Halloween this year is a very busy day for me – but there is still plenty of blog-fun to be had! We’ll start the morning with a guest blog post from Diana Hirsch about her awesomely unique Halloween costume this year! Diana blogs over at Wolf Howlings, and can also be found on Twitter as @dianahirsch and Instagram @dwhirsch.
The cashier squinted at me and said, “You’re going to be a what for Halloween?”
“I’m going to be a Christmas tree,” I replied.
I’m quite pleased with this. I don’t know anyone else who’s dressed up as a Christmas tree. In fact, I don’t know how I came up with this idea. My goal is to have the most kickin’ costume for my annual Halloween Crop at Casa de la Hirsch. Last year, one friend dressed as a citizen from the Capitol of Panem. Her sweeping eyelashes, green feathered hair and glitter face spray outdid my pallid zombie doctor’s smudged mascara. Not this year.
I’m cheap, quick and easy, but I didn’t tell the cashier this. My masterpiece came together in six days from concept to completion.
I originally thought: what can I repurpose from past costumes. Was there anything I could update? There’s only so much you can do with a Flashback 80s Flashdancer outfit or doctor scrubs that have already morphed into three separate costumes. Taking mental inventory, the fuzzy brown pants from my 70s Peace Chick outfit came to mind. Brown pants could be a tree trunk. Christmas tree. Or something like that.
Who dresses up as a Christmas tree for Halloween? No one. I’ll be a trendsetter.
A Christmas tree has three sections: trunk, base and top. Tree trunk: check. Tree base: I owned a long-sleeve green shirt to keep my arms warm, so I just purchased a $5, easily replaceable T-shirt. The Large was big enough to stretch and give me that triangular base without being so huge that I tripped inside it.
The tree top stumped me. Sure, I could make something with a bit of trial and error, but with 5 days left, what’s available now? A witch’s hat from Target met all the requirements. It was pointy and sturdy enough to hold an angel or star topper with a snug fit that wouldn’t topple off my head. It had a brim, but I could do something with that later. For $8.99, it was perfect…except it was orange.
The patient woman at the Joann fabric counter showed me several options of green fabric until we both settled on the ideal piece: solid enough to hide the orange; flexible to wrap around the hat; light enough to not weigh the hat down; and as a bonus, it had a matte and shiny side. Options!
Note: do not use a hot glue gun for the first time 2 days before the costume is due.
No doubt there’s a proper way to cut fabric to wrap on the diagonal, but I’m not a seamstress. Stuffing paper inside the top of the hat gave it stability so that my fabric strips overlapped, but left gaps. Chunks of fabric covered those gaps, but adhering all that left sloppy drops of glue. Besides, I wanted the underside of the brim to look neat in case anyone looked.
Garland; all trees have it, but in the third week of October, stores do not. I was too lazy last season to put away all decorations, but that act saved me from digging through 5 tubs to find it. I use silver garland on our tree and gold garland to decorate the house, so the festive home atmosphere would suffer for this greater good. There was enough to wrap around the hat leaving enough for me to decorate ala beauty queen sash.
Decorating with my older, unpopular ornaments meant tub diving, and my husband pointed out that I could be uncomfortable and might break some. Curses! He was right.
Making shapes is not the easy solution. Paper is too flimsy, punches do not work on the thicker-than-you-think craft foam sheets, and fussy cutting posterboard leaves choppy edges. I discovered this 12 hours before my party.
In the course of the week, I’d been to every store in my area except for the 24-hour Walmart and Meijer superstores. Meijer was closer. They actually had a small developing Christmas section. Every tree topper had glitter on it, and my house is a crafter no-glitter zone. Hairspray might seal it; I’ll take that chance. As I was contemplating the large 8-count packs of also-glittered balls, the ceiling opened, angels sang and a heavenly light directed me to the end of the aisle where there were 12-packs of mini balls. I grabbed five different colors and bolted to the door. Well, I stopped in the notions department to purchase safety pins. The small gold ones matched the ball hooks, but the larger silver ones might fit through the thick hat. I took both and bolted to the door.
Not wearing green face paint was a conscious choice because this was an informal get together and my skin is sensitive. If I was at a party where cash prizes were involved, I’d suffer the breakout rash afterwards.
The mini-balls hid the gloppy gluey sections that the garland did not and were light enough to not rip and shred the green fabric. I pinned balls only on the front of my shirt so I could sit down comfortably. Packing tape adhered garland to my T-shirt so I could remove it to wash the shirt.
The tree toppers were too heavy to use, so I nixed that since the balls dangling from the hat brim gave the allure of ornaments, so all I really needed was that hat. In fact, that left the hat floppy enough to fold down for a flat storage.
Those 50-count, battery-powered portable strands would be a cool addition, as would inexpensive, size appropriate ornaments, but I was a week too early for that stock on shelves. No doubt a trip to the dollar store next week will solve that.