° empty

Homemade costumes are tough fit

Store-bought Halloween costumes were banned in the Hillyer house when I was a youngster.

When other neighborhood children were showing off their thin plastic masks molded in the shape of Batman, the Incredible Hulk or some other super hero, my sister, brother and I sported Hillyer Halloween originals.

My mother swore against paying money for one of those cheap, vinyl and polyester suits that all the other students in my class were wearing.

They were flammable and dangerous, she said as if we were planning on walking the streets with trick-or-treat bags in one hand and blow torches in the other.

I know my mother relished transforming her bag of makeup and rags into something creative — or so she thought.

If my mother created some wildly imaginative costume in the shape of a six-headed dragon or a Rubik’s Cube, I wouldn’t have complained.

Instead, my brother and I would dress up as a clown or a hobo.

My sister might end up being something a little more creative, like a witch.

One might think that as a dad, I wouldn’t want to put my son through the same Halloween humiliation I experienced as a child.

As much as I want the convenience of pulling a costume off the rack for my 4 year old, there is this deep creative urge to run home, pull out the cardboard and the spray paint that can only be described as genetic.

So when Gibson said he wants to be Ironman for Halloween, I started surfing the Internet to see if I could make a homemade costume of the Marvel comics superhero.

My best advice for those who ever get the urge to create a Halloween costume is don’t surf the Internet.

My quick search of the Internet of homemade Ironman costumes resulted in a collection of some of the most amazing costumes I have ever seen — many of them made out of cardboard and spray paint.

The pair of red long johns that I planned to buy and decorate with scraps of gold fabric and a couple of flashlights were no match for costumes that took weeks, maybe months, to create.

I knew there were some stay-at-home fathers that created such elaborate costumes. One such dad is James Griffioen, a San Francisco lawyer who quit his job to take care of his two kids while his wife continued her own legal career.

In his spare time, Griffioen writes the blog sweetjuniper.com about his adventures in fatherhood.

In recent years he has been making for his children dragon masks, samurai costumes and other elaborate outfits that rival costumes from some Hollywood designers.

A recent visit to his website had me shaking my head, wondering how he finds the time.

It made me realize that one of those polyester, puffy costumes from K-mart might not be bad after all.

For a split second, I felt guilty. I was going over to the dark side.

That didn’t last very long when I saw the picture my mother texted from her latest trip to the mall.

It was a picture of an Ironman costume she found at Marshall’s.

“Look what I found,” she texted.

“Buy it,” I said.

 

Ben Hillyer is design editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or ben.hillyer@natchezdemocrat.com.

News

CPSO rules missing person case homicide

News

Adams County supervisors to review ambulance proposals Wednesday

News

Burnley Cook to withdraw from Ward 6 alderman race

News

Viewfinder: Cathedral student starts local health fair

News

Man arrested for Magnolia Grill burglary

News

Photo gallery: Jewish community celebrates Passover with Seder dinner

News

NASD graduation rate up, but still lags behind state average

News

The Dart: Vidalia man studies, takes care of family, too

News

Natchez Early College Academy Fun Day to help raise money for trip to Washington, D.C.

News

Parent University set for Thursday

News

Sunday focus: Voters to determine a quarter million in salaries May 10

News

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates body found in Monterey

News

County seeking ambulance proposals

News

‘Suzi’s Girls’ remember lasting legacy left by coach

News

Natchez man killed in Ferriday wreck Friday night

News

Photo gallery: The bluff has gone to the DockDogs

News

Tactics in case surrounding alleged attack of parish DA questioned

News

Student charged in verbal assault of teacher

News

City back in court to determine damages in Roundstone case

News

Report: Cuts put school district $1.5M short

News

Faith and Family: R.V.I.C.S. helps Children’s Home

News

Photo gallery: Chalk artist inspired by God creates artwork at First Baptist Church

News

Man previously arrested on rape charges, charged with another sex crime

News

Natchez-Adams School District to pay $127K to former principal