Use Your Child’s Passions to Create the Perfect Costume

Jenn Wasko, a fellow Homer Mom Ambassador in Houston, loves making costumes with her family. She shares her story and also a little inspiration for you if you’re thinking about making your own costume creation, using your child’s passion as a springboard. Check out Robot for Halloween in the Homer app, then read Jenn’s story. What crafty character will you and your child make together?

Our family is a fun-loving, project-driven family. Holidays for us are “go big or go home.”  Making Halloween costumes is my love language, and doing it as a family is the absolute best. Both my husband and I are just really creative people; I’m the crafty one. He’s just fun. And funny. So, the combination really works for us to make costumes with the kids. Lucky them!  

Over the years, we have made everything from a Sherlock Holmes costume (complete with supporting costumes for two basset hounds — our pet dogs), 2 different robots, a spaceman (complete with a jet pack made from two Pringles cans), Knights and a Dragon (showcasing a little Game of Thrones with a shirt saying “Mother of Dragons”), and this year we’ll debut some Mario Cart action.  

But, let me focus on the Robots. The first year we attempted our costume-making while living outside of Chicago on one of the coldest Halloweens in history. It was so cold that the glue hardened into ice. All of our hard work froze right off our creation into pieces by the first street!  

 

At the time, C was 4 yrs old, and he was noticing the robots in books or pictures relating to all things Halloween. And his idea started, much like most of our ideas. We did the research, looking up pictures of other costumes. C would point out what he does or doesn’t like.  Sometimes, he would draw a picture. Our costume research became our special time together. We called the search for reusable odds and ends for our costume creation our “Costume Stakeout,” and we loved our challenge to find creative ways to construct our costume instead of buying new pieces for every part.

In the case of our Robot, it was fun to find ways to reuse old items.  For this instance, we found an old house number, a couple of toy gears, and some old CDs.  We shopped the Goodwill and a  good ole garage sale.

We went to Home Depot. He was in hog heaven. We decided on a plastic trash bin body and cut out holes for the arms and head. Then, we decorate using an Air Vent cover, reflectors, a “gauge” made out of stickers, house numbers, gear designs with CDs, and a push light on both sides of the body with dryer tubes for arms. We topped it off with a Robot “grabber hand” and a light up Mohawk we came across.  He was able to wear a coat with layers underneath and still fit into his boots.  

Now this first attempt was good, but as I mentioned before, it ended up in pieces, even with the cement glue we used.  We moved to Houston the following year, and C was determined to try it again. The risk of costume-freezing was far lower in Texas, and C was ready.  This time, he added more robot-like things (buttons, lights, power switch and etc.)  So we researched to find a bigger plastic bin and more serious light work.  We got circuit boards kits to light up a heart, a plasma piece to show his power source, and added a few special odds and ends we found through our “Costume Stakeouts.”  

To me, the “Costume Stakeouts” is where the magic happens. Ideas can be talked about, but once we are rummaging through the items, we’re figuring and refiguring how to keep to the budget. That challenge is the fun part.  Then, it’s go time. I get the kids directly involved and put the responsibility on them to take on ownership. I don’t micromanage, but instead provide room for their creativity and individuality to shine through.

Balance expectations, know your limits as well as your kid’s limits, and help them choose outfits that are achievable. Because we embrace each other and each have a role in the process, we look forward to the fun of Halloween season every year.  We hope we inspire you to also take on such a fun family tradition!

In case you too want to do a little costume craft, here are my robot supplies, broken down between year one and year two.

List One Robot
Small trash can bin
House metal numbers
Stick on reflectors
Air duct vent- circular
Air duct tubing
Old CD’s
Toy plastic gears that spin
Stick on push lights
Spray paint

List Two Robot
Plastic bin with lid for body
Battery operated rope light
Plasma piece
Circuit board kit- heart
Cardboard containment piece- spray painted gold
Play gears
Light up shoe laces

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