When I was growing up, I was always a wee bit envious of the kids at our elementary school rocking homemade costumes for the annual Halloween parade. In fact, I remember really loving my friend Jennifer's hand sewn pumpkin costume in the third grade. It just looked so damn soft. Believe immigrant-kid-me, I didn't mind that we got boxed plastic-poncho costumes with the stiff masks with knife-sharp-cut-out lips. But I had fantasized of having a homemade costume once or twice.
Last Halloween Lulu was five months old and not really mobile yet. We stuck her in pirate pajamas and carried her around like baby booty. This year, Lulu could actually walk around and trick-or-treat and I was excited by the prospect. While brainstorming costume ideas, Silvio commented that Lulu looked like the character Boo from Monster's Inc. I searched everywhere online for something really cool and instead found cheap-looking costumes that cost too much money.
This Halloween I was feeling ambitious. I googled "Homemade Monster's Inc. Boo Costumes" and stumbled upon Coolest Homemade Costumes. I read about how each parent made their Boo costume and it seemed easy enough. My more-experienced-sewing-friend Karen agreed and also offered to help me with this endeavor.
Following are instructions for making a Monster's Inc. Boo costume. It's easier than it reads and it's not as hard as it looks (embrace safety pins)!
LINCOLN FABRICS - Total with tax $25.60
2 Yards Purple Lamay at $6.50/yard TOTAL = $13.00
2/3 Yard Silver Lamay at $6.50/yard TOTAL = $4.33
1/4 Yard Felt at $8.00/yard TOTAL = $2.00
Batting TOTAL = $4.00
MICHAELS - Total with tax $8.75
2 4" Styrofoam Balls at $3.49 each TOTAL = $6.98
1 Chenille Pipe Cleaners TOTAL = $0.99
99 CENT STORE - Total with tax $1.09
Deluxe Mop With Handle TOTAL = $0.99
MATERIALS DONATED BY MY FRIEND KAREN - $0.00
Several Dozen Safety Pins
Hotel Sewing Kit
Black Sharpie Marker
2' Extra Fabric For Inside of Hood
COSTUME GRAND TOTAL = $35.44
1. Take the pre-measured purple fabric and fold it in half. Layer batting inside of the fabric. Safety pin closed. Run the fabric with batting through a sewing machine around the edge to create a stuffed rectangle. Run the rectangle through the sewing machine in the same direction three or four more times to create the "quilted look". For the armholes, cut out crescent shapes on each side at the same height. Run the frazzled edges through a sewing machine to close up the cutouts.
2. Roll the purple bodysuit into a tube. Sew the soft loop tape Velcro and fastener on opposite sides of the ends of the tube. Make sure they're lined up properly and can seal shut.
3. Cut different sized and shaped teeth from felt.
4. Mark the middle of the body tube with a piece of tape and sew the felt teeth on the top edge. Sew one tooth at a time starting from the middle, outwards.
5. To create the hood part of the costume, fold the pre-measured purple fabric in half, stuff with batting, and cut out a crescent shape. Sew felt teeth on the top part of the hood starting from the middle, outwards.
6. To create hair on top of the hood, take different-sized chunks of mop threads and sew them randomly all over. For larger chunks of hair, try braiding smaller groups of thread together.
7. To create monster eyes, take a supersized black Sharpie marker and color in half of each Styrofoam ball. Then color in two circles in the middle-front to represent pupils. Twist black pipe cleaners together to create eye-antennas and stick one end of the pipe cleaner bunch into the colored-in part of the Styrofoam ball. Take the other end and sew it into the hood.
8. We ran out of time to properly assemble the costume and ended up safety pinning the hood to the body. If I had more time, I would've sewn this part together. Also we didn't actually measure Lulu or the fabric (we eyeballed it) so the body tube was a little roomy for her. Instead of sewing in elastic straps to help keep the tube up, I used safety pins to keep it together.
9. Even though I bought silver fabric, I had Lulu wear a grey sweatshirt as a shortcut for the arms. I didn't have the energy to figure out how to sew arms together and the grey top worked fine.
10. Lulu wore grey leggings, socks and sparkly silver shoes. We put two mini pigtails in her hair to complete the ensemble.
Lulu's Monster's Inc. Boo costume was created in a little over 24 hours. This was the first time I had ever made a homemade Halloween costume without throwing a bunch of store-bought items together and I have to say, I'm pretty proud of what walked the streets Halloween night! Random people yelled and pointed "Boo!" as Lulu waddled down the street and several homeowners declared her costume the best one they'd seen all evening. I'm proud to be a mom that makes homemade costumes. And I'm excited again for Halloween.
Lastly, there is no way I would've been able to have made this costume without the help from my very kind and generous friend, Karen Chen [thank you, Karen!!!!!]. Seriously. She totally sewed the body tube and hood for me and helped me layout the plans for the costume.
If you ever decide to make a Boo costume, I'd love to see your finished product. Feel free to share links or photos in the future. Good luck, enjoy our photo album, and Happy Halloween!