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Scrapbook: DIY Wasp Avengers Costume

13 Nov

I always knew it would come down to this: a list minute Halloween costume decision. First she wanted to be a Christmas fairy. Then a forest fairy. And then something called a Squirrel Scientist, which we were never sure if that meant a squirrel who happened to have a talent for STEM or if it meant someone who studied squirrels. The jury’s still out. Both must have had their appeal.

I really thought she’d settle on being Tinkerbell, however, since Grandma and Grandpa gleefully supplied her with both a suitable green dress, wings, and even a blonde wig.  To sweeten the deal I told her I’d dress up as a fairy, too, because she knew that otherwise when she asked me what I was going to be for Halloween I’d only reply, “tired.”

Three days before the big day, however, she made her decision. And it was not at all what I expected: she wanted to Wasp, a Marvel character who was part of the Avengers. While not part of the blockbuster movies she was present in comics and a few cartoon adaptations, such as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, one of Isobel’s favorites. She has wings and can fly and shrink herself down very small; she is, essentially, a superhero fairy, and all Isobel could want in life. I could tell that this decision was final, and since there were no Wasp costumes to purchase, I knew we’d be making it ourselves at the Eleventh Hour.

My decision to work from the home happened for many reasons, some of them complex, but I’d be lying if I said they didn’t, in part, stem from a wish to be able to do stuff like make Halloween costumes together. It’s not the main reason, but it is a pretty fantastic privilege.

The first thing I did was consult the all-knowing google for tutorials from those who have cosplayed before. There weren’t many hits, and those, when clicked, pretty much linked back to this fantastic costume. As awesome as it was it wasn’t going to be useful for us. I needed something a five year old could wear to school and for trick-or-treating at night in the rain. I also didn’t have any headphones, and, did I mention we were on a budget of about twelve dollars? Time and money were something we did not have, but we had imagination in spades, and we let ourselves run away with it.

To make a headband like Wasp’s, we ended up needing:

– an actual headband

– two canning jar ring lids

– thin, but sturdy, cardboard,

– yellow duct tape

– black chopsticks

– yellow felt

– basic tools, such as a glue gun, a pencil, and scissors

1. We used cardboard from a box that came from Amazon, and it was very thin but corrugated so it was sturdy. The headband needed to be pretty light to be comfortable for a young child and to prevent it from slipping off. I traced the inside circle of the canning ring and cut it to fill in as in the photo above. To make it secure, I glued the cardboard in place on the ring.

2. Net I covered the metal ring with the yellow duct tape. We are only going to see the edges when it’s done, so don’t worry about making the sides look nice.

3. Then I covered the outside of the ring with stiff felt that I found at a craft store for super cheap. I simply traced around the canning lid with the pencil, cut it out, and glued it pencil-side down with a glue gun.

 

4. We need a way to secure it and the chopsticks to the headband, so I used the cardboard again but instead of tracing the inside of the circle as I did before, I traced the outside of the circle. I cut it out and used duct tape to secure it on top of the canning ring lid.

5. Now that the headphone part is basically done, we need to secure it to the headband along with the chopstick antennae. I put the chopstick and headband net to each other and secured them both at the same time with duct tape. The headband will not lie flat and this will make the whole thing very unstable, so fill in all the gaps with copious amounts of glue from the glue gun. It won’t really form a bond secure enough on its own, but it will create a scaffolding that will allow the tape to do the work. Repeat on the other side.

6. You are almost done! Now, the fun part: cut little strips of the yellow duct tape and wrap it around the headband and chopsticks in a decorative fashion.

Your awesome Wasp headband is done! Be sure to allow at least fifteen minutes between glue gun steps to let it dry. I used a child’s sized headband and smaller canning jar ring lids, but you of course can scale it to your needs. We also have a large collection of chopsticks so I happened to have these on hand, but don’t feel limited to them. In fact, don’t feel limited by this tutorial. This is something I cobbled together at almost the last minute out of stuff hanging around my house. It worked fantastically for us, but by all means branch out!

What Wasp costume is complete without an Avengers ID card? I used the image of the card I found here to make ours. A quick google search didn’t yield many results, so I used that card and switched it for a photo of Isobel dressed as Wasp with Photoshop. She carried it with her while trick-or-treating and showed it to whomever would look.

To complete the outfit we needed something warm, simple, and more comfortable for a five year old than a strapless dress. I decided to use black clothes she already owned and use the tape trick we used for her Busy Bee costume a few years ago. Back then I used black electrical tape but we did have some issues with it falling off by the end of the night. To counteract this and be sure her Wasp stripes stayed true I went with duct tape. It is probably something you only want to use if you don’t plan on taking it off because I’m betting it will leave adhesive residue behind. I don’t know for sure because Isobel is still wearing her costume over a week later and wouldn’t dream of letting me take the tape off. She is very proud of it as she did the whole thing, all of the stripes, herself.

We paired the outfit with bee wings we found at our local costume popup store and she couldn’t be happier.

 

Thrifty Costumes: DIY Pikachu Baby Costume

10 Nov

If you’re lucky a parent gets two, maybe three, years of being able to pick out your child’s Halloween costume until they are ready to impose their own opinions of the costume selecting process. You took care of them when they were squishy and small and waking you up at all hours, so you’ve earned a year or two of dressing them in whatever ridiculous get up you prefer. I wavered a few times on what I was going to do with Elias for Halloween, but since Isobel didn’t settle on a final costume choice until the eleventh hour as we knew she would, I needed to go with something simple. I knew I could whip up one elaborate costume out of nothing, but I wasn’t sure I could whip up two.

 

Pikachu was a dead easy costume to piece together, it was comfortable for Elias to wear, kept him warm, and involved buying clothing pieces that he could wear again.

The hat is the most recognizable, and most important part of this costume. I purchased it from Logan’s Bowtie Boutique after and extensive search on Etsy. Not only was this hat available in many sizes (the majority I found were either for newborns or order kids, so, way to big or way too small), it was handmade to order and had the cutest face. The last part might not seem like a big deal, but run a search for “Pikachu hat” through the ol’ Etsy and you are going to find some Pikachu that can only be described as “buttaface.” Not only that, but the shop owner, Staci, was super nice and rushed the hat to me as I ordered pretty close to the Halloween deadline. Not every Etsy seller responds to their messages quickly or is so helpful.

The hat is a little large but it got the job done and served double duty: Isobel can wear it, too. Which, if you know how important Pikachu is to hear, is a big fucking deal. The sharing of the Pika hat has prevented the inevitable Sibling Wars for at least another couple of years. Or one year. Or a week.

The only part I had to put together myself was the tail. I think I spent $.70  on felt; everything else I already had on hand. (Having a Mom who’s a thrifter and a craft supply hoarder always comes in handy around Halloween.) I used one of Isobel’s well-loved Pikas as my muse and cut out a lightning zig zag of a tail. I then flipped the sides with pencil marks to the inside and used a glue gun to glue sections of the tail together. I went with a glue gun instead of the sewing machine for a couple of reasons: 1. I already had the glue gun hot and ready as I was making Isobel’s Wasp costume at the same time, and 2. mostly I used the glue gun because I knew if I piled on the glue it would have a nice stiff and rigid edge which would keep the tail from flopping over and looking like it had some electric-erectile dysfunction. I used a bag of stuffing I bought at a thrift store for a quarter to stuff the tail to give it life and glued the hell out of the edges.

You’ll notice that a Pikachu’s tail is brown at the base. No problem. I traced the appropriate width and length using the partially-finished tail as a guide, cut it out and glued it on. That’s the tail done!

The tail came out perfectly, and I secured it to his yellow onesie with two safety pins.

Speaking of the oneise, I bought one on Etsy because finding plain yellow onesies is not easy. Although I purchased it just for the costume he can obviously wear it over and over by itself, so I feel it wasn’t a wasted purchase after November 1st. Same with the hat–he doesn’t need to be dressed as Pikachu to wear the Pika hat. I was originally going to use some of the extra felt fabric to make brown stripes on the onesie’s back–like Pikachu’s–but I ran out of time since Isobel’s costume was so elaborate. I don’t regret it, though, because it makes the onesie more wearable and probably wouldn’t have been as noticeable with the Pika tail in the way.

The legwarmers, as some of you may remember, were purchased as part of Isobel’s Busy Bee costume. She used them ever since then and now it’s Elias’ turn. They ended up matching the hat perfectly. I paired the legwarmers with socks and he was kept quite warm.

We found him, guys. We found a real Pikachu.

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