Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Making Your Kid's Halloween Costume Doesn't Make You A Good Mom

My "Peanut Big Top Lalaloopsy Doll"
Now that the trick-or-treating is over, I can sit down and reflect on the HOURS I spent putting my daughter's costume together.

This is not me bragging, by any means.  Call it a warning, a lesson learned, and a maybe a little encouragement.

First, let's talk about how I NEVER think a Pinterest craft will take very long.  Sure, it's a DIY project, but there's no category for DIYF (Do It Yourself Fast) projects.  They should label those pins with average work hours like recipes include approximate cook and preparation times! This Halloween costume I eagerly volunteered to create for my daughter will only take a few minutes, right? Wrong. It took me 10 or more HOURS!

So there it is: my blind spot. While I get really excited about a new creative venture, I often completely forget to factor in the amount of hours that I'll need to set aside.  The warning label on this project should read "labor-intensive."  Luckily, I started this one in plenty of time, which saved me from so much of the usual stress that comes with my typical procrastination technique!

But this Halloween costume WAS a labor of love, and I actually like doing things like this for my kids now and then.  I didn't have to do it, but I am always looking for creative outlets and momentary departures from the every day tasks. When I can make something AND serve my family, it's always a win-win for me!  Note: I didn't volunteer to sew costumes for the entire crew. I only put together one headpiece, and that was enough!

Ten years ago, however, this new mom once thought I HAD to meet the high standard of making and baking everything from scratch.  If I spent my time designing the most unique fairy skirt or constructing the perfectly original birthday cake, I'd feel like a good mom.  Somehow I had decided that my worth was based on what others thought of my efforts and what deeds I accomplished. This belief is not fair to myself or true in any way.

Your worth never increased or decreased from the moment God created you.  While your good deeds are wonderful and important, God is always looking to the heart of the matter.  He loves you and values you for who you are and who you are becoming- not because of what you do or don't do. Most of the time, we can't see that truth in a tangible way, which is why it's hard to grasp.  Others may see your works, but God sees your heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  

All costumes bought online, except said hair piece and pink shoes.
Maybe it was the depletion of time and energy that came with having more than one child.  My perspective may have changed as I had to choose priorities more wisely.  Sometimes you have to make things easier on yourself.  A lot of times, really.  Don't fall into the guilt trap.  "Supermom" is a myth. There are so many other important responsibilities on your plate- like, I don't know, grocery shopping, planning meals, changing diapers, and folding laundry. All of these things require heaps of your time, effort and attention. 
So when you get a chance to do something extra, do it!  But for most of your days, you have to learn how to take shortcuts.  It's okay. Give yourself a break.  Give yourself grace. 

Making your kid's Halloween costume doesn't make you a "good" mom.  It just means your possibly crazy and brave enough to try, because you like that kind of stuff, and you just happened to find some time to do it.  Those kids care more about how many pieces of candy they score than where the costume came from, anyway!

DIY Lalaloopsy Doll Hair Instructions

This Halloween, I decided to pull out the glue gun and yarn to attempt a piece to my daughter's requested costume.  So, if you're ever wondering how you can make your own Lalaloopsy Doll costume for your kid's next dress up event, here's an estimation of the DIYWT (Do It Yourself With Time) project:


"Peanut Big Top" LaLaLoopsy Doll Hair 

I have to first give this website credit for my inspiration as I used it as a guideline.  My daughter's hair piece had to be different since it required pigtails, but the supply list and instructions were very helpful.

Supplies Needed:
  • 1 Skein Purple Yarn (Hobby Lobby)
  • 19 Yards deco flex tubing (I bought 30 yards from Amazon, after I couldn't find any at Hobby Lobby or Michael's)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Head band (Hobby Lobby)
  • Two Red Hair Bows (Claire's)
  • Scissors 
Approximate Project Time:
  • 10-12 hours (Don't be scared! This doesn't mean the project is difficult, by any means.  It just takes a while to wrap the yarn, so plan ahead.)
  • I cut the deco flex tubing into 10" lengths.  They will stretch out another 1-2" as you work with the coils.  Knowing that, it may be a good idea to place the headband on your child's head and measure a length you'd like the hair to fall. 
  • I ended up using 78 of these 10" pieces for my daughter's hairpiece, which amounted to over 19 yards of the deco flex tubing.  If I had more time, I could've added more for an even fuller look.  That's up to you.
  • Find a comfy chair in front of the TV for the next step.  Apply hot glue to one end of a flex tubing "coil" and add yarn.  Take a minute to glue and cover the end for a finished look, then start wrapping the tubing with your purple yarn until you reach the next end, finishing the same way you started.  Be careful to not wrap too tightly or stretch the "coil" out during this process.  Remember, that it will add an inch or more to your length.  Plus, I think the fuller curl is nicer, and you won't get that if you squeeze the tubing.
  • In the beginning, it took me about 10 minutes to complete one coil.  As I did more (and may have gotten a little impatient), I got faster, finishing a tubing length in five minutes. So I'm guessing it took me around 9 hours to wrap the yarn around all of the coils. I started about two weeks before Halloween, so I just left my supplies in a place where I could work on a few any time I was sitting in the family room.
  • Once you've finished the longest part of this project, you'll want to use your child as a model and figure out how you want the bangs to look.  After you've marked where you want them to go, glue the bangs to the headband first.  I had to cut a few shorter lengths of tubing just for this part. 
  • After you've glued the bangs, start adding all of those precious curls to the headband!  I started by gluing hair that would cover the back of my daughter's head, then concentrated on the sides for the pigtails.  The rest of this was just me eyeballing it.  I added more coils on top of the sides to create the fuller, pigtail appearance, and made sure to keep in mind that it all needed to look finished when I was done.  
  • The process of gluing the coils to the headband, may take another hour or two to complete.  Note: The hair bows also help to hide any imperfections in the front area!

The Rest of the Costume:

  • White Shirt: Amazon (AmazingPrivateSale LLC): French Toast School Uniform Short Sleeve Peter Pan Blouse (Feminine Fit)
  • Orange Gloves: Amazon (SACAS): Elbow Length 15" Satin Gloves in Autumn Red 
  • Black/White Striped Tights: Amazon (Discount Dance Supply) Child Striped Tights
  • Orange Tutu: Amazon (ibabydepot) 12" Orange Ballet Tutu
  • Pink Boots: Target
  • Pink Belt: my daughter's closet
It would have been great if my daughter had some of these elements in her own wardrobe collection, but since she didn't I had to look around for the different pieces that would achieve the "Peanut Big Top" Lalaloopsy Doll look that she liked.

I hope this has been helpful!  I loved seeing my daughter's unique costume when we went trick-or-treating, and she received many compliments on her cheerful outfit- which of course, was reimbursement enough for me :-)

Be creative!  Have fun with this project, and make it your own!