advert

Kids’ Halloween Costume Fun from Paris!

Oct25

by

I’ve had Paris on the brain since I visited the beautiful city way back in 2005. In fact, I’ve recently written a children’s book called Secret Agent Josephine in Paris that will be officially released on November 8th (yes, you should totally go pre-order the ebook/sign up to be notified when the hardback is available) so when it came time to think up some costumes for this Halloween, my mind went to all things French.  Bien sûr!

costumerie-1

Cute, no? (said with strongest French accent I can fake) Here is how we made them!

Mona Lisa Halloween Costume Tutorial

Mona Lisa Kid’s Halloween Costume

Creating Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was especially fun. I’d seen a lot of versions of this costume with children’s faces peeking through the canvas but I thought it would be more fun if her frame was free. I was thinking of attaching some straps to the edges of the frame (by drilling an eye-hook into the frame and attaching ribbon) and making it wearable like a backpack, but in the end that was uncomfortable. So we just let Mona live outside her frame, which I think is actually really cool, like she came to life and stepped right out of a painting! We used a really cheap, light (plastic actually) thrift store frame that would be super easy to cart along trick-or-treating.

Mona Lisa Halloween Costume Tutorial

To create the background we made a VERY rough impression of what we thought Da Vinci’s painting looked like, trying to match the colors and the fuzziness of the background. This fuzzy background technique was revolutionary during his time, because before Da Vinci, painters painted detail in the background just as crisp as in the foreground. (This painting technique is called sfumato which comes from the Italian word that means “to tone down” or “to evaporate like smoke”.)

Mona Lisa Halloween Costume Tutorial

Hey! There’s me, painting on my kitchen floor because it’s easy to clean up!

To create Mona Lisa’s look we parted her hair in the middle and put some cover-up makeup over her eyebrows to downplay them. Her  outfit is a round necked blouse that we found in a thrift store. For her shawl I cut up a velvet skirt that I also bought for four bucks at a thrift store, but really, any draped fabric would work.

Little Artist Kids Halloween Costume

Une Artiste! Kid’s Halloween Costume

This one is so easy.  White blouse, a few smudges of paint, a beret and you’re good to go!  We added a palette made out of cardboard and a paintbrush, but a sketchbook and a pencil behind your ear would work too.

Madame Marie Curie Kids Halloween Costume

Madame Marie Curie Kid’s Halloween Costume

With this look, I was trying to recreate this photo.  I did buy a lab coat online that would have communicated the scientist look, but I kind of fell in love with 1800’s Marie so we went with a dark blue thrift store dress instead. Add a round-bottomed boiling flask (or a plastic vase if you don’t want your kid carrying around something that might break or spill) and you’re ready to discover radium!

French Girl Kids Halloween Costume

Une Petite Fille Kid’s Halloween Costume

And last but not least our little French Girl!  She was an after thought but too cute not to include in this post. A little French girl costume is pretty much a no-brainer. Any combination of stripes and basic black pants with a beret will work. Of course we had to throw in an Eiffel Tower because I am the cardboard whisperer, after all. A macaron is optional.

Cardboard Eiffel Tower Tutorial
The Eiffel Tower is tricky to draw, mostly because everyone draws it from the perspective of looking up at it.  Mine is a little wonky too, but the good news is that it’s such an iconic structure just about any rendering will do the trick. I painted mine on a sheet of white cardboard (normal cardboard or some poster board would have worked well too) and then I cut it out with a trusty box cutter. (Remember box cutters are NOT for kids. There’re not even for some adults. If you feel a little unsure around sharp blades use a pair of heavy-duty scissors.)

C’est facile a faire!

French-Inspired Kids' Halloween Costumes

I hope you enjoyed our little French Halloween Costumerie!

p.s. I don’t actually speak French. I apologize to those who do. Please feel free to point out my bumbling American errors.

*************

Secret Agent Josephine in Paris Book

Don’t forget my children’s book  Secret Agent Josephine in Paris will be officially released on November 8th. You can pre-order the ebook or sign up to be notified when the hardback is available.  Thank you in advance for all of your support!

 

About the author

Brenda Ponnay

http://secret-agent-josephine.com
Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it's painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.


Subscribe to posts by Brenda Ponnay

7 Responses to “Kids’ Halloween Costume Fun from Paris!”

  1. Stephanie Oct 25 at 7:42 pm Reply Reply

    As someone who is half-French, I love this post! The costumes are adorable! To correct your French:
    “It’s easy to do” = “C’est facile a faire”. Since your artist is a female artist, it should be “une artiste” (un artiste is for a male artist). Also, because Leonardo da Vinci is Italian, the Mona Lisa is an interesting choice, although I guess it is the number one painting visited at the Louvre. In French, they refer to her as “La Jaconde”. Finally, the French don’t really celebrate Halloween. Like other Catholic cultures, they celebrate “All Saints’ Day” or in French, “Toussaint.” Kind of like Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, it’s a time to pay respects to your dead ancestors and relatives.

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Kallman Oct 25 at 9:46 pm Reply Reply

      Thank you so much, Stephanie! I really appreciate all of your French knowledge. I suggested Mona Lisa to Brenda, because as you guessed it, she is one of the most famous and popular women in France! :)

  2. Brenda Ponnay
    Brenda Ponnay Oct 25 at 7:57 pm Reply Reply

    Ha! Thank you.  :) I’ll be correcting…

  3. Sarah Oct 26 at 11:05 am Reply Reply

    Such clever ideas – and I don’t think I’ll be able to see your Mona Lisa model any other way now!

  4. Sara Nov 18 at 1:33 pm Reply Reply

    Loved the costumes! I have a question…how did you keep the frame for the Mona Lisa upright and attached to her? I am really curious! Considering another costume idea using your frame support idea for next year.
    Thanks..great ideas:)

    • Brenda Nov 21 at 11:37 pm Reply Reply

      I put little eye hooks at about shoulder level on the frame and then attached a ribbon across the back. It wasn’t that perfect of a fit. Mona Lisa opted to just carry it for trick-or-treating. I’ve seen others actually create face and arm holes through the canvas and carry it that way.  I wanted our Mona to be a little more free so we opted not to do it that way but I think that is a more popular way to go.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Se7en's Fabulous Friday Fun #194... And a GiveAway Winner... - se7en - Oct 27

    […] Alpha Mom’s Costumes from Paris… stunning!!! […]

Follow us on Google+

Close