Easy Halloween 2017 Costumes

Once again, ‘tis the season of crunchy leaves, haunted hayrides, and overstuffed candy aisles. Amid all the autumnal excitement, time flies by faster than a witch on a speedy broomstick, and some people (read: me, myself, and I) inevitably wind up scouring the internet for easy Halloween costumes they can throw together in the two hours before nightfall on Oct. 31. Then, with the clock’s countdown ticking louder every second, they end up grabbing the same tried-and-true costume hanging in the back of their closet and dashing out the door. Sound familiar?

If you’re tired of showing up to Halloween in the same increasingly-dingy ballerina costume while everyone else’s costumes get more fabulous with every passing year, it doesn’t have to be this way. I guarantee that anyone with a reasonably-sized closet has the materials to make a clever, easy costume right now. It might not be worthy of entrance to Heidi Klum’s famous Halloween bashes, but I’m going to be real here: None of us were going to get invited anyway. (Whatever — it’s Hollywood’s loss.)

But I digress. Getting into the spirit (pun obviously intended) of Halloween doesn’t mean you have to sew your costume by hand in a candlelit room. Some of the wittiest costumes are actually the simplest. Here are 22 simple, easy ways to dress up this Halloween.

Carmen San Diego

Every ’90s kid will swoon over the appearance of the ever-mysterious Carmen Sandiego this Halloween. I suggest organizing a game of hide-and-seek.

Rosie the Riveter

Who wouldn’t want to dress up as a feminist icon for a night?

Dancing Pumpkin Meme

You already know and love the meme. Now it’s your turn to become it.

Wednesday Addams

Goth kids both former and current, your time has come. Put on your best sociopathic face and channel Wednesday Addams all Halloween.

Morticia Addams

If you’re not feeling the schoolgirl look, go for Wednesday’s mother: Morticia Addams. Better yet, grab someone to be your Gomez.

How to make Soy Candles

Remember the whole story about my heartbreak and how it led to me leaving my house in Los Angeles and moving in with Delilah in Orange County and how that led to us founding Patchwork Show? If not, check out my tale of how Patchwork started here. Patchwork Show wasn’t the only good thing that emerged when I moved in with Delilah. We also started another business together, The Family Van. We created soy candles in upcycled thrift store jars and containers.

I’d been making candles for years (see my post here about how I got started pouring soy candles) and Delilah and I are both avid thrift store shoppers, so it seemed like the perfect new side business for both of us. Every few weeks we’d spend the day jetting from thrift store to thrift store hunting down the perfect one-of-a-kind jars. At night we’d turn on the stereo, open a bottle of wine and hangout in the kitchen, melting wax on the stove in a double boiler while scenting and pouring soy candles until the wee hours of the evening.

The name, The Family Van, comes from one of our favorite childhood memories. Delilah’s dad (aka Papa)/my grandfather used to have an old VW bus without any seats in it. Papa would let us sit in the back on the floor while he drove up the hill to my house. The hill was long and there was a speed bump every 15 feet. Delilah and I were tossed around in the back of the van and Papa would say, “How are my Mexican jumping beans doing?” and we’d laugh until our sides ached. I love how the simplest things can be so entertaining and become so memorable to kids.

When Delilah and I were brainstorming a name for our candle business, we wanted something that represented our family connection. We started telling stories about our childhood together and when we landed on the story about Paps’s van, it seemed only natural to name the business after a thing from one of our favorite times in our shared childhood.

Although the candle business is behind us now, I still make candles for personal use and occasionally teach candle workshops in the bay area at Workshop SF (which is the place where I took all the photos below – note the awesome upcycled painted wine corks that the innovative Workshop sf co-founder Kelly Malone created in the photos above). I love making soy candles because soy wax burns slower and cooler than paraffin wax creating a longer burning candle. It also doesn’t release any petrol-carbon soot (you know that nasty black smoky stuff that other candles emit). To top if off, soybeans are a renewable resource! Plus if you’re not the tidiest of crafters (like me) soy wax is way easier to remove from surfaces when you accidentally spill it.

One of my favorite things about making soy candles is that it’s the perfect craft to do with a friends or even in a group. Also, it doesn’t require a ton of technical know-how, so it’s great for a Sunday afternoon brunch/crafting day with mimosas. Hope you enjoy yourself as much as Delilah and I did when we made soy candles. If you want to make your candles super fancy and awesome… check out the post I did on how to fancy up your jars with washi tape and image transfers!

WHAT TO GET:

-Double boiler (pot with a metal bowl on top)
-Candle wick
-Wick clips
-Measuring cup
-Wooden spoon
-Fragrance
-Soy wax
-Glass jars or other containers
-Glue gun with glue sticks or sticky blue goop
-Card stock
-Pen
-Hole punch
-Decorative papers
-Mod Podge or glue stick

WHAT TO DO:

  1. In a double boiler melt wax on stove until it’s totally liquid.
  2. Prepare your container: measure out a length of wick that’s 3-4 inches longer than the height of the container.
  3. Put the end of the wick through the wick clip and have 1/2 inch sticking out bottom of wick clip. Fold this 1/2 inch over and affix the wick clip to middle bottom of container with blue sticky goop or a hot glue gun.
  4. Pour the melted wax into your container leaving 1/4 – 1/2 inch at top.
  5. Add your scent. The amount of scent depends on type of scent ie: fragrance vs. essential oil and size of container. For a 16 ounce candle I use 1 tablespoon of fragrance or 10 drops of essential oil. Start small and add more scent as needed.
  6. Stir well to completely mix the scent.
  7. Make sure the wick is straight and centered and set a piece of card stock on top of the container with a little hole in the center to feed the wick through to keep it in place.
  8. Let the wax cool and the candle set and then decorate.
    *Don’t trim the wick or burn the candle for 24 hours.

How to Make a Yarn Chandelier

How to Make a Yarn and Embroidery Hoop Chandelier from Dear Handmade LifeEvery year at Craftcation our décor team headed up by my partner Delilah and Lisa Rios of The Makery conceptualizes, designs and creates all the décor for the conference. I’m always blown away by the clever and budget-friendly ideas they come up with. This year Lisa transformed a boring conference room into our podcast lounge (photo below) with a rainbow streamer backdrop wall, garlands created from yarn and paper cut-outs she made with some custom dies from our friends at Sizzix and yarn chandeliers. Lisa’s gorgeous chandeliers inspired me to create my own version which is much more simple. These yarn chandeliers are super inexpensive and easy to make and are perfect for adding color and texture to party or event décor or your house.

WHAT TO GET:

Yarn (This multi-pack of brights is awesome)

Embroidery hoop (You can use any size you’d like but I like this one)

Hot glue gun + glue sticks

Washi tape

Scissors (We love these ones)

WHAT TO DO:

1. Grab the end of one of each of the yarn colors.

2. Add a strip of hot glue the same width of the strips of yarn lined up next to each other on the embroidery hoop.

3. Adhere the yarn to the glue.

4. Trim the end of the yarn to desired length.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you’ve gone around the whole embroidery hoop completely.

6. Trim the short end of the yarn pieces around the top of the embroidery hoop.

7. Tie two pieces of yarn across the embroidery hoop in a cross pattern.

8. Tie a piece of yarn in the center of the cross. This will be what you use to hang the chandelier.

9. Put the outside piece of the embroidery hoop on over the yarn covered inside piece.

10. Add a strip of washi tape across the outside of the embroidery hoop and trim if needed.