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Finding Turtle

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My son Declan loves the movie Cars. Loves, loves, loves. And ever since we broached the subject of Halloween, he was determined to be Lightning McQueen on the spookiest night of the year.

But here’s thing, while I have nothing against Lightning McQueen as a person, err, talking car… I really hate pre-made costumes. Particularly cheap, made in third world country costumes that still somehow cost me an arm and a leg. And if your child is as obsessed with Cars as mine is, you know the Lightning McQueen line of Fall fashion is bottom barrel of cheap. So, I thought we could take on making Mr. McQueen. With chicken wire and paper mache. What, am I a lunatic? Every weekend we even came close to thinking about attempting this marvel of craftmaking ability, I started hyperventilating so badly that I used all our paperbags up for breathing rather than costume-making.

So here we are. Close to Halloween, and back to square one.

But not really, because now I have an opportunity to bring Declan around to the idea of a non-Disneyfied, old-fashioned, pulled-together the week before Halloween with mainly things we have around the house type costume.

Ahhhh… memories. All those who have been “hobos” or “pajama ladies” before, raise your hands!

But the thing that I have loved is really talking with my kid about all this.

Explaining that the Lightning McQueen costumes were simply out of our budget: a lesson in money.

Explaining that not every costume needs to be a character from a movie or TV show: a lesson in anti-consumerism.

Explaining that we should look around the house for items to make a costume with: a lesson in recycling.

Exploring his options and coming up ideas for costumes: a lesson in creativity.

Spending the time together to make a home-made costume that he will remember far longer than a trip to Target: a lesson in family.

So, what have we come up with? A turtle.

The plan is to take a turkey pan, spray paint it in turtle colors and attach it to his backpack. Everything else we have ready to go. Easy peasy.

And fun.

Plus, heck, if anyone really needs a character to attach it to, we can always teach him to talk “surfer” like Crush the sea turtle from Finding Nemo.

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  • comment avatar Gretchen October 21, 2007

    I hope you post pictures, either here or elsewhere. It sounds like a clever idea. I love costumes which can be reused and worn again.

  • comment avatar aimee/greeblemonkey October 21, 2007

    OF COURSE there will be pictures, Gretchen. 😉

  • comment avatar Erika October 21, 2007

    Or a teenage mutant ninja turtle. I just read this after going through the house to make my daughter’s pirate costume. It was fun and she is so excited! (a scarf around the waist from my stash, tons of jewelry from grandma’s stuff I inherited, a bandana and pirate hat nana had sent, daughter’s boots, velvet pants and white shirt.)

  • comment avatar Neil October 21, 2007

    It’s funny, last night we took our 3 year old son to a Halloween party and we put on his long johns, put a red pair of underwear (tighty- reddies?) over his long johns, a belt, a black mask from Marty Gras and a supergirl cape from an old costume. The funny part is every kid kept asking him “who are you supposed to be?” It isn’t good enough to simply be a superhero, but you must be a specific superhero.
    To the kids credit, there was only one pre-fab costume out of 20 plus kids. Good creative parents!

  • comment avatar Lynn October 21, 2007

    How cute! Can’t wait to see pics!
    I, personally, am lazy, so I buy the girls’ costumes every year. A. is a princess for the second time. Ugh. I tried to talk her out of it. No go. But this time she has a velvety dress. But we keep our costumes- the girls love to play dress up, so they actually serve a purpose!

  • comment avatar Aimee Greeblemonkey October 21, 2007

    Erika – yes, Ninja Turle too!

    Lynn – very smart to keep them for dressup! And we did have a snuggly Elmo that was store bought and he played with for years. It’s more I really hate the cheap ones that still cost 50 bucks! How does that happen??

    And Neil – I laughed out loud at Tighty Reddies. I guess lesson learned, kids need a name for everything just like adults… He could have been REEEDDDDDDDD BOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYY!!!!

  • comment avatar boogiemum October 21, 2007

    Thats a great idea! My Toby was a turtle for Halloween one year. I sewed that costume, but am now wishing I was as creative as you – it would of been so much less stress!

    This year I let the boys pick out costumes at a consignment shop. One is Spiderman and the other a ninja. Cheap and not creative but only 5 dollars total… oh and recycled.

  • comment avatar Painted Maypole October 21, 2007

    fun! you will be posting pictures.

  • comment avatar angel October 21, 2007

    that is a very clever idea. I too had to deal with the same situation. jordan wanted to be a transformer. Go figure. so while those spandex coztumes don’t look like a robot and cost the price of 3, I was forced to rack my non- creative brain to create one. oh no here we go!!! hope you guys had fun working together on it.

  • comment avatar nutmeg October 22, 2007

    As of one minute ago, I think one of my kids is going to be a turtle!

  • comment avatar Lizzy October 22, 2007

    I never thought of using disposable cookwear. This opens up all new costume possibilities. Thanks!

  • comment avatar Lotta October 22, 2007

    When I think of all my Halloween costumes, they were almost all homemade. But they were also terribly politically incorrect. Hobo, Gypsy, etc.

  • comment avatar Brenda October 22, 2007

    Turtles are awesome! Brendi will be a crazy, over the top, Rockies fan! And now if we could only get tickets to the WS!

  • comment avatar Erica October 22, 2007

    Way cool!!! Y’all are so creative.

    Logan will be a turtle too… Ha, ha… A TMNT. Store bought.

    We are not as creative. 🙂 can’t wait to see the pics!

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