Timeout New York Kids

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Homemade Halloween costumes

Five creative Brooklyn parents share the inspiration-and shortcuts-behind their handcrafted Halloween designs.

Designer: Jennifer Ward

Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens

Occupation: Founder of children's interior design consulting firm Minor Designs

Child: Parker, 5

What was last year's costume?
Parker wanted to be a glittery butterfly witch and the purple cat from Eric Carle's Brown Bear book. I went to Rite Aid and got a witch costume. With some glitter, glue and wings, we made a glittery butterfly witch. For the purple cat, we used a pair of pants from her Jasmine dress-up set, a purple vest found on clearance at The Children's Place, a purple thermal undershirt and some purple hair spray from Ricky's. We added felt ears to a black headband and used purple eyeliner to draw the nose. We topped it off with a sequined belt and attached a stuffed felt tail to it. All told, I spent about $30 on everything.

That's a steal. Nice job. So you started with store-bought costumes and added your own touch?
Yes. It's a good idea to provide the base and then let your child tweak it a bit to make it more his own. It doesn't need to be perfect, and if your child helps, it will be great no matter what because he'll feel proud.

If Parker let you pick her costume, what would it be?
I'd like to try my hand at Pippi Longstocking. We have a ton of clothing that we've been meaning to donate to Goodwill that could be recycled into a perfect Pippi outfit. It doesn't require clean sewing lines and is open for colors and patterns of any kind. You can do the same thing for a boy and make him a pirate. A simple construction made out of old clothes is a perfect fit.

Joel Potischman | Melanie Conklin | Jenna Park
Jennifer Yun | Jennifer Ward

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