Miss A Columnist

Tracy Brennan is a working teacher momma to her daughter Abigail, born Nov. 2009, and manages the blog Liberating Working Moms: One Voice At A Time. She was born and raised in South Florida, and studied Journalism and Mass Media at New York University. After college, she moved across the country to the Pacific Northwest. This move and giant change was spurred on after she became an eyewitness to the 9/11 attacks. She knew life could change at a moment’s notice and felt that she needed to make changes to find her true calling.

Once she fell in love with residing in Washington State, and fell in love with her now husband, she decided to go back to school to become a Secondary English Teacher. She began teaching in 2007 and has 1.5 years of working momma status under her belt.

Homemade Halloween: Creating Memories For The Future

As Halloween quickly approaches, the stores prepare. Walk into any party store and you will see the wall lined with premade costumes. Walk into Target or Old Navy and, BAM, all-in-one costumes adorn the shelves ready for purchase. However, these can be a bit pricey, and well, you aren’t the only one purchase them for your child. Because of this, many moms are jumping on the bandwagon to make Halloween for their families, a homemade holiday, one where memories can be made.

Kristy Villa, mom to almost two year-old Lia, has made her daughter’s costumes every year and said, “I think they are so much more original and cute and I want to give that special memory to her.”

This year, Villa is dressing up her daughter as a superhero. She is putting together this costume for cheap as well. With the purchase of some fabric on sale to make a cape, paired with felt stars and initial for the back, her cost was around $10. Adding to this are items found in her daughter’s closet.  Tights, converse sneakers, a long-sleeved shirt and a onesie will complete this look. And for Villa, being able to sew is not necessary. “I can wield scissors and a hot glue gun, but that’s about it. Luckily, I’ve been able to figure it out and rely on really good online tutorials,” she stated.

For Lindsey Williams, mom to two-year-old Ryann, a big push for her to make Halloween homemade not only has to do with cost, but also her ability to sew.  Williams said, “I find store bought costumes to look cheap (and cost too much), and since I can sew and purchase the fabric for less I prefer make my own.  It helps I can make a pattern from scratch too!”

Photo Credit: http://wakingupwilliams.com

As well, Williams makes her homemade Halloween a family affair, as not only does she construct her daughter’s costume, but she also whips one up for her husband and herself to create a theme. Last year, they all went as the Flintstones, and all three costumes where created for around $20, accessories included.

Though Williams can sew, she also utilizes her local thrift store to collect items for the costumes. For this year’s theme, her daughter Ryann will dress up as a bee, and she and her husband will transform into beekeepers. She was lucky enough to find two hats for the beekeepers’ outfits, and will create the netting herself using fabric purchased at a craft store.

Williams feels, though, that anyone can create a fun homemade Halloween costume. “Handmade Halloween doesn’t need to be difficult or cheap looking. It’s about planning ahead, searching for supplies and material on sale or at discount stores.  Consignment stores and Goodwill/Salvation Army are your friend.  You can find inspiration in books or online and recreate something you already have to work for your costume.”

But homemade Halloween doesn’t mean you have to make it all yourself. Amber Stiles, mom to two and a half year-old Alexa, is choosing this year to create a homemade Halloween costume utilizing the resources of all those handmade goodies found on Etsy. “I wish I had the time/patience/skill/talent to make any or all of these elements myself. But ordering from and supporting the handmade community makes me feel good about my choice to avoid the mass marketed costumes and come up with something special for my little girl,” she stated.

Photo Credit: Etsy- lil e creations

Stiles has been working closely with Etsy sellers to customize her daughter’s butterfly costume. From creating one of a kind monarch butterfly wings working with lil e creations, to a one of a kind wand from Uf Da! Designs, and adding accessories like a customized butterfly hat, utilizing a design from Little Snugglies by Val.  And though working on a costume with so many Etsy sellers can raise the cost, Stiles purposefully chose items to add to her daughter’s dress up collection. She stated, “The best part is she’ll be able to use and play with everything for years to come if she chooses!”

Ultimately, a homemade Halloween can be a fun adventure searching for unique finds to create your one of a kind costume. And you don’t even need to be a seamstress to pull off an amazing outfit. Online tutorials and searches on Pinterest for inspiration will lead you down the path to making a Halloween filled with fun memories and a one of a kind costume for others to ogle at. MissA even told me she fondly remembers her Wonder Woman costume that her mom made her as a child. Homemade Halloween lives on!

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