Monday, October 21, 2013


It's almost Halloween. I like start early so I have time to pull it off on a budget. My youngest found a costume at a thrift store for $3 and I had all the other parts hiding throughout the house. My oldest was another matter. We looked at every thrift store in town to no avail. Even though we live in a small town we have a whopping 5 of them. (7 if you count the furniture only ones)

Not finding anything she liked. She threw out random objects that she could go as. She then moved on to a variety of cartoon characters finally landing on Handy Manny. Since I love building stuff I should not have been surprised, but I was. Little sis briefly then wanted to be Kelly the owner of the Hardware Store. After reminding her that she already had a completed costume she settled with a "you can do that next year."

I forced myself to sit through an episode while snuggling with my kid on the couch. That is my kind of research. With the theme settled I jumped on the computer to forage for ideas, and a quick look through craigslist proved I wasn't going to luck out with a pre-made costume for cheap. Bummer.

On Saturday morning we got up early to do some couponing and for a quick look for items at the thrift store. Score! We found a green t-shirt (Long sleeve, unlike Manny we live Up Nort' and it gets cold on Halloween!) and a pare of perfectly fitting kids work boots for a grand total of $4.

The big pieces settled, I got to work on the details. I decided to take inspiration from the pre-made costumes I found online that incorporated the tool belt into the shirt. I had thought about just using real tools and tool belt, but worried that they would be considered weapons at school. We didn't have any toy tools since my girls have graduated to the real thing, and got rid of the toys during our garage sale.

I found images of Pat, Rusty, Dusty, Stretch, Felipe, Turner, Squeeze, and Flicker that I was able to print onto iron transfer paper. I used paper designed for dark colored shirts so that my tools would be vibrant. Since the paper is $3 a sheet I was careful to place all of the tools into one document to print. I did the best I could using paint. Those of you who are graphic designers probably could have done better, but I was happy with the result.

I carefully cut out each object any white border around an image would be visible. So I took extra care and diverted the 4 year old who really wanted to help with this step.

I arranged the pieces on the shirt and ironed them on by following the directions on the package.

The youngest found a trucker style hat in dad's cap bin. We just covered the logo and we are good! Then was time for the big reveal to the oldest. She was bummed. For starters she was hoping for a real toolbelt, but the biggest problem was that Manny's hat isn't blue. She thought it was orange or red, so I sent her to look through dad's cap bin for a suitable replacement.


  1. Anonymous10/22/2013

    cute idea!


  2. Thanks mom! She's happy and it fits nice. Still need to figure out something for me.

  3. Can you send me these images?


Want to make my day? Leave a comment. I read and appreciate EVERY one of them, REALLY, I DO!