Halloween 2015

…I love that the title of this blog post rhymes.

This year we reached a critical stage of the Halloween Rules. For a refresher, the rules are:

  1. Have a cool idea
  2. Make it yourself
  3. $20 budget for supplies, max.

Himself’s parents were visiting in early October, which meant that an actual, physical newspaper entered our house, complete with advertisements. And it was like flipping a switch – David saw a (crappy) ninja turtle costume and changed his mind about what to be for Halloween.

Goodbye, fun idea of the whole family being characters from the new Star Wars Rebels cartoon. *sigh*

Goodbye, equally fun idea of everyone being transformers, with Raphael being Bumblebee because he still talks primarily in hums and shrieks.

Goodbye massive stockpile of cardboard in my living room. I can’t justify keeping you. (Maybe the car seat box.)

I insisted that we abide by the rules and make costumes. This didn’t work out well either, as I got sick in the weeks between the visit de los suegros and Halloween itself. In the end, all we (read I) made were these cunning ninja turtle balaclavas: 


David as Leonardo is quite pleased with himself!


Raphael looks sad, he caught the cold that made me too miserable to make elaborate costumes.

The tummies are costume tees I found at Walmart. They had capes (???), but 20 minutes and a seam ripper took the Velcro patches off nicely.

The balaclavas I knit myself. They worked for trick or treating, but I’m revising the pattern to have a better fit and better eye holes.

The weaponry came from Amazon, because what’s the point of being ninja turtles without having the right weapons? Himself insisted on getting two katana for Leonardo, even though this is historically inaccurate. He swears the original cartoon Leonardo had two.

We were going to make cardboard shells, but exhaustion and a forecast of all day rain nixed that. Instead we bought plastic roleplaying shells at Target. That put us over budget, but if we are going to buy costume components, I do prefer buying toy quality over costume quality. The shells have already seen quite a bit of use.

After the last minute ninja turtle costume switch, I realized that I needed to model the behavior I want to see in my children. I needed to come up with a kick-ass costume myself and make it.

Behold, the Medusa:

This was a LOT of work. I first knit a fagot stitch skullcap from the olive yarn. The snakes are adapted from the snake instructions from this Medusa barrette pattern. I made the bodies with a four stitch icord machine, once the tube was started, I tucked in a pipe cleaner and cranked out a 15″ pose-able icord. I left an arms length of yarn at each end to knit snake heads at the end of each tube.


Close up of snakes.

I didn’t get as many snakes done as I wanted. One skein made 26 double ended snakes. They all have beaded eyes, and there are two styles of heads – open mouthed with white fangs and close mouthed with a red tongue.

You can still see bits of the hat. But it was still pretty effective! By next Halloween, I hope to have completed another 26 double headed snakes and added a proper Grecian gown and sandals to the costume. Maybe costume fangs.
Not bad from idea to execution in just under three weeks, though!

Edit:  if you were admiring my long & dramatic necklace, it is my new badge holder.  (My work badge clips right onto one of the big loops.)  My friend Kyra made it.  She sells her amazing and gorgeous chain mail jewelry at Iron Lace Design on Etsy.

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8 Responses to Halloween 2015

  1. Monique Reed says:

    Hahaha! The Medusa hat is a riot! You are SO clever! I was a lab accident this year– bruises, gashes with real stitches, burned and stained shirt, and bloody scissors protruding from my chest.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Foxfier says:

    Princess says: “She has snakes on her head!”
    Duchess says: “A lot of snakes.”
    Awesome hat!
    David is right about Leo. Had two swords in the movies, too!

  3. Love the snake cap. Very clever!

  4. Melanie B says:

    Greek clothing is really easy. It’s all rectangles and no sewing. You just need decorative fasteners to secure along shoulders and arms. One tube for the chiton and a rectangle for the peplos or himation. A girdle, sandals, and you’re set.

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