Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bertle the Turtle

Months ago, I decided that Bert would be a turtle for Halloween. I figured it would be pretty simple, and fitting since he has been really interested in watching Cash swim around his tank, even saying his version of turtle: something like "ter-ul."

I thought the simplest approach would be to get him a little green sweatsuit and then have some kind of shell he could wear over it. Would you guess that it is really difficult to find a plain green outfit, without writing or any graphics? After checking Target, Osh-Kosh, nearby outlets, thrift stores, and even Walmart (yes, I crossed the threshold of Walmart), we finally settled on a green long-sleeved onesie from Carter's that was a decent match to some other green sweatpants he already had.

While at Goodwill looking for the green outfit, I picked up a 97-cent basket I thought I could make into a shell. Along with two pieces of textured felt from Michael's, some other brown felt I had hanging around, twine, and hot glue, the basket turned into a passable turtle shell.

First, I used one piece of felt to make Bert's turtle belly. Initially, I was going to adhere this right to his onesie, but then I decided I could attach the basket to it and have a kind of turtle "vest" and then he would still have the onesie for everyday wear.

I simply snipped small crosshairs into each corner of the belly, to thread the twine through.

Then I pulled the twine through the gaps in the basket and the felt, trying it on Bert to find a good length so it hung correctly. The top two twines were tied to make straps, while the bottom two were left open so we could tie them when we went out trick-or-treating. I wanted the shell to be removable so we could still put Bert in his stroller, then easily slip it on and fasten the bottom two twines when we arrived.

Next, I cut strips of the brown felt and covered the sides of the basket and used the textured felt to make the top of the shell and some sections around the sides.

Last night was downtown trick-or-treating at all the stores, so that was his big debut. We should have taken photos while we were there, but we snapped a few when we got back to the house. We were too lazy and Bert was too fidgety to get the bottom ties in place, so his shell looks a little floppy.

Here he is with his fancy pumpkin...

And checking out his daddy's Halloween football...

With a lollipop from his stash (he was really kind of confused by trick-or-treating, so we didn't stop at many stores)...

And examining his pumpkin again...

Total on the costume: $3. Well, that's not entirely so. The green onesie was in a pack of four for $15, but I'm not counting that because he wears them all the time. Having a few strangers say, "That's so cute! Did you make it?": priceless.

Tonight is neighborhood trick-or-treating, but I think we will stay put and just hand out candy. Bert doesn't eat candy yet anyway (and how many tootsie rolls do I need?), and last night he spent most of the evening with his hands in his mouth so we didn't really want him reaching into candy bowls and sliming things up for the other kids. Bertle the Turtle was short-lived, but memorable.

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