DIY darnedest

Apparently I decided this week was a good time to DYI like, everything. I made rice krispie treat pumpkins, crepes (recipe coming later!), finished crocheting one scarf and started another, made Oreo spiders, and handmade my Halloween costume. I’m not generally the kind of person who gets excited about Pinterest and tries to DIY everything, but I enjoy hands-on projects and they’re often a good way for me to manage stress. So today I’m gonna show you how I made my Halloween costume!

Obviously this isn’t the same sort of life lesson or adulting advice often blog posts usually are, but I am trying to remind myself that being an adult is about having fun and being responsible.

No need to worry, I promise this won’t turn into a DIY blog, but it’s fun to actually do something for the holiday for once since most years I’m pretty low-effort about it. And sometimes, adulting is about being excited over just finishing a project. I knew I wanted to be Rey from Star Wars, but the costumes I found to buy were a) not super cheap and b) kind of lame. So I decided to make mine.

Materials:

  • 1 cream t-shirt, 2 dark brown t-shirts
  • small burlap pouch
  • 2 men’s belts
  • tan tablecloth
  • closet rod (found in my garage)
  • tan cargo pants (I already owned these)
  • black combat boots (I already owned these)
  • pieces of my brother’s lightsaber, borrowed with permission

img_4701.jpg

DIY supplies:

  • sewing machine, brown and tan thread
  • grey spray paint
  • silver duct tape
  • superglue
  • good scissors
  • safety pins

What I did:

  1. Bought the t-shirts and burlap pouch on clearance at a craft store, and the belts and tablecloth at Goodwill. The total cost was about $20, which is all I paid for the costume.
  2. Cut strips out of one of the brown shirts to tie the belts together on one side, and to cover the visible buckle so it didn’t stand out as much, both by wrapping the fabric tightly and tucking the loose end in.
  3. Cut a large rectangle of brown t-shirt fabric slightly wider and 2.5x as long as the burlap pouch, and sewed it together before putting the pouch inside.
  4. Cut another small strip of brown t-shirt and cut a hole in the back of the pouch to fasten it to the lower belt (the other wide of it fastened with the loop the burlap pouch already had, and the pouch itself covered the buckle).
  5. Cut the sleeves of the cream t-shirt into basically cap sleeves, and cut a long, thin triangle out of the neckline to create a small slit.
  6. Cut the sleeve off one of the brown t-shirts and wrapped it around my wrist twice to make the cuff. (Note: The only thing I have sewed to this point is the pouch — everything else is cutting and wrapping because hems are a pain and for knit fabric you can get away without them.)IMG_4706
  7. The next big endeavor was making the long cross-body wrap Rey wears. I cut three 12-inch wide, 6-foot long sections out of the tablecloth, sewed them into one long piece, and then ironed and hemmed the whole thing. (I later hand-sewed small ruches into the portions that sit on my shoulders to better reflect what Rey’s actual outfit looks like. If I was doing this over again and had more money, I would have bought several yards of a gauzier material to save myself the hassle of hemming and get a more authentic look.)
  8. The arm wraps were 4.5-inch wide, 6-foot long sections of the tablecloth, also ironed and hemmed.
  9. Originally I hadn’t planned on making her staff, but my stepdad found an old closet hanging rod in the garage that was the perfect height, so I spray-painted it grey before adding pieces of my brother’s lightsaber on with duct tape (super high tech, I know). I then cut the leftover sleeves from the cream shirt into long strips and wrapped them around the staff for the hand grips, and superglued the ends.
  10. The strap for the staff was made from six long strips cut from the second brown t-shirt. I glued two together at a time to make three even longer strips, braided it all, and tied it around the staff.IMG_4719
  11. My hair is curly, so I straightened it before putting it into Rey’s three buns — being sure to leave a few wisps out like she does.
  12. When actually putting the costume on, I used safety pins to fasten the long cross-body wrap to my shirt on both of my shoulders, as well as at the top and bottom of each arm wrap. And voilà!

IMG_4738

I ended up being most proud of the staff, and was stoked that my hair (mostly) behaved for the buns. It was fairly comfortable, and the only part that didn’t want to stay put were the arm wraps, which I re-wrapped a couple of times throughout the evening. Of course this could have been made more authentic to the film, but for the money and effort (I think it ended up being about 8 hours) I was willing to put in, I was really happy with the result.

Of course, thanks to my family for the help in putting it together, my best friend for helping me with hair and pictures, and my Grandma Peggy for teaching me most of my sewing skills. What is your favorite DIY project you’ve done? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and happy Halloween!

 

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