Though Halloween is one of our most favorite times of the year, it can truly be difficult to enjoy in the Midwest. It is cold and usually rainy here in October! You will often find that unless you have an indoor party to celebrate at, your costume is typically buried under several layers of cold weather wear–which can and has included stocking hats and snow boots! Not much fun for most kids or adults. How to amend this?!…celebrate in warmth and style in SEPTEMBER!! Halloween Camping (which happens in September) is the most unique and enjoyable way to celebrate this holiday!! Whole campgrounds get decked out in festive orange and black, spooky creatures, and makeshift trick-or-treat stations. Adults and kids alike get dressed up in their holiday finery and trick-or-treat the afternoon away!
Our family and friends have done this for years and every year we all come up with unique and fun mostly homemade costumes. We (typically 10ish families or so) usually use themes for our individual families. Our family has done pirates, super heroes, and last year the cast of Sandlot! We also usually let the kids pick. This year, my family of 3 boys picked the Muppets! Oi! As head costume creator, I was a little stumped!! I tried to rely on my trusty google but there wasn’t much real help out there! I did manage to find some inspiration here though, a little in the garage, and in the end a trip to Hobby Lobby got us started! And here we are!!!
I started with Animal who actually turned out to be the easiest! The key piece to animal and all these Muppet costumes really is in the headwear. I started with a kid’s play football helmet. I had 2 in the garage, used a ski helmet for Gonzo, and hunted down 1 more at St. Vincent’s. With Animal, I first covered the face opening with a black stocking. This is see-through and makes for the perfect mouth. I hot glued it into place and then covered the rest of the helmet with orange felt. A few cut-up feather boas hot glued onto that and Animal’s classic mop-top is complete and easy. Hobby Lobby also had the perfect Styrofoam shapes for the eyes and nose. I simply covered them with fleece and hot glued them into place. His eyebrows and teeth are also fleece/felt. Animal’s chain was from Dollar General and his clothes are thrift store finds.
Gonzo was next and the process was similar. His base was a ski helmet and his “stocking mouth” was actually the backside of a cheap nylon stocking devil mask from Goodwill. I used the same process for him as Animal. Hot glue and thrift store sweaters make for his look. I did add some poly stuffing this time for cheeks. To make his trademark beak, I used a metal coat hanger bent and wrapped. One side of the hanger is wrapped around the helmet and duct tapped in place. The other side is formed into the beak shape and covered with stuffing. A nylon stocking encases the stuffing and the hanger and helps hold the shape together. Pipe cleaners hot glued to the top and some super hero clothes complete the ensemble. (We also pinned the sleeves of the sweater to his underpants to make the legs!-super cute!!)
Fozzy the Bear
Fozzy the Bear was probably the toughest to recreate but totally worth the hassle! The material is from Hobby Lobby and that is important to note because it was difficult to find the right color and texture! I used the same eyes/nose Styrofoam shapes as Animal–only different color fleece/felt here–the “eyes” were in a 6 pack for $2.99. I used the salvaged end of pink fleece in order to make the eye lids/lashes. Fozzy also has stuffing in his face. It is held in place by hot glue and the cheap nylon mask that also makes up his mouth. The mouth/tongue look on Fozzy was created by coloring the nylon mask with markers. We also colored in his cheeks, eyelashes and brows. Fozzy’s mouth shape was created by adding foam packaging materials from the inside of an electronics box around the top and bottom. His ears are a re-purposed stuffed animal and his hat just happens to be a great Goodwill find. Fozzy’s bear body was the only sewing that I did and is a modified Hershey Kiss pattern from their website stuffed with a pool floaty.
Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog
Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog round out our group perfectly. Kermie was made in the same fashion as the rest–fleece, Styrofoam 1/2 circles, nylon mask and hot glue : ). His eyes are tipped flatter and there is felt over the nylon mouth to help recreate the inside of the mouth. I again used foam electronics packaging to shape Kermit’s face. I used corner pieces to give the pointed mouth fronts. His bunting, which is hard to see, is 3″ green triangles glued to ribbon. Kermit also has webbed feet that are made out of 2 pieces of green fleece, stuffing, hot glue and an elastic band. His rocking green thrift store suit really is the key piece here! Miss Piggy just adored him! Her outfit is also a total hit due to her borrowed bridesmaid dress and big hair! The ears and nose were “made” by covering fleece over pre-made items–cat ears and rubber pig nose. Super easy/super fun!!!
These costumes were super easy to make and super fun to wear!!! Everyone recognized our characters and thought that we had rented the costumes. We were like mini celebrities–even getting our picture taken with others! The helmets fit just about anyone so we will definitely get lots of use out of them!