Thrifty Thursday: Creating Costumes from the Thrift Store

I know, I know! I’ve done a Thrifty Thursday post about the thrift store before. However, I recently was put in the position to make 3 Star Wars costumes for my son, and I couldn’t have done it without my favorite thrift store. Plus, I’m really proud of how well I did under pressure. So, bear with me.

My son was in a Star Wars performance in December. His troupe performed three scenes from Episode IV: A New Hope: the trash compactor, Luke & Leah escaping Stormtroopers by swinging over an abyss, and fighting their way to the Millennium Falcon to escape the Death Star while watching Darth Vader kill Ben Kenobi. B had the rolls of Han Solo (my favorite character out of all 7 movies), a stormtrooper and Ben Kenobi.

After the first meeting when he told me he had 3 parts, I said, “I was prepared to come up with one costume, but three? OK, we’ve got time to try and put these together.” B assured me that the teacher had all the costumes and we didn’t have to provide anything. “Are you sure,” I asked, to which he emphatically said, “Yes.”

Several weeks go by and the day before B’s performance was payday – my run errands, fill the gas tanks and buy groceries day. By mid-afternoon, I had a nagging feeling about the costumes.

Me: “Are you sure that your teacher will be providing everything you need for all 3 of your costumes?”
B: “OH! I forgot to tell you after class last week! Yeah, he thought he had costumes for me but he doesn’t.”
Me (*Blink. Blink, blink. deep breath*): So, you’re telling me that I have to come up with costumes for Han Solo, a stormtrooper and Ben Kenobi with robe, with 21 hours left until your performance?!”
B (Eyes slowly getting as big as saucers as that reality sinks in.): No. No, Ma. It’s my fault. You don’t have to come up with anything! I’ll figure something out. Don’t worry.
Me: No. I can do this! Get in the car!

And off to my favorite thrift store we went! I bought 2 things – a white, mens, long-sleeved shirt and a brown, decorative, womens sweater. Total: $3. (I also found a Ralph Lauren blazer in B’s size, excellent condition, on the $1 rack! I had to buy it.) I found nothing that would work for Ben Kenobi’s hooded robe, but I did find white “Joey Buttafuoco” pants that were white with a black elastic waistband and black trim on the pockets. The white shirt would work as a top for both Han Solo and a stormtrooper and the pants were a little too big for B, so they’d be easy to take on and off over his jeans to switch between the 2 characters. After looking disgustedly at the white pants, however, B decided he didn’t think there’d be enough time for such a “complicated” wardrobe change and would stick to his jeans. ;o)

The white shirt just needed to be washed. I cut the arms off the womens decorative brown sweater, turned it inside out and had Han Solo’s vest. An old cap gun holster was dug out of a toy bin in the bowels of the basement. Han Solo done!

Photo Jan 21, 9 45 40 PM

 

 

Party City was all out of Stormtrooper masks, but I found a free printable online and printed it out on card stock. I cut it out, cut out the eye holes and used clear packaging tape to attach the mask to B’s favorite sunglasses: they are white and wrap-around. Stormtrooper done!

Photo Jan 21, 9 47 31 PM

I walked around the house, looking for something to make Ben Kenobi’s robe and my eyes fell on the heavy, room-darkening curtain we hang at the back door. It’s very drafty at that door and the curtain keeps the cold air out and the heat in. Perfect! I went down to the basement and got the other curtain (bought them as a pair) and draped it over B to get inspiration. I realized I needed something to pinch off the hood of the robe, but the small rubber bands we had would likely break when he put the robe on. So, I used Hickies, these really cool fasteners that B has on his sneakers. Two of them were hooked together about a quarter of the way down. In addition to the robe, I offered to make B one of the felt Jedi uniforms to go under it, like I made for his Jedi Training Academy Birthday Party, but he declined, once again siting time constraints on costume changes. (Evidently Han Solo & Ben Kenobi were in the same scene!). He got one of his lightsabers from the garage and…Ben Kenobi done!

Photo Jan 21, 8 39 31 PM

Even if PartyCity had mens Star Wars costumes in stock (or if I’d known weeks earlier that I needed them and ordered them online), I would have spent $39.99 on the Han Solo costume, $4.99 for a stormtrooper mask (or $49.99 for the whole costume) and $19.99 for a robe. But I spent $3 at the thrift store. THAT, plus the fact I did it all in less than 2 hours, is what makes this a great Thrifty Thursday post. ;o)

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