Here’s the story behind our patriotic costume idea. With the recent passing of the 5th year anniversary of 9/11 we decided that our costume ideas for this year should be a “Tribute to America!” Having recently taken a road trip through some of the great national parks, we decided it would be fun to be different national monuments from around the country. Mt. Rushmore, the US Capitol building, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty and of course the symbol of our country – the Flag.
The construction of the costumes took several Saturdays. Our first Patriotic costume idea was Liberty Bell. We made a custom pattern to the measurements of my daughter drawn out on butcher paper. We made six segments that were sewn together as a large cone shape (in a beautiful bronze taffeta). We then added several string-filled beads around the costume to represent the cast ridges on the actual bell. The writing was written on in Sharpie and the crack was cut out of a strip of felt and sewn on. The top piece was just a cut cardboard box covered with the same fabric.
Our next Patriotic costume idea was the Statue of Liberty. We found a cheap tiara that was spray painted to make the crown. A cheap candlestick (upside down) painted and adorned with tissue paper became the torch. An old green book and a couple yards of a greenish material became the simple toga. Under the toga fabric my daughter just wore a green sweater we already had (it matched fairly well).
Mt. Rushmore took the longest to create. First we ordered cheap plastic masks for the 3 presidents that I was not going to be (since I wear glasses I definitely had to be Teddy Roosevelt). These cheap masks were available at a Halloween supply store online – and were usually used for kids’ school presentations around Presidents’ Day.
Next I built a simple wood frame out of some floor molding I had lying around in the garage. I molded and attached chicken wire to this with my staple gun. Finally I spent a long Saturday afternoon covering the whole “mountain” with paper mache. I ripped the paper into 1 to 2 inch strips then dipped it in a mixture of flour and water (just keep adding flour until there is a thin paste consistency). I used one hand to dip the paper then the first two fingers of my other hand to squeegee off the excess paste. I applied the paper mache in random directions to give good strength. After fully drying I spray painted the mountain with gray primer (nice flat finish) followed by a top coat with a “stone texture” spray paint. This gave a great effect! Finally a couple straps were attached to suspend the costume from the shoulders.
My wife quickly made her flag costume out of two US flags that we purchased at the store. She simply sewed them together leaving head and arm wholes. The nice thing is that after Halloween we now have two new flags for our house!
Our dog’s Patriotic costume idea was a little tricky. We first found a paper model online and then I extracted the images from it and modified them to fit the box we wanted to use. After covering the box we attached straps inside that had button holes to attach to a body-sleeve that was on the dog with buttons. It is a great system we made in a previous year allowing us to quickly attach the costume and take it off when not needed (as she isn’t the most fond of it ;-).
We love our costume ideas each year as it is a great family bonding time!
Total Spent: $100