Archives For costumes

Feelin’ like Gold

October 31, 2013 — 1 Comment

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Happy Halloween you Halloweirdos!

I hope you’re all having a glorious day filled with more tiny chocolate bars that you’ll ever admit to a single living soul. While I am currently decked out in a pretty sweet Starfleet uniform today, I’ve been celebrating the season of scary for a good 6 days already. On Friday night, I had my third annual Halloween party, and it was a hootenanny. Before the party, though, I spent a little time doing something I never do – I got kinda crafty, and not in the 1996 Neve Campbell way.

A few weeks back, I read this post from the lovely Meg over at Ginger Snaps, and I feel in love with those shiny little skull heads. I immediately wanted to spray paint all the things gold. I decided to forgo acts of vandalism (although how cool would gold stop signs be!?) and round up the small collection of jars accumulating in my cupboard – Classico jars, jam jars, apple sauce jars and an Arizona Green Tea bottle. I then taped some stripey designs over each of the jars, and paid a visit to Currys, my local arts supply store. A couple of coats later (Ok, just one coat, I’m lazy), and my old jars were transformed. I spray painted a few spiders, bought some tea lights, fresh princess lilies and gourds to finish the scene. Fun fact: that windowed backdrop is from my mom-in-law! She restores old things and makes them pretty again.

ANYSCHWAYS, I set up different various of jars and gourds around my living room for the party, and they perfectly tempered all the other tacky orange and black crap I hung up!

And while I’d like to say my costume was intentionally designed to coordinate to my decor, it was just happenstance that I too was decked out in gold for the party. I went as Vanna White, complete with a functioning wheel (again with the crafts!) and Matt was Pat Sajak. This costume was a stroke of genius because I got to thrift a sparkly dress from Salvation Army for $10, and Matt got to wear a suit. So we both basically went as ourselves.

My guests, though, took things to a whole ‘nother LEVEL. They, too, thrifted the majority of their costumes, and made the “Best Costume” award a particularly tight race this year. Really though? We all got to place dress up and eat candy, so I’d hardly say anyone lost.

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Thrift or Treat

October 31, 2012 — 9 Comments

Ugh. That was a bad pun, wasn’t it? But sometimes I just can’t help myself. I can’t resist a bad pun, and I can’t resist the opportunity to dress like a maniac and eat tiny chocolate bars. And in this post, you’re going to get a big dose of all those things.

(Note: In this picture I am both eating mini chocolate bars and I look like a maniac)

One of the first posts on this blog featured my 100% thrifted Halloween costumes from 2011. In Halloween season, people who ordinarily resist thrift stores flock to them in droves, like a hoard of decaying zombies to an unsuspecting group around a campfire (sorry, I can’t resist The Walking Dead, either).

I’ll admit, it’s nice to see my thrift stores so full of hustle and bustle, but I also get a little possessive. That said, I fear neither zombie nor man, so I faced down the hoards with a willing determination to thrift a costume worthy of another post. It took a little more time than my average thrift trip, and the end result is a combination of elements from Talize, Valu Village, and the Salvation Army. Since we all know zombies are best taken on with some back up, my sisters Adele and Laura accompanied me in this task. And we all ended up with some pre-tty fantastic Halloween finds.

Last year I went as Cruella de Vil, and had way too much fun making crazy faces and threatening to turn people’s pets into coats. This year, I stayed on theme and selected Medusa, so I could continue to make crazy faces, and threaten to turn people’s pets into stone.

My costume started with this sparkly, cheap little tube dress from Valu Village. I thought the pattern was reminiscent of a snake, plus: SPARKLES. I then found a lovely little snake in the toy section of Talize to use as a necklace, except he was bright orange so I painted him with some more menacing colours. The last addition was this fun vintage bolero from the Salvation Army. It has these great “evil queen” shoulders, and tassels that make noise when I shimmy (and I tend to shimmy a lot on Halloween). I pulled it all together with some green make-up on my face, Dollar Store snakes in my hair, and more bobby pins than I can count, and behold: the wrath of the great and terrible Medusa!

(Also, sorry for the blurry pictures – my Medusa stare must have damaged the lens)

Anyways, onto a different fantastical character. My sister Adele went all Babara Eden and put together a pretty grand genie costume for herself. It started with this hat from Valu Village, which she then ingeniously cut a hole in, so her I Dream of Jeannie ponytail could come straight out the top. She also found herself a cute little lamp from the VV housewares section. I was hoping Robin Williams might pop out and crash our party with song and dance, but alas, he did not. I have to take some credit for this costume too, as I did find her genie pants (which are awesome and billowy and sheer and amazing) and sparkly top!

Haha! She does the Medusa stare better than I do, actually.

Next up, Laura looked adorable as a retro stewardess. She thrifted this cap, painted it blue, attached a wee-little airplane to it, then thrifted the gloves and scarf, and borrowed my navy blazer to pull it all together. I sort of hate her because she looks pretty and I look ridiculous. But I made my choice.

A shout-out to my friend Amie, as well, for her incredible Corpse Bride costume. Tim Burton would be proud! She found this wedding dress at the Salvation Army for $25, and hand-dyed the whole thing her self. Best dressed!

I’m also throwing in a few other instagrams into this post, because A) I used thrifted vases for much of my decor; B) I made lots of food for this party and that almost never happens, so I want proof of this rare occurrence; and C) My pumpkin!

Oh! And I can hardly do a thrifty Halloween post without one more snap shot of my lady friend and thrifter extraordinaire Jentine. Is she not the chicest viking you ever did see?

And that’s all she (or I) wrote for Halloween 2012! I suppose it’s time to start thinking about evil lady costumes for next year: Maleficent? Bellatrix LeStange? Ann Coulter? Shudder. Now that would be scary.

Costumes 101

October 31, 2011 — 4 Comments

I love Halloween. I always have. As a kid, there is nothing more mind-blowing than discovering that not only do you get to wear your dress-up clothes out of the house, but people will reward you for it with CANDY (as Jerry Seinfeld said, “Wait, who’s giving out candy? EVERYONE?”).

As I reflected on the years of Halloween past, I compiled a short list of the many looks I’ve donned over the years: Pioneer (I’m on the left), Little Red Riding Hood, Princess, Bride, Princess Bride, Cat, Secret Agent, Cheerleader, Degrassi Prom Queen, Flapper, and most recently, Cruella De Vil. While my Halloween identities have widely varied over the years, the one common thread between them is that they were all thrifted, and all awesome. My mom did an amazing job of rooting through the Salvation Army when we were kids to put together some seriously cohesive looks.

And this past Saturday, I did the very same. You see, we didn’t have much of anything planned for the evening, and I had quietly resigned myself to watching Buffy re-runs and littering my floor with tiny chocolate bar wrappers. But an impromptu trip to the Sally Anne with my sisters ingnited the Halloween spirit. Next thing I knew, I was walking out of the store with a faux-fur black jacket and a De Vil-ish vision in mind. We made a few more stops at other thrift stores, and my Cruella came to life! My sister Laura took a similar approach to her bird of paradise, and my sister Adele slid into my Flapper costume from last year, looking fit for a night out with Gatsby.

Now, before I reveal to you our sensational costumes, I rounded up some “new costume” comparables. They suck. They look cheap, cost a fortune, and say “SKANK” in big, cheap synthetic letters.They perfectly illustrate why thrifting always makes for a better costume.

Skankalicious, huh? And these lazy costumes cost $60 – each! Wigs and accessories not included. What a rip-off my friends, what a rip-off.

I now present to you our second-hand, first-place alternatives 😀

And of course, a break-down of our sweet disguises:

The final piece to any costume is attitude. For instances, I made ridiculous faces all night long and threatened to make coats out of peoples’ pets, and it was fantastic fun. So, if you still want to rock a Halloween look tonight, skip the Wal-Mart and get ye to a Salvation Army.

Oh, a live prop never hurts either. Thanks, Maggie the cat.