Nov 26, 2019

Trunk or Treat 2019

This year's costumes for the annual trunk or treat really began about a year and half ago when my husband and I saw movie props from Guardians of the Galaxy at a pop culture museum in Seattle.  We thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to dress as Star Lord and Gomora?"  The thought hung around awhile, but then left when everyday life kept me occupied with more important things.

Then one day I made a quick stop at Goodwill.  I was about to leave when the thought occurred to me to check the men's leather coats on the really off chance that there would be a red leather jacket in my husband's size.  I mean, what would be the odds?  Apparently, pretty good!  There just happened to be said jacket...half price...and senior discount!  All in all, a very thrifty $9.00!

Well, that was it!  Guardians of the Galaxy would be our theme.  I went through my tub of leather coats that I had picked up over the years to repurpose for costumes and such.  I pulled out a women's black coat and a very large men's overcoat.  Eventually, I picked up a pair of suede leather pants to use also.

I had a good couple on months before Halloween, but since we are finally in the actual construction stage of our new house, I knew my time would be limited.  It was framing and such during the day, and sewing in the evening.  Plus, I like to decorate the room for the trunk or treaters to match the theme and I knew that would take some time as well.  (You may, or may not, be thinking why I call it trunk or treat when it actually takes place inside.  We used to decorate our car trunks, but the weather was unpredictable, so it was moved inside a few years ago.)

The following are photos of the actual event.  If you're up to it and want to stick around longer, I have also included close-ups and brief descriptions of the actual costumes.

I found a vintage lite brite and thought it would add to the room.  I also bought a troll doll off ebay and dressed it to match the one in the movie.

The cockpit had a plywood top, 2 x 4 legs, and then wrapped with cardboard. Everything was spray painted silver.  A variety of thrift store finds were added, such as an oversized tv remote, an old joystick, and child's toy steering wheel.  I ordered a galaxy-themed wall hanging from Amazon to stretch across the backside of the cockpit "window," which was actually cut from a 4 x 8 sheet of masonite and then fastened to the cockpit table.  

I used transparent file folders cut to fit the openings on the "keyboard."   Twinkling Christmas lights were placed behind it to make it flash.  I fastened an ipod to a desktop lamp and looped a video of flying through space.  Several of the cockpit items were outlined in some neon string lighting that I picked up at WalMart.  Groot had his own platform and danced to the music.

I always like to have something for the kids to do in the room.  This year they shot nerf darts at the alien objects on the wall.  Since I was previously in charge of cleaning up the latest construction site (my husband is a general contractor), every styrofoam piece of packing material looked alien to me!  I attached several styrofoam pieces to large sheets of cardboard and sprayed them lightly with silver spray paint.  They created the perfect spaceship wall for our room!  Various items, like hamster tubes and a dryer vent, were added for fun.

The Costumes

Star Lord's jacket started as a vintage leather jacket from Sears.
I was lucky to find a perfectly matched vinyl that I would use to add all of the details.  I didn't even have the jacket with me at the fabric store, but I took a chance and was so happy that it matched!  And, an extra bonus was that it was on clearance!

After creating the vinyl embellishments, and before attaching them to the jacket, I sprayed them with a light coating of black spray paint to give them depth.

I had to completely remove the original sleeves to make it easier to add all of the details.  Once the details were added, I set the sleeves back into the jacket.  I have to admit, working with leather and vinyl, sometimes several layers thick, was not the easiest thing to do.  I did use a heavy needle especially made for leather, and was fortunate not to break a single needle in the process!

Star Lord's pants started out as a pair of Columbia Sportswear pants.  I dyed them to a darker shade.  I added the pockets, fly flap, knee pads, straps, and reinforcement fabric to the crotch.  My husband likes them so much, he actually wants to make these his motorcycle pants!

The boot covers were a last minute addition.  I had just enough brown leather left from the men's overcoat to make them work.

The blasters were ordered off Amazon and looked like this to begin with.

After some spray paint, silver Rub 'n Buff, and gold acrylic paint, they looked a bit more realistic.  

I was able to use the original belt from the men's overcoat and fashion some leather holsters to hold the blasters.  

His belt buckle was made by gluing some string to a piece of heavy mat board and brushing several layers of Mod Podge over it.  Once dried, I painted it black and then used silver Rub 'n Buff.  Since I didn't have silver rivets, I attached it to the leather belt by punching holes through the mat board and leather and using paper brads.  The belt itself is fastened with velcro since this is a non functioning buckle.

My vest was made from a women's coat that I already had.  The "rivets" are actually paper brads.  I didn't have a pattern, so I used muslin and draped the pieces on my dress form until I got the fit that I liked.

I opted for a separating zipper on the side.  The collar was from the coat's original collar.

I used this version of Gamora's coat and vest as a guide.

The coat was fashioned from the women's coat, men's overcoat, and suede leather pants.  Once again, I didn't have a pattern so I just had to wing it...which was a bit scary since it was leather and in limited supply.

When refashioning, you work with what you have.  When I cut the front of the coat, I had no choice but to use a part of the coat that already had a buttonhole sewn into it.  There was no way of getting around it, but in the end, it was really no big deal.  After all, it is just a costume!

I cut the women's coat at the waist and used the top half for this coat.  I removed the original collar and replaced it with a rolled collar.  I also removed the original sleeves and replaced them with new ones.  The brown leather and suede accents on the back were sewn on top of the original coat.  The remainder of the coat's leather was used to make the vest.  All of the brown leather came from the men's overcoat.

There was some trial and error in getting everything to fit right and my seam ripper had a quite a work out along the way!  

It was a lot of work, but also very rewarding in the end.  I do think, though, that I'm ready to start recycling our costume and room decorations in the future.....maybe!

I like to link to these great parties!


  1. Wow what a lot of work. The end results look fabulous you are one creative lady.

  2. Ripping out stitches in leather leaves pin-sized holes but maybe in this case the perforation added a nice detail!

    1. True, it does leave holes. Most of the time, though, I was able to hide the holes with bigger seams. And, like you said, if not hidden, then added detail!

  3. Such commitment to detail! I feel like you should win some kind of award for this!

  4. You surely do have a talent for this sort of thing. What an amazing imagination you have to see what you can use things for. Good for you. I will bet that where you do trunk or treat each year the other participants get excited to see what you will be up to next. Great job. Thanks for sharing, always enjoyable to see what you have worked on. Good luck with the house.

  5. You are seriously so fun and talented!!!

  6. Amazing work! I have found SO much inspiration from your refashions. I miss seeing them. :)