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Tampa families' tips for quick, easy Halloween costumes

Halloween is just a week away and you still don't have a costume for your child yet? Get inspired from some moms, dads and grandmothers who cut, glued, sewed and stapled their way to some crafty costumes. Some scoured thrift stores and clearance aisles while others dug through craft bins and boxes of old clothes. Check out the relatively quick and inexpensive ways they put their outfits together.

Isabel Tomsich, 9, Tampa Palms

Costume: Bess (Tinker Bell's art-talent fairy friend).

Creator: Mom, Raequel Tomsich.

How long it took: About a week, sewing at night for a few hours.

How she did it: Bought tank top and pants from Target. Got the acorn hat from eBay. Made the skirt and the flower petals on it, the belt and the "leaf" bag. Used green vinyl for the belt and the leaf bag, purple material for the skirt and yellow material for the flower petals.

Cost: Less than $40.

Tyler Polidoro, 5, and sister Katie, 3, New Tampa

Costumes: Cowboy; bride.

Creator: Grandma, Joan Polidoro.

How long it took: 1.5 hours for cowboy; four hours for bride.

How she did his: Bought McCalls pattern No. 2851. Used vinyl to make the vest and chaps, store-bought bandana and hat. Embroidered a horse's head and "Sheriff Tyler" on the vest. Tied chaps around the legs. (Very little sewing involved.)

How she did hers: Used Simplicity pattern No. 0631 for a witch from The Wizard of Oz, but substituted white fabric. Covered a headband with satin and sewed tulle to it. Put little pearls all over the bodice of the dress, the cuffs and the headband. Bought the handheld part of the bouquet from the bridal section of Michael's and stuffed it with flowers and greenery she had among her craft supplies.

Cost: About $25 each.

Sera Estevez, 9, Carrollwood

Costume: A cat from the Cats musical.

Creator: Mom, Stephanie Estevez.

How long it took: One to two hours.

How she did it: Purchased a wig and a black leotard. Used fabric glue to glue fur around leg bottoms, forearms, neck and tail. Let dry overnight. Used mommy's makeup for her face.

Cost: About $35.

David Burkard, 4, near Citrus Park

Costume: Ghost.

Creator: Mom, Kim Burkard.

How long it took: About an hour

How she did it: Used a white sheet. Cut the hole for the head and holes for the sleeves. Sheared the sleeves and the bottom. Painted the face white with black eyes.

Cost: Under $10.

Hunter Spurr, 6 months, Wesley Chapel

Costume: Dalmatian.

Creator: Mom, Lori Spurr.

How long it took: About five hours.

How she did it: Cut out various sized "spots" from black knit material. Hand-stitched the spots to a body suit. Cut two dog-ear shapes from the black knit material and stitched those onto the white cap. Cut a collar (rectangular band) from the red felt and a small yellow "tag" from the yellow felt. Attached the back of the collar with adhesive Velcro.

Cost: About $25.

Stevie Ribble, 4, Odessa

Costume: Peter Pan.

Creator: Grandma, Chris Gray.

How long it took: Eight hours.

How she did it: Used Simplicity pattern No. 9844 using fleece material.

Cost: About $25.

Alyson Ribble, 6, Odessa

Costume: Sleeping Beauty.

Creator: Grandma, Chris Gray.

How long it took: Two to three days.

How she did it: Used Simplicity pattern No. 9384. Picked out pretty, sparkling satin material to give it that "whole princess magic feel." Bought the gown and shoes in the toy section of Target.

Cost: About $45.

Gavin Spurr, 4, Wesley Chapel

Costume: Retro-Robot (on cover).

Creator: Parents, Lori and Corey Spurr.

How long it took: Eight hours.

How they did it: Bought a plastic bin. Corey cut out the holes for the head, arms, and legs with a Dremel rotary tool. He also made small holes in the front of the bin for the Christmas lights from Wal-Mart. Lori searched Ace's Hardware for robot accessories, including reflectors, mini-LED lights, an outdoor thermometer, and flexible dryer vent tubing for the arms and legs. Bought a cheap aluminum pot for the hat and made a strap out of some silver cording. Gavin wore gray pants, shirts and gray gloves under the bin. They already had the "space" shoes in the dress-up bin.

Cost: About $30.

Joshua Gillispie, 9, Citrus Park

Costume: Barbarian armor.

Creator: Dad, Michael Gillispie.

How long it took: Three weeks (evenings and weekends).

How he did it: Using a template from the Web site for the Society for Creative Anachronism, Dad cut a piece of carpet runner about 3 feet long, with a hole for Joshua's head. Left tabs of carpet over the shoulders to attach the armor strips. Used old aluminum flashing to make the armor plate. Made templates, traced the pattern on the flashing, then cut it out and rounded over the edges. Attached the armor plate using rivets and sewed strips of hook-and-loop material to the sides to secure the armor. Made the shield by tracing a design he found onto a piece of blue Styrofoam insulation siding. Used a Dremel tool to make the shield three-dimensional, then painted it. Traced the shield outline onto a piece of plywood and cut it out. Glued the Styrofoam onto the wood. For the armor, he used material from Goodwill. Traced one of his long sleeved T-shirts on it, then cut it out and sewed the two halves together.

Cost: $40.

Tampa families' tips for quick, easy Halloween costumes 10/23/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 23, 2008 2:58pm]

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