Happy Halloween from our book-loving family to yours!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love making my kids Halloween costumes! I don’t know why, but it is really something I enjoy…helping them chose, trying to find a theme (that all can be excited about), the creative process (how to make a dragon costume that can be worn to school!), all of it. I am not some fancy seamstress, I’d say I’m just above a beginner, and often I am totally making it up as I go (I can’t read a pattern!). Also, a lot of our costumes are more “assembly” then “sewing”…this is my little trick. 🙂

So, since I hate blogs that take twenty paragraphs to get to the point…without further ado, I give you Halloween 2019:


So, this year’s theme was super easy because their school was celebrating Red Ribbon Week and actual Halloween was “Book Character Day”. My kids LOVE to read, so they were thrilled to use this as our theme and find characters to be for Halloween. And I was thrilled because most of these costumes were super easy!


My oldest knew instantly that he wanted to be Calvin – he is currently obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes books (which makes this momma happy because, I too, loved that comic and he has read and re-read all of my old books!). His was by far the easiest – we had black shorts (part of our school uniform!). I bought a plain red t-shirt on clearance and used thick black sharpie to make the lines. I didn’t measure, but I did use a straight edge, one of the kids’ art paper books, to keep my lines neat. Be sure to put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so that the sharpie doesn’t bleed thru! I did “splurge” on a stuffed tiger on Amazon. The creator of Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson, never did any licensing, so this is not an official Hobbes; but it is quite close. And yes, I felt slightly guilty getting a “knock off”. But my son adores this thing and, much like the real Calvin, has many pretend adventures with his new friend – so money well spent if you ask me!

IMG_2859Next came Madeline – also a pretty easy choice. She first wanted to be Ivy (from the Ivy + Bean book series) but we decided that wasn’t obvious enough. Then she hit on Madeline! I bought the blue dress from Primary (side note: if you haven’t tried this company, I highly recommend it! We first bought from them this spring – everyone loved how soft their clothes were, I loved how easy they were to wash, and they held up really well. We bought most of our school uniforms from Primary this fall and have also been very happy! If you check them out, please use my code: PRIMARYCOLLEENM72). I just used a white uniform shirt (also from Primary!) under the dress for the white collar and white tights that we had already. I bought this hat from Amazon, pulled off the decoration, and used a wide black ribbon (I suggest hot gluing it down or else it will keep sliding off). A red ribbon at the neck and you’re done! Both ribbons I had on hand because, well, I make costumes, but they can easily be found at JoAnn’s (and they always have a sale or coupon!).

Finally we have the Red Dragon from Dragons Love Tacos. This was by far the most work! My son, age 4, was quite insistent that this was what he wanted to be for Halloween. I was a little intimidated at IMG_2870first, imagining an absurd amount of sewing. Then it hit me – use a hoodie like I did for last year’s shark! I actually had a hard time finding a plain red hoodie and matching sweatpants – I had hoped to find them locally, but no luck. I did find them on Amazon, Hanes brand, although I wish I would have just spent a little more and ordered from Primary – he’s taken to wearing it a lot and the fabric just isn’t nearly as nice as Primary. Oh well. In any case, I order the pants and hoodie in his current size and then I ordered another pair of pants in XL to use as fabric for the wings and tail! I used black felt to make the horns and tail spikes, cutting a triangle, stitching inside out, and then flipping (difficult because they were so narrow) For the horns, I inserted a small wire into them, then some stuffing, to give them structure and so that I could


dragon tail, in process

better shape them. As you can see, they still fell over! Oh well! I cut small slits into the hood to attach them. I think, if I should do something like this again, I would connect them underneath, almost like a headband, to get them to better stand up. The tail also had wire, but the spikes did not; both were also stuffed with pillow stuffing. It’s hard to see in this pic, but the tail was able to stand out and be shaped. I also cut a slit into the back of the sweatshirt, just above the elastic, to attach the tail…lower, and it would have hung/dragged more. The wings…well, the wings were interesting. Honestly, I loved the challenge and am quite proud of these wings! The stitching isn’t perfect and I did have to hand-stitch them on to the hoodie itself, but I


wings done, just awaiting attachment to the body!

think they turned out pretty darn good! I made a pattern on paper first, holding it up to my son to get the size and shape right. I cut out two sets of wings from the extra large sweatpants, a front and a back. I used wire to give them structure…stitching that in was new for me, but I joke that I could now sew an old-fashioned corset! Overall, with a lot of trial and some error, I think they turned out really well, especially for a very non-professional like me! And of course, the final touch was the taco! Made from scraps of felt I had lying around, plus a last-minute frantic text to some friends (moms always have random felt!). I didn’t follow any pattern at all, but laid it out and then hot glued. The kids are currently playing with it now in their pretend store, so I’d say I did well. 🙂

IMG_2889This is literally the only picture of the baby in his book character costume…because he kept crying if I set him down, so I had my oldest try to take a pic but the baby wouldn’t even remotely stand still and then I realized I had handed the seven-year-old the camera on manual and not auto…in any case, that’s real life and I’m not a pro so here it is: (Baby) Harold and the Purple Crayon. Easiest costume ever! And comfy! Once again, sleeper from Primary…so soft! And the big purple crayon is actually a bank from Amazon. I was going to make it, but luckily did a quick search first…saved me a lot of time and probably cheaper than making myself. And he, clearly, loves it…quite tasty! haha!

So that’s it, the 2019 Book Character Theme Halloween Costumes! These were fun to make and fun to wear – everyone recognized Calvin and Madeline right away on Halloween night and most kids and parents of young kids knew the Dragon too, with lots of jokes about spicy salsa! Again, I’m not a pro and mostly just winged it, like always. But if you have any questions, just ask!