This year’s costume process was fun, creative, challenging, and end results totally gratifying! I couldn’t have been happier with the final result! We started planning for Halloween a couple months ahead of time so that we could gather everything we needed and have time to look for bargains. I knew I wanted to something that had a lot of makeup to completely transform us. So that was the biggest factor in deciding the costume. After weeks of brainstorming we finally decided to go with a personal favorite movie of mine, Beetlejuice. Not only is the makeup fun, the character is crazy and fun to mimic, and it also allowed us to be extremely creative and artistic. I was able to get creative with the makeup and found some fun and practical props to use for the night (Handbook doubled as a purse). Every step from hunting the local shops for clothes to learning the best way to apply makeup from the local costume shop was engaging and exciting.

CLOTHING: I first started looking for clothes at the second hand stores and found a perfect old bridesmaids dress to use for Miss Argentina for only $18. Next was an old white shirt and black tie. I had purchased a black suit and was going to paint on the stripes and unfortunately it got messed up right before we had to leave for our trip so I had to order a striped suit online and have it delivered to us at our destination. At first I was so bummed that after all my prep work the suit was ruined, but after the costumes were complete the purchased coat and pants looked great and I was really happy with it. We both already had suitable shoes, black boots and black high heels. I purchased wide white satin ribbon and iron letters for the Miss Argentina sash.

THE CHALLENGE: The hardest part was the cape for Miss Argentina. I had to shape it out of wire and then had a friend help me with sewing the tulle around it. We scratched our heads for a while deciding on how to tackle this project. I first wrapped the wire in red cloth to hide the silver color and to soften the edges so it wouldn’t damage the delicate tulle fabric. We then created a template by tracing around the wire form and then cut the tulle in that shape and sewed it. Next we slipped it over the wire form and attached the rest of the cape. It took us about 2 ½ hours because we did a test run with scrap fabric so I didn’t ruin the tulle. Very challenging but fun!

CRAZY HAIR: The wig for Beetlejuice was easy, I found a “Shock Treatment” white wig online and spray painted it with layers of yellow and green. We didn’t need the bald cap on the available Beetlejuice wig because he already shaves his head bald so the crazy shock treatment wig worked perfect! The Miss Argentina wig was difficult to find a suitable style. I ended up going with a “Cutie Doll” wig and cut off the black bow on top and pulled up the sides of the wig to create an up-do look.

THE MAKEUP: I went to the local costume shop and bought Ben Nye brand theater makeup (surprisingly not expensive). I even found some great paint on tooth coloring for Beetlejuice’s teeth to give them a gross green look! (Eewww! was the most common response when people saw that!) I used two colors of green cake makeup for Miss Argentina, a base color and a highlight. Applying the green was really easy but time consuming so I had some friends help me as we were all very anxious to get to the street party! Cream makeup (white, black, dark purple, and green) was used for Beetlejuice. To give Beetlejuice’s face texture and a rotting look I bought some decorative planter moss at the dollar store and glued it on with liquid latex and then covered it with green makeup. As I was applying the layers of moss our friends kept coming in and looking then laughing at how funny he looked at different stages.

PROPS AND EXTRAS: Our props for the night included business cards for Beetlejuice to hand out to promote his “bio-exorcist services” and a Handbook for the Recently Deceased (which doubled as a purse for me for the night). The book was made from a fake hollow book and glued the cover over the top. I then put a strap of fabric through it so I had a handle as a purse. It worked great it was big enough to hold my phone, money and makeup! As an unusual extra we decided to get some crazy special effects contact lenses for the fun of it, which really freaked people out! Those were held up in shipping for three weeks! They arrived at our house two days before the party. We had our neighbor overnight them to us at our destination. I was stressed that we wouldn’t get them in time, but they arrived at noon the day of the party and boy did they look amazing!

All in all this was an incredibly fun experience and I couldn’t have been happier with the results. All our planning and hard work paid off. We were posing for pictures all night with people yelling, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! The costumes were a huge hit and we were overwhelmed with all the compliments! One of the best nights ever!!!