I scheduled this post to publish Wednesday morning. Then the unexpected happened and it didn’t feel right. Nothing felt right. I haven’t been able to articulate my feelings about America electing Donald Trump as Commander-in-Chief. Confusion, devastation, utter heartbreak. I cried, I stress ate, I felt some glimmers of hope and at the same time heard anecdotes that verify the disgusting racism and bigotry that thrives in this country.
But we put one foot in front of the other. We donate to the causes that we believe in. We ask where our time and energy can be best spent with volunteer work. We voice our support of and empathy for the marginalized voices most affected by the outcome of this election. We count our many blessings. We hug each other. We unplug for a bit and read a book. We consume and make art. We do what we can.
If you need a distraction, read on.
Anatomy of a DIY Marge Simpson Costume
It’s not about making every single piece of your costume. It’s about putting in the effort. It’s about giving a damn. And boy do I give a damn when it comes to Halloween!
Here’s how I put together my version of the matriarch of the century, Marge Simpson.
The Blue Hair
Forty bucks for a subpar blue wig from the Halloween pop-up store? I think not. This wig was the only 100% DIY piece of the costume. I went back and forth about how to create Marge’s iconic blue beehive: Blue bubble wrap? Foam? Painted cotton balls? There are tons of creative DIY versions out there, but I found some inspiration in the fabric section at JoAnn with royal blue felt and glittery blue tulle.
I don’t want to bore you with all the details. (Just some of them.) I sewed some batting to one side of a felt rectangle (roughly 23″ by 15″), sewed that into a tube, and used a zig-zag stitch to attach a few pieces of elastic on the inside of the sides and back to keep it in place. I eyeballed a circle for the top and sewed that on, too.
Then came the hand sewing. I cut strips of tulle about twice as high as the wig and 2″ wide and hand sewed them vertically up the felt, balling it up a bit as I went. To finish, I cut a small sliver from the front to make it look more like hair and less like a blue Queen’s Guard hat.
The Green Dress
In its former life, this was a full-length bridesmaid dress, train and all. I rolled my eyes when, under the fluorescent lights at David’s Bridal, the bride’s grandma said, “You can cut that off and wear it again!” Literally nobody ever does that, I thought at the time. Cut to six years later, and my mom’s voice echoed in my head as I racked my brain for costume ideas. “You know, that dress looks a bit like Marge Simpson’s.” Yes, it does. So I cut off the train and shortened it by a few inches. Never say never about wearing your bridesmaid dresses more than once.
The Red Shoes
I hate flats. They hurt my high arch and rub against the weird bone on the back of my heel. But Marge needs her red shoes! These were $13 on Amazon, and they were about as comfortable as you’d imagine $13 buys.
The Bright Yellow Body
By a stroke of Halloween magic, I found a shirt—a men’s Patagonia running tee—to match the canary yellow tights I bought at a Halloween pop-up. ‘Twas meant to be.
The Red Pearls
Thanks, Mom! She miraculously found a string of cherry red pom-poms that worked perfectly as Marge’s necklace.
The Face Paint
It’s terrifying close up, but this yellow and white makeup definitely brought the cartoony look over the top. I used black eyeliner to outline and for the eyelashes.
Hank Scorpio: The Other Simpsons Character
Homer would have been too obvious, no? The thing is, Marc didn’t want to shave his beard for Halloween, so we had to find a character that would work with his facial hair. Enter Hank Scorpio.
Hank, voiced by the incomparable Albert Brooks, only appeared in one episode, but it’s a memorable one. Marc created the supervillain’s flamethrower using PVC pipe, duct tape, and a couple empty 2 liters of Coke for the tanks. It’s obscure, but the people who get it REALLY GET IT.
And that’s about all she wrote for this Halloween. Until next year!