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The Little Gray Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

29 October 2012
I really like homemade costumes. I think storebought ones are fine, but homemade have character. Also, it's my excuse to buy each of us a new warm sweatshirt/sweatpants combo for the upcoming frigidly cold winter of death.

But, I also like planning costumes around the 3 of us. 3 is an odd number - you can find great costumes for couples, and great costumes for families of 4, but it's hard to get a good three-some costume (that does not sound good but that's the word I am using.) Even most popular movies have 4 main characters (or have characters that won't work with 2 boys and a girl.)

Sparrow has no idea how Halloween works, so I limited him to a few costume options. We could go as 101 Dalmations, since he's really into that movie. Or we could go as England, Scotland and Wales and be the United Kingdom (Hawk really liked that idea.) Or we could be characters from The Little Gray Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the BIG HUNGRY BEAR, which is a children's book by Dan Wood, first published in 1984. (Two years before my birth, thank-you-very-much.) I have fond memories of my grandma reading me that book over and over again, and I bought it for Sparrow in board book form when he was barely 6 months old. It's the only board book to survive his infancy.

Without further adieu, I give you:



The Red Ripe Strawberry:


And the Little Gray Mouse:


I did our costumes all by myself and I am so proud of how they turned out. Hawk's was easy - Walmart had everything including the bear hat, and I had a brown t-shirt that had holes in it which I used to make his tail. My costume is red sweatpants and a red hoodie, and I used a black fabric marker to make "seeds" all over it (it may or may not wash out, but I don't really care because our sweats are pajamas.) I made the "stem" out of 2 sheets of green felt and a toilet paper roll safety pinned to the hoodie. It's a little long for a "stem" and it feels weird but oh well.

And of course for Sparrow's, I used 2 sheets of gray and pink felt and sewed the ears onto a jacket hoodie obtained at Walmart for $3 (and another $3 for the matching pants.) I could NOT get the ears to stand up on their own, even after reinforcing the ears with 3 more layers of felt. I finally had to sew them in a curve a couple of times. I have no idea what the term is for that and by the time I did it I was totally guessing and praying it would work, but it did. The ears stand up really well on their own (but only when the hoodie is on his head.) For the tail I used a fat quarter of pink fabric, rolled it up, and sewed it flat and safety pinned it to his behind.

And, let me tell you a little trick. We don't buy face paint or costume makeup because I am cheap. I DO sometimes have acrylic paint lying around for random crafts. So I mixed some acrylic black paint with Dawn dishsoap and painted it on Sparrow's face. It makes it SUPER SUPER easy to wash off and it doesn't stain clothing or skin or anything. So if you need face paint but don't want to buy it, try my dishsoap trick. People have probably been doing it for years, but I just barely figured it out.

I don't like a lot about the way Halloween is celebrated, but I do love the chance to let Sparrow play dress up and not get weird looks when we leave the house. Sparrow is super into imagination play and dress up JUST BARELY so this is a new and exciting stage for us. I think I am going to buy him primarily dress up costumes (after Halloween clearance!) for Christmas, because he just enjoys them so much.

His favorite part of being a mouse? Bamboo the cat likes to chase Sparrow's mouse tail. So the cat is chasing the mouse. It's the circle of life.

IMG_0807 Why yes, I did hand-carve that pumpkin. I'm rocking the crafty-ness this Halloween!

3 comments to The Little Gray Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear:

Amber Barber said...

So adorable! You could also do a smore for next year :)

Kestrel said...

I do have the perfect marshmallow shape... :)

LCannon said...

I am soooo in agreement with you; homemade are better made and have a more original theme.
My brother-in-law gave me a great idea on how to make a teapot. But then Jenna decided that she wanted to go as a lamp instead. But Roland ended up taking her to a costume shop and she went as Velma from Scooby Doo.
Oh, we would have saved so much if we had just looked for those items at Savers - surprisingly it is a warm costume. Of course the weather has been superb.
Last year Jenna, Roland and I went as the Cat and the Hat and Thing One and Thing 2 (just to give you an idea on a threesome costume) I'll send you a pic