My Halloween Costume Phase

I love Halloween. It is probably my favorite holiday. I have never transformed my lawn into a graveyard or draped my house in cotton spider webs like some, though I enjoy the houses of those that do. I still carve pumpkins and do some decorating around the house, but what I really miss is making costumes for my son. He is now 23, so letting his Mom make him a costume is no longer an option.

Recently, while cleaning closets and going through drawers, I came across boxes of old photos. This, in itself, is an interesting topic to address in later posts because now I usually have to go through piles of disks containing digital pictures. But I digress, in these boxes I found a few shots of Nathan in his costumes, so I made a point of digging until I found as many as I could. Unfortunately, there were some Halloweens we must have gotten so caught up in the door-to-door candy thing that we forgot to take pictures. Since I can’t dress up my son this year, I am going to revisit some of the costumes of the past. These are not professional quality costumes but rather works of love, mini art projects, that I put my heart into every year. So, take the tour, if you dare.


The earliest costume was when he was two. For some reason Batman was the character he wanted to be, so I made the cape, the utility belt, bat ears for the knit cap (we are in Wisconsin, Halloween is rarely warm), and the emblem on his chest. I recently found that black and yellow felt bat. Don’t you love that his snow boots completed the outfit and oh, that pose.

The following year I transformed this sweet three-year old into Leonardo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Green sweatshirt and sweatpants, blue headbands, armbands, legbands and the best part the turtle shell (back and front), which held on nicely with shoulder straps and waist sash. I obviously had no problem with arming this little tyke with a cardboard and aluminum foil sword.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

Why didn’t this child go into the theater? Of course, this was only for us, once he was out of the safety of home and a familiar audience he went back to his shy self.

The following two years were all dinosaurs. He was born loving dinosaurs but now I had to turn him into one. The first one was pretty generic, tail with spikes (stegosaurus?) and glove/gauntlets, with dino claws, were the accents. It could have doubled as a dragon. The costume itself was one piece he stepped into and zipped up the front. The hood went on separately.

The next year I created an Archeopteryx. Sadly, I have no pictures of my son wearing this costume so you will have to use your imagination.

Archeopteryx (front)

And the Mad Scientist is also just a memory.The only prop left was his bucket of body parts, his goggles and fright wig that itched!

Mad Scientist

The end of the decade ushered in the Mummy, the Black Widow spider (which was probably my best creation), the Scarecrow (not a fav) and the Grim Reaper. The big question with the Mummy was how to create the costume so the kid could actually walk door to door. Sew all of the wrappings (ripped up bed sheet) to a shirt and a pair of ragged jeans of course. A few extra strips on hands and head and you are good to go.

The Mummy

The spider was velor for that fuzzy look and the legs were attached on each side to my son’s real arms. Whenever he moved his arms the legs would jump up and down. Very effective. I must have run out of fabric since this is the rare six-legged Wisconsin spider. And again with the posing!

Spider on rock!


The scarecrow was  a purchased mask and the costume was just ho-hum.


The last official Halloween costume I made was the Grim Reaper, complete with hooded cowl and scythe which was a piece of wood shaped like the blade, painted silver and attached to a tree limb. Probably would get you arrested today for carrying it. We sold the scythe at our garage sale this past summer. Nathan really loved the costume and Halloween that year was particularly eerie and blustery. That’s not a fake backdrop behind him in the picture.

Grim Reaper

Lots of years went by with no costuming. Once a kid gets to be 12, 13 tops, no one Trick or Treats. That’s for little kids, don’t you know?

My last hurrah was when my son was a senior in high school and the school had a movie theme party. I present you with my final creation, Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Happy Halloween!

Jack Skellington


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