Thursday, October 25, 2012

a corny family | DIY upcycled, repurposed family halloween costumes

In case you were ever in doubt, we're a very corny family.

Since we live in the heart of corn country, Jason had the idea to have Lorelei go as "corn on the cob" for Halloween this year. We decided to make it a family affair -- and we had a blast at the community downtown "trick or treating" event yesterday afternoon! It's harder to tell from this picture, but I went as the farmer for my two corn cobs -- I have on a Monsanto hat, twine suspenders, and long rolled-up blue jeans along with my flannel shirt. Jason was a good sport, wasn't he? :)

I'm pretty excited to have made all of our costumes -- and especially excited about being able to do it on the cheap with repurposed items. There weren't many corn costumes online to use as a guideline, so here are my tips if you decide to do it:

one green sweatshirt (I found lots at our local Goodwill -- you can always turn them inside out if they have a weird pattern that might show)
a few feet of bubble wrap (I save it from online purchases and had plenty to repurpose)
a yard* of green felt ($2.99 at Jo-Ann Fabric)
twine, brown yarn, or raffia (I used a ball of twine we keep in the garage for tying up sticks and yard waste)
yellow spray paint (I bought a very small can for a few dollars at Jo-Ann)
green thread and a needle [or tape/glue, if you can't sew]
optional: yellow or green tights
*I used one yard of felt for both Lorelei and Jason's costumes, just FYI

Spray paint the bubble wrap on one side and let it dry.

Meanwhile, cut the felt into "leaves" that are just slightly longer than the sweatshirt. I cut them into different widths for visual interest. Cut the top of each "leaf" into a rounded point. Then use your hands to pull on the leaves a bit to make them look a bit more natural.

Once the leaves look good and the bubble wrap is dry, go ahead and sew it onto the sweatshirt. I just used a running stitch at the shoulders and bottom hem of the sweatshirt and it worked perfectly (sewing the bubble wrap under the leaves seemed to keep it in place, and didn't hurt the appearance at all). If you can't even handle doing a running stitch, I bet you could tape or glue it in place.

I ended up putting the corn kernels + leaves on both sides (front and back) of the sweatshirt. If you're pressed for time, you could always just do the front.

For the hat, I used some leftover felt curled into a circle and then stitched up the side (again, you could staple or glue/tape here). I cut about 15 short pieces of twine, put them inside the top of the felt cylinder so they stuck out to look like tassels, and then cinched it all together with a brown hair tie to hold the twine in place. Then I cut the felt above the hair tie into leaves and pulled on them (same as on the sweatshirt) to help them stand out a bit.

And that's it! I thought about wearing overalls for my costume, but decided not to spring for new ones, since I couldn't find any at Goodwill. The Monsanto hat was a good find (and an easy get around here in the midst of farmland -- it might be harder if you're in a big city!) and helped to pull my "look" together.

Can't wait to get her into this costume again next week to go around our neighborhood (Lorelei will be bringing treats to give out to our neighbors rather than getting candy, since she doesn't eat it!). Share your costume ideas and links to pictures below, please!

I shared this post at:
Project Run and Play
Fine Craft Guild
Momnivore's Dilemma
Naptime Crafters
Someday Crafts


  1. Thanks for sharing your DIY process! You guys looked awesome!

  2. How awesome! You are one creative Mama. Love the whole family theme.

    I only have the post from last year to share for now:

  3. GREAT JOB! I am a huge lover of DIY costumes and that corn on th cob costume is tops, in my opinion.

  4. Seriously!? You and your family are too, too much, Courtney. I LOVE these! If that's not a brilliant idea for bubble wrap, I don't know what is. You all look amazing.

  5. Amazing! Seriously. Those tights, the shoes, that adorable grin--all perfect.

  6. Oh my gosh this is such a great idea! So cute and creative!

  7. Holy cow, those are the CUTEST costumes EVER! The tights! Oh my word, look at her!

  8. Wow I love your costumes!! Super creative and cute and I love that the three of you are dressed up together!

  9. that is so so so great. bravo crafty mama!

    and that photo of you kneeling with L is a keeper.

  10. What creative costumes!! I love it!
    ♥ Kyna

  11. Those turned out awesome! I have fond memories of my mom making our costumes. Great job:)

  12. Well if that isn't just the cutest thing ever! Very clever and creative costumes and what a cutie pie your little one is :)

  13. Oh my gosh. Lorelei looks too darn adorable as a piece of corn. Cutest thing ever!