Archived Ideas for ‘Costumes’



Here’s a sweet project you can do this weekend. You might even challenge yourself to use only items you already have, although it is also fun to shop for some bright colored papers. The finished size and function of the book is up to you (and/or your child). We made a photo album for your Halloween pictures, and two smaller books your child can use as his or her drawing/sketch book, or journal. Here is what you will need to make a fun book project:


First you need the covers, you can use card stock or, for a chunky book, craft foam. For the pages just use regular paper. It can be plain white printer paper, colored paper, even lined paper for a journal. You’ll also need rubber bands, a ruler, a hole punch, a mat knife or other cutter, and a fairly rigid skinny toy. For a Halloween costume album, choose a plastic snake or bug. You’ll see later that you can even use a crayon or colored pencil.

Cut the covers and all the pages to the same size. Our mini bug journal is 5″ x 6″. We used neon green craft foam for the covers (2 of them) and alternated pink and yellow paper to make the pages. Once everything is cut to size, use a plain piece of 5″ x 6″ paper to mark your hole punch placement. From the short edge (the spine edge) draw a line 5/8″ away from the edge. Then, on the line, make a mark 1 3/4″ down from the top and another 1 3/4″ up from the bottom edge. This is where you will punch your two holes. Punch them on your plain paper. Now you have the hole pattern for all pages.


Use your pattern to punch all the pages and covers. You will probably not be able to punch the whole stack at once. Just do little stacks until they are all punched.


You’re almost done! Now take a rubber band and pinch it so you can “lace” it trough the bottom hole from the back of the book to the front. Don’t worry if you can’t thread it all the way through. Just do a few pages at a time until you’re through the whole stack.


Once you’ve got it through like this, stick the object into the loop to prevent the rubber band from pulling out when you do the next step!


Now, just pull the rubber band tight from the back and thread it through the top hole just as you did the bottom one, back to front. Once you get it through the cover, loop it over the other end of the toy and Voila! You have a super fun and inspiring journal!


For a creepy crawly Halloween costume album we used half sheets (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″) of orange card stock for the cover and acid green for the pages. A black and orange plastic snake, and black photo corners finished the look. Your holes will be in different places depending on the size of your object and length of your rubber band. It’s usually best to center the two holes so the top hole is the same distance from the top edge as the bottom one is from the bottom edge.


This book is just the right size for all the photos of all the kids in their costumes. Don’t forget to add new photos each year.


And the simplest of all, the “sketch book” uses plain white printer paper, and a crayon or colored pencil to form the binding. This little book measures 5″ x 5″.


Now, just think of all the cool little books you can make with things around the house! Happy bookbinding!



The combination between the end of school and summer’s warm weather provide the perfect opportunity for an annual family trip. Here in the mid-west, countless families head “North to the Cabin”, and I’m not the first to notice how time slows down these hazy lazy days.

We take the annual summer vacation to the family farm in northern Michigan. And since our children were born, it has become the time and place that, once a year, they bond with their cousins.

Northern Michigan cherry orchards, sand dunes, and lakes have been the backdrop for relationships that have been playing out two weeks a year for the duration of their young lives. And as a parent, it’s one of my favorite things. It has not only cemented the relationships of the children, but of myself, my siblings, parents, and in-laws.

Jacqueline M. deMontravel, editor of Romantic Homes Magazine, in her letter from the editor, expressed what I consider a near perfect reflection on summer. I had to share it with you. Here is Jacqueline’s letter, with a title that could have been the title of today’s idea. May everyone reading this take a moment to breathe in and quietly savor summer, whether you choose to travel to the woods, or just the back yard.

Let It Go

July follows the loose, relaxed style of a past-season sundress. Fully entrenched in summer, stray towels, flip-flops and all the necessities brought back from beach day can wait an hour, or day, to be tidied up.

July is the coffee break of the calendar year. Urgent matters become less urgent. Casual conversation lingers into the evening. The style of the summer follows these tenets. You are less likely to succumb to modern conveniences, opting for the entertainment provided by the season. There are many: falling asleep outdoors, losing a day to the garden and listening to the sounds of night.

At home you cook more. Meals are made with fewer ingredients but fresher foods. People come over frequently. There is more of a desire to entertain when you are so relaxed, feel less strained and have no qualms if a guest may spot a basket of laundry.

It is a forgiving season. It is also fleeting, which is what July is about.



When my kids were smaller I loved making simple costumes for them for Halloween. One thing that just never made sense to me was to put a lot of work into a baby costume that would be outgrown, possibly even before Halloween!

So I concentrated on “head gear.” I found a pattern for a court Jester and didn’t bother to make anything but the beautiful satin hat and neck ruffle. My thinking was, put this with any plain baby or kid outfit and you have an instant costume. 


Here is the baby it was made for:


Here is his younger brother who, as a toddler wore it a few years later:


Here is my daughter in yet a different size wearing it a year or two later:


The hat and neck ruffle are still in our costume box and over the years have been pulled out many times, for all my kids, some friend’s kids and even our dog, Petunia. 

Another costume that utilizes versatile “head gear,” is the “Carmen Miranda” fruit hat. I purchased a piece of ribbed black cuff material from the fabric store about 8 inches by whatever the width it came in. I folded it in half to about 4 inches and sewed it in a loop just big enough to create a very wide “headband” that would hug my daughter’s head. You could also use a purchased headband if you can find a wide one. Then, with a needle and thread and pretty long stitches, I ran a line of stitches across the width of the band (not around) and pulled it tight to form a gather at the top of her head. I bought some miniature plastic fruit from the floral department of the craft store and hot-glued them on to the gathered area.


This, along with a bright colored skirt and top made my daughter the cutest Carmen Miranda you ever saw!


Another clever classic costume was our skeleton, which was worn by all three kids. The base is a pair of black sweatpants and a black turtleneck shirt. At the fabric store I purchased iron-on adhesive. Does this stuff look familiar?


Then, either buy a yard of white cotton, or recycle an old white sheet. Using the instructions on the adhesive, iron it onto the back side of your white fabric. Now you can draw the bones on the backing paper and cut them out. (Since you are drawing on the back, everything is in reverse, but with this design it makes no difference. Everything is symmetrical). If you are unsure of what you are doing you can first trace the sweatshirt and sweat pants onto the backing paper. I realized the design was so easy because it was simply a series of doggie bone looking things with dots inbetween. I just made them to fit the sweats with joints approximately at the midway points. The “ribcage” was sightly harder but I found the whole thing to be quite forgiving. Just sort of fill the spaces on the clothes. You then simply peel off the backing paper and, with the adhesive side toward the shirt, press it on with an iron! Use another piece of plain fabric between your work and the iron in case any adhesive melts out. You don’t want to get it on your iron.


Depending on the age of the child, they can wear a purchased mask, or make-up, or I also liked the look of this cute top-hat from the previous year’s snowman!


Have fun! And don’t forget to take pictures!