Have you and your boo always dreamed of your Halloween couple’s costume being a stitched-up rag doll + black tie skeleton? Then this easy costume is just what the (witch) doctor ordered.
Last year for Halloween, my husband David and I turned ourselves into Jack and Sally from Tim Burton’s Hallo-Christmas classic, A Nightmare Before Christmas. And yes, we also dressed our Insta-famous dog @turkeytemps as the film’s canine protagonist, Zero.
Even though Halloween is my favorite time of year, I usually save my own costume-making for the last minute. In this case, we figured out what we were being the weekend before Halloween and made our costumes the night before! For real.
Here’s how we did it!
First, the tools and materials.
For Sally’s costume:
– fuzzy red yarn
– a cotton non-stretch dress, ideally black and white
– fabric scraps
– Heat N’ Bond iron-on adhesive
– sewing machine
– blue face paint
– black eyeliner pencil
– crazy long fake eyelashes
– red lipstick
For Jack Skellington’s costume:
– old black suit (or blazer and pants)
– a crow for a bow tie
– white button-down shirt
– white fabric paint
– white face paint
– black face paint
– black eyeliner pencil
– white hairspray
To create Sally’s costume, start with a base dress. Then gather up a bunch of fabric scraps and iron Heat N’ Bond iron-on adhesive onto the back of each scrap. Then cut them into shapes that easily layer over each other. Iron them one by one onto your dress. Then use a sewing machine to reinforce the edges. Though it would be true to the film if your dress started to fall apart throughout the night, it’s better to keep everything secure.
For the hair, cut yarn that is double the length of your hair. To measure the yarn, I actually just started at one end of my hair, went up and around my head and down to the other end. Cut 5-10 pieces of this, depending on how thick the yarn and your hair are. Lay it over your head and use bobby pins to secure along the edges of your part.
I tapped our very own Misty Spinney to transform my face. I let her know that I didn’t want to go for the full blue face but wanted the general vibe of Sally. We focused on creating a sort of painted mask around my eyes, eyebrows and cheekbones. Then add heavy eyeliner all around the eyes, and extend to create a “stitched” cat eye if you like. Add lashes and get ready for some very heavy lids. For the lips, start with red lipstick. Then use black eyeliner to fill in the corners and extend the lines of your lips at least halfway to your jawline, on both sides.
Next up, Jack Skellington, aka David Temple. I have to give serious props to my husband for hand-painting this entire suit. We found an old suit at a thrift shop and bought a few bottles of white fabric paint. And then, you hand-paint pinstripes. It’s as simple as that. Wear a white button-down shirt underneath and find a piece of festive neckwear to complete the look. We actually found a little black crow that he wore as a bowtie, along with a black rose in the breast pocket.
The hair and makeup is another Misty Spinney original, and it made for a super creepy but still pretty darn handsome husband. Start by painting the entire face white. Then add a black ring around the edge of the face and blend the white into that. Draw black circles around the eyes and fill ‘em in. Then use black face paint to paint on the nose so that it looks more like a skull. The lips are pretty straightforward — fill them in with black paint, then extend the edges and add lines going through to give that skeletal look.
Use gel or hair balm to slick back the hair and then spray it white!
Finally we have Zero, played by Turkey Temple. Admittedly, this costume was created in a matter of minutes exclusively for the photo opp, but we’ll still tell you how to make your own. First, white bunny ears. Second, take a white t-shirt, put it on your dog and measure a place for eyeholes. Cut those out. Then add an orange pom pom for the nose. Drape it over your dog. Done and done.
Oh, and be sure to take a very silly photo with your favorite moms and babies ;)
Happy Nightmare Before Christmas!