globalization, economies of scale, and two home-made rattlesnake costumes

The kids both want to be rattlesnakes for Halloween. I was a bit stuck on how to make their costumes. I posted as much on facebook and within minutes I had a wealth of brilliant rattlesnake costume ideas. Sewing tips, light-up eye ideas, the works. I hit the dollar store. Fourteen dollars later I had two pairs of tights, a pair of green socks, a bag of 5 plastic balls, two green toques, a pair of green mittens, pipe cleaners, and some foam sheets to cut into shapes. Back at home, the kids and I cut open an old pillow and stuffed ourselves a snake:


I’m a bit of a costume snob. I eschew the plasticy ones you can buy in the drug store. I’m not terribly crafty but I like the idea of piecing together their Halloween costumes every year. The rattlesnakes have proven to be a challenge, however. The prototype involves a plastic ball sawed in half, attached to a toque, with glowing red bicycle LED lights inside. I haven’t figured out how or where to attach the actual snake bit. They look cool but they look very home-made and, shall we say, rough around the edges.There are several kinks to sort out before the 31st.

Then, today, I took the kids to IKEA. Malli has reached that all-important childhood milestone of measuring 37 inches high and being allowed admission to the ball room. While they jumped and shrieked and buried themselves in balls, I browsed for a new duvet cover and ended up coming home with these masks:

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Well, shit. I’d never be able to make something like these. Once I’d bought the fabric and the elastic and figured out how to do it, I’d have spent a fortune in dollars and time to put together two wee costumes. Home-made costumes just can’t compete with globalization. Just-in-time delivery, low overheads, low wages, high volume production and sales. One ladybug and one dragon neatly packaged up for $4.99 each. Made in Indonesia.

The dragon outfit has an additional power. It quickly yet harmlessly puts its wearer to sleep. A highly advantageous feature that IKEA has failed to recognize and properly market.


Even so, I haven’t given up on the rattlesnakes. I brought the ladybug and dragon home but they may live out their lives in the toybox and not actually venture out for treats with the other ghouls and goblins. I’m going to give those rattlesnakes another try.



3 responses to “globalization, economies of scale, and two home-made rattlesnake costumes

  1. Love the sleeping dragon. I think I need to see this rattlesnake costume on in order to pass judgement. At first glance, it looks a bit obscene … is it just me?

  2. the rattlesnake costumes are great – I love the lights in the wiffle (? floor hockey) balls for eyes!

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