October 31, 2016
Halloween costumes finished, food ready, and ‘A Few Tips For A Great Halloween Night!‘ guarantee a scary Halloween night of fun for all!
# 1 Tip – Have the costumes finished at least a couple of days before Halloween and help create the vision of the character the kids choose to be!
The ‘pirate costume’ was ready a couple of days before Halloween and it turned out great! Sophia said it was her favorite costume yet. She and I conspired together to create her vision of this DIY pirate costume. The easy DIY tricorn hat, which was finished a couple of weeks ago, was the pièce de résistance. Her brown boots laced up the back and were a great addition to the pirate look.
We ended up just turning up a quarter-inch hem on the dress, deciding against the high-low look. We also nixed adding more lace to the skirt. Sophia said she really loved the dress just like it was. Agreeing with her, I was also a little concerned that the dress might ride up and if we had shortened it in the front, that would not be good.
The over skirt was just shortened by cutting, (No hemming necessary! Love that!), and the front edges were rounded slightly leaving the bulk of this beautiful fabric.
We found the octopus pendant at Michaels Arts & Crafts store. We just added a chain. I had considered adding the octopus to the hat on one side, but Sophia wanted it as a necklace.
A suede lace was laced through the grommets of the waist cincher.
Aidan had decided he wanted to be a member of the (Special Weapons and Tactics), S.W.A.T. team. This was a relatively easy costume to assemble. The S.W.A.T. hat was found at the local Halloween store.
We bought a black zip-up sweatshirt and black pants. (Aidan can wear both of these for every day.) We found a black tactical airsoft vest at Dick’s Sporting Goods. It was a little big at the shoulders, so I pulled up and folded about 3/4-inch of the front at the shoulders to the back and stitched the edges and across the shoulders. Fortunately, the side straps were adjustable.
We also found a pair of protective paintball gloves, which Aidan will also use in the future since he is big into paintball.
The white embroidered letters were found at Hobby Lobby. They had adhesive on the back, but it was necessary to slipstitch around the edges to secure to the netting on the back of the vest.
A little warning about the letters! I went to two other craft and fabric stores and several of the letters were already sold out! I did not realize what a run there would be on embroidered letters! Then I remembered Hobby Lobby and we bought the last ‘S’ in their store! If you are buying letters, do this early!
The green Nerf gun Aidan has was sprayed with a few coats of black spray paint. The orange on the tip, the side, the reload clip, and the top, were taped off and left orange for safety.
Involving the kids in the whole costume making process is important. It didn’t come together overnight. We searched online for some of his items and went shopping for others. Since he chose it, he was pretty happy with his costume, too.
Tip #2 Candy Container
In the past, we used a medium-sized basket to hold candy for the trick-or-treaters. We continually replenished the supply. Last year, we decided to use a plastic basket from the dollar store, which holds all of the candy. It’s orange, perfect for Halloween, and really works well.
We started the evening with a full basket and these few pieces of candy were all that was leftover.
Tip #3 Carving the pumpkins
Since the grandkids were coming to our house for Halloween, Dave cleaned out and prepared the pumpkins for them to carve after school.
They were excited to carve the pumpkins they had chosen the week before. The little carving kits available today are safer than the knives we used years ago. We have a pretty good assortment of tools for them to use. It was interesting to see their masterpieces.
Tip #4 Food!
Knowing that there will be an abundant amount of candy consumption on this night, we always have good food ready to go when the family and friends arrive. Having full bellies, the kids are less likely to overload on the sweets. It has become a tradition here to have the crock pot full of chili, hot and ready to go, for everyone.
Our homemade chili recipe is quick and easy. It can be made the night before and reheated before serving. (We make two pots of this chili to be sure we have enough.)
Bowls and mugs are set out to self-serve the chili. It’s easier to take the mugs outside, weather permitting, and enjoy the parade of trick-or-treaters. Shredded cheese for the chili, crackers, and butter are also made available.
There is also a vegetable platter full of celery, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and ranch dip. Hard to resist, the kids start snacking on those as soon as they come into the house.
We also have plenty of milk to serve the kids! Milk is good with chili, but it is perfect for chocolate, too!
The kids sit at the kitchen table, go through, and sort their stash of trick-or-treat candy before they head home. We get to enjoy their tales of the night and the episodes that they enjoyed. It’s a calm ending to an exciting day.
A Few Tips For A Great Halloween Night could help cut down on Halloween Chaos!