It’s fun to dress up at Halloween, but it’s not fun to see your culture or lifestyle portrayed in a negative or exploitative way. To address this, the Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group has developed an “I am not a costume” campaign which you can read more about on their website at: http://www.lspirg.org/costumes. It “aims to draw awareness to the problematic nature of many Halloween costumes. We know that most folks do not pick out a costume with the intention of being racist or transphobic. But regardless of intentions, appropriative costumes still perpetuate harmful stereotypes and justify more aggressive and violent situations.”
Your Library can help provide you with ideas to create a great costume that will be fun for everyone. You don’t need a lot of money or unique supplies for many of the projects presented.
The Halloween handbook : 447 costumes by Bridie Clark and Ashley Dodd is a wonderful guide to a wide range of costumes. The authors use everyday objects creatively, and cater to those with little time. The costumes in this book are mainly for adults but most can easily be adjusted for children. Party ideas, Halloween lore and seasonal amusements are included.
Cosplay, from “costume play”, is a trendy word for dressing up favoured by fans of science fiction and fantasy. The hero’s closet : sewing for cosplay and costuming by Gillian Conahan is a great guide for those who want to create their own costumes. It covers basics for beginners, and also includes 11 original step-by-step patterns—such as jumpsuits, jackets, and pants.
Frightfully fun Halloween handbook by Carole Nicksin is an all-round guide to Halloween. It includes craft, recipe, and costume ideas, as well as suggestions for hosting a spooky theme party. Instructions are clear, and supplies readily available and affordable.
Kick up your Halloween decorations this year with Artful Halloween : 31 frightfully elegant projects by Susan Wasinger. From unique pumpkin decorations to a “blood”-splashed dinner-party centerpiece to a Yard Specter made from two poles, a string of lights, and torn, draped fabric, these creepy but stylish Halloween projects will give your home a spooky, sophisticated look with gothic flair!
Extreme Halloween : the ultimate guide to making Halloween scary again by Tom Nardone is another book packed with fun projects to transform your home, yard, and wardrobe, including a cake that bleeds, an alligator in a leaf pile, and a toilet bowl of candy.
Tom Nardone is also the author of Extreme pumpkins : diabolical do-it-yourself designs to amuse your friends and scare your neighbors. Some of the unique designs include such special effects as pumpkin blood, an inside-pumpkin bonfire, and caramel onions instead of apples.
All of our Library locations have a special section in the Children’s area for seasonal books, music and movies. Look for the orange Halloween labels, or ask our helpful staff, and discover story books for all ages, movies and music. We can also help you find scary, or not too scary, stories for adults.
Joanna Aegard — www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!