The Big Reveal: The Harris Family Halloween Costume

I don’t cook Thanksgiving dinner. And I certainly don’t slave over a hot stove  for Christmas or Hanukkah. But I can whip up a Halloween costume. This year, based on kiddo’s obsession with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original, not that Johnny Depp junk), we went with a Willy Wonka theme. And since kiddo’s name rhymes with the main character from the flick, we decided Milly Willy Wonka was absolutely perfect. The setback? No one wanted to paint themselves orange and go as an Oompa Loompa. So I had to get the wheels churning on how to transform the Harris clan into sideshow characters for the candy man. And then it hit me: Wonka bars and chocolate kisses. Side note: Four years ago, I wanted to buy red jumpsuits for Milly’s first Halloween costume. (She was a puppy and we were dog catchers). Hubby objected to the price tag on the jumpsuits, but I assured him we’d wear them again. He joked we’d better wear them every year thereafter. And that—with the exception of last year’s scarecrow costume—is exactly what we’ve done.

Milly’s costume was easy. I found this jacket at Target and worked my way down. Since kids had a tendency to wear hats for five minutes max, I made a mini top hat from stuffing bubble wrap around felt and attaching alligator clips so it could be worn on top of her head.

Since dogs hate costumes in general, I decided a headpiece was quiet enough to ask of my fur babies. I covered funnels with aluminum foil and used handles from a shopping bag to make “kiss” tags. We kept them on with elastic and double-sided tape.

The biggest mission with the costume was the Wonka Bars, which were the sides of a moving box I bought at Home Depot. After cutting it into four panels, I covered each piece with aluminum foil, then, red fabric. Two of the panels got brown felt over their red fabric. Then, hubby and I had a competition to see who could write the lettering the best on sheets of white and brown felt. Afterward, we cut out the letters and I attached them with hot glue. I popped holes into each panel and strung them together with red yarn for a placard effect.

Finally, I used a piece of gold foam board to make a golden ticket that stuck out of the back of my bar. And voila, DIY Willy Wonka + crew costume = one happy kid.