Category Archives: costumes

DIY Halloween costume | Bob Ross

Happy Halloween! This is my sixth (!) year to dress up for Halloween by putting together a costume from items already in my closet. Six years of no-cost costumes! And yes, I wear my costumes to work, so although we took photos this past weekend, this is what I am wearing today to the library. 😀

Here’s a quick trip down Halloween costume memory lane:

A bit about Bob Ross:

This year, I dressed up as Bob Ross (1942-1995), the host of the long-running PBS series “The Joy of Painting” from 1983-1994. I have extremely fond memories of Bob Ross’s soft-spoken, calming demeanor and “happy little” phrases. In today’s extremely stressful and increasingly divisive and violent world, a bit of joy and calm feels in order.

"The Joy of Painting" title cartoon

“The Joy of Painting” title cartoon

You can watch more “The Joy of Painting” episodes on the Bob Ross YouTube channel, and you read more about Bob Ross’s very interesting life (he was an Air Force sergeant for 20 years!) here.

A happy little costume:

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume props

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume

My Bob Ross no-cost costume:

My Bob Ross-inspired ensemble was super simple to put together, and it consisted of:

  • a curly wig we had purchased years ago for another costume
  • one of my husband’s button-front shirts (one with pearl snap buttons!)
  • my own corduroy flared jeans
  • my husband’s tan-and-brown rope belt
  • brown sneakers
  • Bob Ross “happy clouds” novelty socks! (For Christmas last year, I bought Bob Ross-themed socks for both me and my husband. You can check out Sam’s “happy tree” socks here in this SIA round-up post.)

I filled in my brows so they were a little darker as well as more straight across and a bit thicker. I also noticed that Bob Ross tended to smile with only his upper teeth showing, so that’s what I did, too, during our photo shoot.

I never worry about exact recreations, so I didn’t bother about adding a fake beard or mustache, and of course, I wear glasses although Bob Ross did not. The wig is darker than Bob Ross’s own hair, but I think the overall effect is pretty good. I will also add a “Bob Ross” name tag when I’m at work. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross socks

My props:

This past summer during our outing to the Sumner Rhubarb Fest, I couldn’t resist picking up a Bob Ross bobbblehead at a local bookstore — so this costume was meant to be! The “Bob”blehead also came with a little booklet of paintings by the man himself.

I then added these additional props:

  • a stuffed squirrel to stand in for Bob Ross’s squirrel named “Peapod” (it’s actually a cat toy that I borrowed!)
  • a few paintbrushes in different sizes
  • a palette I made from scrap material that I then added acrylic paint on top of
  • a metal stool/table we use as a base whenever we’re painting/staining — I thought its paint stains added authenticity to our photo session! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume props

Here I am with pet squirrel “Peapod” who guest-starred on a few “The Joy of Painting” episodes:

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume props

Enjoying my paintings:

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume prop

Getting a kick out of my likeness:

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume prop

And last but not least… outtakes!

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob Ross Halloween costume outtakes

Do you fondly remember Bob Ross and his “The Joy of Painting” show? What are you dressing up as this Halloween? Please leave a comment and share! 😀

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DIY Halloween costume | Dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is my fifth (!) year to dress up for Halloween by putting together a costume from items already in my closet. Five years of no-cost costumes!

Here’s a quick trip down Halloween costume memory lane:

Like I said, I had two costume ideas this year, both for strong women action heroes in recent pop culture movie hits. So I decided to do them both! First up was me dressing up as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince after she tried on costumes to “blend in” in 1918 London.

Next up is a totally different brand of a strong woman action hero… the Atomic Blonde! Yep, I went blonde (gasp!) for this next Halloween costume (which I plan to wear for a Halloween party this weekend). For my birthday this year, we saw the Atomic Blonde film in the theater, and I was IN LOVE with Charlize Thereon’s look and wardrobe and total badass attitude throughout. The film is based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City.

First, take a look at the film’s trailer to get a feel for the look and vibe that I was going for:

Isn’t Charlize Theron’s wardrobe in this film drool-worthy?! I was actually inspired while I was watching the film to put together my own DIY Halloween costume as the Atomic Blonde. I realized that I had pieces already in my closet that would echo the look and style of the title role.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Putting together the outfit for the Atomic Blonde:

The outfit I put together once again included pieces from my closet as well as pieces from my husband’s closet:

  • I started with this sweater with a grid print in black and white, along with panels of pink down the side. The pattern is so ’80s!
  • Next came my black pencil skirt and ribbed black tights and high-heeled boots (she wears a lot of boots in this film!)
  • Next I knew I would need a long coat (the coat wardrobe ALONE in this film is amazing!). I thought first of my long grey Vienna coat, seen here — but then I remembered my husband’s long, charcoal Vienna coat, seen here, and I knew that would be perfect. The lines of this coat are sharp and tailored, and it being slightly oversized on me would fit the ’80s time period well.
  • My husband’s freebie sunglasses with the hot pink sides was the perfect finishing touch!

One caveat — I did have to buy the blonde pageboy wig, as I am obviously not a natural blonde. (And nor should I be! It actually freaked me out to see what I looked like as a blonde. And I immediately felt like everyone was staring at me because of the bright blonde hair!) So it wasn’t completely a no-cost costume, but the wig only cost a few dollars, so it was still extremely low-cost.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Photo backdrops and filters:

OF COURSE it was unusually bright and sunny the day we had available to take these photos. But since the Atomic Blonde film itself has such fun with different colors and filters, I did, too!

I wanted an industrial or cityscape backdrop for the photos, to tie in with the gritty Berlin landscape of the film, and we finally realized that the top level of the parking garage by the Tacoma Dome station served that purpose very well — complete with a backdrop of downtown Tacoma and its industrial east side. On the way up to the top level of the parking garage, Sam realized it was perfect lighting to snap a few impromptu pics. (Note: I went in afterward and added a turquoise tint to the elevator photos above.)

The remainder of the photos below are overlooking the Tacoma industrial and downtown areas. I did a faded tint on the following photos, as I wanted the photos to feel a bit washed-out and gritty. I had to channel my inner badass — and my best bitchface! — for these photos, and I loved how they turned out!

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

These walking shots below are my personal faves of the bunch!

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde DIY makeup:

Even though I knew I would be wearing my husband’s pink-and-black sunglasses, I did do a full face of makeup. (I am nothing if not dedicated!) I found this video tutorial from BeautyChemCam about how to do an Atomic Blonde-inspired makeup look. The focus is all on the eyes, with heavy black eyeliner and eyeshadow, but with a neutral lip color.

And it’s the first time I’ve tried all-over black shadow on my lids — and the first time I’ve lined all the way around my eyes myself! It was a little disconcerting at first to see myself in such heavy eye makeup. I have never done eye makeup like this before, because, well, I have large eyes (and eyelids), and it always felt like I would be “gilding the lily,” if that makes any sense. But I actually kinda liked the look, and it surprised me to learn that I could actually carry off such an intense makeup look!

Also, do you like how you can see the bandaid on my finger in the pic below? I think it actually adds to the costume, as the director purposely showed in the film how the Atomic Blonde has to physically recover from violent encounters.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Did you enjoy this DIY Halloween outfit and a second — and very different! — female action hero? What are you dressing up for Halloween this year? Please leave a comment and share!

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DIY Halloween costume | Dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

This is my fifth (!) consecutive year to dress up for Halloween by putting together a costume from items already in my closet. Five years of DIY no-cost costumes!

Here’s a quick trip down Halloween memory lane:

This year, I had two costume ideas, both for strong women action heroes in recent pop culture movie hits. So I decided to do them both! That’s right, you get two (!) DIY Halloween costume posts from me this year.

First up, I realized I had pieces already in my closet to dress up as Wonder Woman from the recent 2017 film version… or rather, Diana Prince as she looks after she’s tried on costumes to “blend in” with 1918 London. So yes, I’m dressing in a costume… of Diana Prince in a costume. It’s so meta! 😉

I searched for inspiration photos, and I created a “Wonder Woman / Diana Prince inspiration board” on my Pinterest account.

Librarian for Life + Style | Wonder Woman / Diana Prince inspiration board on Pinterest

For my own version of the costume, I put together:

  • Wonder Woman tee (also remixed here, here, and here)
  • Knit jacket/blazer (which I’ve had for ages!)
  • Long brown skirt (also remixed here and here)
  • Brown hat with a wide brim (borrowed from my husband)
  • Brown chunky heels (also remixed here and here)
  • Bronze bracelet cuffs (from a craft store months ago)
  • Brown belt (also borrowed from my husband!)
  • Bit of gold braided ribbon (to represent the “lasso of truth”!)
  • Gold rope knot earring studs (to echo off the “lasso of truth”)
  • My own glasses!

And mad props to my husband, Sam, for creating this photo graphic below of me in my Diana Prince costume with a composite reflection of Wonder Woman in the window. AMAZING.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

 

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince, closeup

For the makeup, I went for the more natural and apple-cheeked look that Gal Gadot has as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince, as seen here in this screenshot. I put on foundation all over my face for a smoother, more even finish, then I filled in my eyebrows a bit and added dark brown eyeliner. I put on a neutral lip stain, and added pink blush to mimic the perpetual rosy glow Wonder Woman has. As someone who doesn’t normally wear blush, the fact that I really liked the effect of this makeup surprised me!

And below are additional closeups of the details I put in the costume, including bronze cuffs peeking out of my knit blazer and a bit of gold braid left over from a previous craft project that I pinned underneath my blazer to serve as my favorite Wonder Woman prop, the “lasso of truth.” Did you also notice my gold rope knot earrings above? Yep, an additional little wink to the “lasso of truth”! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

I never worry too much about exact accuracy with these DIY costumes — it’s really more about the overall effect. I don’t have a long blazer jacket and matching long skirt like Diana Prince did in the movie, but this shorter knit blazer and long brown skirt combo sufficed. And she wears a navy hat with a rounder shape and brim in the movie, but my brown hat (borrowed from my husband Sam!) served as a nice substitute, as it is bigger than a regular fedora and has a brim that I can tilt slightly to one side like she does in the film. And of course, the Wonder Woman tee is not period — LOL! — but it’s a cheeky nod to my costume and inspiration.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

We took photos this past weekend in front of two theater buildings in Tacoma, the Pantages Theater and the Rialto Theater. The reason? I wanted backdrops that matched the 1918 time period of the film — and both the Pantages and Rialto Theaters opened in 1918! The Pantages Theater opened in January 1918, and the Rialto Theater opened a few months later, in September 1918. You can read more about the history of these two historical buildings here on this site.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of Pantages Theater in Tacoma

Collage of Pantages Theater in Tacoma

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of Rialto Theater in Tacoma

Collage of Rialto Theater in Tacoma

Librarian for Life + Style | Catching Wonder Woman/Diana Prince snapping a pic of the Rialto Theater sign!

Catching Wonder Woman/Diana Prince snapping a pic of the Rialto Theater sign!

During our photo shoot, we tried to get in as many of the details as possible of these historical and beautifully restored buildings! Below are some closeups of the details in the external lobby of the Rialto Theater.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

I posted this costume early, but I will be wearing this exact Wonder Woman / Diana Prince costume on Halloween next week. And yes, I have to teach AGAIN on Halloween, so my students will be seeing this costume up close! 😀 Are you planning on wearing a costume for Halloween? Please leave a comment and share.

And be sure to tune in on Friday for my second DIY, no-cost Halloween costume idea!

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Dressing up as Mary Poppins

This is my fourth year to dress up for Halloween by putting together a costume from items already in my closet. Four years of no-cost costumes!

This year, I had a couple of ideas for costumes, and I eventually settled on Mary Poppins. (Salazar suggested this after my casual outfit post and umbrella mural backdrop. Thanks, Salazar, for the inspiration!) I’ve seen the 1964 movie adaptation dozens of times, and I’ve read (and have) all of the classic books by P.L. Travers. Mary Poppins and I are kindred spirits, of course, both being “practically perfect in every way.” Hah! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins collage

My costume is not “practically perfect,” but it does get the idea of the Mary Poppins character across. For the look, I put together:

  • Navy trench coat with daisy trim and belt (very appropriate, as the print echoes the daisies in her hat!)
  • Long grey skirt (left over from my UAE days)
  • Oxford pumps with sculpted heels
  • Wooly red scarf
  • White gloves
  • Long umbrella
  • Carpet bag
  • Red lipstick
  • Vintage hat with the brim popped up (I added daisy cut-outs left over from a prior craft project, seen in the collage below)

Librarian for Life + Style | Putting daisies on vintage hat for Mary Poppins costume

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

We took these photos early, but I will be wearing this costume on Monday, I promise! We took photos in downtown Tacoma, overlooking the industrial part of the city — and yes, I was humming the “Chim Chim Cher-ee” song during our quick photo-shoot. On the rooftops of Tacoma… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

And what’s inside my carpet bag? Let me show you! Copies of the Mary Poppins book series (OF COURSE), a small hand mirror, an extra coat and gloves, and a measuring tape. (Check out the carpet bag scene from the movie here.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins, carpet bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Then we went to the “Umbrella Mural” in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood to take some extra photos, as this is what inspired Salazar to suggest me dressing up as Mary Poppins in the first place! And how serendipitous that one of the umbrellas has a cherry print — for Cherry Tree Lane! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

The weather was supposed to be overcast and drizzly the day we took photos, but instead it was super sunny. For the pic above, I feel like I’m saying, “Where’s the rain?!”

But the shadows that the sunshine created did inspire Sam to take a photo of my silhouette on the mural wall. This echoes the chalk sidewalk scene in the Mary Poppins movie, in which Bert recognizes Mary Poppins by the silhouette of her hat, with the daisies sticking up.

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins, silhouette

And one last look of dressing up as Mary Poppins:

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Are you planning on wearing a costume for Halloween? Please leave a comment and share! 🙂


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Dressing up as ‘Rosie the Riveter’

This is the third year I’ve committed to creating a Halloween costume from items already in my own closet. Two years ago, I dressed up as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and last year, I dressed up ’20s style as Phryne Fisher.

This year, I’m dressing up as Rosie the Riveter, inspired by the iconic propaganda poster commissioned by the U.S. War Production Coordinating Committee and created by artist J. Howard Miller in 1943.

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

My husband did such an awesome job “recreating” the poster, and it was a really fun photo shoot! (I took these pics last weekend, but this is what I’m wearing today at work for Halloween.)

I got the idea when preparing for a library instruction class for a Women in U.S. History class earlier this month. I also thought it was a nice way to pay homage to my maternal grandmother and her service during WWII.

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

This is a super easy costume to put together, as you need only jeans, a chambray button-up shirt, and a bandana or scarf. Red lipstick is a great finishing touch!

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

I have short hair and bangs, so I just wrapped my red-white-and-blue bandana around my bob. My bangs are too short to roll up, so I simply swooped them up and to the side, as seen above, to echo the overall look.

Outtake alert! This outtake also highlights the polka dot pattern on my vintage red-white-and-blue scarf, which I’ve had nearly all my life. (I used to dress my dolls up in this scarf!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter -- outtake!

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

I felt both strong and feminine in this costume! I know that the “Rosie the Riveter” propaganda and “We Can Do It!” slogan was originally created only to inspire women to temporarily work for the war effort while the men were fighting overseas — but it has rightfully become an iconic image and rallying cry for women in the workplace.

We can do it! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Rosie the Riveter

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