Our family isn’t traditional; we are more of “the new normal.” Two fathers, Manny Lopez & Paul Sandmann. Adelaide and Augustus came into our world in 2014 via surrogacy and are the joy of our lives.
Halloween is my favorite event of the year and the moment we found out we were having twins (a boy and a girl), I immediately started thinking about family Halloween costumes. I always want to make Adelaide the main character since she is the girl of the house, so every year, we make our own creative costumes around a strong female lead. We also take and edit all of our pictures.
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Halloween 2015 – Wizard of OZ
2015: The Wizard of OZ. I dreamt of this picture, and it came out exactly like my dream. These cool costumes were purchased 60%, and we made the rest.
We hope you enjoy our pictures as much as we do.
Halloween 2016 – Game of Thrones
2016 was Game of Thrones. This HBO series is so popular, so I wanted to push myself on creating these DIY costumes, so I made everything with the exception of Augustus’ little dragon and the two adults’ dragon heads. It took me about three months for this Halloween costume idea to come together because I had to hand-paint the dragons and let the paint dry so I could move onto the next body part. Adelaide’s dress was all custom made.
Halloween 2017 – The Fifth Element
2017: The Fifth Element. We made pretty much everything with the exception of Paul’s costume (right), which we pieced together from purchased components. This was a very ambitious project since I didn’t have a clue how to make these DIY Halloween costumes and have limited sewing experience. I believe I did a pretty good job, especially on the Diva Plavalaguna costume worn by me, Manny (left), which required a number of revisions.
It took me about two months to make these costumes, especially the Diva costume (Manny—left), which was a LOT of work and a lot of failed patterns.
Halloween 2018 – The Masters of the Universe
For 2018, The Masters of the Universe, where She-Ra and her twin brother, He-Man, protect the universe together against villains Hordak (Manny—left) and Skeletor (Paul—right).
The costumes were challenging to make, especially Hordak, but with Paul’s help, it finally came together. The Hordak costume took about 2 months and is made of faux leather, plastic bones, cardboard, and a lot of patience. Skeletor was also a bit difficult, especially building the hoodie with the chest piece, which was made of faux leather and wire.
I created He-Man from a combination of DIY and pieces that I found on the internet, like the muscle shirt. I let Augustus’ hair grow naturally for about 3 months since I knew he would have refused to wear a wig. The only challenge then was to spray his hair orange. Adelaide’s costume, on the other hand, was commissioned to her specific size and details since I didn’t even dare to try making leotards with my limited sewing skills.
Halloween 2019 – Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol
In 2019, we chose the artist Frida Kahlo, who was not only a revolutionary artist, but a powerful voice for women. I am one of Frida’s famous paintings. Augustus, on the other hand, is another revolutionary artist, Andy Warhol, who was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. Paul depicts one of his self-portraits. We created everything from the costumes, 3D box frames, and props to doing our own hair, makeup, photoshoot, and editing. The kids were so happy, especially Adelaide, who loves to draw and paint. She loved it even more when I told her that Frida was a painter!
Halloween 2020 – Super Mario
For this year’s costumes, Adelaide wanted to be Princess Peach from the Super Mario video game. I created the costumes from a combination of purchased pieces, new construction, and recycled parts from preview costumes. I really didn’t want to do the normal Super Mario character but Augustus insisted on being Mario. His bedding is Super Mario so how could we say no? Adelaide’s dress was made by an Etsy designer. She and I cut and styled her wig and chose the makeup to give her the Princess Peach look.
Augustus was the easiest. You can find the outfit everywhere, but we made it puffier and of course, the key is that his personality really brings the character to life in his poses. I knew that I had to be Bowser, which would require painting a bodysuit and adding a large tail. I created the tail from yards of cloth, the stuffing from our Game of Thrones outfit, and parts of the belt and leather straps from the Masters of the Universe costumes. I found these cool headpieces for Paul (Yoshi) and I on the internet, so I decided to use these as a base, spicing them up with color and fill so that they matched the colors and character of the scene. Paul’s costume followed a similar path and the whole family helped with painting and constructing the various pieces. We did the photoshoot in our garage for over 2 days followed by many hours of photo editing.
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