to think about costumes this week — we’re all set for the school costume parade on Friday and for trick-or-treating on Saturday. Feels good to have that marked off my to-do list. The earlier deadline just means we have to get working on costumes a little sooner in October than we probably would otherwise.
Here’s a little report on what the kids wore:
Flora June Blair. Mermaid.
For this costume, I found a sequin dress in the women’s dept at Goodwill, then remade it into a skirt and added the tulle. I used extra material from the dress to sew “seashells” onto one of her gymnastics leotards. June’s original vision for this costume was to have a true mermaid tail. When I explained she wouldn’t be able to walk for trick or treating, she thought about it for awhile and then told me she had an idea. “Let’s make a glass bathtub and I’ll lay in it with my mermaid tail and we can fill it with water, and Oscar and Betty can carry me to each door.”
June likes this costume very much but not-so-secretly wishes it turned her into an actual mermaid. Also, for the photos, she wanted to have a sort-of serious expression. I think she feels mermaids are very solemn.
Betty Blair. Pippi Longstocking.
Betty was over the moon about how this costume turned out!! The dress was a total score. It’s by April Cornell and I found it new with tags at Goodwill for $7! It’s a super sweet dress and she’ll be able to wear it for school and church after it’s done with Pippi duty. Isn’t it perfect?
The apron is from Kayce Hughes — it’s been part of our dress-up collection for years. The red striped tights are from our costume box, the other sock is from Ralph’s sock drawer. The shoes are also from Goodwill. The hairstyle was made with a wire hanger.
If you want to try the hair, here are my tips:
1) It works best as a 3 person job. Betty did her best to hold still. Maude held the wire in place on top of Betty’s head. And I braided.
2) We brushed and parted Betty’s hair, then I stretched out a wire hanger. I gently bent the center of it over Betty’s head. Maude held it in place, and then I braided over the wire. This is key! Braid around the wire, instead of trying to stick the wire into the braid. No special instruction here. Just braid over and under the wire as you go.
3) There was extra wire sticking out of each braid. I used a plier to bend the ends (so that we didn’t poke anyone’s eye out as Betty walked around), then clipped the extra.
Her hair has gotten so long, but she hasn’t wanted a trim because she knew she wanted to be Pippi for Halloween and wanted long braids. She said after Halloween she’ll be ready for a haircut!
Oscar Stanley Groberg Blair. Pillow Monster.
Oscar has been asking to be a pillow monster for months, but I had no idea what he was picturing. Eventually, he made me a drawing to help me understand. I used a white sheet to sew an oversized pillowcase, then Oscar drew a face and I painted it on. He also had me paint the words Pillow Monster on the back, because he knew everyone would ask. We filled it with fiberfill and used velcro to close the top. One note, I couldn’t get to the fabric store to buy fiberfill, so instead, I bought 3 of the cheapest pillows I could find at Target and used their stuffing instead.
Oscar couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! He just grinned and grinned when he put it on. And it was fun to see little kids react to him at the trunk-or-treat. They would either ram into him, or give him a bear hug.
Olive Jean Blair. Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly.
This turned out so well! Olive found the dress and necklace at Goodwill. We ordered the gloves, toy tiara and cigarette holder from Amazon. Shoes are from Target and sunglasses are from Olive’s collection. The faux fur wrap actually belongs to her little sister June. So sophisticated!
Olive completely led the way on this, I didn’t need to do much at all.
Maude Emma Blair. Jack Sparrow.
This costume made me super happy, because Maude thought of it and put it together like 5 mins before we left to trunk-or-treat. Not exaggerating at all. She ran around the house grabbing items and then quickly did her makeup.
It turned out so good!
Ralph went as a heart-eyes-emoji. He printed out the emoji and attached it to a black t-shirt. He didn’t feel it was good enough to warrant a photo, but you can see a peek in the group photo. : ) Anyway, I’m happy to report the trunk-or-treat was a big success. Very low-stress. It was super fun to see all those kids dressed up!
How about you? How is costume-duty going at your house? Any especially awesome creations happening? Do your kids have strong opinions? Or do they like to grab something from the dress-up box and go? If they have a specific request, do you prefer to make or to buy? (We do both depending on the request!) Have your kids ever stumped you with a costume idea? I’d love to hear!