Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween. Need I Say More?

Technically, it's been fall for a good chunk of time, but it really doesn't feel like fall to me until a few very significant and absolutely necessary events occur:

1. Trader Joe's stocks their shelves with pumpkin goods and apple cider.
2. Bits of dry, colored leaves start appearing in my hair brush.
3. I begin dreaming up my Halloween costume, even if I have no Halloween plans.

For me, making costumes is the best part of Halloween. There's something satisfying about that frantic, last minute, run-out-of-the-house-while-gluing-sequins-to-your-top feeling. Maybe that's just me. Regardless, homemade costumes are the best! They're fun to make (and less stressful if you start early...), you can show people your creativity, and they're completely original and customizable.

You may have seen some pictures floating around the internet that show that wheelchairs can be the best accessory for Halloween costumes. These are some of my favorites:

Dr. Who

Superman flying over the city

A very elaborate Wall-E

For the sharp dresser

Great group costume idea

PeeWee Herman and the Puppet Chair

My personal favorite: Dr. Scott from Rocky Horror Picture Show!
This one is great if you're pressed for time or resources.

Making a costume like these can be time consuming, so it's important to keep a few things in mind so you don't end up spending hours creating an elaborate costume that is ultimately nonfunctional.

First, like any costume, make sure it's safe. A parade float-style costume looks nice and is fun until paper bits or string get all caught up in wheels. Blood may give a costume a nice touch, but let's make sure it's fake blood.

Equally important is making sure the costume fits through a standard door. Some costumes will add bulk to a chair, so keep in mind the old saying: Measure twice, cut once. There is little more disappointing on Halloween than making something lovely only to have to deconstruct it. (On that note, a tip from my personal experience: When making a mask that covers your nose, make sure you leave room inside for your own nose before you take the time shape, dry, and paint the mask.) So plan ahead! It will save you a lot of frustration and grief.

This last one will be more important for some than others. Don't skimp out on glue, tape, thread, velcro, or whatever sort of fastener you use, and take some with you when you go about your festivities. My Halloween wouldn't be complete without a pocket full of safety pins and a bottle of fabric glue tucked discreetly away. Of course, some of you are likely better at planning and using your costuming time wisely, but homemade costumes do have their oopses (especially when paper and unpredictable autumn elements are involved). Extra backup never hurts!

I just have to throw this out there as a little post-thought. If you're thinking about dressing up a service animal, make sure you give your friend time to get accustomed to his costume so he isn't distracted by a silly hat when he should be focused on his job.

I hope this has inspired you to make some awesome costumes this week, or at least gotten you excited about Halloween or fall. Want some more detailed costume guidance? The Bridge School has instructions.

What are your costume ideas? I haven't seen or read the series, but I think it would be rad to see a Game of Thrones costume. I'm imagining a wheeled version of the Iron Throne. Yes? No?

We'd love to see your Halloween photos on our Facebook page! Also, remember to have fun and be safe.  :)

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