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The 31 Days of Halloween - A Recap

31 Days of Halloween Collage

The 31 Days of Halloween Recap - We made it!

Well, we made it! Today is November 1st and I managed to come up with and post 31 Days of Hand-Made Costumes, Styled Costumes and Costume Tutorials in the month of October. When I look back on some of my most busy days this past month, I am eternally grateful to myself for the sheer amount of prep work I put in to making sure I had my posts ready to go ahead of the day they were needed. That meant, lots and lots of photo and video editing, creating and scheduling blog posts ahead of time and making sure the verbiage and tags for my Instagram posts were organized so I could easily copy and paste them into the post.

Here's what I did that worked the best:

  1. I made a numbered list, one for each day of the month, and then added in the costume/item for that day. I stuck to those dates as much as possible so that I wasn't constantly having to re-assign the dates and risk posting something on the wrong date, or with the wrong label.

  2. Once your dates are set, start filling in the verbiage/text you want to use for your posts. I started with creating a master blog post that I kept as a draft to refer back to and then also used Google Keep for the IG posts. Once my posts were done for the day, I would check it off on Google Keep.

  3. I really wanted to have a "Previous Days' Posts" section at the bottom of each daily blog post; I found it easiest to duplicate the previous day's post so that I could just add on instead of having to re-create the post each day.

  4. Make sure you have a few extra post ideas in case one that you planned doesn't work out.

  5. Schedule when you are going to take any new photos, videos, etc. so that you have the content ready for the post. I tried to post older content earlier in the month so that I had some time to get the other posts ready.

  6. Organize your existing photos and video content and start editing it into the correct formats/sizes/video lengths, etc. ahead of time. Don't wait until the day you need to post it to track down your photos.

  7. Set a daily reminder to remind you to do your posts. Most days I had the IG and Blog posts done way before my reminder went off, but there were a few days when I was thankful to have it.

  8. There was one weekend in October that I wasn't around much because I was attending a conference. I still posted my IG posts each morning, thanks to my pre-prep they only took a couple of minutes, and I pre-created my blog posts and scheduled them to post so I didn't have to worry about them.

What went wrong:

Really, I only had one snafu in this process; I got lucky. The Renaissance/Ever After dress (Day 14) was supposed to be an Elf costume reminiscent of Lord Of The Rings. I had the dress, but I needed pointed ears. I was going to just buy some off of Amazon, but then I saw how easy they looked to make out of clay, so I changed my mind and decided to just make the ears and then I would post the ear tutorial as well as the costume.

This is the part where I should have practiced first. I already had the clay on hand, and I ordered some liquid latex and spirit gum to help attach them. The ears turned out ok for my first attempt; they looked like they were supposed to, one was a perfect fit, the other was sort of messed up. I don't know if it was because I didn't mold it correctly, or if it happened during the baking process, but one ear did not fit well over the cap of L's ear (or mine, or H's). I decided to proceed anyway, but then I couldn't find the spirit gum that I ordered. I did eventually find it, but to this day, I've never used it. I thought that maybe the liquid latex would have enough adhesive to hold the ears on and decided to keep moving forward.

Clay Elf Ears
Clay Elf Ear on Girl

Let me tell you, the clay ears are heavy when sitting on a human ear, they did not want to stay upright and the liquid latex wasn't really helping or drying fast enough to help with that. You know what it does really latch on to? HUMAN HAIR. I knew that I needed to keep L's hair out of the way, but I forgot to have her wear a headband and I accidentally got a glob of it in the hair behind her ear. I removed as much as I could in that moment, but we had to move forward because I wanted to get those photos done that day; I can still feel the anxiety of trying to get through that photo shoot while L was still willing to help me. It turns out that liquid latex is harder to remove than gum once its in your hair, I felt really bad about that and learned a big lesson about taking my time, especially with liquid latex.

Liquid Latex in girl's hair

That is how this costume turned into Ever After. I grabbed the blue mask off of the shelf and handed it to L to put on with the dress. In that moment I completely forgot that the Ever After costume also has amazing wings with it. I added some wings to that day's photos, but I still feel regret that I rushed through it. What I should have done was gone back, ordered the fake ears and shot those photos again on another day. I had scheduled the photos early enough that I could have done that. Instead, I have some pretty photos that weren't really what I wanted and I also had to replace the ear tutorial that didn't get finished.

Would I do this again? Definitely. I received a lot of really great feedback and earned some new followers in the process. I was able to confirm to myself that I can be consistent with the proper preparation. I think the question should not be would I, but could I? I used up a lot of content to get through these last 31 days and I'll probably have to start now to make sure that I have enough content to get me through the 31 Days of Halloween next year.

Were you inspired by any of these posts? Do you think you could do 31 Days of Halloween? Post in the comments below and let me know!

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Previous Days' Posts:

31 Days of hand-made costumes, styled costumes and costume tutorials

Day 31! - Saloon Girl Costumes - These costumes were made a lifetime ago, I mean if you look close enough you can see my braces (yikes). Brooke always had the larger budget to purchase the prettiest fabrics, but even with my bargain fabrics, I still love how both costumes turned out. Both corsets are fully boned with hoop boning, I had no idea that spiral steel boning existed at that time and I knew that feather weight boning would not have provided enough support. I was never so happy as to take that corset off at the end of the night.

Brooke's corset fabric was a black woven brocade with pink and purple flowers, the skirt was a coordinating purple satin crepe. The costume was adorned with brocade ruffles and black lace. Brooke carried an iridescent black boa with her costume.

My striped corset fabric was (I think) a drapery fabric that came from the "fabric by the pound" bin at the Denver Fabrics Annex (now long gone); the skirt fabric was green peach skin that I found for $2/yard back when Walmart had a full fabrics department. My costume was adorned with striped ruffles, white lace and black ribbon. I found a beautiful burnout velvet shawl that matched my costume perfectly. I am shocked that my younger self thought ahead and actually cut fabric swatches to tuck into my portfolio.

The petticoats were borrowed from my mom who had an entire collection of petticoats dedicated to her square dance outfits (yes, my parents were avid square dancers back in the day). I had to beg and plead and PROMISE that they would be returned to her unharmed.

We made our plumed hair combs from different colored ostrich feathers. The garters were made from pre-gathered garter lace with added rhinestones.

And that's a wrap! I am so happy and excited to have made it through the 31 Days of Halloween journey. I hope you enjoyed my posts!

Saloon Girl Costume Collage

Day 30 - Gnome Hat Tutorial - When I decided on the gnome costume, I knew that I would need to make the hat and beard. The beard is just a piece of faux fur with an elastic strap, nothing special. The hat however, needed to be extra tall because I like twisting the end around. H saw it and insisted that it remain tall and pointy. As you can see from Day 29's photos, we took photos with both views.

Day 29 - Gnome Costume - I'll admit it, I have a slight gnome obsession, they are just so cute and funny. Rather than make another craft gnome, I decided to go bigger and make it into a costume. Since this was intended to be a simple, pull together fast costume, we used what we had. H wore a pair of black pants and white t-shirt that he already owned and I made the hat out of green felt that I had in my fabric stash. I added wire to the hat to give it some stability. H's beard is held on with a tie around the back of his head. He borrowed a pair of his dad's work boots for the photo.

Gnome costume collage

Day 28 - Dragon Skating Costume - This skating costume was not part of a competition, but since my niece was skating to How to Train Your Dragon, she asked me to make her a dragon skating dress. It turned out so cool....

Dragon Skating Costume Collage

Day 27 - Dark Angel - The ease of this costume rates right up there with an "Angel", you only need a few pieces to pull it together and how the costume turns out is up to your interpretation. My daughter chose to be a dark angel last year for Halloween which for her meant putting on a black dress and the black wings that I revamped for her. She also had me make her some horns which I created from heat-set polymer clay. I created them with holes so that we could run a leather lace through them, but it pulled her hair when we adjusted it, so I ended up attaching them to a black headband which is much more comfortable.

Dark Angel Costume Collage

Day 26 - Maiden Costume- This was a lesson in costuming for a tween girl. It turned out fine, but my daughter decided that she wasn't comfortable in it. Throughout the day, more and more pieces of the costume came off. She had actually put pants on underneath her skirt without me knowing, which isn't unheard of, I just didn't know that when she started taking the skirt off. I don't fault her for feeling uncomfortable, her body was growing and changing and we probably should have taken that into consideration when planning the costume. The skirt is easily my favorite part, I re-purposed an old pair of curtains that we couldn't part with because we liked the embroidered flowers. It was definitely full enough for a crinoline underneath, which was what I had planned, but it ended up not happening. The pink top is made from cotton gauze with an elastic neckline. The sleeves were supposed to have some sort of ribbon tie if I remember correctly, but L decided that she didn't want them. A lightweight purchased corset went over the top. It looked pretty, but L hated it (it was barely laced, I promise, I was not torturing her), she wore it long enough for a couple of photos and then refused to put it on again. When I look back at that year's Halloween photos, I just think of her as wearing only half a costume and H wearing snagged chain mail. Kids can be so hard on costumes.

Maiden costume collage

Day 25 - Knight Costume - My son asked to be a knight, I'm sure when he said that, he meant that he wanted full metal armor, but that just wasn't happening. He did get excited that I found the coolest silver mesh fabric that resembled chain mail (which snags like crazy) and he got to provide his input on the purple and gold crest that I added using iron on vinyl.

Boy's Knight Costume

Day 24 - Skeleton Makeup - I love playing with costume make-up, I wish I could find a school or classes in Denver that specialized in that type of thing. Maybe they do now, its been awhile since I looked.

Day 23 - Easy Felt Superhero Masks - Sometimes your day requires a mask and a cape! These felt masks were an easy art project we made while we were homeschooling. No sewing necessary, you just cut out the felt using the template and tie on the elastic (we used 1/8", the smallest I had). I'm not sure why H is a one-eyed superhero, but we're going with it. The templates that I used I found for free at

Superhero mask collage

Day 22 - Rapunzel - Oh how I miss the days when everything L wore was made from tulle! L loved this costume to death; I had also made her a Rapunzel yarn wig, but it was really fussy and she wouldn't wear it.

The dress was made from a double layer purple tutu tube top with pink faux lacing on the front. The skirt was strips of purple tulle and pink ribbon attached to the bottom of the tube top and the straps were purple tulle. The great thing about this dress was that L could wear a layer underneath if needed. I have photos of both looks below.

Rapunzel Costume Collage

Day 21 - Mad Scientist Costume - You really only need three things to pull this costume together which makes it super easy. A lab coat, goggles and tall rubber gloves. I found the lab coat at a thrift store and the goggles came in a set of 2 when I created my steampunk costume. I like to play with fabric dye from time to time so I already had the rubber gloves. You don't need to have these exact items, a half un-tucked button up shirt gives a scattered appearance; I would use whatever goggles or glasses you have, the more ludicrous the goggles, the madder you look (think swimming goggles). Messy hair and some dark face make-up will give you that explosive appearance.

H and I had a lot of fun with his photo shoot, his name became Dr. Ramen and he informed me that the costume wasn't realistic without some blood. So we added some.

Day 20 - Steampunk Costume - I had big visions for this costume, however, I ran out of time the year that I needed it for WhimsyCon. The hat and accessories had been my main focus and I did manage to complete the purple sating A-line skirt. The matching corset pieces are still sitting in my WIP (work-in-progress) bin in my studio. Since the top half of the costume didn't get completed, I made do with a ready-made white shirt and a black corset that I had made several years before.

My costume name was going to be "The Tailor" and my friend was "The Artist" and that was reflected in our costumes. My top hat has spools of thread and a wooden mannequin on it and my brooch is made from wool surrounded with measuring tape ribbon, pom pom accents and sewing charms.

Steampunk Costume

Day 19 - Sponge Bob Costume - He lives in a Pineapple under the Sea... I made this larger-than-life costume for a friend years and years ago. Did I mention that this guy is also 6' 3"? He was the biggest Sponge Bob that you've ever seen, but the costume was a hit!

Sponge Bob Costume

Day 18 - Witch's Hat Tutorial - What would Halloween be without a witch hat? This hat is inspired less by the wicked witch and more by the witches over at the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.

Blue Floppy Witch Hat

Day 17 - Barbie Costume - I know, this one is probably overdone (especially this year), but who doesn't love Barbie?! As the movie demonstrated, there are so many Barbie options to choose from - grab that old formal again and you're...evening gown Barbie! You could also be bridal Barbie, presidential Barbie, corporate Barbie, weird Barbie, the list is endless...

I had high hopes for the wig, but after we took the photos, L and I weren't really thrilled with it, so it was a bust. I went ahead and took a few with her natural hair (remember, Barbie does not have to be blond, you do you). L was also having a bad body image day and really didn't like how her photos turned out so we played with some filter options to make her more comfortable with me posting them. If she had asked, I would have scrapped them, but she gave me the go ahead anyway. I think the Manga drawing filter is my favorite.

Barbie Costume Collage

Day 16 - Prom Queen Costume- What girl doesn't have an old formal hanging in the back of her closet? Or maybe you find an absolutely FABULOUS gown for 50% off at the thrift store (like this one). Add a sash and a tiara and you're instantly a Prom Queen (or royalty). Add in some costume make-up and now you're a dead Prom Queen, or a Zombie Prom Queen...

Prom Dress Costume

Day 15 - Little Red Riding Hood - The year I made this cloak, I had yards upon yards of red moleskin fabric at my house. My sewing studio didn't really exist (like it does now) and I remember cutting out the large pattern pieces on my living room floor. This cape was long on L, but I love the way it drapes behind her. It's actually long for me too, I have to be careful that it doesn't get stepped on when there are people behind me.

Red Riding Hood

Day 14 - Linen Renaissance Dress - My favorite thing about this dress is its versatility. It was originally made as a Bride of Frankenstein costume and was going to be an Elf costume, but today it is being featured as an interpretation of Drew Barrymore's Cinderella in Ever After. I wasn't sure if I could adapt this dress for L since she is quite a bit smaller than I am; happily, I only had to adjust the bodice. I wish I had had some amazing white wings to include in the photos, but the focus of this post is the dress so I'm not going to worry about that. I did add some wings in some of my photo edits.

Renaissance Costume

Day 13 - Nordic Witch - A couple of years ago, I came across a really cool carved wand at the Renaissance Festival and I had to have it, but really, what am I going to do with a "muggle" wand? I planned this costume around the wand so that I would have an excuse to take it out of my house, carry it, and not look crazy. I decided to call my look "Nordic Witch" because the make-up and apron were loosely inspired by the show Vikings and ancient Viking style in general. I don't know if a Nordic Witch is really a thing or not, but my favorite part of the costume is the metallic woven belt that holds my wand and a leather pouch/purse. I even had a mom approach me to ask me about my costume because her daughter wanted to be a "Nordic Witch" the next year for Halloween!

I made the skirt and blouse out of brown cotton gauze. The apron was created from scraps of decorator fabric that I found at ARC. The red leather and metallic trim I had in my stash and I also used the red leather to create the wand holster. The wand and corset were purchased. You can't see them, but I wore knee high lace-up moccasin boots.

Nordic Witch Costume

Day 12 - Elsa and Anna Crocheted Hats - I was on a Frozen kick that year and I not only made Elsa and Anna hats for my daughter, but her cousins each got a set for Christmas. These hats would be perfect for Halloween in a colder climate (such as Colorado) where the weather on October 31st can be questionable.

Elsa and Anna Crocheted Hats

Day 11 - Elsa (Frozen) - I know we didn't make it through every Disney princess, but we did make it through quite a few of them when L was younger and Elsa is no exception. This fabric was leftover from a prom dress I had made for a friend's daughter and I was really excited to put this together with supplies that I already had on hand. The capelet was made from white polar fleece (which I also had on hand), it would have been a longer cloak if I had had more fabric to work with. You can't see them well, but the snowflakes around the dress hem are lightweight dollar store ornaments, unfortunately, they caught on everything and I would not use them again.

Elsa from Frozen Costume

Day 10 - Queen of Hearts Tea Cup Fascinator - This is a quick and easy project if you need accessories for a simple Queen of Hearts costume.

Day 9 - Wednesday Addams - I am a huge fan of the Addams family and Wednesday is officially my favorite character after watching the Netflix series. Its super easy to put a Wednesday costume together - black hairspray (totally optional), braids, pale face make-up and a black outfit. Add the "murderous don't care" attitude and you're done!

On a side note - Can we talk about how creepy L looks? I would not want to meet up with her in a dark room, or a dark alley.

Wednesday Addams Costume

Day 8 - Cruella's Gloves - For years I was terrified to make "fingered" gloves, but they are easier than expected. This is a quick and dirty video on the making of the red gloves that L wore in the Cruella photos yesterday.

Day 7 - Cruella de Vil - I have always wanted to dress as Cruella for Halloween. Instead, we styled a Cruella costume for L and had a mini photo shoot. I love how the photos turned out and we found some really cool filters to play with too!

Cruella de Vil Costume

Day 6 - Dark Angel Wings - Last year my daughter came across these incredibly sad looking wings at our local ARC thrift store. They were half off that day ($2.50) so I told her I would revamp them. I'm not sure how much I spent on replacement feathers, but I think they turned out pretty good for the dark angel costume she put together. The video of my process can be viewed below.

Day 5 - Belle - My daughter's favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast and I had so much fun making her Belle costume that year. I found the perfect buttery yellow satin and glitter rose fabric at JoAnn's.

Her dress got incredibly dirty at the bottom when we attended Boo at the Zoo and so I carefully washed the dress so that it would be ready for Halloween day. I was so mad to see that the glitter rose fabric (that stated it was washable!) had all washed off with only an outline of glue leftover. I ended up buying gold glitter and spent an evening re-applying the missing flowers.

All in all, this was one of my favorite costumes ever, my daughter's too, she loved this one to death, glitter roses or no.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast Costume

Day 4 - Skeleton Costumes - Each fall in Manitou Springs, CO, there is an event called the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, its a great day of fun and many people dress up for the occasion. The year we went, my husband and son dressed up as skeletons. My husband's costume was themed after James Bond's costume in Spectre, unfortunately, the stick-on bones I had created were a fail and wouldn't stay in place. Next time I will use paint and it will be a dedicated skeleton jacket. His tie is hand painted. H's costume was a fun mix of items that I pulled together or repurposed for the costume. I hand painted the bandana using stencils.

Father and Son Skeleton Costumes

Day 3 - Flesh Wounds - Years ago, I found a cool tutorial online that showed me how to make realistic looking wounds using toilet paper and Elmer's glue. Add some coloring and fake blood and you have a pretty realistic flesh wound. I think they turned out totally grotesque, don't you?

Day 2 - The Zombie Family - Learning how to make fake flesh wounds became useful when we did a zombie crawl one year, it was a lot of fun to dress up and pretend that we were part of the un-dead.

Zombie Family Costume for Zombie Crawl

Day 1 - The Madd Hatter - Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite stories and I love the different adaptations that have been created over the years. The Madd Hatter is one of my favorite characters. I styled this costume several years ago for a company Halloween celebration and I actually won the costume contest that year. Most of the items were things that I had on hand, I only purchased the tights to add to the costume. The hat/fascinator had been purchased a few years before, but I did make some changes to it to better fit my "vision".

Madd Hatter from Alice in Wonderland Costume

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

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