I want to be a snipe for Halloween

For the past four months, Rex has routinely informed me that he is going to be Mama Snipe, from the Disney movie “Up”,for Halloween. In case your child is also interested in the mythical snipe costume, let me assure you that Amazon does not carry it.

One thing about Germany, it aint America. There was a time not very long ago when collecting the components for such a costume was nothing more than a quick trip to Walmart or Hobby Lobby. Sure, sometimes I’d have to truck through two different craft stores to find all the required elements at a decent price, but that’s what craft stores are for.

Unfortunately for me, Hobby Lobby does not translate in German. I’m sure there is some version of a “craft store” here (aka a closet with seven bolts of fabric and a small selection of neon trim), but none of the ladies I talked to knew where it was.

In order to manufacture this costume, my list was relatively simple. I needed a hooded sweatshirt, feather boas plus a load of loose feathers, felt and hot glue. Easy peasy, it’s not like I needed boning or pinking shears (oh gosh, I really need pinking shears).

But the only place shy of the erotic store (don’t think I wasn’t prepared to go in there) that carried feather boas was a little kiosk at the base shopping center. They wanted 14 euro a boa. Um, hello? We make costumes specifically because we’re too cheap to buy them. (This is a grave urban legend that I fall for every year; it’s usually cheaper to buy them prefab, don’t believe what I tell you next year.)

I put off buying the boas and broke into my boxed up craft items. There, at the bottom of a box, was a ratty yellow boa I picked up last year at the thrift store for 99 cents. Best pointless purchase ever, it saved me $14.

By the time I had collected a hooded sweatshirt ($12), a blue boa ($14), felt, feathers and pipe cleaner ($15) not to mention a tank of gas trying to round it all up, Rex ended up with the most expensive costume any kid in my family has ever been granted.

And then I had to figure out how to put it all together.

If you ever come to Germany and bring your hot glue gun, please be warned that things are hotter here. The glue comes out scorched and burnt thanks to the local voltage, even with a transformer. It is recommended that you use said weapon only during daylight hours with the appropriate amount of sleep, rest and necessary nourishment.

If by some chance you fail to heed this warning, you might find yourself surrounded by feathers, alone in the bad lighting at midnight with serious hot glue gun burns all over your fingers and no one to hear you scream.

When all was said and done, my little guy headed out the door with the best Mama Snipe costume his little baby Kevin bird had ever seen. Maybe next year he can be Mama Ghost.


  1. My baby bird is also going as Mama Snipe- I happily passed up the feathers for felt. Wish I could have shared this with you before you burned your fingers off!

  2. Kristina P. says:

    So, Germany celebrates Halloween? Maybe you can go as Oktoberfest or a bratwurst.

  3. That is amazing! And you are a nice mom to make it for him.

  4. Get work on that costume. I am impressed.

  5. You are amazing! That kid looks like the real thing. Have a happy Halloween!

  6. Price of materials- more than you wanted to spend, look on Rex’s face – priceless.

  7. I really hope you’re getting to know Jessica (my cousin). You two are cut – quite literally – from the same cloth. That is an amazing costume. By my 4th kid, he was trick or treating as “Kid Carrying Pillowcase Full of Candy.” Yeah. That’s how crafty I am.

  8. Um, you’re amazing. That is seriously awesome. Love the search for things that you have at your fingertips back home. Know that routine.