Part of the reason for this is that it gave me a great excuse to dye my hair blue. For as long as I can remember, Halloween has been my favorite holiday, and that’s half because I love the spooky and half because I just love costumes. I take my costumes very seriously. When I ordered my yellow rain boots online, Amazon gave me this screen:
So it’s clear I’m not the only one who had the idea to dress as Coraline. But wigs are for the weak!
Anyway, I’ve dyed my hair blue before, and it did not go well. I followed online instructions rather than what was on the bottle, and ended up with crappy looking blue hair for about a day and a half… and seaweed green hair for another 6 months. In spite of past experience I ended up choosing the same dye (Raw Colors’ True Blue from Hot Topic) and this time I followed the instructions on the bottle.
It seems to have worked much better, but the dye gets everywhere.
I have a blue tub and a blue pillow case (inside out fortunately) and the only reason my face is no longer blue is because I scrubbed it off with Gojo. Note: when dying your hair, don’t bother using Vaseline on the outside of your ear, because they’re going to get dyed no matter how much you use. Put the Vaseline INSIDE your ears. This color seems to be fading to a dark teal color, and though I’m sure it will eventually get to that unlovely seaweed hue, I’m a bit more optimistic about the fading. We’ll see.*
Costumes are all about details, so I replayed the movie over and over to figure out what I needed. I was surprised at the lack of dragonfly barrettes (I found only a really crappy one, for $10 and decided it wasn’t worth it), so I thought I’d use the costume as an excuse to try my hand at some wire jewelry. Then I ran out of time.
Instead I dug through some of my old jewelry and found a dragonfly necklace from who knows when, and pinned it over a plain white barrette and called it close enough. I did manage to find a small purple messenger bag like the one Coraline carries when she’s outside. It’s not exactly the same color, and it’s got more to it then the one from the movie, but I liked it, and it looked like something Coraline would pick out if she had the option.
Of course the ultimate Coraline detail would be the spy-doll.
I don’t really sew, but this seemed like a good chance to try. I don’t think the doll appears at all in the book Coraline, but I’m all about costume details, and I thought the Coraline doll would add just the right bit of creepy.
I started off well enough, but once I stuffed it, the whole thing fell apart (not literally). The shape was completely wrong, and when I added in fabric paint it looked creepy… but in entirely the wrong ways. I also just didn’t leave enough time, so finally the night before Halloween I had to call the doll a fail. I left it on the table to dry, where it completely freaked out Matt when he got home from work, so, you know, I got SOME Halloween satisfaction from it.
This year was the first time I’ve been in town to celebrate Halloween with my friends in about five years. While I worked for the Vindicator, I ended up going to a student media conference every year and then last year, I was of course on our honeymoon. I wore my ceramic horns and Matt and I went reverse trick-or-treating on the train (we gave out candy) so that was lots of fun, but it’s not the full-costume Halloween I’ve missed. Overall I think Coraline was probably one of my more successful costumes, probably because it was extremely simple. It was also one of my more economical costumes since most of the elements were either something I could reuse, or things I already owned.
Plus, I still have blue hair, so OBVIOUSLY it’s a costume winner.
*The background in this photo comes from one of the tunnel scenes in Coraline. It is owned by whoever owns it (Henry Selick? Neil Gaiman? Not sure, but certainly not ME) and I have no idea whether it’s legal to use it in this context. If someone from Coraline land (no I don’t mean the OTHER world, I mean author, director, frothing lawyers etc.) wishes me to take it down, I will do so.