Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Handmade, home-made Halloween!

I unashamedly will admit right here, right now, that Halloween is probably my favourite annual celebration. As a young, adolescent gothlet, I used to throw the lamest Halloween parties, in which myself and a handful of friends would "dress up" (I use this term loosely), play around with a ouija board, drink too much diet coke and then get bored. They were awful parties. One year we watched Sister Act. Another year we played Soul Calibur 3, but we only had one PS2 controller.

And still, I love Halloween.

This year, I decided to be a pilot for the Sunday night party I got invited to. I was actually planning to be a male pilot with my hair tucked under a trapper hat (and wearing cargo trousers instead of a mini skirt, obviously!), but I couldn't find the right kind of fake moustache anywhere.

Not pictured- my £9 goggles from Ebay. They were pretty cool, but if I put them up on my head they squished my victory roll hairstyle. I did take them to the party though, unlike my silk scarf, which I forgot.

Complete costume run down, from top to bottom:

  • Hair- victory rolls. They're created with just a brush, bobby pins and a lot of hairspray. I followed the tutorial up on Diary of a Vintage Girl. The back was a bun created with a sock ring. It was my first time doing either style!
    Cost- about £1.50 for the hairspray and bobby pins. I got them cheap from Wilkinsons.
  • Lucky clover necklace. Can't go up with a bit of luck! This was a present from a boyfriend a couple of years ago.
  • White shirt. I glued on a couple of authentic air support/command patches, and pinned on a vaguely air-forcish brooch. The shirt was an old work shirt that I don't like. It wrinkles really badly and is very unflattering.
  • Jacket. This is my regular, everyday fake black leather jacket. It was £3 in 2003 from a clearance rack and has done me proud ever since. I made the collar and cuffs from half a metre of cream fake fur I got from John Lewis. They were hemmed by hand and sewed into the lining.
    Cost- £2.25 for the fake fur.
  • Bag- authentic medic bag from an army surplus store in Southwark. Bought it last year to be my uni bag, but it's really difficult to access in a hurry. I think it was about £12 or £15.
  • Skirt- a regular part of my wardrobe. From Uni-Qlo, I think.
  • Boots- my regular winter calf highs.
Total cost to me, excluding things I didn't purpose buy for this costume: £13.75

My mum made a crumble, so I posed with that too. Because my mum makes good crumble.

So that was my costume.

You can't have Halloween without Jack O Lanterns. If you don't have some kind of carved vegetable by outside your door, your house will become infested with evil spirits. FACT.

This year I made two, because I couldn't resist carving up a tiny green pumpkin that had been knocking round our fridge for a while. I like to collect the seeds and the flesh for eating.
This is my method for carving a bigger pumpkin:
  1. Lay out your tools and materials. You will need a big knife, bowls for the pumpkin innards, and an ice cream scoop.
  2. Cut the lid in a zig-zag shape, to create a lid that can only fit in a specific way.
  3. Pull the lid off, scrape the pulp off into one bowl, and cut the pumpkin flesh from the lid into another bowl. Drag as much of the pulp and seeds as you can out into a bowl.
  4. Score the inside of the pumpkin with your knife then reach in with your ice cream scoop and scrape out as much flesh as you can.
  5. Put the lid back on, score your design on the outside of the pumpkin, then get to work carving out your spoooooooooky faaaaaaaaace.

The tiny one was actually really easy to do, it was so small that I scooped out all the insides in one twist of the ice cream scoop.

Monster cat didn't seem that scared though.


  1. I feel silly commenting on your blog so often, but I enjoy reading about the things you make. People are not so crafty here in the US.

    I dressed as Dennis Nedry from Jurrassic Park. It was fun to be a fat person for a day. Very warm and you can bump into people with your stomach. :)


  2. Ha, I love it! I used to be so scared of Jurassic Park, I was scared of going round corners for a while as a child out of fear that a velociraptor would be waiting for me (they had a robot Deinoychus pack at the Natural History Museum and I figured that they were actually trained performing animals and would one day follow me home).

    I think you're wrong about crafting in the USA- there are tons of crafters and some of them make very cool things. A lot of craft materials are much more affordable over there, especially fabric even accounting for the fact it's bought by the yard which is slightly smaller than the metre. However, I do think to some extent that craft is maligned in the USA and handmade stuff maybe isn't held in the same esteem that it is in other parts of the world, but this is probably systemic to a consumer culture and not just an American thing, because people over here can be very snobby about craft too.

    And don't worry about commenting too often! It's good to have some feedback once in a while.