A few weeks ago I turned up at nursery to pick Little Woolly up and found a notice on the door of the type that sends fear and dread into the heart of any parent. ‘Halloween party’ it said. At the next door was a list of requested food and I dutifully put my name next to the chocolate crispie cakes. That I can cope with. Then Little Woolly’s key worker told me not to spend too much on a costume. Cue: panic.
My thoughts went something like – ‘he’s TWO YEARS OLD?! How do you make a Halloween costume for a two year old? Wizard hat – nope. Spider legs – nope. Ghost sheet – nope. He doesn’t like clothes that are odd.’
I pondered for a while and checked out a few websites, having decided that for once I’d happily pay the supermarkets less than £5 for a costume if got me out of a hole. But the costumes are for 0-24 months and 3 years upwards, so Little Woolly falls into the gap in between.
More pondering, and I decided to search for a black sleepsuit or dye a sleepsuit black and do a skeleton costume, but really that seemed like a lot of effort for something that was for one day only.
Then the brainwave hit. I emailed WoollyDaze Too:
‘Hmmm, I wonder if I buy him a cheap t-shirt, try to get hold of some black fabric paint, cut out some “Halloween” stencils and we decorate a t-shirt together?’
She emailed back:
‘I think that’s a smashing idea. Potato printing, or freezer paper stencils maybe?
I emailed her:
‘What are freezer paper stencils?’
And got the answer in return:
Bingo. Every mum should know about this technique. My first challenge was finding some freezer paper, which turned out to be not quite so difficult as anticipated. There is a fabulous craft shop just around the corner from work which should advertise itself with the words ‘We sell everything if you know which corner to look in’. They had freezer paper, for 60p a metre. I bought some, and some black fabric paint. If you’re not lucky enough to have such a craft shop near you, apparently you can use the wrapping from printer and photocopier paper: see here.
A lunchtime search around town yielded a light grey t-shirt, which is on the small size of actually fitting Little Woolly but, heck, it’s for one day only, it cost me 50p, and I struggled to find a plain t-shirt in his size. Again, they appear to start at 3 years old for children who go to school.
I spent a couple of hours doing the prep: printing out some designs using Google images, tracing them onto the freezer paper, ironing them onto the t-shirt, then Little Woolly and I sat down together and dabbed the paint on. It was a little chaotic and he didn’t quite get the idea of just dabbing where the stencils are, but we had fun.
I think the finished t-shirt looks great and whilst it’s not technically a ‘costume’ I’ll be more than happy to send him to nursery in this for his Halloween party. Just keep your fingers crossed he makes it – last year I knitted him a jumper with a hood and ears for his teddy bears’ picnic and on the day of the party he was off nursery ill.