Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. I love fall. I love candy. And I love DIY anything. Needless to say, my husband Reid puts up with a lot in the month of October. 

From decorations to the constant smell of my favorite Mulled Cider candle from Walmart, the season of falling leaves is in full swing at the Determan house, and the homemade costumes are no exception.

We started brainstorming our first family costume as soon as we found out I was pregnant. We threw around ideas that ranged from 90s sitcom characters to food combinations, finally settling on us being farmers and Sloan being a chicken. Cute, right? 

Until the construction began. 

There were so many feathers and even though I couldn’t feel my fingers from the hot glue gun burns, I was feeling pretty confident in the fact that it looked like a chicken, or at least a bird. 

A family friend had knitted booties and a hat that acted as her comb, so all we had left to do was put her in it. Little did I know that would be worse than gluing a feather to my phone.

The funny thing about gluing things onto a onesie is that it doesn’t account for baby bellies; and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, babies have this innate ability to look cute, cuddly, and perfect while maintaining the beer belly of a 40-year-old man.

What I've Learned

  • Babies are like magnets when it comes to choking hazards. If you’re working with beads, buttons, or even small spools of thread, make sure they’re in a closed container or out of your baby’s reach. 
  • If you’re adding to an already-made onesie or outfit, let them run around in the finished piece. It will allow you time to make the details and will make it less daunting for them on Halloween night. 
  • With that being said, make sure you leave enough room for them to actually get into the costume. One way to avoid shrinking the base outfit is by stuffing it with a pillow, blanket, or even a stuffed animal of similar size to your little one. 

No judgement, just an observation. An observation that came a little too late. 

After ten minutes of me trying to console Sloan, and Reid trying to console me, we were finally two farmers and a chicken—a very angry chicken. 

One year later and thanks to a Bravo channel-themed babyshower, I had a long blonde wig that screamed Rapunzel and a baby that was dying to be her chameleon, Pascal (I assumed).

Already having a Disney prince for a husband, it took zero convincing from me to solidify our family costume. The convincing, however, came later, when I desperately needed help in actually making said costumes. 

Enter 605’s multimedia designer and seamstress extraordinaire, Yany Avelar. 

After last year’s fiasco and now that Sloan is mobile, I needed all of the help I could get. We searched the depths of Pinterest, made multiple trips to the craft store, and reconvened at Yany’s apartment to make Halloween magic. 

Of course, in typical Sloan fashion, she fell asleep as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, and proceeded to sleep while we laid out our supplies, making cut marks and game plans. 

Once our chameleon-in-training graced us with her consciousness, we got started on the first phase of the costume: the eyes.

Made with puff balls and two different sized buttons, all we needed was a hot glue gun. This was 100 percent in my realm of abilities, and something Sloan could “help” with by handing me the fluffy white poms. 

Unfortunately, that’s where it ended. Sloan became enamored with the paint brushes, I became frustrated with my lack of sewing knowledge, and Yany became a hero by offering to help with the rest. And by help, I mean make.


> Organize your supplies into color-coordinated piles. Then ask your little one to hand you the different materials in different colors.

> Invest in toddler training scissors. That way they can “cut” extra fabric or paper while you are actually cutting, giving them a sense of accomplishment and you a sense of safety.

Listen, I am all for DIY projects and when I have ample time, I can really knock out some neat pieces. However, my sewing days ended after I miserably failed at making my own eighth grade graduation dress, so this was no longer in my wheelhouse. 

Yany and her fiancé, Ethan, were gracious (and talented) enough to not only finish her costume, but to make it the cutest thing I have ever seen. The best part? It wasn’t going to squish her like a sausage. 

If I hadn’t let go of my neverending mom guilt and need to do everything myself, I would still be trying to sew a tail that didn’t look like an extra flap of fabric.

Being the Better Homes & Gardens DIY mom is fun and exciting, but it isn’t always realistic. Sloan is going to have a bomb Halloween costume, which means our family will have a bomb Halloween costume, and that was all because of the help of our great friends. 

Doing it (all) yourself is impossible. It takes a village, right? Hey, maybe next year we will be The Village People.

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