I wanted to create a costume that embodied the true spirit of Halloween. Jack o’ Lanterns and skeletons fit the bill, so I combined the two.

I started with a black turtleneck shirt and slacks. Bought these at the Salvation Army for a few bucks and picked up some naugahyde (pleather) at the yard goods store. All together about $20 bucks. The most expensive thing was one of those Styrofoam pumpkins from the local craft store, another $20 bucks.

For realism I downloaded a picture of a human skeleton from the internet and enlarged it to fit. I have access to a large format printer so it was easy to make an accurate pattern. Working about two hours a night, it took about a week to cut out all the bones from the naugahyde. I used a razor knife for speed and smoother edges.

From there, all I had to do was glue the naugahyde bones onto the clothes. I found a “flexible when dry” glue to do this. I drew the smallest details on the bones with a permanent black marker, it worked out great.

The Jack o’ Lantern head was only slightly more difficult. First, I cut a hole at the bottom of the Styrofoam pumpkin for my neck and a “door” on the back so I could get my head in and still have a snug fit at the neck. I secured the door with Velcro. After placing it on my head, I guesstimated where the eyes should go and cut the face out. I didn’t want to be seen so I glued some thin black material inside to cover the eyes nose and mouth. I could still see out but people couldn’t see in. A few foam rubber blocks glued inside kept the pumpkin from flopping around.

With the scraps of naugahyde I had left, I decided to make gloves and shoes. Followed the same process as the shirt and slacks and that really pulled it all together.

Finally, any scary costume needs a good cape!