November 14, 2011

A Gnome, a Vampire, & a Wizard. Last minute Halloween Costumes.

When Mason & Eric were younger, I really got into Halloween.  I brainstormed & came up with creative & clever ideas well ahead of time, sewed & got excited about it.  

For the past few years - I just haven't.
We've built up quite a costume box over the seasons.  Come Halloween time, everyone pretty much just digs in finds a costume that fits or mixes & matches with other things around the house, & we call it good.

This year I wasn't feeling it, either.   Except I did have a strong urge for Beau to be a gnome. 
Lilly wanted to be a princess-like character again..  which isn't my thing, but I didn't have the spunk to persuade her otherwise.  She likes to get use out of her fancy dresses.  Johnathan had decided on a vampire, and I was cool with that as well. 

Then, as so often it happens October 30th, when the time came to put together & pack everyone's costumes for school the next day, it hit me - I got into it!
Beau was set on being a wizard (he'd been running around the yard in a gown & cloak & old witch hat for a month) and as I asked one last time if he was sure he wouldn't want me to make him into a gnome, it was Lilly who responded, "Oh fine, I'll be a gnome."

So with 12 hours 'til Halloween, my creative spirit kicked in, and I spent the afternoon at the sewing machine.    

Beau got to be the wizard he wanted to be.  I made a wizard hat, he reused a witch cloak from when Lilly was little.  It just needed a few repairs.  We painted a small stick / branch black, wrapped some silver ribbon around one end, & he had a wand. 
He tossed on a tie & some fake glasses to look a bit more like he might be heading off to Hogwarts.  And he loved it.   He had fun turning a few people into goons.
Johnathan had planned on going as a vampire.  We were mainly relying on some makeup.  And so last minute we modified a black sheet into a vampire cape with a collar.  It was the same black sheet that was used as Zorro in the past.  I love that capes & cloaks have endless possibilities.  My sewing isn't awesome, but it worked, and the simple red ribbon finished off the look.
I thought he made a very intense &  handsome, modern day vampire, with great hair.  (I so rarely get to style any of our boys' hair - this really made my day!)
And finally, I was thrilled that I got to create a gnome costume.  I had to think a little about how to make a girl gnome, since I'd had it schemed out in my head for a boy - the beard, the belted vest, etc.  
With a little research, we had a plan.  We used all scrap / cast-off fabrics on hand - I quickly traced one of Lilly's tunic dresses & whipped up a flannel gnome dress & hat.  Added an apron made from scraps.  For good measure we embellished with a mushroom on her dress front & some pink dots on her cheeks. 
I don't know if many people knew right off hand what she was - but I thought she made a pretty sweet gnome!
It was the nicest Halloween we've had in a long time. 
We got a nice early start trick-or-treating.  Made it to all of our favorite stops.  Got lots of candy.  And were back home at an acceptable hour for a school night.  Overall it was unhurried, easy, and fun.  

I should note that this was Mason & Eric's first year not celebrating Halloween.  They stayed home & did homework.

We carved a bunch of pumpkins.
I just realized a couple of things looking at this photo. 
1.) We've never dressed the dog up for Halloween before.  And
2.) Our front steps see a lot of traffic - I should really sand them & re-stain one of these years. 
As of now, the candy is all gone & the jack-o-lanterns are smashed up & spread on the garden to nourish the soil for next year.  
And so ends another year of last minute Halloween preparations and fun.


  1. LOVE the costumes, looks like a great success! You did a wonderful job. I'm afraid my creative side just didn't come out this year and I knew it wasn't going to with going back to school so I wasn't even planning on it. I told the kids I would try harder next year :) Yours look great.

  2. I think that I would like an adult sized gnome costume, now that I see Lily's. :)

  3. Awesome costumes, gorgeous photos, and great blog! Thanks for the link to visit - Lilly's braids are like the legitimate version of Hazel's yarn hair :)

  4. Awesome costumes, gorgeous photos, and great blog! Thanks for the link to visit - Lilly's braids are like the legitimate version of Hazel's yarn hair :)

  5. Hi there! Found your site while looking for make-up ideas for my little Garden Gnome (homemade costumes for us this year, too). I mostly used pieces of clothing we already had, but I made her pointy hat and added mock suspenders to her toadstool-themed skirt. But so glad to see she's not the only girl gnome out there! Nice job all around!

    SherryO @