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2014 Costume Contest Winners – Child/Tween/Teen Category

2014 CHILD / TWEEN / TEEN CATEGORY

The 2014 Halloween Express DIY Costume Contest winners in the Child/Tween/Teen category truly demonstrated what the holiday is all about. With this day and age, family time is becoming more scarce. We’re proud of the amount of quality family time that went into designing and building these extraordinary and creative costumes. We’re betting the kids had a great time showing them off, too!

FIRST PLACE: Afton Tarin – Orange, CA

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

Well, we are huge Tim Burton fans and we really enjoyed his version of Alice in Wonderland. Our daughter wanted to go with a Tim Burton character this year for the first time and when we researched our options online, we found that there weren’t very many Cheshire Cat costumes online and she really loves him, so we decided it would be a fun challenge to see how far we could take it – to make him look as realistic as possible (since as far as we could tell, it hadn’t really been done yet.)

 

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

We used MANY things to make this costume… I started with paper mache to create the mask and upholstery foam in certain places where Cheshires facial features differed from my daughter’s. She had to lay on the ground for quite a while during this part of the project and she had to take two showers to get all the glue out of her hair! We used more foam around the mask once it was dry – to widen his face around hers before attaching the gray fur with spray adhesive and staples. Once that was attached, I had to trim the fur to about half the original length. I bought the gray even though it was too long because it was closest to Cheshire’s shade of fur and I figured cutting it wouldn’t be too difficult. Then, I tackled the eyes. We used large lenses from a pair of sunglasses and I hand painted the turquoise on them before cutting the holes through the paper mache and gluing the lenses in place with a glue gun. Then, I used permanent marker to make the eyeliner around his eyes. The vision is dark and narrow being that she can only see through the black parts of his eyes, but she can see just enough. I added holes using straws through the mask for air – which is hidden by the fur, and there’s an additional opening at the chin area so air goes out easily when she breathes. The nose and mouth are made from pieces of thick card-stock… also hand-painted, then attached with a glue gun and there was some hand stitching involved there as well. The whiskers were actually decorative twigs originally. I was looking for something that was the right size/weight/diameter and that’s what I was able to find. Those had to be spray painted as well as the pink material I used for the ears. The pink was cut out of a pair of PJ shorts (it was literally the only pink we had at home) and it was slightly too dark so a little cream spray paint solved that problem. The mask was hand-stitched to a hood that I made with gray fur fabric (which also had to be trimmed) and then I hand-stitched the ears on leaving some long hair around the ears.

The body I made from a generic costume pattern and then altered to fit my daughter’s measurements. I had to add length to the legs because apparently, she’s taller than most small sized children. I added a zipper in the front center for her to get in and out of it easily and once it was all one piece… then came more trimming – which had to be done with her wearing it. She was not amused – I must say and it is a hot costume to wear for too long! THEN, came the tedious task of cutting, placing, pinning and hand-stitching the blue fur stripes one by one (this was a separate fur material). We did it piece by piece… one arm at a time, then one leg, another leg, the tail, the back, the hood and mask, you get the picture. This allowed me to see how it lays on her before placing any stripe permanently AND it allowed her to get in for short periods of time, then get out while I work on it. We did a little bit everyday until every stripe was attached. The base for the hands was a pair of kids gloves and I hand-stitched the gray to them, then trimmed the fur, then added blue stripes – all while she was wearing them. The feet was just gray fur, trimmed booties I sewed with my machine and I added elastic to the bottom to secure them snugly to her shoes. Lastly, when everything was on – we stuffed her belly with a sheet to fatten her up which definitely gave her that “fat cat” look she was lacking – super funny the first time we put it on! It took at least a month to do it all – mostly because I work full time, go to school full time and had to break down what was left of my available time to work on it. After we finished everything, I took her out to a local park and we took some photos of Cheshire Cat in his eerie environment. This was a fun project for both of us – definitely allowed me to have some much needed one on one time with my daughter and I am very proud of how this costume turned out. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

So far, we have only taken this costume out twice. Once for my daughter’s school Halloween event – where she certainly turned heads, got lots of compliments and won first place for “BEST COSTUME”. This is where many parents suggested we enter her costume in an online costume contest – which is how I came across this website. Then we went out with it for the photo shoot this weekend in sort of a secluded area of the park, but still – many hikers and bike riders stopped to watch and each of them knew exactly who she was which was fun for her I think. She enjoys the compliments and so do I. =)

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

I think I covered everything above. Thanks =)

 


SECOND PLACE: Amanda McMillen – Fulton, MS

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

My daughter, Kaylie, loves to read and we always like to come up with unusual costumes. After looking online for ideas, we decided to try making a bookworm costume. We saw some different versions of bookworm costumes online, but none that we saw was quite what were were looking for. So once we had our idea in our heads…we went looking for materials!

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

We made the books with 2 tri-fold boards. We used a piece of large PVC pipe cut in half to make the spine on the books. With lots of hot glue, cutting and duct tape, they eventually looked like books. Next we inlayed leftover pieces of the boards on 3 sides to look like the pages of the books and drew lines on each end to resemble pages. We cut a hole in the center of both books for Kaylie to fit through and printed out the book titles, author names and graphics using colored paper. The body of the worm is made from lime green super stretch fabric and stuffed with batting. It has elastic sewn in the tail and the body to make it look jointed. We made arm holes and the body is attached to the books using a thick, wide ribbon. We made the lime green hoodie she is wearing out of the same fabric as the worm. We bought the graduation hat and added the antennas stuffed with batting and wire. We also bought the glasses and bow tie.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

We had the absolute MOST fun with this costume! At the downtown trick or treat we couldn’t walk 2 feet without someone stopping her and either bragging on the costume or wanting to take her picture! The one thing we didn’t think of when making the books was the width of doorways! The only way she could fit through a doorway was to turn sideways, hold the “stomach” of the worm up and stick her bottom in the air and wiggle through. I think we enjoyed that as much as the reactions we got from people! (Especially when she trick or treated her grandmother’s fancy law office….the elevator was a hoot!) Younger children were wanting their picture made with her everywhere we went (and some adults too) and she got extra candy from most adults because they told her her costume was so awesome!

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

One of her favorite things to do when she wore this costume, and yes, she loves to be funny, was to grab the belly of the worm and bounce it up and down while laughing. She thought that was the funniest thing! Kinda like Santa’s belly shaking like a bowl full of jelly! Love the memories she will have when she’s older of our “off the wall” costumes!

 


THIRD PLACE: Jana Nolden – Dane, WI

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

My niece has made costumes for my son who is in a wheelchair for the last couple years, and this year my husband requested that she make my son a Cat skid steer, as he works for Cat. This is the skid steer that her and my son decided on together..

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

She used cardboard, snow fence, spray paint, wrapping paper, duck tape, hot glue, packing tape, spray adhesive, paper mâché with sand glued to it, construction paper, zip ties, Velcro, tires from a power wheel, decals, paint markers and paper towel rolls She first shaped the cardboard into the body to fit it around my sons chair, she used duck tape and hot glue to hold the pieces of cardboard together. Wrapped the yellow parts with wrapping paper and painted the entire body, painted the snow fence and attached with more cardboard and hot glue. Then she added the details, lights in the front and back, the model number and details on the side, the side arms for the bucket (using paper towel rolls cut into pieces to have the arms stick out from the side), and zip ties were used to attach the painted power wheel tires and a silver paint marker was used to add the bolts to the tires. Then she used paper mâché and used spray adhesive to attach the sand to it to make it look like the bucket had sand in it. 

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

Everybody that saw it either in person or the pictures that were posted on Facebook, thought it was really neat and loved it. The compliments received were endless, from how cool it was and what an amazing costume he had. As soon as the kids at school saw my son in his costume, he was surrounded by at least a dozen kids that wanted to see it and thought it was really cool, they said his costume was the best one. He also got a standing ovation at the schools Halloween parade. I was also told the kids couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of the day at school.

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

My son inspired the making of this costume, and his smiles while wearing it made it all worth while.

  


THIRD PLACE (a): Kimberly Alcantara – Wilmette, IL

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

Asher came up with this idea at camp in July! He liked the idea of being a “stick man”, and then saw a pedestrian street sign and thought it would work great with a black morph suit. He later decided that the diamond-shape of the single-pedestrian sign wasn’t the best because his legs stuck down in an awkward way. So, we looked for other street signs and decided on the “house-shaped” school crossing sign.

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

We bought a large size foam core poster board, and drew a in pencil where we needed to cut to make the “house shape”, and to put a hole for Asher’s arm. We used two coats of neon yellow spray paint to paint the board (front and back). Thick black electrical tape formed the black line around the edges, and thinner black electrical tape formed the lines of the street inside the sign. We chose black paint for the image of the girl (instead of black sharpie), and used the outline of a bowl to draw a perfect circle for her head. We fastened a velcro strap onto the back of the sign so that Asher could stick his right arm through the sign and hold on in the back. We used a black morph suit as the superimposed image for Asher’s body as the stick man in front of the sign. Once he had the morph suit on, he stuck his hand through the sign to hold it tight.

WHAT REACTION DID YOU GET WHEN WEARING THIS COSTUME?

Everyone LOVED it. Some houses actually gave him EXTRA candy, saying it was the most clever costume they’d ever seen. When we posted it on Facebook, we got over 150 Likes over night. Of course, no one recognized Asher, as he was indiscernible in the morph suit, so no one knew who he was.

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

Asher (age 9) conceived of this idea!