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When we moved to New Zealand, I thought our group Halloween costume days were over (we’ve done Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter group costumes for the last three years). But, happily, I was wrong!
Instead of repeat Harry Potter costumes last year (which was my prediction), the kids requested a Moana costume theme (Bohden is SUPER into Moana, and LOVES Maui, so that’s kind of perfect).
The Moana, Te Fiti, and Hei Hei costumes were a combo of gathering things from our closets and then making a couple of handmade items to go with them (adding trim and a couple grass underskirts to a plain white skirt for the Moana costume, making a flower crown and a collar with vines and flowers for Te Fiti, and making layered chicken wings for Adam [similar to these DIY layered wings]).
Burke asked to be the SHINY crab, Tamatoa, and we spent most of our creative efforts on making his crab shell. Since much of the process was trial and error, I thought I’d share the how to’s (and save you the mental gymnastics).
We started with a purple hoodie (Tamatoa is purple) and added ‘eyes’ using foam circles and purple pipe cleaners.
Then we made the shiny ‘crab shell.’ We began with a cardboard oval and traced that oval onto yellow felt. Then I traced a perimeter a couple inches out from the original oval, and yet another perimeter a couple more inches out. I cut out the oval using the third line, notched all the way around the entire oval up to the second line, matched up the felt with the cardboard and started hot glueing each ‘notch’ of felt to the back of the cardboard.
I stopped with enough of a gap to stick stuffing in the edge, stuffed the ‘shell,’ and then glued the gap shut.
Next I hot glued shells and trinkets to the felt ‘crab shell’ (tip- use the lightest items you can find) and, once the shell had an over-filled feel, spray painted the whole thing gold (I know, seems weird, but it worked).
Then I added more already-gold items and a string of gold lights on top of the spray-painted shell base for dimension (we grabbed gold Christmas ornaments in a variety of sizes, fake gold coins, gold beads, a few gold trinkets, and a battery operated string of twinkle lights for this part).
After hot gluing grosgrain ribbon straps to the underside of the shell (like a backpack), I covered the loose ends by hot-gluing another oval of fabric on the underside.
Burke (and his siblings, who were all such good helpers with this project) were all SO PROUD of this shiny, sparkly, extra Tamatoa-y costume.
Bohden was the best little Maui you ever laid eyes on (Maui fish hook, wig and more details below)! And Pi was the cutest Moana (red tank, white skirt, Moana necklace).
Adam joined our crew as Hei Hei (the chicken) at Bohden’s request (the chicken hat was the perfect addition to our felt wings). That guy is SUCH a trooper- haha. And I dressed up as Te Fiti, the green island lady (green dress from my closet, green wig, a bunch of felt flowers added to a flower crown and collar).
I love it that we added another year of group costume-ing to the Gentry tradition! I know there’s a year coming when they aren’t quite as excited about things like themed family Halloween costumes, so I am quite thankful for these days!
ps- The Maui costume was SHENANIGANS- the costume I ordered got lost in the mail and the DIY was… hmmm… time intensive and definitely NOT what I’d recommend. If I were to do this again, with access to Amazon Prime, I’d use the same Maui fish hook, order a Maui suit/Maui pajamas, the most fabulous wig ever (it makes the costume right?), and then make a felt leaf skirt and a Maui necklace.
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