Cheap Costume for Kids

cheap-costume

She’s a mouse! Or some kind of kitten. Perhaps a puppy.

My husband had to correct me, though, when I declared this costume to be the cheapest EVER. “You spent at least a fraction of a cent on that eyeliner. Remember when we forgot about Halloween the year Vlad went as Safari Kid?” ooo. yeah. That was the year Curious George and a safari-themed shirt from the closet became a costume.

BEHOLD: Mouse-Child

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Context is important. Is she a kitten eating a mouse, or a Mommy Mouse about to be eaten by a giant cat?

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Creeper Costume

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Maybe Minecraft will be in style again next year. Who knows! In any case, I decided to post my version of a Creeper costume. I don’t usually post instructions on how to make things because…well…if you lived with me, you’d see why.

Anyhow! I imagine this general plan could cover many of the creatures in Minecraft since they are built of blocks.

I’m not the type to fuss around with a sewing machine. But, I didn’t want to put the Kid in a cardboard box either. (Not that those are bad costumes! They just aren’t practical for school AND trick-or-treating.)

I got this idea from another blogger who has more of a focus on homemade items than I do. This blogger gave some really good advice relating to mistakes to avoid. For one, she underestimated the time it would take to put this item together. Simple concept/tedious execution.

I made sure to start this costume well in advance and to use fabric glue and iron-on backing. The other blogger used a glue-gun, which isn’t ideal for fabric (but great in a pinch!). The iron-on backing I used did not fare so well during a school day. Some of the felt and the grey sweatshirt material didn’t adhere enough to make it all the way through. I ended up gluing the pieces back on last night with fabric glue. I made sure to glue around the square edges so they would lay flat.

I went through the trouble of doing that because the Kid tells me he plans to wear this shirt on other occasions. Um, okay!

If I had to do it again, I would have used a good quality fabric glue from square one. Ironing of the pieces made them crooked because they either stuck to the iron or slid around. The shirt looked better when I peeled off the crooked ones and glued them back on straight.

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^^^ See how they are kind of crooked? Annoying after all that measuring and cutting. Grr.

There are a ton of patterns you can download and print for a good Creeper head. It’s still uncomfortably warm and humid most years in Austin, so I opted for makeup instead of a cardboard head. The Kid already owned a Creeper cap, but he got so warm he had to take that off during our trip around the neighborhood.

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Svetlana the Magnificent

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In continuation of my study of spooky photography this October, I created a new character. She’s a mage. Okay, so she’s more of a shyster than a true mage–and isn’t that the scary part??

I used two lights for this shoot for more balance since I wasn’t going for the B movie effect. I was inspired by images from the Nine Inch Nails Closer video when I edited the pictures. I’ve loved that song and the visuals for 20 years now. It never gets old to watch a steam-powered heart pump in rhythm to the beat.

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Anyhow, she’s an easy character to create for Halloween. All you need is black: Black wig, black eyeliners, black eye shadow. Throw in a little red lipstick and a lot of white powder (Ben Nye) and you have yourself a false mage.

Bloody Mary, the Queen in the Mirror

In keeping with my study of creepy photography techniques, this time I angled a light downwards on to myself. This lighting position is used for all kinds of portraits, so it’s not necessarily going to end up having a person look terribly scary. I had to rely on makeup and costuming for the desired effect.

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I have a back story for why I chose this particular image to work on.

Bloody Mary is cursed to live out her lonely days trapped in mirrors. The ages of solitude have twisted her psyche to the point where she lashes out at the youthful girls who taunt her with their chants. They are her only company, but she chooses to terrify them rather than curry favor with the children so that she may ease her solitude.

Girls learn the hard way not to request an appearance of this queen. It only takes one bad experience to figure out that this spirit is not fun to call upon.

In my case, I received a scratch in one session. Not being one to quit while ahead, I decided to call upon her once more. She appeared in my Strawberry Shortcake hand mirror when I chanted for her in my closet. Her face was frightening, and she left me a stern warning about bothering her in the future: she fogged up my hand mirror–permanently.

You better believe I chucked that thing in the trash when I realized it wasn’t my breath that had fogged it up!

Terrified Doll

I’m continuing with my study of how to make my photos creepier for Halloween. This time, I angled the light upwards to add scariness a la old B&W horror films. I also used a cyan filter after desaturating the pictures to make the doll look sickly.

Not that the doll is attractive to start with….

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This is Faceless Pete. Well, I suppose this is Face of Faceless Pete. I’m going to consider the parts separate entities, as I suspect I will never glue them back together. 😛

Face of Faceless Pete was hiding from a demon looking for a new face.

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Face of Faceless Pete escaped, in case you were worried about him.

Vicious Doll

I am going to focus my efforts on improving my creepy photography this October. Today, I spent quite some time online researching different methods to create spooky effects with lighting. I decided I’d practice with a single strobe without an umbrella to achieve dramatic contrast, which was one of the suggestions I read.

I converted these to B&W and adjusted the tints to get the look I wanted. I also altered the contrast and the brightness.

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Problems I encountered:

1.  The mask was a challenge. It was damn near impossible to position myself in a way to avoid showing the edges. I had the idea to use my hair to cover the edges. Some of the pictures looked like Cousin It was convulsing on the floor. LOL! Or maybe better stated, ROFL.

2.  I chose a single strobe and no light for the background because I have a mirrored cabinet which reflects light in the background without the addition of another strobe. I had to move the light and camera around to avoid angles where you could see the strobe in the mirror.

3. Costuming wasn’t what I had imagined. I planned to use a fluffy, light green petticoat and dark green gloves. Well, I looked in the mirror, and that petticoat was making me look chunky and shapeless with the shirt I chose. Then the gloves were too much of a contrast with the mask.

Also, my shoes pinched my toes. And you can’t even see them, so it was all for naught. Boo!