The boys had a great time making costumes with me this year! I was wanting to try something new so was pushing for big paper mache masks...Owen agreed that that could be fun and decided he wanted to make a snake head. Although I am not sure that "snake" is immdiately recognizable I think we made quite a cool mask, and he is really happy with it.
Because I had paper mache on the brain, I volunteered to help out in Owen's class when his teacher announced that they would be making paper mache globes as part of their studies. I am so glad I did! I learned a whole new technique...you can buy plaster strips like the ones used by doctors to make a cast! I ended up buying a 20 pound box of it for our project. Apparently this is a widely known technique but it was new to me. It made the project go much faster since the plaster dries very quickly and is quite solid so you really only need one good coat. We used wire mesh to make an armature first. A couple words of caution if you try this in the future: first, the wire mesh is quite sharp so be sure to wrap the ends in a good heavy duty tape like electrical tape; second, the plaster gets a lot heavier than good old fashioned newspaper and glue paper mache. It is only a good idea for a pretty big sturdy kid.
As I have mentioned in the past, Oliver loves to think of the most impossible thing he can when I ask him what he wants to be. This year the answer was "a thorny devil". At first I thought that was something he was making up but when I googled it sure enough I found the most complicated looking little lizard I had ever seen. By the time we finished Owen's mask I was sort of done with paper mache (it's messy and time consuming!) so I was trying to figure out how on earth I was going to make a thorny devil costume. I considered trying to sew something using felt but worried that it would look too babyish. Finally we decided to try making it out of cardboard and as we opened up and flattened all of our cardboard boxes we got very inspired!
We were on track with the construction but when it came time to paint the costumes it evolved once again. Oliver really wanted to make it look like the photo we had found and was ready to spray blotches of spray paint all over it. Although it could have been cool I was worried that we were going to make a big mess. We ended up spraying it with a base coat of ecru spray paint but I also had bought a bunch of acrylic paints for both Owen and Oliver to use. As we painted it, the rather aggresive looking lizard morphed into a more cheerful dragon. Nonetheless, we had a great time painting it together and thankfully Oliver did not hold it against me that it got prettier with all of it's green scales. He did announce that he will not be able to say he is a thorny devil anymore though!
If you are wondering, we did not forget Bea. Although I am writing this with about 24 hours until trick or treating, I have yet to start her costume!! She loved Owen's owl costume from last year so much that she wants to be a baby owl this year. The bad news is that his costume is too big for her, but the good news is that I know how to do it again pretty easily!
Happy halloween everyone!