Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Be-Witched Tutorial

When I was a kid, I loved Halloween.  The thought of dressing up and going out "after dark" with my neighborhood friends to gather candy from the families in our neighborhood was just down right exciting.  The moment that the calendar slipped into October, I started planning my outfit!!

This year, the "magic spookiness" of Halloween and the fun of "dressing up" wandered over to touch my imagination again.  But first a little background....

This school year, I have volunteered to be the school crossing guard twice a day for the elementary school close to our home.  The street is a dangerous spot for little ones.  Too many cars speed along it.  Some drivers seem to not pay any attention to the posted school zone speed restrictions.  Other drivers are so wrapped up chatting on their cell phones while driving (even though it is illegal to do so in British Columbia) that they even go through the red light!

Because we have so much rain in the winter (and it can become so downright miserable some days that I threaten to pack up and move to Arizona on the next available flight... giggle...), our little school has had a hard time attracting anyone to man the light and cross walk at the school during the winter months.  So much so that the school has not had a crossing guard for over two and a half years.

Of course I only found out about this fact when chatting with the woman in charge of crossing guards for our district.  If I felt so strongly about it she said, perhaps I should volunteer to take it over! Well there was such a tug on my heart strings and seeing that I had practically talked myself into it anyway, I decided that in spite of the arthritis that has taken up residence in my body and does not like rainy weather one little bit, I'd do it.  After all, it is on my way home from the pool where I swim each morning.

Fortunately, living on the wet coast, I've got great rain gear and over the past couple of weeks doing this discovered that the trick to standing out in rainy weather is to dress in layers and as warmly as one can under all that outer gear.  Hoodies are great under a jacket.  Rain jackets with wide hood brims that shield the rain from dripping onto your face and into your eyes really work. Two way zippers in jackets are great! Ski underwear makes a difference.  Rain pants keep you dry.  The rain may be pelting down in sheets yet I am as snug as a bug in a rug!!  If it starts to pelt down hard, I can use an umbrella between trips of escorting kids across the street. Who would have thought I would enjoy this... not me for sure!!  BUT...

BOY it is worth it!  Parents are so appreciative and friendly.  Many of them have expressed how grateful they are to have someone there now even though they may walk their kids to school.  Some of parents of older kids who walk to school by themselves have expressed how relieved they are to have someone looking out after their son or daughter.

Many of the children always remember to say thank you.  I have received little "thank you" gifts from the younger tykes like a candy, chocolate bar, homemade cards, box of raisins, little drawings.  They are so proud when they present their special little gift to me.  It melts my heart.  Every day I am blessed with smiles or laughs from some of their "worldly" observations or remarks!!

Of course, since the calendar flipped to October, the "chat on the street" has all been about "Whatcha gonna be on Halloween?"  Angels, princesses, vampires, zombies, Red Riding Hood, Elvis, Darth Vader, a baby and  peanut butter (that should be an interesting costume!) are just some of the ideas being tossed around.  I am keeping "mum" about my costume... even though some of them are begging me to tell them!

So, if you promise not to tell them, here's a peek at one part of my costume... and how to make one for yourself in just a couple of fun, creative hours...

 Front Close Up

 Batty Witch Hat

 Back of Hat

What you need to make your own witches hat:

3 large pieces of black poster board
black polymer clay (optional)
small piece of black boa (optional)
fish line (optional)
Modge Podge or glue
Glue gun
1 yard of netting in the colour of your choice
a bunch of black flowers
5 or 6 large silk leaves
black poster paint
2-1/2 inch wide black wired ribbon
sparkly pipe cleaners
black shoe laces
thread in colour of netting
bat print out
glue gun

To make the hat. 

This video on uTube will show you how to make a witches hat better than I could describe it.  It's easy and doesn't take long.  The only thing I would change is to double the brims (make two instead of one and glue them together) to strengthen the brim up.  Even though the flowers and ribbon are not heavy, they will weigh it down.

Once your hat is finished and dry, you are ready to start adding the embellishments,  Drape the netting over the top of the hat.  Using a needle and thread, loosely gather it together at the bottom of the netting and baste it loosely with large stitches all around the brim of the hat. Tighten it up so that it fits around wide part of the hat at the bottom. Hot glue it in place to the brim.

Paint the large silk leaves black.  When dry, hot glue them in place to the brim in the front.  Save one or two leaves for the back of the hat.

Make a large bow (click for a good tutorial on uTube if you need to find out how) for the front of your hat.  Hot glue it in place on the brim and close to the top part of the hat.

Cut down the flowers and hot glue randomly to the front of the hat burying them in the bow.

Click on the bat print out in the instructions above to go to a website where you can get a paper bat print out.

Print out as many paper bats from the template as you would like on your hat.  Cut them out.  Trace the cut out on left over poster board and cut out more bats.  Place a pipe cleaner on one of the backs (hot glue it).  Modge Podge (or glue) the bat cut outs to the front.  Staple over the now hidden pipe cleaner for good measure!  Twist the pipe cleaner in a random shape and hot glue to the hat.

Repeat this same sequence for the back of the hat with any left-overs of ribbon, leaves, bats, etc...


If you have some black boa "furry stuff", you could spice these bats up once you have them cut out by adding a little piece in the middle of the bat for the body, glue some tiny button eyes to the boa.  You can then hot glue these furry little bats to the bow.

Additionally you could make some bats out of black polymer clay to nestle in the bow (just hot glue them in) or for your Halloween window.  Using the print out as a template, cut out bats from conditioned polymer clay. Bake as per manufacturer's instructions (about 15 minutes in a 275 degree oven). If you are going to add them to your window, just poke a tiny hole in the middle of the bat's wing (at the top) before curing your clay.  When cool,  finish the bats with the boa and tiny eyes as above.  String fish line through the top of the bat wing and hang in your window.

Finishing Your Hat

Poke two holes in the top of the brim (one on each side) to add the shoe strings.  Thread them through the holes and tie a knot. These will help keep the hat on your head when tied in a bow beneath your chin.  You're done.  Now try on your creation and listen to the oohs and ahhs from friends and family!! 

Enjoy!!  Happy Be-Witching on Halloween,