No Impact Week Day 1: A No-Impact Halloween Costume

18 10 2009

The other tasks, besides making a list, that the No Impact Week handbook suggested focused on observing your trash and not shopping.Yesterday, as I was thinking about beginning this project, I already found myself considering all the useless things that pass into and out of my house and my hands every day, all the things I buy that I don’t really need.

But besides that, it’s getting to be Halloween, and my 6-year-old son needed a costume. He wanted to be Robin, as in Batman-and. We usually make his costumes, and yet yesterday I found myself being even more hardcore about not buying anything new to make his costume. Here’s what we came up with:

Robin saves the global climate!

Robin saves the global climate!

The mask is a modified printable Mardi Gras mask that I printed out on black paper, which was then glue-sticked down onto a pasta box backing. I used some silver elastic leftover from Christmas to tie it on his head.

The cape is Floppy’s rain slicker with the sleeves and hood tucked in and snapped at the top snap. He wore green pajama pants and a green polo shirt he already had, as well as a pair of green handknit slippers our friend Jana made him for Christmas one year.

The vest is made out of cardboard covered with taped-down red fabric. The fabric is on its third or fourth upcycle — originally our friend Jeremy bought a huge quantity of red polyester on sale for a Twin Peaks party (back when Twin Peaks was still on the air). It went through a second life as a bedouin tent for my Arabian Nights 30th birthday party (six years ago). It’s third life was as a curtain at our house in Riva. Now it’s in its fourth life as Robin.

I asked Floppy to color in a shoelace left over from a pair of his shoes that came with two sets of laces — he turned it from white to yellow with a Crayola marker, and then we laced it through the vest. He has a set of belts that go with detachable animal tails, but he had taken a scissors to the yellow lion belt. So I stapled that to the cardboard vest, and covered the middle hole for the tail with the lid of a tiny jelly jar that I had decoupaged with yellow tissue. Finally, some double stick tape and printed out photoshopped black-and-yellow R badges complete the look. I was pleased to be able to make such a cool costume with no purchases at all, although on halloween itself we will probably add red leggings borrowed from his pajamas for warmth, and perhaps some green Robin rubber gloves from the dollar store.

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