Homemade Halloween or Hit the Store?

A few years ago when I still had the majority of the say in what the kids wore for Halloween I dressed Finn up as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. He didn't have a particular affinity for Max, or the book, but I thought it would be adorable and even commissioned someone vastly more qualified than myself to create it for me on Etsy. My sewing "skills" pretty much begin and end with putting buttons back on, I failed sewing in seventh grade when I accidentally sewed my Larry the Lamb project together inside out. So Etsy was the perfect place to find a handmade costume. When people asked me if it was handmade I responded honestly, that yes, it was. Not by MY hands, but by someone's hands certainly. I even had a special "F" cape made for Finn on Etsy the previous year so he could go to Halloween as "Super Finn", I had a good thing going with Etsy. But then, as the kids got older, they had very specific ideas of what they wanted to be for Halloween, namely Spider Man and anything princess, especially Disney ones. So my creative handmade ideas sort of fell by the wayside since nothing handmade could compete with Spiderman with built in muscles or the Snow White costumes they had in the store. This year was another year that I lost out to the store, I tried to steer my daughter towards a more creative, handmade fairy costume but she fell in love with a pretty pink one in the store and that was that. Nevertheless I've still been searching the internet in the hopes of finding some awesome homemade costumes in case next year they want to give that a go, or possibly if I can find something that might eclipse the store bought Mario costume that is currently in my downstairs closet waiting for the big day. The first link I found that had some cute homemade ideas was at Babble, one of my favorite parenting websites. This little article intrigued me because they had a handmade Transformers costume, something that my son might actually be into, and I must say I think it blows the store bought one away. The only problem? According to the person who created it, the costume wasn't "cheap or easy, though – 40 hours and 50 bucks worth of materials, such as rubber doorstops, PVC, football shoulder pads and lots and lots of duct tape. The final touch was custom vinyl decals." OKAY THEN. Forty hours of work for one costume is a BIT much for me. Especially if you're involving custom decals and PVC. Four hours, sure. Forty? No thanks. But, in the costume creator's defense, the costume did come out pretty amazing. Another site I stumbled on was Costume Pop, where I found this adorable do it yourself owl costume. Even though this one seems to include a bit of sewing it looks easy enough for even someone like myself to pull it off, and you can make it any color you want, which is a plus for me since my little owl would most likely want to be purple, not gray. This site had a bunch of different make your own ideas, including this quirky yet cute Nacho Libre costume. Next up I stopped by an old favorite, Martha Stewart, where you can find ideas from super cute lambs to an adorable butterfly costume for little girls using panty hose and a chicken costume with rubber glove feet. These costumes look like you put a lot more work into them craft wise and are cute and charming and have a special handmade touch. They can also maybe compete with the store brand costume because they have parts your kids can help make themselves, like adding the gems to butterfly wings or picking out the fabric for the owl feathers. The satisfaction of creating something from scratch, especially something that is different from everyone else, might just win over the powerful lure of Princess Aurora. I might try it out in my own house this Halloween, the costumes still have the tags on them after all and if I bust out my glue gun maybe I can declare victory over store bought costumes. How about you Mamatogians? Are you going the store bought or the handmade route this year? Do you have any costumes from past years that you are particularly proud of and want to share with us? Send us your pics of your creations, and whatever costume you and your little ones choose this year, be sure to enter them in our Costume Contest at our First Annual Momster Bash and Benefit, which is being held on October 29th from 1-4pm at the Irish Times Pub and Restaurant! Don't forget that if you buy your tickets before the event you save $5, and kids under 12 are free! Check out this link for more info and to purchase tickets.