It’s July which means it’s time to start planing Halloween Costumes! Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is back and we want to be decked out in style!
Planning our costumes is always fun because I get to let my creativity flow! Living life on a budget, I make our costumes… But there’s just one problem with that: I don’t sew. At all. Can’t even sew a button. I know, I have failed at life, but… here we are. My solution? Thrift stores. I make a game of it every year: we choose a theme and then I head to our local thrift stores.
Of course we always do a Disney theme, and it’s rare to find an entire perfect outfit in the thrift stores so I’ve got 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 potential in an imperfect piece can go a long way.
Our Pinocchio costumes for example:
My husband’s vest began life as a suit jacket. I cut off the sleeves and the collar and used Stitch Witch (an iron- on fabric bonder) to turn it into a vest. His cummerbund? You don’t find too many of those in a thrift store, and when you do they aren’t red. This was a women’s scarf. I can’t tell you when the last time I saw a pair of pedal pusher pants in the big and tall section was so my shears and Stitch Witch saved the day there again. I simply cut them and ironed the seam together. My son’s costume was cheated. I bought it on Etsy bc 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 “no touching the ground” rule so I rolled with it. I bought the wings on Amazon. My wand, however, was made from scrap wood that I cut into a star, a dowel rod, ribbon I happened to already have and sparkly paint from the craft store.
Our Wreck-It Ralph costumes were by far the most labor-intensive and the ones where I cheated the most. This time around my husband’s costume was the easy one. All I had to do was paint the striped pattern on his shirt (with stretchy fabric paint). My son’s was easy enough 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 of my life choices up to that point. I found all of the base pieces except my leggings and skirt at a thrift store. Y’all…. too many people go commando in leggings– that’s definitely a “buy it new” item for me. Then I had another problem, Vanellope wears a hoodie. There was no way I was going to wear a hoodie in September in Orlando. The sleeves had to go. Then to do the stitching on the hoodie….. I used a pink shoe string and an upholstery needle for that. (Ok so maybe I lied…. if that counts as sewing, I can do that. I don’t think it does though). The leggings, though… oh man those leggings. I couldn’t find any striped like hers, nothing really even close, so I had to make them. I used paint. (If there’s a better way, please let me know in the comments because this was rough). I tapped off every stripe with painters tape (tip: painters tape does not work well on fabric. If I ever do anything like this again, I’d use removable fabric tape.). Next I painted each individual stripe. Make sure to use fabric paint; any other paint will harden and possibly make the clothing not able to stretch/fit. For her licorice ponytail holder I twisted pipe cleaners together. There are better looking things that you can buy for this, but I was attempting to be as economical as possible. All in all, this was my favorite costume but it definitely was the most effort.
In 2019, my family stayed home and I went to the parks by myself for the Halloween party, so for the first time ever I didn’t have to compromise with two guys on our costume. So I decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do (but was overruled on), and did a classic Mouseketeer! It was fun and best of all it was easy! I had the ears already so that was one thing I didn’t need to worry about. I do think a classic ear hat may have been better but I liked the modern touch these brought to the costume (and I didn’t have to buy anything new). The shirt and skirt were miraculously found at a Goodwill so my thrifting trend got to continue (but in a pinch, if you can’t, similar items can be found on Aamazon inexpensively). To finish it off 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 love the idea of making your own costume or would you rather buy something ready-made? For our family, it’s a fun tradition to get us into the Spooky Season spirit! Since we usually travel in early September, we get to work on our costumes in late-July so we have plenty of time for mistakes!