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2013 DIY Costume Contest Winners – Child Tween Teen Category

2013 CHILD / TWEEN / TEEN CATEGORY

The 2013 Halloween Express DIY Costume Contest winners in the Child category truly demonstrated that any holiday is made even more magical when viewed through the eyes of a child. These kids, through designing and building some pretty extraordinary and creative costumes, have captured the true essence of what Halloween is all about. We’re betting they had a great time wearing them, too!

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FIRST PLACE: Brandy Lally, Crofton MD

 

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

Our son Tyler loves to watch youtube cooking shows. You can’t buy cool costumes for kids in wheelchairs so we decided to let him be a chef and make him a stove!

  

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

A cardboard box, spray paint, duct tape, the bottom of 4 plastic Snapple bottles for the burners, LED string lights to light up the burners, zip ties, glue, a towel bar painted black, garage door weather stripping for the baseboards, s hooks and washers for the “magnent” hooks on the sides, a photo and plexiglass for the oven door…

 

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

Alot more than we expected!

 

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

It lights up!

 

 

 


SECOND PLACE: Terry Hearn, West Palm Beach, FL

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

My niece wanted to be Tinkerbell and she wanted my son to be a character from Peter Pan with her. We believed Peter Pan did not suit him, so he wanted to be Captain Hook. Then he decided that he wanted to be Captain Hook being eaten by Tick Tock (Crocodille). We couldn’t seem to be able to get that concept to work, so that is when we decided the concept of the rock. We did want to jass it up a little bit so we made the alligator’s eyes and mouth light up.

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

We used a hula hoop at the base of the rock and then used chicken wire to complete the shape of the rock leaving an opening on top for my son to fit through. Then we used 9 cans of “”Great Stuff”” which is basically canned insulation, and kept going around the chicken wire. Once that had time to expand and dry, we used our electric knife (don’t tell my husband as I am sure we will be using it for Thanksgiving) to basically shave the insulation down so that it had more of a smooth surface. After that, we used monster mud to cover the outside of the rock. Monster mud, as DIY knows, is drywall mud and paint. Love it! Then we attached ball-bearing wheels to the hula hoop to allow it to roll around. Then we basically made suspenders attached to the top of the rock to move it as my son walked. We did criss-cross the suspenders so that when he turned, the rock would turn instead of just go in that direction.

The upper body of Captain Hook is my son of course, but the legs sitting on the rock is not. Those are fake legs! They were used with polyfill and pantyhose to help keep the shape of legs. The alligator was actually purchased from the internet but the teeth were changed out as well as the eyes. We wanted to make the teeth look a little bit more fierce to replicate it from the actual movie Captain Hook’s costume was all home-made with fabric purchased from JoAnn’s Fabric.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

We received so many reactions from people wondering how he was able to move We were asked if it was motorized, etc Funny part, is that my son knew that it was a common questions, so we started telling people that we had an App for it on our phones and that is how he moved My son would hear us say we were going to move it backwards, and he would walk backwards. People were mesmerized with it, but we had a lot of enjoyment watching the reaction for others. It different when it is just sitting there, but then when he walks people are in aw of it.

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

As mentioned before, just having it move was pretty awesome. We also had the crocodiles mouth and eyes light up so at night it gave it a pretty awesome effect

 


THIRD PLACE: Kristina Ballantine, Antioch CA

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

My 7 year old son was born with cerebral palsy and it is very difficult for him to walk. We used to pull him in a wagon on Halloween, but it was time to do something different. He has always liked gladiators and roman soldiers so with that I converted an electric mobility scooter into a motorized chariot and made him into a gladiator.. or a soldier of Rome. At first I was going to make the electric scooter a horse to pull his chariot and he could control it with a set of reins. That seemed like that may be to much going down the already crowded side walk during Halloween. So i just mounted the chariot right on top of the scooter putting the controls at his finger tips . He uses a scootert just like this one at school everyday and was very familiar with it. Every day my son has to deal with this problem and everyday he does. I Just wanted to give him a fair chance at trick or treating with his friends. So it was my son that gave me the inspiration for this project, he is a warrior.

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

I used an electric mobility scooter for the base and then I used one of those carts you pull kids around on bicycles with and stripped it down to the frame. I cut and rewelded the front crossmember tube to fit on top of the scooter. it was a simple cut made to get 2 more inches it needed. It is held together with 2 bolts. The outside of it is constructed with construction grade foam that is bendable and also insulation foam panels that gives it the spiked look when painted. I used foam pipe insulation and vinyl contact paper that looks like wood. I hand painted the panels and used lots of tacks and spray adhesive to make it all come together. I custom made the bracket for the seat and cut wood for the flooring. His costume was sewn by my wife and wristbands were made from scrap material and the plume on his helmet was made from scrap foam from the chariot and spears were made for the scrap as well to go along with his costume. He wore a motorcycle chest protector under his armor. That gave him shoulders and we added brass rivets to his armor, his cape was attached to his armor with old looking rings he has his face painted like a skull because he wanted to be a dead roman soldier.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

My son was like a superstar. We live in a neighborhood that draws in people from all over town when it comes to Halloween. There’s lots of homes that are tricked out for the event . The first guy that brought his kids to my door could not get over it and and said he had to shake my hand, there must have been a couple hundred people out that night and everybody that saw him driving it went nuts over it. Some people asked me where i bought it and did not think it was home made some others wanted me to make them one and the best one that I heard was,” that’s awesome you have cool parents kid”. Basically everyone that that it was the best costume all night.

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

Pictures do not do this costume justice. I wish I could have submitted a video to see it in action, but you get the idea. There were no questions as to what he was supposed to be for Halloween.

 


FOURTH PLACE: Jen Gerlach, Toledo OH

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

The squid hat was purchased at an amusement park over the Summer of 2013. My son loved it and asked if he could wear it for Halloween. Needing more than just a hat, the idea of having his body be the ocean was born.

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

The inspirational hat was purchased. The base for the costume, a blue stretch body suit was also purchased along with five strands of LED battery-operated blue lights, a dozen inflatable fish, a shimmery blue piece of fabric, and a roll of blue cellophane, and some glow bracelets. The battery packs for the lights were velcro-ed and taped to the chest of the suit. The lights were attached in wave-like patterns using a combination of adhesive craft squares, needle and thread; spots of exposed adhesive were covered with pieces of cellophane. Once the first three strands of lights were secured, the fish were inflated, glow bracelets inserted inside them, and they were carefully safety-pinned to the suit. The other two sets of lights were strung on the outside of the inflatable fish. The blue fabric was draped over the shoulders, crossed over the torso, and tied together around the back.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

The costume was very well-received. Everyone could see the illuminated ocean with the flashing squid hat coming in the dark. My son received many compliments and several people took his picture. While trick-or-treating, many people remarked that they had never seen anything like this glowing ocean costume. Along with the lights and fish, my son wore a permanent smile all evening!

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

I am extremely proud of this costume. I looked online for ideas of undersea costumes for the months leading up to Halloween and never found anything that looked like the vision I had for it.

It was not an easy costume to get on and off of my son. He wore it to two a Halloween events prior to trick-or-treating. Repairs were made after each undressing. The lights and fish placement were modified a bit each time. None of the pictures from the final outing turned out well. Nonetheless, I believe the final version was the best.

Thank you for looking. I hope you enjoyed it.

 


 

Some Additional Contest Entries in the Child/Tween/Teen Costume Category


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