Lesson #45: How My Family Does Costumes

by Rachel on October 29, 2010

Good morning, real and imaginary friends, family, and hate-followers!

I just did a Drive of Shame back to my apartment from Eric’s, where I ended up staying last night after our costume errands/butternut squash pizza/rum and cider evening ran a little late. I have to finish packing, run errands on my way into work, and have everything ready to go before our flight this afternoon! It feels like the morning of Christmas Eve over here, but it’s fitting, given how much my family gets into Halloween.

I know I haven’t posted much about my costume yet; it’s because I was waiting to show you fabulous pictures. This morning, I have some pictures. My costume is currently under construction at home, and, well my mom hasn’t quite mastered the art of using her digital camera, so all I have are the pictures she’s been texting me.

But we’ll get to my costume and Eric’s costume in a minute. I knew our costumes would be the last ones done, once my mom had finished the costumes for my brother Preston and my cousins Ella and Colin.

Preston’s costume plans always change several times. What usually happens is that he says what he wants to dress up as, and then my mom says, “Uh, no son of mine is going to wear such a lame costume” and then they work out some sort of compromise where he can be what he wants to be and my mom can go bananas on the design. That’s what happened this year when he said he wanted to be a rocket ship. Actually, it started when he said he wanted to be Darth Vadar. When my mom told me that on the phone, I couldn’t help myself — I screamed, “No fucking way! Not in this family!” My mom turned to him and said, “Preston, Zsas says you can’t be Darth Vadar for Halloween”…the next thing I heard was some extremely overdramatic screaming and crying on their end.

Anyway, Darth Vadar led to him wanting to be a rocket ship, but he couldn’t be any old rocket ship. He could, however, be a rocket scientist — that is a rocket costume, accessorized with nerd glasses and a lab coat. I think the effect will be a lot better once he’s actually in the costume, but here’s the first peek.

Now, the only problem was that my mom being, well, my mom, wanted to make everything over-the-top and so she didn’t get it finished on time for the first Halloween event on Sunday night. But in my family, you can have more than one Halloween costume, and Preston usually does because the huge-ass set pieces that she constructs for trick-or-treating and contest purposes aren’t exactly the best for a school party. So Preston wore his back-up costume: Indiana Jones. Meanwhile, my mom had been keeping herself busy making Ella’s Queen of Hearts costume.

And then baby Colin was a little card to complement Ella.

Adorable. He is the sweetest, squishiest little marshmallow of a baby!

With that taken care of, I started turning up the pressure on my mom re: her other child. I knew that my costume would be last though; the fact is, she’d rather do just about anything than sew a dress for me, so she got to Eric’s costume first.

I’ve had this year’s Halloween costume planned since last year. It’s something I wanted to be for years but the timing was just never right. I knew this was going to be my year. I was going to be a sexy deer.


Don’t say it can’t be done. Deer are sexy. All I needed was a brown mini dress, a cute tail, and a huge rack — you know, really fabulous antlers that my mom could build. I was so excited. After all, where I’m from, everyone wants to bag a buck.

I was discussing this with my family and Eric when I was in Michigan for my birthday. Well, honestly, I was just telling Eric that he was going to need to be a hunter if he planned on spending Halloween with me. But through that discussion, we came up with a better idea: instead of dressing up as a hunted deer, I could be a deer in headlights…and Eric could be the truck that was going to hit me.

Therefore, my mom’s assignment was to turn my boyfriend into a semi truck with working headlights. So this week, we took care of getting him a plaid shirt and a hat.

Meanwhile, my mom was all over making his semi-truck costume. It’s not quite done yet — the thing with my mom is that the amazingness comes in the details, and the truck doesn’t have any yet — but here’s the first glimpse we got last night.

Exhaust pipes, windshield wipers, a license plate, mudflaps, and a horn…there’s so much more to come for this costume. With my mom, the fun is really in the details, so I can’t wait to see the finished product!

And as for me…well, as I predicted, my costume is still being made. I fully expect to find my grandmother chained to the sewing machine on Saturday afternoon before the party, trying to get it finished. But luckily, I do have my nice rack ready to go.

All right, peops, I am out — I am working this morning and then Eric and I are heading to the airport! Leah is picking us up in Detroit tonight and we’re going to go out for some fall fun in Ann Arbor and stay the night with her before heading back to Grand Blanc on Saturday morning. It’s 54 degrees in Houston this morning FINALLY and I am so ready for the Halloweekend!

Have an awesome Friday!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Becca October 29, 2010 at 8:25 am

I am so impressed! I have never had a home-made costume; nor even a store-bought one. I’ve had the “make something up out of things you already own, but without using scissors or thread” type many a time!


2 Erika @ Food.Fitness.Fun October 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

When I was little I used to get store bought costumes but not anymore. Homemade costumes are always more creative and nicer looking in my opinion.
This year I’m being a gangsta. ;-)


3 Gracie October 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

Yep, you pretty much have the coolest mom ever. Can’t wait to see the finished products!


4 MelissaNibbles October 29, 2010 at 8:27 am

Have a great trip home Rachel!


5 Rachel October 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

Thanks, Melissa! Are you dressing up this year?


6 Gules October 29, 2010 at 8:32 am

Abosolutely love the “Deer caught in headlights” idea. Truck looks awesome so far! Go mom!
Have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!


7 Leah (Nutritionista) October 29, 2010 at 8:39 am

Even though I’m pretty happy about my costume this year, it doesn’t even hold a candle to yours/your family’s. But who ISN’T out-Halloweened by the Wilkersons??


8 Rachel October 29, 2010 at 8:40 am

I can’t wait to find out what your costume is!! Do we get a sneak peek tonight or do we have to wait until tomorrow?


9 Leah (Nutritionista) October 29, 2010 at 9:37 am

You can get a sneak peek tonight! I think it’s probably not as exciting as I’m making it out to be. I think I’m just happy that it’s extra low-maintenance.


10 Carolyn @ lovinlosing October 29, 2010 at 8:47 am

I’m so jealous that you have a family that gets into Halloween. I LOVE Halloween, but my husband prefers Christmas. I am sad to say I have NO creativity when it comes to my own costumes. Except for this one time on college when I was super broke so we had to make costumes out of cardboard boxes and I was a rubics cube. :lol: Currently I am sitting at my desk in a store bought Ghosbusters costume complete with an inflatable proton pack.


11 Paige October 29, 2010 at 9:03 am

Wow, those are amazing. (I love the little card! Too cute!)


12 Diane October 29, 2010 at 9:23 am


This year, I’m going as a WWII pin-up complete with yet-to-be-made Army hat and back seam stockings. I spent all last night trying not to poke my cleavage while sewing the buttons. The only way to ensure straight lines in the final product was to sew in the mirror while wearing the dress, marking button placement with toothpaste. Tim Gunn would be ashamed.


13 Marg October 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

What a great costume! I’m so learning to sew this year and making something next year. I lost track of time and settling with a school girl thrown together at home costume.


14 Cynthia (It All Changes) October 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

I love the homemade costumes. My mom and I always made the costumes for me and my brother as kids. So much better than any store bought polyester. And they made great dress up for later.


15 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write October 29, 2010 at 9:56 am

Your mom is awesome! My mom used to make us homemade costumes, but nothing that elaborate. Though,if I stop to think of how many times she made random stuff out of other random stuff, it was alot. She once made a “boombox” out of a trashbag box so my little brother could walk around with it on his shoulder. lmao.


16 Elina (Healthy and Sane) October 29, 2010 at 10:06 am

That sounds so awesome! I think I’d be much more into Halloween if someone made me an elaborate costume. For now, I’m just into baking Halloween themed treats :)


17 Dori October 29, 2010 at 11:08 am

Your mom is awesome. She should start a business making costumes!


18 Caitlin October 29, 2010 at 11:30 am

Your greeting cracked me up.

Your Mom is so amazingly talented and I love the deets on Preston. I still hold to the belief that he is the funniest kid ever, even if I have never met him. I think you need to get a video of him this weekend?

I know how much you’ve been looking forward to this weekend so I hope it’s an amazing time with great memories made. Safe travels!


19 Tabitha @ Just Weighing In October 29, 2010 at 11:33 am

What great costumes! I had to admit that I’m not creative at all so I end up just not dressing up at all. :)


20 taryn October 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

That is… absolutely spectacular. I mean, I almost have no words. Can’t wait to see you guys in your garb!


21 Libby October 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Um, I love that Baby Indiana Jones is his BACK-UP costume. Jeez. Amazing.

I’m being a Swiss Army Knife this year…kind of excited.


22 Summer October 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I love it! My mom has always been kinda the same—none of that store-bought shit for us. Sadly, my creativity and excitement waned a little, but I’ve been trying to get back there these past few years. I cannot WAIT to see your finished product!

PS I LLOL’d at your greeting to hate-followers :)


23 Ashley October 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I LOVE homemade costumes and these totally take the cake. Preston’s is particularly amazing. You go, Rachel’s mom, you go!


24 Smash @ Appreciate The Now October 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

VERY excited to see the final outcome — very fun idea! Have a great Halloweekend back home!


25 Allie Finch October 30, 2010 at 8:48 am

deer in headlights & a truck! LOVE IT. your mom is SUPER talented. wow!


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