Halloween Costumes: He’s DIY and I’m “Let’s Order It On Line”

He's thinking it through as we speak.

He’s thinking it through as we speak.

Jeff’s been working on our Halloween costumes.  As is his way, he’s all in– he’s dreaming up something original, homemade, clever.  All the things you want in a Halloween costume.

After dinner Saturday, he got that look in his eye that tells me he’s got a plan and it’s going to blow my mind. “I’ll be right back. I’m going to build a prototype. I’ll be back by dessert.”  Who uses the word “prototype” on a Saturday night in reference to his Halloween costume? I’m pretty sure I’ve never built a prototype of anything. Ever.

I sat on the couch with a cup of tea watching my children torture play with our dinner guests, while straining to hear if Jeff was hammering or soldering anything.  He’s been known to do both, and more, in that small span of time between grilled burgers and pie.

“Go see what your dad is doing.” I urged the kids to sneak upstairs, because I hoped that would hurry Jeff up.  After all, I wanted some pie was curious about this so-called prototype.  Not one to be rushed, Jeff came down a good fifteen minutes later.  He had a pair of Simon’s pants, a helium balloon, and a bolt of cellophane that he’d turned into a costume that defies description.   Seriously. I can’t describe it.

From my slouched position on the couch, I listened to him explain where his arms will go and how he’ll make a replica of his own head instead of using the balloon.  I look over at my children who were wondering what the hell Jeff was talking about and why he had drawn a smiley face on the balloon they just got at a birthday party.

In the next few days I will watch him perfect his vision, and we’ll step out in costume on Saturday night.  I’ve no doubt we will come home with a prize, even if it’s “most heart.”  I will continue to add my two cents to his design, even though my deep-down solution is to look for costumes on-line that could be rush-delivered to our house.  “I could buy white sheets from Amazon and we could go as ghosts,” I offer because I am lame, but still want to contribute.  Also, I like to solve “problems” by sitting on my ass and giving my credit card digits; he likes to use the raw materials laying in our house to create alter egos.

I love this DIY-ness that is deeply embedded in his DNA mostly because I don’t understand it one fucking bit.  There are a zillion Halloween pop-up stores all over Chicago.  It would take about eight minutes to get costumes and be done with this.  But that’s not his way.  It never will be.  And I’ll never understand it.

But come Saturday night, I’ll be holding the prize and riding his DIY wave all the way to victory, oh so grateful that opposites attract.

See his mummy costume? He dyed yards of cheese cloth in coffee for weeks so it would look "old".  Me? I bought a wig, cut some bangs and went as Cleopatra.

See his mummy costume? He dyed yards of cheese cloth in coffee for weeks so it would look “old”. Me? I bought a wig, cut some bangs and went as Cleopatra.


57 thoughts on “Halloween Costumes: He’s DIY and I’m “Let’s Order It On Line”

  1. That is hilarious! I fall squarely in the DIY camp, but when I was a kid and we always made our costumes, all I wanted was a cheezy store-bought one like all my friends had because they were “real” costumes and I wanted to be normal.

  2. I like couples that go all in for Halloween with great costume ideas. My mom was always a DIYer, but we find it easier to just buy the damn costume for the kids. I bought a cow costume nearly 20 years ago and have been a cow every year since. It’s just a cheap came in a bag costume, but it’s in freakishly good shape for having been with me longer than my own girlfriend/wife. God, I wonder if that’s why she hates it?

  3. The only prototype I’ve ever built was probably a creative new way of eating waffles.
    I’m totally impressed by his zeal. I wish I cared that much. I will probably stay home, eat candy, and watch Netflix for Halloween.

  4. I have always disliked the costume thing but if Im goin’ its gonna be DIY… I did the monster dash in Boston in my brother’s cassock from church…he was a priest… I think the thing was blessed so he was pretty pissed… not blessed enough, I didn’t win….

  5. I love that your husband is so creative. The mummy was cool, but I’m super curious to see what he has in mind for this year. I hope you’ll post pictures.

  6. Awww, this is so cute. I am very much in your camp – ordering from amazon or anywhere that will provide the cheapest rush shipping. Thankfully, my kids seem to be as lame as their parents when it comes to Halloween — I’ve yet to get a kid to wear a costume to school yet. Let’s see what happens this year!

  7. Your husband reminds me of my husband…
    Except I’m the DIYer when it comes to Halloween. Years of theatre made me creative when it comes to costuming.

  8. I love the idea that DIY is in the DNA. You make a great pair. Imagine if you both would would have been working on a “prototype” after dinner that night. Your kids would have eaten your guests for dessert 🙂 You’re a lifesaver!

  9. We are also a house divided. One of my kids ordered from amazon over a month ago–50’s carhop. The other DIY’d hers on Sunday using my 1989 prom dress, a mardi gras mask and other items from my closet–a capital citizen from the hunger games. I ordered two for myself yesterday because I’m lazy but I need choices–vampiress. My hubs hates dressing up but we have a costume-mandatory party next door. I have suggested Elder Price or shirtless-guy-next-door because host neighbor is known for his shirtless summers. He’ll by DIYing and it will not win a prize. He may be a ghost.

  10. For me, lazy (no DIY costumes) combines with cheap (do I really want to spend the money on something I’ll wear once?) and I end up stretching the meaning of something available in my own closet. I’m going to try harder for my daughter though!

    • We just decided that we might just bag the costumes and stop by the party for a little while b/c we are too bogged down this week.

      On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 10:08 PM, Outlaw Mama

  11. I am DIY, body, heart, mind, and spirit– I usually have help, but probably not this year.

    Sister is tired this year (the one I mentioned has costuming talent). Her hubs is recycling a costume, and I forget what she is doing. My wife (the one I mentioned who has theatrical makeup talent) has nothing… but she bought a banana costume for Boy and he shall be Peanut Butter Jelly Time (seriously, Google it). Daughter is dead set on being a Minecraft Creeper and I trust her own talent. She’s been on a kick for experimentation all October since last year or so.

    All I could come up with is Captain Kangaroo… but the hairstyle… and then the jacket… hoo boy.

    • If I could be anything, I’d be the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz. I have a few bits of Hay, but other than that, I can’t pull it off.

      On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 10:58 PM, Outlaw Mama

  12. I love DIY costumes. Last year I dressed up as Olive the Other Reindeer. (I was bummed when I found out it was a children’s book–not so clever and original after all!) I really want to know what your husband’s costume is going to be!

  13. I had to read this post once I saw the mummy/cleopatra picture . . . and it does not disappoint!!! Bravo to Jeff. I always have such envy for the “creative” types that dream up the perfect costume. Can’t wait to see what this year brings. I do remember Juno and Paulie from a fews years back. Now that was hilarious!!!! Love you, T

  14. I love the idea of DIY but I always run into the same problem…big ideas and poor execution. It’s been a problem since elementary school when we had to make these diaramas and I was never content to just “do a good job”. Mine had to be electronic and move on its own which basically meant I ended up with a big, non-functioning mess.

  15. My hubby is not a DIY-er. And he hates Halloween.

    Wait, can we trade? 😉

    I, on the other hand, LOVE Halloween, but am also a buy it online-er. Every once in a while, we all get invited to a party and I force him to participate in the costuming. He acts like I am leading him to the electric chair every time. This year? He doesn’t know it, but he’s gonna be a Mario Bros. mushroom (kids = Mario & Luigi, me = Princess Peach). Stay tuned for the massive pouty face on that mushroom.

  16. I don’t know that I’d classify myself as a DIy’er more of a throw a bunch of shit together at the last minute & see what I come up with. We don’t d prizes but if we did I KNOW I would have taken the grand prize for my crazy cat lady costume last year.

  17. ha, i LOVE him. that mummy costume is AWESOME. but yeah, so funny that he dyed cheese cloth!! hysterical. i LOVE Halloween but i’m not very crafty, nor would i ever prototype anything either… except for the year Lovie went as a Monchichi. 🙂

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