Homegrown with Hope: Taming Halloween Costume Stress

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As Halloween approaches, I can the feel the nerves setting in. There’s a pressure surrounding this holiday, an anticipation to live up to standards set by those creative and picture-perfect families that flood our Pinterest feeds. Halloween is, of course, a moment for children to let their imaginations run wild. But, many of us parents have to admit it’s also a moment we often get carried away by the lure of Halloween costume shops or the trap of DIY projects.

Since I was a kid, I remember my own mother pulling long hours each night leading up to Halloween. Her relentless commitment to hand-make every costume leaves with an immense gratitude that she poured so much of herself into our childhood memories. And yet, it also leaves me terrified to try to follow in her footsteps.

In this edition of Homegrown with Hope, we explore how to leave the “momster” at home and the zombie look to the kids.

I visited Halloween-costume-expert and creator of the successful Bison Booties business Erica Hager for tips to maintain my sanity while still knowing my Lucy won’t have to miss out on her very first Halloween.

“To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Halloween. It’s just not one of my favorite holidays,” Erica said.

Erica says she gets into the holiday only because her kids do. Nonetheless, she has a track record of Halloween successes: the cast from Frozen and The Grinch, rag dolls, bats, witches and more. This year, a request for an eagle and two gnomes.

Erica’s first tip is to use what you have. She starts by breaking a costume down into colors and going through her children’s closets for base pieces.

Then, she recommends to buy what you can reuse. For example, she found a snow hat with an eagle face on it, perfect for a costume and useful when the winter arrives.

Finally, she suggests simplifying your materials. Erica says fleece and felt don’t fray if you sew or cut them, making them much easier to handle. She’s also a fan of fabric glue over a needle and thread, whenever needed.

Year after year, it works for her family. So, I put her tips to the test and came out relatively unscathed, with a few pricked fingers, and one bird-like homemade costume for my Lucy Goose.

Happy Halloween!