Families say making their own costumes is half the fun of Halloween.
Armed with a hot glue gun, Greenbrook’s Amy Korenman secured a strip of sheer, black-and-silver fabric to a black witch’s hat. A black flower would be added next.
Each year, she and her family make their Halloween costumes.
“I love being creative,” Korenman said.
Last year, she and her family — husband Joey and children Layla, Emeline and Elliot — dressed as the characters from “Inside Out.” The year before, they were the Flintstones.
This year, they’re each creating a different look, with 8-year-old Layla as a witch, 6-year-old Emeline as a rainbow Pegasus unicorn and 3-year-old Elliot as a fire truck.
“I think making your costume is more fun,” said Layla, who selected a ruffly black fabric to make a witch’s skirt. “Nobody will have this type of witch costume.”
The Korenman family will show off their costumes at this year’s Boo Fest, held from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 26 at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. The annual event, hosted by Lakewood Ranch Community Activities Corp., includes trick-or-treating with Main Street vendors, food and drink for purchase, children’s games, face painting and even a fortune-telling booth.
The Korenmans said they love going to it and seeing friends.
River Club’s Schuyler Galliano feels the same way. She and her family will go for the 10th straight year.
“It’s sort of a tradition we do,” Galliano said of attending Boo Fest. “The kids love to play and listen and dance and look at everybody’s costumes.”
Her family normally makes its costumes, although not every item is handcrafted.
Typically, Galliano hunts for pieces to pull together to make unique looks. The Gallianos pick a family theme each year, and this year is no different. They will be characters from “Harry Potter.”
Galliano will be Professor Dolores Umbridge, while her 8-year-old son Sebastian will be the Prisoner of Azkaban, her 9-year-old daughter Adrianna is Hermione and her 5-year-old daughter Vanessa will be Hedwig, the owl.
The prisoner outfit is one she bought online but will modify by running it through the washing machine with grey die to make it look old and tattered. She’ll fray the outfit’s sleeves and legs, add a trench coat and even paint her son’s teeth to make them look old. Her own Professor Umbridge outfit is a dress she found on Ebay and paired a pilltop hat, some fake fur, and pink shoes and a purse.
Summerfield’s Rebecca Zimmerman makes costumes for her twin 12-year-olds, Mimi and Tommy, every year. This year, Tommy is going to be a panda, while Mimi is going to be a table.
“I don’t want to spend $70 and everybody else has it,” Zimmerman said of costumes. “That takes away the fun. It’s so much more fun to make something and use your creativity than go and buy something. It probably costs us half. It’s a lot more fun to do, and we do it together.”
Lakewood Ranch’s Kyna Hernandez wanted her 2-year-old daughter, Juliette, to be a princess for Halloween, but Juliette had other ideas. She wanted to be a cow.
“She’s cow obsessed,” Hernandez said. “I said, if you are going to be a cow, you are going to be a cute cow.”
With the help of her mother, Central Park’s Olga Aponte, Hernandez created Juliette’s cow costume using a white dress with tulle around the waist. She hot-glued black felt spots onto the dress, sewed on a tail and found a headband with ears. She plans to paint Juliette’s face white with black spots and a pink nose.
“She’s very excited,” Hernandez said. “We’ve already tried on the dress a couple of times. We picked out a metal bucket that looks like milk bucket. She’s been practicing with it.”
Hernandez said making Juliette’s costume may be a new tradition.
“I loved making her dress, so I really think from now on I’m going to make it until she requests that I don’t any more,” she said, laughing.