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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween Costumes

I really did not want to make costumes this year; instead, I thought Mr. Beadgirl could go buy the boys transformers or superhero costumes, saving valuable craft time for projects for myself. (I've come around on commercial costumes -- they are not the waste of money I thought, given that the Beadboys are still playing with the Batman and Robin costumes we got them two years ago. Their refusal to grow more than an inch a year helps.)

But then I learned at the beginning of October that Beadboy2's school wanted everyone to dress up as a literary character for Halloween. A literary character from a book, they repeatedly emphasized; Optimus Prime would not cut it. I refused to buy a second costume (and I doubted places like Ricky's had literary costumes anyway), and I still refused to make one. After much grumbling and discussing with another parent, I came up with The Man in the Yellow Hat -- perfect! Beadboy2 loves Curious George, he could wear Beadboy1's yellow jacket and carry a stuffed monkey, and I could paint yellow a plastic pith helmet from a long-ago party.

Unfortunately, Beadboy2 rejected that immediately. After explaining he had to dress as someone from a book, he started going through his books. The Lion King was out, because that was a cartoon first. A character from Dora the Explorer was out because that was a TV show. Beadboy2's next suggestion, Superman, is a literary character, and of course comics are a valid literary form. But I suspected that Beadboy2's principal and teachers would not agree -- they struck me as the type to dismiss comics as juvenile cartoons, and I was not interested in a fight. Beadboy2 then grabbed a children's religious book given by Beadmom (we call them "Grammy books" in our house) and declared he would dress up as God. But that's a fight I'm even less interested in having with the principal of a public school.

That's when I came up with the idea of a lion. Beadboy2 loves lions, and his favorite books, in addition to the aforementioned Lion King, are Aesop's fable of The Lion and the Mouse, and a beautiful Narnia pop-up book Mr. Beadgirl's parents gave him. Beadboy2 was thrilled with the idea of being Aslan, and I had something to work with (having now resigned myself to making something). And hey! Aslan is God, so two costumes in one!

I bought a mustardy sweatshirt hoodie at Target and lots of golden yellow, beige, and tan felt at Jo-Ann's. I cut the yellow and tan felt into inch wide strips and folded them in half, then sewed them in three rows along the edge of the hood. I covered up the logo on the front (why must inexpensive kids' clothes have logos and slogans?) with the beige felt. Finally, I made a tail from a narrow tube of yellow felt, added tan fringe to the end, and sewed it onto the back hem of the shirt. Voila:
As for Beadboy1, he's an easy-going guy, so he was happy to wear his dragon costume from last year (once I made a few repairs and spot-cleanings).

Next year I really truly am not making costumes.

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