Dress to thrill.
Halloween was not a festival I grew up celebrating in India. It’s amazing, though, how things change when you have a child. You are willing to experiment and try new things just to give your little baby a new “experience”. That’s exactly how I found myself caught up in the joy of Halloween dress-up. Now, wearing Halloween costumes for trick or treating or a family night out (luckily, it often coincides with the school’s mid-term break!) has become an exciting annual ritual. Hong Kong is full of little shops, tucked-away streets and online stores where you can buy your Halloween costumes, though I usually like to make my own.
I like to browse through Pinterest and Instagram for ideas for our costumes. I am all for making life a little bit easier for everybody (mums have more than their fair share on their plate as it is!) and not spending huge amounts on a once-a-year event, so these are three easy-peasy DIY Halloween costume ideas I have narrowed down upon. Schools in the city usually let kids come to school in their favourite fancy dress outfits for Halloween and it’s common to see many little witches, wizards and vampires (though they often are more cute than scary!). If you want to do something different but haven’t worked out what your little one can wear this year, you might find some inspiration here.
DIY Halloween Costumes: Cops And Robbers
My daughter’s first Halloween was a very memorable one. One of my closest friends, who lives in the US, was visiting us. To make sure she wasn’t missing all the fun back home, we decided to put together matching Halloween costumes for everyone, including my then 11-month-old daughter. Regular costumes are not great for kids that age as they might get itchy. So we decided to keep it simple and go with a comfortable cotton onesie and make Isha a robber. Someone needed to catch this little thief before she stole more hearts (awww!) and that’s where my husband, my friend and I entered as cops!
All you need to create this costume is a solid blue or black shirt and trousers or a skirt, then add props such as a revolver, handcuffs, police hats, badge, etc. These are easily available online or at Pottinger Street, Central.
DIY Halloween Costumes: Where’s Wally
Another idea revolves around the “Where’s Wally?” or “Where’s Waldo?” books. This is one of Isha’s favourites and I thought it could easily be converted to a costume for the whole family (or as many people as are willing to participate!). Dressing up as Wally/Waldo and Wenda is easy and has been demonstrated often by blogs and sites for costume inspiration. I made notes from Costume Wall and Costume Playbook but I plan to use what we already have rather than buy anything new.
With very little effort and almost no cost, you can dress up the entire family in red and white striped T-shirts, glasses, a blue skirt or jeans and a beanie. Of course, if you are willing to go the whole hog for Halloween like the father-daughter duo above, wear your matching costumes, smear on some red paint or lipstick and make it a rather bloody Waldo affair! Husbands unwilling to dress up can stay on theme with this Where’s Wally T-shirt. If you have a toddler and can’t find a suitable T-shirt, look at this jumpsuit from Matteo Party. You’ll probably be using it well after Halloween!
DIY Halloween Costumes: Pac-Man
It’s amazing to see how Isha is absorbing traits from both her parents. While she gets her love of arts and crafts from me, her love of Pac-Man is inherited from her father. I thought a Pac-Man-themed costume (with its colourful ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde) would be a fun Halloween project this year. I love following mummy blogger, Danielle of Bee-ing Mommy fame, for craft and party inspiration and her DIY family Pac-Man costume was just what I was looking for this Halloween. It will keep your little ones busy and give them a sense of accomplishment when their costumes are ready.
All you will need is two large pieces of thick paper from your local stationery store, paints and some old plain t-shirts in bold colours like pink, red, blue, etc. Use the paper for the Pac-Man cutouts that you can hang around your head and you can add large eyes to over-sized plain T-shirts that the kids can wear to become one of the Pac-Man ghosts (too sweet to spook though!).
Even if you aren’t trick or treating this Halloween (or keeping it to a small circle of friends), you can make it exciting from the comfort and safety of your homes making costumes, crafts out of an activity box and of course, decorating your door. Happy Halloween!