25 October 2009

Home Made Halloween Costumes

I'm a firm believer that the best costumes are made when using what you have and most importantly your imagination. As mentioned in my previous post on the "Neighborhood Zombie Walk" we always have stuck to the spooky theme. (Seriously when did the "slut" factor start? As kids we were always doing something spooky.) Halloween as our wedding anniversary, we hosted some fun "Come as Your Favourite Dead Person" parties (best costumes went to my brother dressed as fat Elvis -- we have a pic of him gnawing down on a massive plate of baked ziti that still cracks me up, and my husband who went as Jesus, crown of thorns and all. And yes the florist thought I was insane for wanting the thorns on the roses!) Since we had our daughter we had to relinquish the parties so that she could enjoy trick or treating, but thankfully she has the same sensibility when it comes to dressing creepy for Halloween so we always wind up having a blast anyway! We usually try to come up with a family theme for a costume so we can all have fun dressing up!

Since I'm a pack rat, and have been collecting vintage for over 30 years, there is almost always something to choose for a costume. I have an extensive wig collection (I wore them to clubs throughout my 20-40's) so usually we just need to get a few bits and bobs inexpensively to complete our costumes.

This year my daughter decided she wanted to be a ghost. But not just a sheet over the head type ghost, a ghost bride. As luck would have it I found a perfect white vintage dead stock 60's wig from my old shop for her.


And Nana's prom dress which as faded into the perfect creepy shade of grey (from the original 1950's light blue), and also includes a hoop skirt shall be her dress. Since it was cocktail length for my mother, it comes just above her ankles and is perfect!


We have a veil made from the year she was the Corpse Bride (no one got that one either, but worse when she was Wednesday Addams they thought she was a Pilgrim!) which looks quite decayed, along with a bouquet of decayed looking flowers. We also got her some white tights that we'll cut the crotch out in order to make a neck hole so it can be used as a top. Poke fingers through the toes and Voila! Spooky looking gloves with the addition of some grey and black paint. (And the added warmth as you never know how cold it will be this time of year.)


My husband has decided (as the zombie lover of the family) to go against the grain, and to be a punk zombie. It shall take a bit of doing to get his past shoulder length hair spiked up into a green Mohawk! (Hey, if I can't have mine anymore someone is! I suppose as an old punk I should be insulted, but I'm just happy to see green hair again!)

Today we hit the thrift store, and found all the items we needed for my husbands outfit. I'm going to have some much fun putting these outfits together! First thing we found was a tee, which will be burned, bloodied, and slashed beyond recognition. (No clue why it says "New Jersey" at the bottom!)

He was also able to find a pair of jeans we can destroy zombie-esque. And a leather vest he can wear over his motorcycle jacket. (Steal at $10!)

And I shall be the ghostly Lady of the Manor, complete with neck slashes to show just how I died. The necklace and earring set also came with wrist sets and was handmade by the wonderful Etsy shop owner Polymer Ornaments, Jewelry and gifts by Tiana. Click on the link to find her other fab items like necklaces that look like stitches! (I've actually already worn out the necklace and earring, just because I love them so much!) I'm currently looking into getting some creepy contacts to finish off my Victorian outfit. Here are a few choices I have to make costume-wise.

Wig choice number 1 with neck slashes and blood drop earrings!

Rear view with black rose bow. This may be the winner as I can curl it up a bit to make it a little more Victorian looking.

Choice number 2. Might be a little too straight.

Dress choice number 1. Kind of boring. But may work.

These last two are Victorian blouses I've had forever and stupidly used to wear out to clubs! I can easily pair them with a velvet skirt, and tie on some kind of bustle to make them look authentic. That is, if my waist can still make it into an 18 inch waist!

Front. Note the bias tape hanging, this was to connect around your waist and has hook and eyes around it so that you can fasten your skirt. Whalebone corseting inside. Sadly a lot of the lace is starting to decay.

Back view


This is the rear of the blouse to show the gorgeous French beading. I literally wore this one to death as it was my all-time fav.

Sleeve detailing.

I have two more options I couldn't locate to photograph. One is a Victorian garden party dress, complete with blouse, skirt and belt. Its light blue, with embroidery over it. The second is a 1930's Velvet gown, which has seen many a club and Halloween outfit! I'll be trying on things like mad this week to see what works best!

I've had two DIY's I'm dying to do that involve leather. Today I was able to pick up some leather pants and a skirt for super duper prices. Those babies will be ripped apart and turned into something fab (I hope!) You'll have to wait for those pics to follow in a later post. But I did pick up a simply gorgeous skirt with chiffon I fell in love with. Once I take it in it a bit will be a fav for sure!

It doesn't look like much on the hanger, but the leather bit is in an arc type shape, with the chiffon attached. It has a fabulous asymmetrical hem. Again, it was another steal.

I love thrift shopping for the bargains, but more importantly I get an adrenaline rush with the thrill of the hunt! How about you?

What are your homemade Halloween costumes?

Halloween Spookies!

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