When you grow up with no money Halloween becomes a time for arts and crafts. You have some people that pour their heart and soul into making the perfect costume, then you have others that throw something together at the last minute.
Sometimes even the ones you work really hard at don’t come out looking as good as you hoped or fall apart the first time you walk out the door with it. And sometimes the last minute ones end up being awesome.
Here are two examples of costumes where one took time to create and crashed and burned, while the last minute one rose to they occasion.
The year was 1988. And I had no one to blame but myself.
By the time I was 12 my parents had abandoned the whole Halloween thing. I, on the other hand wasn’t finished yet. I look back and tell myself, “things were different in the ’80s” but honestly I just think I never planned on truly growing up. To this day I try to balance jaded, hate filled adult with awe struck, star-eyed child. Some days are better than others.
So in my first attempt at making my own Halloween costume, I kinda bit off more than I could chew. I wanted to be Wolverine. I’ll skip the whole story, but most of my costume came from pieces I picked up at the Good Will. With a well thought out plan and weeks of picking up items I finally started. I began with yellow sweatpants, a pair of my mothers boots (that were a size too small), a yellowish ski mask, brown work gloves, and cardboard. First I cut out the fins that come off of Wolverines boots and left a long bit that I could stick into the top of the boots, I colored them brown. I then cut out (horribly) Wolverines mask, many times. My idea was to attach it to my glasses and cut holes in the ski mask to stick my glasses’ ear pieces through, than cut out the bottom of the ski mask to have my mouth and chin exposed. Well, with that much cutting of a knitted ski mask the whole thing unraveled…time for Plan “B”.
So Wolverine without a mask? No biggie, I could wear a cowboy hat. I had a hat that kinda resembled a cowboy hat, good enough. What about his top? Shit, forgot that part. So at the moment I had my mothers swede boots with cardboard fins, yellow sweatpants, a sorta-kinda cowboy hat, and a thick black belt. I quickly found a yellow t-shirt at the ol’ Good Will and a trench coat (which Logan wore in a handful of issues, plus I always wanted one). So I had a horrible version of a Fall of the Mutants Wolverine costume. I could get it to work.
“Oh man, this will never work. I’m going to scrape the whole thing” is what I would of said if I had not committed to walking in the Halloween parade. So here I am, walking down Main Street of my town in a trench coat, a not really a cowboy hat – cowboy hat, women’s swede boots (minus fins, since they fell off), a thick black belt, yellow sweatpants, brown work gloves and a yellow t-shirt. I felt so embarrassed, and my dreams of being an X-Men were shattered. Hell, I couldn’t even get my milk jug claws to stay on my gloves. I looked like a homeless person (kinda like D-Man I guess). FAIL!!
Other than a super easy Crow outfit in the mid-nineties, I gave up all dreams of ever making a cool Halloween costume. But in 2008 a friend of mine was having a birthday/Halloween party. So I found a reason to try again, but this time with better success.
I’ve been a Naruto fan for years and Kiba was always one of my favorite characters. A buddy of mine who for all intensive purposes is Shikamaru (lazy, smart…lazy) decided to dress the part that Halloween. It was easy for him, he already had long hair and a green vest. So I thought what the hell, I’ll try Kiba.
A day before the party I went out to the ol’ Wal-Mart and picked up a oversized gray hooded sweatshirt, a yard of faux black fur, red face paint, and a pair of black sweatpants. First I chopped the sweatpants down capris, than I sewed (yes, I can sew) black fur around the sweatshirt cuffs and around the hood. Than I found blue fabric around the house to make the head band. I even took sheet metal and made a Hidden Leaf Village symbol and glued it to the headband. After face paint, a little stuffed dog (no time to find a real Akamaru), wrapping around my leg, and sandals, I was set. Easy, quick, and awesome. Had a wonderful time at the party, but had to explain who I was every ten minutes…lol.
I still have Kiba’s coat hanging in My Side Of The Laundry Room. It has held up very well, still kinda proud of myself.
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