The Costume Conundrum

     Since it is now officially Fall and also since the stores are all but shoving the merchandise down our throats, thoughts of Halloween keep creeping into my mind.   It’s gotten me to thinking about the yearly debacle we always seem to have when it comes to finding the perfect costume.  My daughter is typically a piece of cake when it comes to this department.  She usually chooses something easy that I can just order out of a catalog or buy from a store.  My son, on the other hand, is quite the challenge, since for the past three years, he has insisted on dressing like something that can only be handmade. What’s the big freaking deal, you ask?  This mama’s sewing capabilities are about as good as Paris Hilton’s singing abilities.  I suck so badly at it that I actually sewed the pocket shut when trying to repair a button on a coat one time.  So, yeah, it is a big freaking deal when your son insists on having the most imaginative get-up in town.

     The first year that I encountered this predicament was in preschool.  My husband and I must’ve listed every costume known to mankind when trying to get him to settle on something.  We were pushing Spiderman, Batman, and every other superhero under the sun, all to vehement cries that said no way in hell.  The child refused every single idea we came up with and announced pretty emphatically that he was going to be a leaf.  I have absolutely no idea where on earth the boy got this crazy notion, but he was dead set on being a piece of foliage. And he didn’t want to be just any old leaf either — oh no!  He insisted on being an oak leaf.  After hours of Google searching, I came to the dire conclusion that I had no other choice but to make this damn costume myself.  I ended up tracing and cutting two pieces of cardboard into the shape of a leaf and hot-gluing green felt to them. I attached the two leaves with a ribbon so that he could wear it like a walking billboard.  He was adamant that he wanted acorns attached to the leaves, so I also had to glue those little suckers on, as well. When all was said and done, it was truly the most half-assed-looking, pitiful leaf ensemble I’d ever seen — correction, it was the only leaf ensemble I’d ever seen.  Here, you judge for yourself:


Nevertheless, the kid couldn’t have been more proud to strut his stuff in it. Sadly, he didn’t have the thing on at preschool for more than thirty minutes before acorns started falling off and one of the straps had snapped off his shoulder, resulting in some last minute emergency repairs before trick-or-treating that night.  

     Our next confrontation with the costume challenge was last year for kindergarten. Once again, my son rejected any type of costume that could be bought or slopped together.  Instead, he was dead-set on being a lightbulb, and like the year before, I found  no place on this planet whatsoever that sold a lightbulb outfit.  And because the kindergarteners would be parading through the school in their costumes and wearing them for the remainder of the day, using cardboard was not gonna be a viable option.  After days of agonizing and brain racking, I realized that I was gonna have to just suck it up and get out my needle and thread.  I went to a fabric store and bought a huge piece of foam and cut out two lightbulb shapes.  I then sewed white fabric around them and again made shoulder straps to attach the two shapes together.  This whole thing could then be slipped over his head, thus transforming him miraculously into a human lightbulb.  (Of course, I poked the shit out of my fingers throughout the entire process and even “accidentally” left a couple of red stains on the material as proof of all the blood, sweat and tears that went into its creation.)  At the request of my ingenious son, I took a sharpie and wrote “100 Watt” at the top of each bulb. We then wrapped the skinny bottom part in duct tape and stuck a battery-powered light underneath the costume.  Here was the final result:


Surprisingly, it actually turned out incredibly cute, and he was by far the most creative costume in the parade.  

     This year, it seems as if he is continuing with this same tradition. He is bound and determined to cut his mama absolutely no slack whatsoever and has made up his mind to be a friggin’ t.v.!!!  So, it looks like the ole’ seamstress will be slaving away once again.  I suppose I gotta hand it to the kid for not being afraid to think outside the box.  He is definitely not what I would catagorize as boring.  The boy sure knows how to put the “wee!” in Halloween, and I gotta give him mad props for that.


22 Responses

  1. OMG! You were so right when you told me he always makes it challenging for you. I love it. Good luck! I’ll be thinking of you as I am slaving away at my sewing machine.

  2. hah. you’re better than me. i sew NOTHING.

  3. This post seriously killed me. Just when I thought nothing could get more obscure than a leaf – he comes out with a lightbulb. Hilarious. Sounds like this year’s should be interesting.. Get a cardboard box and cut holes in it for his head and arms.. make him an antennae hat and put something on there for the “screen” .. you should be alright with this one – i’m seeing minimal sewing in the future.. just a lot of glue maybe? lol


    • Yeah, I’m also envisioning some type of box contraption too — just have to make sure he can sit down in it since he’ll once again march in a school parade. Such a challenging life I lead….

  4. LOL! At least a T.V. Can be kind of easy. Use a giant Box. That is what we did when we wanted to be robots as kids. By the way, wouldn’t ya know, I was in Wal Mart last night and they had a lightbulb costume right next to a whoopie cushion costume LOL.

    • Of course they’d have a damn lightbulb costume available to buy the year AFTER he wanted to light up the neighborhood!

  5. The light bulb is totally cute!!

  6. Paint a box, use parchment paper as the ‘screen’ with stick figures and then make tinfoil antenna on his head(use one of his sisters headbands if she has them).

    My baby girl wants to be Sherlock Holmes. I have to go to the fabric store next week to pick up some plaid. Might as well try to convince her sister and brother to be Watson and a beagle. We’ll do a theme if they’re sport, but in all honesty, her sister will likely demand to be a princess or fairy and her brother will refuse to wear a costume again this year.

    Somedays I wanna quit. I demand a Union!

  7. You are definitely a Mama that “ROCKS!”

  8. That lightbulb costume is great! Thank goodness that my kids haven’t demanded any costumes that required much sewing or artistic skills because I so suck in that area. You’re a great mom to encourage his amazing imagination even if it does cost you a bit of blood (lol)

    • Thank you! I actually really liked the lightbulb costume. Turned out WAY better than I thought it would. We’ll see how this t.v. idea goes this year — little worried, not gonna lie… 🙂

      • THANK YOU!!! I too have a 1st grader that will not give up on the idea of a light bulb. Thanks for all your hard work & posting how you made it. Will make it much easier for me!
        “Mother of a light bulb with moon boots”

  9. Long time listener….first time caller….j/k

    You crack me up! I’m glad to see that your creative ingenuity kicked in (I’m sorry but the leaf is hysterical) I probably would’ve bought a cheap green sweatsuit & drawn veins on it with a fabric marker.

    TV is one of the easiest and maybe you can get sis to dress as a reporter!

    Good luck! I’ll send some creative juices through the virtual airwaves!

  10. I have 5 children that all come up with these kinds of wild ideas. This year has not been bad. My husband is an electrictian so my three youngest decided to honor dad’s profession. My son wants to be an outlet, ok that one was easy, one of the girls a lamp–that lights up–got that one done. Number three wants to be an energy efficient light bulb. If you have any ideas on that one let me know PLEASE. I am fairly creative but this one has me stumped.

    Older two were easy a ladybug and an outhouse–I am with you on the I don’t know where they come up with it but it is always up to mom to figure out how to make it work.

    • Wow! Your kids truly do think outside the box when it comes to costumes! Good for them! Such cool ideas! As for the energy efficient lightbulb, I may have an idea for you. My son almost went as one last year, but we talked him into being a regular lightbulb instead. Someone suggested using a pool noodle & spray painting it white and then using duct tape at the bottom (like I did w/my son’s lightbulb costume — see photo on blog post). Be sure to send a pic of it if you do — curious to see how it turns out! Thanks for reading & good luck w/the costumes!

  11. The TV costume could be very easy. You could get a large box cut a square out of the front cover with cling wrap from the inside. If you put the arm holes low enough his face could be what is on TV. If you put them high you could put a piece of butcher paper for the screen and let him draw a scene for the picture or put a large family photo. Last year my son was a remote control for the TV.

  12. Thank you SOOOO much! My son wants to be a lightbulb this year and I had no idea how I could do it.

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