Embracing the Family Costume

I love a good theme. From birthday parties to Halloween costumes, I love thinking about all the little details. Joel and I used to dress up even before we had an excuse a child. But after we had Judah, we became all about the family costume. That’s right–kids AND parents taking the neighborhood in disguise. And I’m here to tell you that it’s not as intimidating as it may seem.


1. Start asking your child what they want to be early. Before Judah could express which superhero he wanted to be, I took it upon myself to find an easy group costume that would require minimal effort. But for the last few Halloweens, I began asking him what he wanted to be around the end of September and then let him in on the search. We allow him to pick his, and then we get creative with how ours is going to match. He gets excited, and it gives me plenty of time to pick up things here and there without scrambling last minute.


2. Search for ideas online. The odds are you are not the first to dress up as Aladdin, Jasmine, and Abu. So use Pinterest and Google to your advantage. I get lots of quick tips and ideas by looking at what people have come up with and making it work for us. I usually make a list on my phone of all the things I need to make the costumes and hit up the Dollar Store first, then I go next door to Hobby Lobby for the rest.



3. Buy smart and go simple. Simplicity goes a long way in Halloween costumes, and I like to get by with the least bit of effort. I may start early, but I’m not going all out and spending a lot of money on costumes that will be worn for one night. The most I’ve ever spent on all of our costumes combined is $25. And I’ll even use it as an excuse to buy certain pieces in his wardrobe that he will be able to wear again. Two years ago, Judah wore his “Peter Pan” corduroys all fall and winter. But really, I tend to just buy fabric, ribbon, or paper, and stick to what we already have.

peter pan

For example, see my Mr. Smee hat? It’s a Santa Clause hat we have with the white part turned under and red fabric covering the white poof ball. And then you see Joel’s Captain hook vest? It’s one of his old red T-shirts cut open (and sleeves cut off) with gold ribbon hot-glued and black fabric glued on the bottom. Which this brings me to my next point.


4. Hot-glue is your best friend. I do not sew despite my best attempts. But I AM quite handy with the hot-glue gun. We are BFF and she never lets me down when I’m in a pinch. It’s quick, easy, and gives me the instant gratification that I need. I wait until I get everything that needs to be hot-glued and turn on Netflix one night. It’s done in one night and hanging up in their closet the next day. No one is trying to win Best Costume over here and my motto always is, “A finished job is the best job.”



5. Let your inner kid shine and meet some neighbors. Halloween is the only night where you get to see all of your neighbors in one fell swoop. I know the holiday can get a bad rap, but we’ve come to experience it as a great opportunity to see your community and have fun talking to everyone you pass. Your kids are especially excited to show off y’all’s costumes and have fun running door-to-door. And you may be surprised that your younger self shows up too, especially when your cape matches your son’s.


 How does your family do costumes? Kids only or do you get in on the fun too?

Jenny lives with her husband, Joel, and their sons, Judah and Jonas, in Zachary, a suburb north of Baton Rouge. She works part-time as an editor and her favorite part of the week is when she gets to exchange her pencil skirt for yoga pants and pretend to be a SAHM for a few days. When she’s not toting her sons around town or saving her toddler's life one head dive off the couch at a time, she is designing invitations, stationery, and logos for local moms, brides, and professionals. Jenny’s been married since 2007, and she and Joel welcomed Judah into their lives in April 2012 and Jonas in March 2015. She loves to squeeze in as many date nights as possible and spends her free time chronicling her family’s adventures and recent designs on her personal blog, the Gilberts.


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