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  • Jenny

Last-First Holiday: A Handmade Halloween

This post originally appeared on our old blog, Born to be a Bride.


I’ve dropped little hints about what we plan to wear for Halloween this year, and if you dig deep enough on social media you might figure it out. But I’ll hold off on posting any photos of Willow’s stunning handmade costume until the big day. I can’t believe that Halloween will be her last-first holiday! So many emotions. Last night as I was making dinner, she was toddling along by my feet, opening cupboards and pulling out boxes of rice. I searched everywhere for a wooden spoon to let her play with, then added that to my to-buy list (thank you, Amazon Prime!). She is becoming such a little trouble-maker!

Anyway, as I watch my baby grow from the snoozy, constantly nursing, squealing infant she was into the walking, talking, belly-laughing toddler she is about to become, my heart is so full. My mind is full, too, trying to find ways to make this all as special for her as possible. One way I’m doing so is to infuse as much handmade goodness into her little life as we can afford. For Halloween, I commissioned a dear friend and brilliant designer to make her dress from scratch, ordered her shoes on Etsy, and will, naturally, be making her hair accessory myself. Josh and my coordinating ensembles will also be put together by yours truly.

My first tutu! I think it turned out pretty cute.

This morning, as I photographed the first of many tutus I see myself making for Willow (and your littles, too!) over the years, I felt both accomplished and at peace. Sometimes it is in the making of things, the doing of things, that we can work out our inner turmoil. Similarly, buying things from makers instead of mass retailers can give us a rush of joy.

I know when I purchased a pair of custom organic leggings from another awesome shop earlier this week, that my money is going toward dance classes or school lunches for someone else’s daughters. When I snagged this glass and a matching tumbler for mommy-and-me Thanksgiving beverage vessels from my favorite drinkware shop, I can picture the mom of three depositing it into her fund for holiday gifts or maybe, hopefully, a much-deserved manicure for herself.

On Saturday, we’ll walk a few miles to our friends’ house for gluten-free pumpkin bread, spiced apple cider, and other homemade treats I take no credit for. I am good with ribbon and not so good with measuring cups, it turns out. But each element of Willow’s last-first holiday and certainly her first cognizant Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas will be filled with handmade elements both home-grown and sourced from around the country and world.


We are lucky to live in a digital age where information passes from one set of eyes to the next at lightning speeds. But I encourage you all to enter the holiday season with one part of your heart in the handmade community, where each dollar spent makes an actual difference for another hard-working human. Enjoy!