Hi everyone, Abby here! I bet you’ve all started to feel a crisp chill in the air in NE Ohio in the mornings and evenings, meaning that fall is on the way! And with fall comes one of my favorite holidays…. Halloween! I love dressing up for Halloween, and every year I try to think of something fun that I can dress up as. Whether it’s something funny, like Beetlejuice, or classic like Rosie the Riveter, there are so many great materials at your local Goodwill that you can use to build your dream Halloween costume.
Recently, my husband decided that we were going to watch the original Star Wars films. I had never seen them before, he loves them, and there’s a new one coming out soon, so it was the perfect timing. So with Halloween just around the corner, I decided to thrift and DIY some Star Wars themed costumes for us. Luckily, last Christmas, I found an adorable bear onesie that I gifted to my cousin for her son. I used this as the inspiration for our costumes, turning the “bear” into an ewok, and DIYing a Han Solo costume for my husband and a Princess Leia costume for me. These costumes came in handy later in the evening when we attended a “Spacewalk” (minus baby ewok) hosted by Akron’s Launch League and Akron2Akron.
Check out how I created our costumes, as well as the supplies used below:
- Black vest
- Tan shirt (long-or short-sleeved)
- Black pants or jeans
- Multiple belts
- White fabric (I found 3 yards at the Waterloo location of the Goodwill, but there were tons of sheets) or a white top and long skirt
- Socks, or other spare fabric
- A belt
- Seam ripper
- Needle and thread
- Brown sweatshirt and pants or onesie (if you are costuming a small child)
- Spare fabric
- Needle and thread
I started this project, like most DIY projects: I took stock of the available items I had at home. Unlike me, my husband is not the biggest fan of dressing up for Halloween. This meant that for him to participate, I would have to craft him a costume that would be close to items he already wears. At home, we already had a t-shirt, black pants and boots for his Han Solo costume, which meant I just needed to find a black vest (or jacket) at the Goodwill for him.
For my Leia costume, I wasn’t quite willing to cut up our white sheets, so at the Goodwill, I found some white fabric (3 yards) that worked perfectly for my gown. I also picked up a pair of brown dress socks (still in their packaging) to hopefully use as the base for “sock buns.” As is the case in most big ideas I have, things didn’t go according to plan (more on that later), so I was forced to come up with an alternative for Leia’s buns.
Han’s vest was easy: remove the sleeves of the jacket we bought using a seam ripper.
Layer all of his outfit items together, and you have your final product:
My Leia costume was a little more difficult. I loosely followed this DIY for a blanket cape (http://www.ehow.com/ehow-crafts/blog/wrap-up-in-style-with-this-diy-wool-blanket-coat/). I started by folding my fabric in half lengthwise. Then I traced around a plate for the neck opening.
Next, I put my fabric on, and marked two holes with pen and pins for my belt.
Once my belt holes were marked, I removed the fabric. Instead of cutting these belt holes in only the front of my dress, I cut them in the front and back and sewed both layers together using a buttonhole technique (http://bygumbygolly.com/2013/09/buttonholes-by-hand-vintage-sewing/).
Because my new dress was pseudo-open on both sides, I layered a white tank dress underneath.
Then it was time for the “Buns”. I was hoping that I could execute sock buns (https://www.birchbox.com/magazine/article/how-to-sock-bun-hair-tutorial-in-5-crazy-easy-steps) on both sides of my head and be done with it, but because I have short hair, I was challenged to come up with something different. Unfortunately, because this was a bit experimental, I didn’t capture the steps like I should have, but in the below final photos, I think it’s pretty easy to see what I did.
I went ahead and cut the toe off of the dress socks I purchased at the Goodwill (per the above sock bun tutorial).
Then I laid them out in two different ways: on the left, you’ll see a sock bun version, on the right, how I coiled one to look like a cinnamon bun (like Leia’s famous hairdo).
I folded my socks in half (widthwise), and coiled them (separately) around themselves. Then I sewed them to themselves to keep them coiled (hot glue could work in place of sewing). Because they weren’t big enough alone, I found an old belt in my craft supplies, and repeated the coiling and sewing, adding the belt to where the sock left off. Finally, I took some crafting wire, braided it, and sewed this long piece to the inside of my buns (Final photo below).
The final piece of our costumes was an ewok hood. I know how fussy babies can be about wearing anything on their faces, especially a full mask, so I crafted a hood out of an old t-shirt (similar to this DIY: http://www.instructables.com/id/Refashion-t-shirt-into-a-hooded-T/?ALLSTEPS), and then sewed on some ears I made from old fabric and stuffing. This process was also a bit experimental, so I failed to capture photos, but the final photos showcase the entire finished product.
We all put on our finished costumes and took a few group photos!
We will definitely be building off of these costumes for Trick or Treat to include more of our family. I’m thinking we’ll add some Jedis, a bounty hunter or two, and maybe Darth Vader. I might even upgrade my costume to a Padme Amidala version (I always liked Padme better than Leia anyway).
In case you are looking for more thrifted and/or DIY Halloween costume inspiration, feel free to check out my Beetlejuice (and Lydia) (http://bottesdeleanor.blogspot.com/2013/11/happy-halloween-or-how-pair-of-pants.html), Rosie the Riveter (http://bottesdeleanor.blogspot.com/2014/10/rosie-riveter.html) or Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol (http://bottesdeleanor.blogspot.com/2014/11/one-in-billion.html) costumes over on my blog.
And to get the creativity flowing even more, Monica (https://goodwillakron.org/halloweenideas) and I will be hosting upcoming workshops to help you all find your dream Halloween costumes. Information below!
Halloween Family Fun: Thrifting Costumes
Bring the family and join us for some Halloween fun! We will share tips, tricks and ideas to create your own unique thrifted costumes and activities for the kids such as coloring, craft project and face painting!
Register to attend at the links below – each event begins at noon with lunch provided: