It happens at churches every year. Some poor child arrives at the annual fall festival, in which costumes are allowed as long as they are wholesome, with an old sheet draped across his body that’s been crudely tied together with large, not-so-discrete safety pins. This unfortunate scene is due to a parent’s intention to make a Bible character costume for their child, which should have been a relatively simply task. What’s even worse than this sad attempt at a Halloween costume is when well meaning parents force their kids to wear those faux beards to depict an adult Bible character, or even draw them on with thick black face paint. They end up looking like ecstatic miniature men running around the festival with arm loads of candy. It’s just weird.
It is possible, however, to actually make a Bible character Halloween costume that looks, well, more like a costume than an honest attempt to embarrass your child. First, lose the old sheet-turned-tunic routine and use a clean, white robe (colored robes can be used, as well, as long as they do not have any prints or patterns). This isn’t to be a bathrobe, mind you, but a house robe that is actually made for a child. Next, forget using safety pins and purchase about one yard of a colored fabric to be used as a belt. Let your child pick out the color, and cut the fabric if necessary to keep any excess from becoming a hazard. A good way to make sure the robe stays in place is to tie it securely with the belt that came with it, and then tie the fabric “belt” over it, completely concealing the former.
Next, find a pair of brown sandals for your child with secure straps that will ensure that no slipping occurs while he/she is making a mad dash for candy. We all know that children tend to slip right out of their flip flops or sandals when running, which can cause injuries. This is likely the reason that so many parents create Bible character costumes that include socks and tennis shoes. However, tennis shoes definitely take away from the authentic look of the costume, and there are quite a few brands and styles of sandals out there now that can be tightened enough to prevent slipping. If you like, you can check your child’s shoes throughout the event that he/she is attending during Halloween to make sure that all clasps and straps are still secure.
Finally, if your child would like to wear a head covering, which many little girls often do when portraying famous women from the Bible, then simply find a matching fabric piece, preferably one that has been recently purchased, and wrap it around the head. Secure it at the chin by tying the fabric in a knot, without the use of pins. Not only would pins be unsightly and uncomfortable, they can be dangerous when used in this manner (though many parents still use them). Make sure that the hair is securely tucked inside the head piece. To keep the head covering from slipping, it may be helpful to glue a small velcro strip to the edge of the fabric that will be touching your child’s forehead. The velcro will grip lightly to the hair, keeping the covering in place, but it will be easy to slip out when the event is over if used correctly. Simply slide the strip in the direction of the hair’s growth for easy, painless removal.
Whatever you should decide to do when it comes to creating your child’s Bible character costume, remember to let him/her have a say in the final look. Many children wish to emulate children from the Bible, not adults, so try to keep this in mind when you are tempted to create a tiny little Jesus. I have personally seen a child cry after his mother painted a beard on him in an attempt to make him look like Jesus, or John the Baptist, or, well, I really don’t know what she was going for there. I do know that when it comes to creating a homemade Bible character Halloween costume for a child, it’s best to keep it simple and childlike.