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October 13, 2015

A DIY Halloween

The fall returns! Oh joy! How keen!
It’s time again for Halloween!
Along with witches, ghouls and mice
(and tidal waves of pumpkin spice)
arrives the costume-wearing season!
Before you curse, there is no reason
to blather, shout, or start in drinking.
(Although that could be fun, I’m thinking…)
No time, however, for libation;
Goodwill is now our destination!
It is a cornucopia, it’s said,
for all things frightful and undead.
(No, not the lady on aisle four.
That’s just old Mrs. Mandibore.
She hasn’t been quite right, you see,
since the turnip blight of ’63).
The dress-up options! Fun galore!
So glad we skipped the big-box store
with paper masks and plastic smocks
not half as thrilling as the box
in which they came, so nice and fresh,
from East Khartoum or Bangladesh.
Oh, no, the Goodwill is the spot
for Halloween. I kid you not!
For example, let us see
some costumes taken from tv
of not too many years ago.

All buckled up? Okay. Let’s go!

Gomez and Morticia from The Addams Family

In last month’s column we mentioned our Halloween 2014 outing as Gomez and Morticia Addams, and decided we’d feature it again. Perhaps this will become a regular thing, who knows? We may be well on our way to becoming the online equivalent of the elderly relatives who tell the same five stories over and over again for years.(“ Did we ever show you kids our Gomez and Morticia pictures…?” )

If you have a bald, roundish friend or relative, you might enjoy having Uncle Fester along for the festivities. Simply find a brown robe or nightgown and line the collar area with fur. If the evening takes a particularly jolly turn, perhaps you can pay a visit to Uncle Fester’s bar and help yourself to free drinks, claiming to own the place. Then you and your chums can all have a good laugh while waiting for the police to arrive.

Ribbet collage mort


Morticia’s dress, found at Goodwill, just needed a slit down the front to make V-neckline, and the addition of the batwing-y bits to the arms and hem, which were cut from the lining of a Goodwill skirt (I do love a good multi-purpose thrift find). We also found Gomez’s watch chain at Goodwill (yes, they have jewelry!).

Farewell, Gomez and Morticia, at least until next month, when we will likely find some vague justification for bringing you up once again.

Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Ribbet collage

This costume is made almost entirely from Goodwill finds. Since I don’t sew well enough to build a dress from scratch, I started with a nightgown as the base. I cut up a couple of pink shirts and a khaki skirt for the main patchwork pieces, and did the designs with fabric paint.  I also thrifted the white socks so I wouldn’t have to paint a pair of my own.

That Sally is a real cut-up. She keeps me in stitches! She’s got any Halloween costume contest all sewn up. An added benefit to this costume is that it can do double duty as “Knife Fight Pippi Longstocking”, should you wish to horrify small children with a ghoulish re-imagining of a beloved storybook character. Which you should.

The Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus

Ribbet collage2

My sister and a friend of ours had wanted to do this for a long time. He ordered his Winifred get-up online, but ours were primarily Goodwill-sourced.

For Mary, we found red and peach shirts to be pieced together, a plaid picnic blanket to serve as the base for the skirt, and some shower curtain rings to be spray-painted gold for those weird waist details. For Sarah, to the base of a previous costume dress we added a pink spiderweb sweater, a sheer tablecloth for the bodice overlay, and a purple skirt that had a DIFFERENT color purple lining (score!).

Need ideas?

On our most recent trip to our local Goodwill store (Garner’s Ferry Road), just wandering around, I noticed (among other things) a lovely Renaissance-ish dress, a rack full of scrubs and doctors’ coats, and a “party pack” of plastic bugs… suitable for princess/damsel/maiden attire, healthcare professional costuming, or bug-covered something-or-other.




Or go for broke and be a princess being attacked by bugs while moonlighting as a dentist. That would be memorable. Especially if you were going to a non-costume party in mid-November. Bold choices, friends. Bold choices…

Ideas given, whoop-de-dee!
Now here’s an extra one for free
to all who tend to sit and wait
and serially procrastinate,
watching endless tv  dramas,
throwing dice, or grooming llamas,
(or whatever keeps you from preparing
 to create what you’ll be wearing.)
No need to curse, or shout, or frown;
There’s always Duct Tape Charlie Brown!

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