This year was my daughter’s third Halloween, but her very first year trick-or-treating.
I never saw the point in taking her on Halloweens of the past. Not only would she not remember previous Halloweens, she wouldn’t grasp the concept at all, either. I think when kids are really young, the holidays are more about the parents than the child.
The first year she was 3 months old, last year she was just over a year old. I wasn’t going to drag her door-to-door to collect candy for us to eat. She wouldn’t enjoy it, her entire routine would get screwed up.
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Instead, we just bought her cute onesies and took pictures of her wearing them on Halloween.
We knew she’d have fun with it this year, though, but she was too young to pick her outfit. She had no idea what this Halloween stuff was all about until Halloween afternoon, so I really couldn’t ask her what she wanted to dress up as.
In September the stores started filling with Halloween costumes. I looked on multiple occasions, only to be disappointed. Everything in her size was cute! And for me, cute Halloween costumes are a no-no.
I wanted to dress her up as something scary, but the options were limited. Online I found some toddler sized witch, mummy & vampiress outfits. I considered each one but really couldn’t get excited about them.
Then, one evening while Hubby and I were discussing her first real Halloween, it just hit me: Zombie Care Bear!
She loves the Care Bears and a zombified Care Bear sounded like an awesome idea. How many kids have you seen dressed up as that?!
I had an idea of what I wanted the costume to look like, but I’ve got to give credit to my mom. She was able to come up with clever ideas that turned my dream into a reality.
Here’s how we did it:
WHAT WE STARTED WITH
I found this 2T Wonderheart costume on sale and didn’t hesitate to purchase it. It usually sells for $45, so I was happy to get it at a discounted price!
This was surprisingly easy, once my mom recommended we use parts of a cheap zombie mask from Wal-Mart for the ears and mouth. I don’t have a link to the exact one we chose, but any mask with ears and a mouth will do.
I got the eyes from Etsy. They are patches that come in a 3 pack. Each eye is a different size.
We attached the zombie ears to the original Care Bear’s ears using a hot glue gun. We also used a hot glue gun to attach the eyes.
The mouth was a little trickier. First, the zombie mouth wasn’t big enough to completely cover the white of the Care Bear’s nose/mouth area and had I not made any changes to it, the white would have come through on the sides of the zombie’s mouth. I used a black fabric marker to color in that part of the face and make it much less obvious that the mouth wasn’t quite wide enough.
Once that was done, I poked 6 holes in the zombie’s mouth using a large needle. Two on the left side, two on the right side, two at the top by the nose. I then used fishing line to sew the mouth to the headpiece, running the line through my holes. I knotted the line after two loops through and put a dab of superglue on the knot just to be safe.
I went back and forth for a while, debating what to do with this. I knew I wanted to use a shirt to cover up the cute belly badge, but I wasn’t sure if I should pick a white shirt or a black shirt. In the end, I settled with white, since that’s the color of a normal Care Bear’s belly badge. I’m glad that I chose to go that route.
I actually purchased this blood-splattered shirt in a 4T. I had no plans of doing much more to it after sewing it onto the shirt and cutting the excess off until my mom came up with the idea to use this paint, in black, around the outside of the belly badge. What was originally done in an attempt to hide flaws in the stitching led to my mom grabbing a bottle of the same paint in red and adding more depth to the blood splatter pattern. She also threw in a little brown for some extra color (“it’s old blood” is what she kept telling me).
Note: This paint takes at least 4 hours to dry, so make sure the costume’s in a spot where it can safely sit for a while before you do this.
I can’t share a product with you here. My mom found a little 3-ish foot tall skeleton decoration somewhere (Wal-Mart?) and surprised me with it.
Its arm was the perfect size to attach to the left arm of this costume (using fishing line). We made sure the elbow bent in the same spot Bee’s elbow bent at when she was wearing the outfit.
We actually cut a hole in the costume at the shoulder and put the bone through it to make it look a little more realistic. Then my mom covered it with this red and brown paint.
This was really easy. We cut out a patch of hair on the right leg and threw some of this paint on it. We felt like the legs were lacking decor, so we just added an injury to one of them.
The red heart on the back of the costume looked too cute. I had to change it. I colored it with a black fabric marker. You could still see a bit of red around it, but I thought it looked a lot better this way.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
I absolutely hated how “new” the costume still looked, even after all we did. Zombies aren’t clean, ya know?
I told my mom I wanted to dirty it up a bit. Maybe use actual dirt or something?
She came up with the idea to use this shoe polish. She went over the whole thing with brown first, then hit random spots with black (navy). I loved it!
* This Care Bear costume runs small.
Bee is small for her age (at least compared to other 2-year-olds I know) and it was a lot smaller than I expected. She barely fits in 2T pants and she bounces between a 2T & 3T shirt depending on brand (due to torso length, I don’t want her belly showing when she lifts her arms up). This costume just barely fit her.
* SAFETY PINS!
I took her trick-or-treating on Main Street before Hubby got off work and learned this the hard way. The zombie’s mouth makes the headpiece heavy on the front. I ended up using a safety pin to attach the back of the headpiece to the back of the costume and never had another problem with it.
I also needed to use a safety pin under her chin. The Velcro just wouldn’t stay attached. Maybe it’s because of how much we messed with the costume prior to her wearing it, maybe it’s just a bad Velcro job. Either way, I’d recommend keeping a safety pin on hand for that spot just in case.
* Get your kid used to the outfit.
Bee was terrified of the zombie’s mouth for a couple days. We actually let her play with it for a while before attaching it to the Care Bear. And by “for a while”, I mean about 2 weeks.
We would play with her toys and act like her dolls were talking to the mouth and hugging it. That made all the difference in the world.
It can be hard to dress your toddler up as something scary because, well, your toddler is probably scared of it.
Take the time to get them warmed up to it. Don’t tell them it’s scary. When they say it’s scary, correct them.
“No, it isn’t scary, Silly. It’s cute!” Then give it a hug or something. Worked wonders for our daughter.
Is your little one obsessed with Care Bears? Give this costume a try! Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email if you have any questions or need any help!