Happy Halloween!

The Roy’s Pumpkins: 2013

Tim bought two smaller pumpkins so that the kids could each do their own this year. Shay wasn’t interested, so Eden and I set to work and came up with these designs. This is the first pumpkin she cleaned and carved all by herself. Great job!

Dirty Laundry Costume:

We were talking at work the other day and I was reminded of one student’s costume from last year’s Halloween Parade. He dressed-up as “dirty laundry”. We have been struggling to agree on a costume for Shay, but when I suggested this idea, he thought “dirty laundry” might be fun. Personally, I was pulling for the Girl Guide costume, but he wouldn’t bite.

For this costume, I took one of our older (broken) laundry baskets and cut the bottom of it out. (My husband thought this was a great idea, as I actually might break down and go and buy a new one to replace the broken one we’ve been using for what seems like forever.) Here is a list of what we used to pull together this costume. It could seriously be done in under an hour.  I lucked out and had everything I needed at home with the exception of the old soap container.

  • one laundry basket with the bottom removed
  • grey pipe insulation to set along the inside of the cut basket (meant to provide extra comfort) I have an extra piece, but wanted to show the sharp edge.

    basket with pipe insulation

    Here is a shot of the bottom of the basket with pipe insulation installed around the hole for a more comfortable fit.

  • two pieces of fabric scraps (or something similar) to tie to the basket and lay across the shoulders to support the basket
  • one hoody with various articles of clothing pinned or stitched all over it randomly
  • one bedsheet (We included a bedsheet in the basket because it is large and yet very light to carry around.)
  • one large plastic empty laundry detergent container (I messaged a few friends and my neighbor had one we could use – Yay Jen!)  Cut the container below the handle to open up the tops, so that candy can be dropped in through the opening.
  • one empty stain remover bottle, hung and glue gunned to the edge of the basket
  • various clothes pinned to the sheet (to avoid losing them)
  • dirt or dark face paint to add to the “dirty” effect
  • “Dirty Laundry” sign, if you wish
dirty laundry

Here is a trial fitting, minus the face paint to make Shay look “dirty”. You can see how much fun he is having getting suited-up!

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Yippee for Pippi!

Eden loves Halloween and this year we decided to make her a Pippi Longstocking costume. She was really excited, but worried that most of her peers would not know who Pippi  was. Unfortunately, this story book heroine is unknown by most children today.  I absolutely loved Pippi Longstocking when I was a kid. In fact, I’d like to believe it was her fault that I spent so many hours of my childhood in time-out chairs or sitting in the hallway at school. (Believe me I was not always the “goodie two-shoes” you think I am.) Perhaps she didn’t make the best “role model”, but I loved the way she was able to outsmart adults. I was indeed quite a “prankster” (brat may be more accurate), but sadly, my parents and teachers didn’t find my behaviour all that amusing.

I found this original trailer for the Pippi Longstocking movie and couldn’t help but think about how much times have changed.  I look at Pippi’s pranks and antics and they really don’t seem that funny anymore. It reminds me of the times in which I’ve tried to share some of my favourite childhood family movies with my own kids only to have them complain and show no interest. It seems that kids are so accustomed to dynamic special effects and fast paced story lines, that the old movies don’t have nearly the impact they had when they were first released when I was a kid.  It is a bit sad to think how spoiled we are by technology and how entertainment has become so complex. We have a cupboard full of board games that often go unused. I often ask the kids if they’d like to play (I LOVE board games) and most often they have no interest. I think of the hours of fun that we spent playing cards or board games and honestly can’t understand why my children aren’t interested.  It seems like entertainment has to involve video making, cameras, computers, iPods or video games in order to pass the kid test these days.

If you were a fellow Pippi fan, you might enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Pippi Longstocking Costume

The great thing about a Pippi Longstocking costume is that it pretty much consists of regular clothes.  The key is putting all fashion sense to the wind as she always had a collection of mismatched outfits.  We decided to go for her classic look with a red and white striped top with a denim jumper.  We found a t-shirt and a pair of denim overalls at the thrift store.  thrift store overalls I cut-off the “legs” of the overalls and converted it into an overall jumper dress.  I also added a patch from my denim scrap collection. I cut up an old t-shirt and added a ruffle layer that extends below the bottom of the skirt to extend the length and give the dress more of a layered look.  old t-shirt for skirt ruffleWe decided to buy Eden a pair of fall lace-up fashion boots that she could use for the costume and wear throughout the fall.  We found these at Target as well as some knee-high patterned socks that were on clearance for $1.50 per pair.  The socks can also be worn after.  We also bought some orange hairspray to finish the look.  This costume cost us less than $16 (not including the new boots and socks that Eden will continue to wear after Halloween). We dumped the pennies out of the big metal pail that they were in and this will be what she’ll collect her candy in.  She will also carry her sock monkey (that I made her last Halloween to go with her Sock Monkey Costume) in lieu of Pippi’s pet monkey, Mr. Nilsson. For her braids, we simply opened up a wire coat hanger, and rounded the center around the top of her head and left the ends sticking out the sides to be shaped after the braids were done.  hanger for braids

We trimmed the ends of the wire with tin snips and sprayed her hair once the braids were in. (I added a little blob of hot glue to the ends of the hanger so that they weren’t so sharp.) This costume required minimal sewing and was among the easier ones to pull together. Eden had a Girl Guide Halloween party on Monday, so I have a picture of her all dressed-up, pre-Halloween.  Shay won’t have a final fitting until tomorrow, so we’ll have to share his costume then.

Pippi Longstocking Costume

Halloween Costume Ideas

For other costume ideas, check out my previous Halloween Post.  You might enjoy the video of Shay as Sesame Street’s “The Count“, if you missed the original post.

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Cutest Halloween Costume Ever!

If your house is like mine, you have been spending the last few weeks trying to decide on Halloween costumes and pull together everything you need to make it just right.  Eden decided on a costume quite a while ago, so we have most of the things we need for her Pippi Longstocking costume, but Shay just made his final decision yesterday. I will share their costumes in a future post, but thought that some of you might still be scrambling to find the perfect outfit.  This recent viral video captures the perfect toddler costume – a “stick man”.  It is too cute!

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Halloween Is Just Around the Corner

I need to start by saying that I am not a big Halloween fan, but when you check-out the video at the end you will see why I have put my personal preferences aside and embraced the whole Halloween experience.  It really does create memories that last a life time.

My Halloween Experiences:

My memories of childhood Halloweens are not of treats and candy, but of being terrified by the older kids in my home town.  I remember them doing things like stealing our candy bags, jumping out and scaring us and starting straw bales on fire in the town streets.  I really don’t remember ever having fun (although I am sure I must have when I was younger and went out with my parents). All I recall is being afraid and too cool to tell my friends how I felt.  I spent most of the evening in fear (although I am sure there was not any real danger).  Even as an adult, people in masks kind of freak me out.

Halloween for the Next Generation:

We all know how much fun it is to dress-up and pretend to be someone or something we are not. For my daughter’s third birthday, we made her a dress-up “trunk” and filled it with all kinds of clothing and accessories from local thrift shops.  It was a hit, just as my own “tickle trunk” was when I was growing up.  To this day, our dress-up trunk is still a favourite when friends come to play.  However, when it came to celebrating Halloween, we just decided to delay the inevitable.  We lived in an apartment for the first few years of my daughter’s life and therefore, we did not have “trick or treaters” coming to our door.  We never gave her candy and she really had no way of even knowing Halloween existed.  In my world, this was nice.  No candy eating to police (sorry, but I believe that candy and sugar is like a poison for small children – so we were pretty diligent about this) and no costumes to make. My daughter was completely unaware of  Halloween until she was in Nursery School and they were having a class party. We didn’t want her to lose out on the fun of dressing-up and didn’t even consider not having her participate once the “cat was out of the bag”.

I will never forget her first Halloween. We had very briefly talked about going “trick or treating” after school, but Eden really didn’t understand what it was an said we would decide when she got home from Nursery School.  She was 4 3/4 and Shay was almost 2 1/2.  We weren’t sure what the final decision would be, so we went through our dress-up trunk and found costumes for both her and Shay (just in case).  Of course, Eden was a princess! (Aren’t all 4 and 5 year old girls?) We also had an old lion costume in the “trunk”, so we decided that they could go out as “Beauty and the Beast”, if we opted to go at all. (Eden was not dressed up as Belle, but she was a princess and it would work in a pinch.)  She had a great time at school and thought that Halloween was really fun.  However, when we asked her if she wanted to go “trick or treating” or not, she reached in her backpack and pulled out  a little Dixie cup full of treats and said “Oh, no we don’t have to go, look at all the treats I got from my teacher!”  She had never seen so many candies in her life and couldn’t imagine that she needed more.  However, Shay was excited to dress-up and so it was decided that we would go out.  We got them both ready and went to Grandma and Grandpa’s and two neighbors.  The kids were so excited and could not believe the loot they got. The container we gave them was very small, so their treats filled it to the top. We were totally laughing, as they had no idea what was to come in years ahead.

Halloween Costumes:

Of course, after that first Halloween “trick or treating” became an annual event.  I am not sure about your house, but at the Roys, we start planning our costumes in September or sooner. Generally, we do not buy the commercial costumes, but rather try to put together odds and ends from around home or the thrift store.  I thought I would share some of our favourites in case you are starting to think ahead to October 31st, as well.  Here are some of our favourites.

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A Favourite Halloween Memory:

I don’t like scary costumes and Shay really wanted to be Dracula when he was 4, so we made a compromise and I said he could be “The Count” from Sesame Street.  Here is a video clip of him doing his Count gig.  Gotta love it!