Considering Emma’s costume worked so well, I figured III’s would be a breeze. At first Emma wanted him to be Pooh Bear, but I talked her out of that and convinced her that he would be way cuter as a bumblebee. I figured that costume would be easier, and would be cute since she was a flower. But then Lloyd reminded me that many months ago we thought it would be hilarious to dress him up as a garden gnome. He’s got such big ears and a big head—and a cute little grin! After once again convincing Emma that a bumblebee was not the way to go, and a gnome was really much better, I set to work! (I know I really didn’t have to convince my 3-year-old, but I like letting her feel like she’s involved.)
I looked at a lot of pictures, and decided to sort of follow the Travelocity gnome. I considered looking for little boots, and Lloyd wanted me to make little clogs, but then I remembered that he had some little brown, footed pants, and decided that would be good enough (after all, he’s not even one yet, he can’t walk, and he would probably just pull any shoes off, so I know the pants would stay on. Oh, and I already had them so I wouldn’t have to spend any money.). Next up was a blue shirt, a belt, and a hat. The shirt was easy, and I thought I would just use one of Emma’s belts turned inside-out to the black side. So then I went back to the craft store for more felt—red and white.
My brains must really be going to mush without being in school anymore, because I sat with my piece of red felt for a long time wondering what shape a cone is when it’s out flat. Eventually I gave up and consulted my handy friend the internet. I found 3 different versions of how to make a cone hat. One involved a full circle, one a half circle, and one a quarter circle. Considering I was making his costume an hour before our church’s trunk-or-treating, I knew there could be no mistakes. So I got out some paper, taped pieces together to be the same size as my felt, and experimented with all three methods. About the time I got done making paper examples, III woke up. So I now had a model! He was not as excited as I was. He thought he was waking up to get fed, and instead I just kept sticking things on his head.
Anyway, the circle cone was too short and wide, and the other two made nice cones (the quarter-cone being nice and tall), but none of them came close to fitting around his big head! Gnomes are supposed to have their hats down to their ears and these hats didn’t come close to fitting. But I had no more time and no more felt. So I decided to go with the half-circle, as it had a wider base, and was fairly tall. Now, in creating my model every website said to be very careful about making it even. They said to use a compass or a pencil with a piece of string tied to it. Of course I have no compass. I did find a pencil. And instead of string, I turned to my ever-trusty dental floss (also good for tying up a turkey to cook!). I was finally ready to cut my felt.
I also taped the felt down to the floor to make sure nothing moved. Then I traced my half-circle. Then I cut. By this time, III was starting to get cranky where I left him in his bedroom. He was even happier when I came in and stuck another thing on his head and then left again. But it was almost done! For some strange reason, the felt hat turned out much wider at the base than the paper one had, and this one actually fit on his head. So I wrapped the sides around and hot-glued the seam.
Next I added white eyebrows to the brim of the hat, and then took a break to feed the little gnome! After he had a little something in his tummy, I took advantage of the fact that he was stuck in his highchair and brought out the cone hat once more to measure the size for the chin strap. In between bites I attached elastic to the inside of the hat. Last, I cut out a beard-like shape to attach to the elastic. I figured he would never let the beard stay on, or would at least try to eat it, so I wanted it to be removable. I had some sticky Velcro dots laying around, and I put one on each side of the beard “straps” and the elastic band. We were ready a little late, but that’s pretty normal.
The belt ended up not really staying on, but the beard covered it from the front anyway, so we ditched the belt. Then he ended up pulling the beard off, leaving the Velcro behind, so I need to glue it back on (the fuzzy bits on the felt stuck to the dot, but then pulled apart from the rest of the felt). Still, I’m happy with the way it turned out!
The cost of this costume was $3.50 for the shirt (which can be worn when he grows into it!), $2 for felt, and then the leftover elastic and Velcro dots, which would add about another $5 if you bought them just for the costume.