I’m not usually a fan of Halloween (in the slightest, if truth be told) but this year we are taking our children to Lowther Castle and Gardens for their Haunted Halloween event. Amongst the plethora of spectacularly scary activities, such as falconry displays and snot making, ghost hunting and wicked witchcraft, there is the traditional fancy dress competition. Never ones to let me off lightly, Youngest has gone for the slightly easier Grim Reaper (more specifically Horrible Histories
‘ “Stupid Death”), while Eldest has set his hopes on on a headless man! Thankfully I found a few versions of how to make a headless horseman, or scientist costume, but thought I’d put on a little tutorial of how we went about it.
- a long trenchcoat/button up coat/dressing gown
- a large rucksack/backpack
- plastic bags or newspaper
- an old t-shirt
- Lots and lots of safety pins!
- a black coathanger and a stick
- face paints
What to do:
- First, fill the rucksack with the plastic bags or newspaper. It needs to be bulky enough to look like a continuation of the child’s body, but light enough for them to carry!
- Put the t-shirt on top of the backpack, pinning the bottom hem to the top of the rucksack, then continue to bulk the t-shirt out with bags or scrunched up newspaper. Use a piece of red fabric to cover the newspaper, giving the impression of a bloody neck stump. I used an old black coathanger, with the hook part broken off, inside the t-shirt, and a bamboo cane to prop it up from the top of the rucksack, to keep the t-shirt from sagging and keep a bit of extra height to the headless man.
- Add the coat (in our case, dressing gown) on top of the t-shirt and fasten the buttons so that your child’s head is sticking out between the buttons at what appears to be chest or stomach height. Continue to fill the sleeves of the coat, and the gloves with newspaper, and pin them to the coat, around the head, so it looks like the hands are holding on to the head.
- You can use face paints to add a more gory face to your child and add to the illusion. I think it’s pretty effective anyway.
What is your Halloween costume this year? Do you like to try something new, or stick to tried and tested?