2016 Costume Contest Winners – Group Category

What better way to spend Halloween than creating a themed group with family and friends? The creativity just seems to increase exponentially when you add loved ones into the equation. We’re so excited to present our 2016 winners! Enjoy!

FIRST PLACE: Jacey Broussard – Lake Charles, LA

Cincopa WordPress plugin

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

When I was a young kid my mother would put on Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas for me to watch everyday, it was and still is my favorite movie. One scene that always excited me was at the beginning when the “Pumpkin King” is pulled into Halloween Town on a giant straw horse by a giant man with an axe in his head and lights himself on fire to emerge as the Jack we all know and love! I also was intrigued by the giant walking tree and his singing skeletons that also make an appearance in the opening scene. Being that I couldnt stop there, I also wanted to bring to the life the cutest ghost dog ever! Zero!

WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

So I started with the horse, he is made out of aluminum pipe and a barrel in the midsection. I then layered hay and expanding foam to shape the horse and bring it to life. We made the head removable so it would be easier to get in and out of doorways. Once his shape was sculpted I covered the whole horse in raffia table skirts with hot glue and used twine to gather it up and give it an authentic look. His tail was a piece of pipe insulation and was cover in pompus grass flowers. The platform he sat on was aluminum framing and a piece of plywood. I then took craft foam and cut it into strips and glued it on the platform and dremeled it to give it an authentic wooden plank look. We added swivel wheels we purchased at a hardware store. Strobe lights and a music speaker were added for dramatic effect.

For the Pumpkin King I mached a pumpkin and cut out a hole at the bottom for his head and cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. His costume was sewed by hand and I added more raffia skirting to make him look like a straw man. For the tree I got the shape with wire fencing and then added fabric on top. I layered pipe insulation over the whole tree to give it its tree like texture. It was then covered in tissue paper and painted (as paint doesn’t stick to pipe insulation). I then added some fresh cut branches to the top to give it a more real texture.

For my giant axe man Bohemeth, I started by sewing a rather large set of overalls. I then sculpted, molded and painted a prosthetic to resemble the character from the movie. The axe was then 3d printed to keep the weight down and applied to the prosthetic.

For Zero I purchased a RC car and started on the head. I used floral foam and craft foam to shape his head. I then draped some shimmery material over his back that gave him a ghostly look. I then added his collar which was made from thermo plastic and painted.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

We were overwhelmed with the reactions we received this year at the places we visited. We posed for more pictures than we could count and were asked many questions about how the items were made. Many people were not aware that there is actually 3 people in this group! Most thought that the Pumpkin King was actually a fake scarecrow! So that actually gave opportunities to spook a few people when he would start moving! Zero was also a big hit as he scooted across the floor with that adorable smile! Everyone loved him and we were the hit of the night!

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

When creating this costume we ran into a few problems….First thing was this was not our original idea for Halloween! We had almost finished a screen accurate version of the whole Suicide Squad 5 weeks before Halloween and then were told that prop weapons would not be allowed this year. So I came up with this idea and only had 5 weeks to bring it to life. Although not an easy task, it was a fun one! Second problem: we had to make everything removable as to get in and out of doorways. The whole horses neck and head is removable and the tree was easy to slip in and out of so we could get inside the venue. The horse stood at 8ft tall and the tree stood at 9ft. So even with a few set backs I am very proud at what we were able to produce this year!!!!!!

 


SECOND PLACE: Katy Miles – Lexington, KY

Cincopa WordPress plugin

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

Our 5 year old twin boys adore Mario (it is their favorite game to play with their Dad). So we decided in late August that with our new addition (baby girl born in May) a Mario themed family costume would be super fun and memorable. As we scoured the internet for inspiration I came across some pictures of a Mario riding Yoshi costume and just couldn’t get over the cuteness so we set out to make some for our boys. My husband took on the daunting task of creating the Bowser costume and I made the 4 other costumes.

WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

Our costumes involve everything from paper-mache to sewing to hot glue and polyfil!

Mario/Luigi riding Yoshi:

I found a pattern online for a mini yoshi doll and enlarged the pattern to create the Yoshi’s. It took several attempts to get the right proportions. I made them out of fleece and then stuffed them with polyfil. Then we had to figure out a way to Macgyver the head so it would stay up right instead of flopping down (that involved a wooden disc, fishing line, and an old buckle and strap from my college backpack. I knew that would come in handy some day!:)). I attached some overalls I made using a pair of their pants as a pattern and modified an online pattern to create their hats. We purchased t-shirts and gloves for them to wear and cut moustaches from sticky back felt.

Pink toad: I constructed my daughter’s mushroom hat from winter hat pattern and then covered it with a large circular piece of fleece with darts to remove extra fabric and then stuffed with polyfil. I was really pleased with how the shape came out. I made her some white pants and a little vest using one of her shirts as a pattern.

Princess Peach:

The challenge for my costume was to create something I could feed our baby in. So I settled on a skirt and t-shirt combo. Using a pattern from Joann’s I made the skirt and then came up with my own underskirt pattern and attached that. We could not find a t shirt that really came close to matching the fabric we’d picked until just a few hours before we debuted our costumes. I found one in the little girl’s section, purchased the largest size and crossed my fingers it would fit (it did)! My husband made my jewels out of felt and attached them with hot glue. I purchased my wig and gloves. He also made my crown from sparkly cardstock attached to a headband.

Bowser:

The Bowser suit was a labor of love and completely handmade. My husband did most of the work, including making the Bowser head from a baseball cap, paper-mache, hot glue and fabric. I constructed the body suit using a pair of his pants and a shirt as a pattern. I helped with any sewing that was needed. But most of the detail work was done by my husband with fabric, polyfil, and hot glue. We tried several methods for filling out the bodysuit before landing on embroidery hoops, separated with poster board and covered with fabric and polyfil. It turned out great and allowed for more air circulation. My husband also installed two fans (one in the shell and one in the breast plate) to make wearing the suit more bearable. That was a stroke of genius on his part and helped make wearing the suit more comfortable. It turned out amazing!

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

We debuted our costumes at a local Halloween parade. We thought people would like the costumes, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the reaction we got. As we walked along the sidewalk trying to find a spot to watch the parade we were stopped every few steps by people wanting a picture. We never ended up finding a spot to watch the parade and basically missed the whole thing! We made it up to our kids with a stop at Sonic for slushies on the way home. They were super good sports about it all. We went trick or treating in our neighborhood a few days later and got stopped a bunch of times then as well for pictures. All the kids loved my husband’s costume and would come and hug his legs or ask for a high-five it was really sweet. And he had the best time pretending to be Bowser!

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

That pretty much sums it up. Thank you for your consideration!

 


THIRD PLACE: Megan Potter – Spokane, WA

Cincopa WordPress plugin

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

My husband came up with the idea for the “Itsy bitsy spider” while reading the children’s book! We dress up as a family every year and are always looking for a new family theme that is fun. We like to do things that are original, not over-done, recognizable, and fit with the number of people in our family. We thought this would be a great one to the theme of the nursery rhyme song and thought it would be cute since our youngest son is a baby and we have to carry him that it would look like the spider climbing up the water spout:) It worked out perfectly for our family to have a spider, spout, rain that washed the spider out, and then out came the sun that dried up all the rain!:) You almost have to sing the song (which you may not have done in a while) to get all the pieces to each costume:) go ahead and sing it:)!

WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

For the spider costume I used a sewing pattern for a baby romper an added the eyes and spider legs. I was very proud because it was my first pattern I’ve ever followed and it included many difficult sewing skills like sewing in a zipper, elastic, booties, and snap tape! I stuffed the legs with traditional stuffed animal stuffing and sewed them into the costume. It’s made out of fleece. I also had black mittens for him to wear but forgot them!

The Spout my husband was in charge of making! He did a great job! He used fleece, cardboard for the spout and roof, hangers for shape and stability, fabric for the water coming out the bottom, and vinyl for the lettering that sticks on.

For the Sun, I made it from scratch using felt and interfacing. It was also my first time using a serger for sewing the edges! It was hard to get the sunbeams to stick up even with the stiff interfacing but I think it turned out pretty good.

For the kids rain clouds I used felt and fleece and quilt batting to make the clouds. They have a front and back cloud each hung from shoulder straps. I bought the grey sweat pants and used blue shiny fabric with interfacing and iron on interfacing to get them to stick onto the pants for rain drops. The kids also wore their rain boots which was perfect cause its been raining a lot here in Washington this month!

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

Everyone LOVED our costume and originality! People thought it was a fun and original idea and that my husband really rocked being a SPOUT! Which I would agree! He even used my sewing machine to sew it himself and designed and constructed it himself! Everyone was impressed at the idea and that it was homemade! And of course everyone loved the cute little spider. We tried to have my husband holding the spider most of the time so it looked like the spider climbing up the spout!:) We even acted it out which was fun! We had to stick together for people to get the whole picture of all our costumes and the theme, but when they realized it and sang the song it was like “Oh!!! so Great!!!”:) We were really happy with the reactions we got!:)

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

We are just so proud of our 7 and 4 year old boys for being such troopers and totally cooperating this year! We have ALWAYS dressed up as a family theme and they look forward to it every year. While I’m sure they would love to dress up as Darth Vader or a Pokemon or a Minecraft guy, they never ONCE complained about being rain clouds or wanting to dress up as something else. Its really fun for our family to do this together and an awesome tradition we’ve created the last 9 years and they look forward to it every year!

Also we discussed our costume idea ALL YEAR and decided on our final decision in late September. We began buying and gathering materials in late September/ early October and began making them. I worked on the costumes every night all month of October! My mom is a seamstress and helped me with a couple things, but in general we keep our family theme a complete secret and don’t tell ANYONE until Halloween. Even my mom who helped me didn’t know!! And our kids KNOW that its a big secret so they don’t tell either! When their teachers or friends casually ask them what they are gonna be for halloween they DON’T TELL! We are so proud of them when they can keep the family secret! Even our 4 year old doesn’t give in under pressure! We love our family tradition:) And we’re so happy our kids love it too! Hopefully they won’t ever get too cool for it! My husband plans to keep this up till they move out!:)

 


THIRD PLACE (a): Tara Barber – Wesley Chapel, FL

Cincopa WordPress plugin

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS COSTUME?

Our youngest son’s name is Emmett, and since his birth, we’ve had several people reply with, “Emmett? Like Doc Brown from Back to the Future?” While that’s not actually why we chose the name, it did inspire us to dress him as Doc Brown’s character for his first Halloween. We thought it would be hilarious to dress him in a crazy, white wig and loved that it was different than most baby costumes.

Additionally, we’ve made a habit out of converting our sons’ wagon into a vital element of their overall costumes, so we thought the perfect focal point would be to turn the wagon into the Delorean this year. We saw one photo online that we used as a visual basis, but we designed ours uniquely to fit our larger wagon.

WHAT ITEMS DID YOU USE TO MAKE THIS COSTUME AND HOW?

We used different materials, including “bonus” features of glowing blue lights underneath, a blinking flux capacitor, and portable Bose speakers that blasted the Back to the Future soundtrack all night long. As the Delorean design and features progressed, we ultimately decided to incorporate our two older sons into the theme as well. They had recently watched Back to the Future for the first time, and although explaining time travel to a 4 and 5 year old was quite the process, convincing them to dress as Marty McFly and Biff Tannen was an easy sell. We laughed repeatedly as the different costume components all came together and were very happy with the final product.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

People freaked out (in a good way of course) over how adorable the boys looked and how impressive the Delorean was. We had numerous strangers coming up to us, smile and laugh at the boys, ask various questions about how we built the Delorean, and stop to take pictures of the whole ensemble. The music blasting from the car, and the glowing blue lights definitely helped to initially grab people’s attention, but our sons were like mini-celebrities while Trick or Treating.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT THIS COSTUME OR YOUR EXPERIENCE?

We had countless people suggest that we enter a Halloween contest, and though that idea hadn’t occurred to us earlier, the compliments and comments are what prompted us to submit photos to Halloween Express.