Learn. Choose. Change.

I pledge to learn the true cost, to people and the planet, of what I eat, wear, drive, use and do every day. I choose to consume justly and to increasingly change my habits.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Just Make: Homemade Halloween

In order to compensate for the challenges of trick-or-treating in a rural community, our merchants shut down the roads in town to allow walking traffic only and pass out candy.  We had an unusually moderate night temperature-wise last night, which allowed for lots of chatting and admiring costumes.  And although the whole event is a mixed bag for me (I can get pretty worked up about fair trade chocolate and high fructose corn syrup), I do love to see the inventiveness that shines through in people's costumes.  Homemade costumes are definitely the norm around here, ranging from simple (cardboard box Legos, Minecraft, etc.) to elaborate (an oyster shell where her head sticking out was the pearl).

My youngest settled on being a Hedgehog pretty early on.  I was able to keep an eye out for brown clothing at our local thrift store.  The one elusive item was the shaggy fabric for her "spikes".  Last weekend I picked up a white bathmat just in case our trip to the city didn't pay off either.  Surprisingly, we struck out at a huge fabric store, too.  I ended up dyeing the mat brown and sewing it to a resized men's sweatshirt.  We scored an off-white velvet top for her belly and paws and finished off the look with some women's leggings that I also resized.  She was very happy with the whole thing and said it looked just like she pictured.

Considering CNN reported that Americans throw away 40 million pounds in Halloween garbage each year, and that much of that is plastic costumes, making your own out of repurposed clothing is a good way to put a dent in those numbers.  A lot of people also first experiment with sewing and upcycling making costumes.  Hopefully, they'll gain confidence and realize the same techniques work with everyday clothes, too!