Happy Halloween! The city does afternoon trick-or-treating downtown, and then VMI does their own trick-or-treating in the evening… so the kids get to go twice! I’m so pleased with their costumes this year, especially since we didn’t even decide what they were going as until last week – and then I had to actually gather the supplies and make the costumes!

Let’s start with Arsema… our sweet little ballerina bunny! I thought she’d be really cute as a bunny so I asked her and at first she said yes, and then she said, “no – ballerina.” So I asked her, “Do you want to be a bunny or a ballerina?” and her response was, “ummm a ballerina bunny!” So that’s what she is!

IMG_0573 (1)

What you need: 

  • pink sweats
  • white faux fur (I found it sold by the yard at walmart)
  • bunny ears
  • elastic
  • velcro
  • white tulle
  • white fur ball (for the tail)
  • hot glue gun/ glue sticks
  • pink face paint
  • black eye liner or face paint
  • bunny slippers (these were just an added bonus – Arsema noticed them at walmart and when I saw they were only $5 I grabbed them!)

What to do:

  • Cut a belly patch out of the white fur and hot glue it to the sweatshirt
  • Cut long strips of the white fur to hot glue inside the bunny ears
  • Cut the white tulle into about 2 inch wide strips (I just eyeballed it)
  • Tie the tulle strips around the elastic & when full trim it all to even lengths
  • Glue velcro to the ends of the elastic for an easy on/off of the tutu
  • Tie the fur ball to the back of the tutu for a tail
  • Paint the her nose pink & make whiskers with the eye liner

Viola! You have the sweetest ballerina bunny ever!!!!


 Mareto is a little trickier because his costume can’t feel too much like a costume otherwise he won’t tolerate it. I thought of a few ideas but John really wanted Mareto to go as something he would know and get excited about. We went to the store toy isle for inspiration and that’s when we saw Jake the Pirate. Mareto loves that show and it was a really easy costume to make!


What you need:

  • White thermal shirt (because it’s cold here)
  • Leather string
  • Navy blue t shirt
  • Yellow biased tape
  • 1/2 yard black fabric
  • Red bandana + toy sword, telescope, and coin pouch (all found in the toy isle in one package at walmart)
  • Jeans
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks

What to do:

  • Cut the buttons off the top of the thermal shirt and cut holes where they were
  • Thread the leather string through the button holes
  • Fold the black fabric over and tie around the waist
  • Cut the arms off the navy tee and cut a line straight down the middle front of the tee
  • Hot glue the yellow biased tape all around the navy tee
  • Cut 4 circles out of the left over biased tape and hot glue them to the front of the shirt as “buttons”
  • Tie the red bandana around the forehead and tie the coin pouch to the belt loops of the jeans
  • Fit the telescope in that little loop on the side of the jeans

Ahoy Maties!!! Easy peasy  autism-friendly Jake the Pirate costume!


We had a wonderful and fun Halloween and the kids got more candy than I know what to do with — double the trick-or-treating means double the candy!! Hope yours was just as fun!





  • Megan - They are precious and you did a GREAT job with costumes. This all makes me miss Lexington! *sobs*ReplyCancel

    • Lauren - Thanks Megan!! I hope you guys find yourself back here again someday… soon!!! <3ReplyCancel

As a child I loved dressing up for Halloween. I loved telling my mom what I wanted to be, helping her pick up supplies at the fabric store, and watching her sit behind the sewing machine to make my dream reality. Halloween was homemade, simple, and fun at our house. But sometime in my twenties I stopped enjoying getting in costume and eventually John and I created an annual tradition of going out to dinner for Halloween. Looking back I realize that part of that was out of protection for my heart. When you struggle with infertility and long for children of your own every single holiday is hard, even Halloween. I wished I had a little one to dress up and take trick-or-treating. So for several years we went out on a date and left Halloween behind. Bah humbug… or whatever the Halloween version of that is.


(Halloween in California… my sister the cat, my brother the bat, and me the clown – mom made all our costumes!)

Then Mareto came home and eight months later we had a cute fuzzy little lion who had just learned how to walk. We were ridiculously proud and enthusiastic parents walking him from shop to shop in Colonial Williamsburg for his first Halloween. The next year Arsema had been home just three weeks and she was a tiny thing – just over 10 lbs. They were Thing 1 & Thing 2 and I loved it. I even donned a “cat in the hat” top to walk around with them as they went door to door in my parents’ neighborhood. Last year they were an airplane and a lady bug and once again I just put on a sweatshirt for trick-or-treating because the focus was on the kids and their costumes… not mom.


(He wasn’t just any lion, he was the courageous lion – red ribbon on the tail & badge of honor on his chest!)


(I put Arsema in the ergo for trick or treating and sewed a white circle that said “Thing 2″ on the outside of it. Also – that blue hair spray smelled really strong and made his hair super crunchy. It was also really flammable.)


(Arsema insisted on carrying her own candy bucket – even when it was way too heavy and she was literally dragging it along the street. She wouldn’t let us touch it! Mareto’s airplane lasted longer than I expected, but he couldn’t wait to take it off. Hoping this year he tolerates his costume a bit better!)

This year the kids are in school and Arsema’s class is having a big Halloween party and then going trick-or-treating at the downtown shops. The parents are all supposed to come help and the teachers made a point to say that they encourage us to dress up… because they have to! Because I love her teachers and think they are wonderful I will dress up… sort of. I put together my “tiger/cat” costume in about 30 minutes, and I spent less than $10 at walmart, and most important it’s simple enough that I won’t feel ridiculous all day.

What you need:

  • A black and white (or black and gray) striped shirt. I happened to have a turtle neck like this already. Score.
  • Black pants. Already had these too.
  • Tiger ears. I found mine for $1.97 at walmart. (they were labeled white tiger ears, but I think they look more like zebra ears… oh well)
  • Black ballet flats. I found mine for $5 at walmart, but most of you probably already have a pair.
  • Black lace. Got mine for $1 at walmart.
  • Hot glue gun. I already have one.
  • Black sparkle nail polish. I found mine for $1.97 at walmart.
  • Black face paint or eye liner. I already had the eye liner so I will just use that.

The only crafty thing I had to do was add the lace to my shoes to spice them up a little. Just hot glue a strip of lace on the inside of either side of the shoe and tie in a bow. Then put on your pants, shirt, ears, and shoes. Use the eye liner to draw whiskers and paint your nose. Paint your nails sparkly black for a little extra fun. Viola! You’re a tiger… or a cat… or a zebra, whatever.


and a shot of the shoes, just for fun…


I seriously phoned this one in, but this is already more than I would normally do! I put far more effort into the kids costumes and I can’t wait to share them with you – particularly Arsema’s! It’s ridiculously adorable, and fluffy, and pink, and fancy… and she helped me come up with it! And now I’m off to a pre-school Halloween party!


  • Amy - Haha reading this I remembered the Halloween after you got braces! You were 8 and we didn’t want you to be sad because you couldn’t have candy. So we threw that crazy party where we turned the house into a haunted house and invited the neighborhood and made ghoulish people to sit at the dining room table with balloons for heads! Do you remember that? What fun!ReplyCancel

    • Lauren - I do remember that! I didn’t remember that it was because of my braces though – haha! That was fun!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I love it! I really love the shoes …ReplyCancel

    • Lauren - I actually thought of you when I was making them… I thought, “This is such a Sarah thing… cute and crafty!” ;) ReplyCancel