The proof is in the pumpkin and eggplant pudding (watch this space…). My kids really are what they eat…atleast for this years Halloween school disco and Neighborhood door-knock.
Our haunt at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, was a North American dream home straight out of The Shining: the perfect setting for Scott and my Halloweenception. Built in the days when a wombversational “14” referred to a woman’s child spawn (rather than the number of seconds to hold a pelvic floor contraction), the four stories had since been subdivided. We landed the top two levels. Transfixed by the crazed excitement of big-batching home made treats and pumpkin carving, the practicalities of racing up and down four flights of stairs to the swarming corpses of Trick-or-Treaters was somewhat overlooked. By the thirteenth trek, karma had caught up with me. My eight month pregnant human form had begun to resemble something out of an Alien film with the fetal K1 inwardly signalling a thumping retreat. Feigning disappointment, Scott blew out the jack o’lanterns, politely turned away the remaining bogeymen from our dilapidated door step and hoarded the surplus treats into our kitchen cupboard (well…mostly).
Nearly 10 years on and, just like the cult film, we have rebooted our enthusiasm for the eerie celebration and gone all out…V-eat (Vegetable-Eat) style. Paying tribute to both our R.I.P Canandian experience and a rather tall, 52 Story Treehouse, K1 and K2 have caused a stir-fry among their fellow class sprouts with their upcycled, recylced vegetable land costumes.
Eggplant and Pumpkin Costume
- Newspaper, cut into 1 inch strips
- Paper mache’ glue: made by mixing 1 cup flour with 1 cup water and 1 tsp salt (add more water to achieve a more runny consistency)
- Toilet rolls
- Poster paint (red, yellow, blue, white and black)
- Paint brushes, pencil and marker pens
- Old green shirts
- Old green fabric (for the leaves and stem)
- Old jeans
- Vegetable netting bags
- Metal snaps
Making the paper-mache’ masks:
- Blow up the balloon to maximum size. It must be significantly larger than your child’s head.
- Using your hands (yep…it’s a little messy) place the glue over the balloon and, working with your child, place the strips of newspaper over the balloon in a cross-hatching type pattern.
- Tightly roll or shape the toilet roll into your desired configuration (depending on the vegetable). After you have completed one layer of paper mache’ covering, place the toilet roll on top and use the paper mache’ strips (with plenty of glue) to stick the roll onto the top of the balloon.
- Continue covering the balloon with another layer of paper mache’ strips until thick (it should feel firm when you press a finger against the balloon). Leave to dry for 24 hours on top of a ramekin or cup. Repeat again the next day to ensuring a thick consistency over the entire balloon. Leave to dry for another 24 hours.
- For the base colour (purple and green for eggplant and orange and green for pumpkin). Mix the poster paint colours together to obtain the desired pigment. Paint the paper-mache’ balloons. A second coat may be required. Leave to dry.
- To make the head hole, measure the circumference of your child’s head using a piece of string. Join the string to make a circle. Place this at the lower end of the back of the vegetable mask (not at the very bottom) and use as a guide to trace a circular shape. Using a stanley knife, begin by cutting out the traced circle. You may need to make the hole a little larger.
- To make the face, place the mask on your child’s head to work out the approximate position of the eyes (this is not the easiest of tasks to achieve). Using a pencil, draw two small circles (about the size of a beer bottle cap). Take the mask off. Using the two circles to center the position of the face, let your face drawing imagination run to seed (or wild).
- Use white and black to paint the face onto the mask.
Neck netting (lace), leaves and bottoms:
- For the neck netting: use a piece of string to measure the circumference of your child’s neck (loosely). Add an extra 4 cm to allow for a hem. Measure. Cut a strip of old green fabric (I used an old sheet) 5 cm wide and the length of the string. Fold over and press 2 cm at each end of the fabric strip and fold and press under 1 cm on each length. Fold the strip in half width ways. Press. You should now have a strip of fabric that looks a little like bias binding (that is a length equivalent to the the circumference of your child’s neck). Stack two vegetable netting bags on top of each other. Stretch the netting to the length of the fabric strip. Using a wide stitch, sew the netting onto one half of the length of fabric. Fold over the other half of the length of fabric. Sew close to the seam. Attach metal snaps at the ends.
- For the leaves: using a permanent marker, draw onto a piece of fabric (I used one of K2’s old nappies and an old sheet) a stem for your plant and leaves. You can also add on features such as veins too. Cut out the leaves. Pin leaves and stem onto an old green shirt (ours were hand-me-ons from a neighbour). Stitch onto the shirt using a wide stitch.
- Bottoms: take your child’s best well-worn jeans from last season and draw a zig-zag pattern at the knee. Cut. At the end of the event, you can trim off the jagged ends, sew a hem and have a nice pair of denim shorts for the summer.
Put it all together and what have you got…
A bumper harvest of vegie-weeners: Trick or V-eat!