Here’s the story behind our DIY Mother-Daughter costume… The world’s largest emergence of periodical cicadas occurred this spring in the mid-Atlantic and eastern Midwest regions of the United States. We live in Maryland, and our neighborhood was swarming in June. The ground wriggled with brown cicada nymphs clawing their way out of the ground, the trees be bedazzled with abandoned nymph shells, and the fat, inch-long adult cicadas, with their piercing red eyes and orange wings, screamed for a month straight.
So, for Halloween 2021, there is no scarier costume than the Brood X cicada! I also have the good fortune of having a 21-month-old baby girl, so I decided to try to do a matching Mother-Daughter Costume – cicada and nymph. (Nymphs are the brown bugs that crawl out of the dirt and leave their shells see clinging on trees.)
The adult costume concept isn’t too different from a butterfly or other winged insect costume, so the major challenge was to replicate the cicada’s unique and beautiful wing structure. Their wings and eyes have this bubbly quality to them, so I used bubble wrap. For the eyes, I wound the bubble wrap into a ball and painted them red. I painted the wing veins by hand and glued wire and string to the wings to give them structure. The antennae are pipe-cleaners.
Designing a cicada nymph costume for a baby was much more difficult. A painted puffer vest and a matching beige jumpsuit served as the distinctive body casing and legs. The claws were hard. She wouldn’t wear oversized gloves or a hood with felt claws sewn on. With the help of multiple internet image searches, I finally settled on a claw crown. It took some training for her not to tear off her crown, but now she loves her mommy-and-me bug costume!