Another Halloween is fast approaching, and the Big One has come up trumps again with another costume request that initially confused me. Last year he wanted to be the Lego Ninjago master Sensei Wu and after a bit of investigating, I was able to make a costume for him, much to his delight. This year, he asked to be Ash Ketchum. I initially wondered why the dickens he wanted to go as the former husband of Demi Moore, until I realised that I was getting confused with Ashton Kutcher... an easy mistake to make if you are not up to date with the fads and obsessions of your average 7 year old! Ash Ketchum is of course the main protagonist of the popular Pokemon series of manga/anime cartoons and all the related card games/merchandise that has become the Big One's raison d'etre. He's also the 'trainer' of the iconic Pikachu pokemon character.
So this year's costume has been coming together over the last few weeks. You can actually buy Ash Ketchum costumes (unlike the Sensei Wu dude from last year), but as with a lot of these things, they are quite expensive and often "one trick ponies". I like the idea of adapting 'normal' clothes into costumes so that the kids can get some wear out of them. The Big One's school has also changed it's policy for Halloween costumes, requiring that the children change into their costumes at school rather than go in already dressed up. With fiddly fastenings I figured this was a recipe for disaster. Plus, as a 'normal' 10-year old boy, Ash Ketchum's clothes are relatively straightforward as a costume goes. Blue jeans, black-t-shirt, white/blue shirt, sneakers, baseball cap & fingerless gloves! All quite easy. So really, it's just a case of getting the details right to pull the outfit together. I've detailed all of the parts of the costume that I purchased below... but I thought I'd also include a quick tutorial on how to make your own Pokeball... one of the key accessories to making this costume work. You can buy Pokeballs, but they were about $10-15 for a 2.5" diameter foam ball ... and I just couldn't bring myself to spend that sort of money on it when they are so easy to make!
You will need...
- A red ball, plastic or foam, approximately 2-3" in diameter. I used one that came from a ball pit set.
- White acrylic paint, or nail polish, or gloss paint.
- Black craft foam or paper
- A white plastic bread tag (or more craft foam)
Firstly, paint half the sphere of your ball white (you could use a white ball and red paint if you preferred). Allow to dry, and apply another coat if necessary.
Cut a strip of black craft foam about 1/2" thick and glue around the middle of the ball, over the top of the edge of the paint. Leave a gap of approximately 1" where the ends meet.
Cut a circle of black craft foam 1" in diameter and glue into the gap.
Using an old bread tag (or some white craft foam), cut a circle using a penny as a template. Glue onto the black circle. It's as easy as that!
Once you have your pokeball made, it's just a case of putting the other details together to get the Ash Ketchum look!
I managed to buy the cap and gloves as a set on Ebay for about $20. These were perfect and added a level of authenticity to the costume.
A black short haired wig was also required to turn my blonde Big One into a convincing Ash Ketchum. The spiky boy's punk wig below was perfect to achieve the manga look! Click on the image for more details.
Then, instead of the blue/white bowling style shirt, I simply paired a plain white short-sleeved shirt with a blue fleece gilet. I lightly attached some yellow ribbon (with easily removeable running stitches) to trim the bottom and pockets. The gilet was from Land's End and once Halloween is over, I'll simply remove the yellow ribbon and he'll be able to wear it on the occasional chilly days we have here in Texas!
Finally, Ash Ketchum wouldn't be complete without his special Pokemon, the iconic Pikachu. We bought this plush character on Amazon to finish the outfit off. Click on the picture for more details.
The outfit is ready and waiting to go now and I'll update this post with a picture of the ensemble after Halloween! Happy track-or-treating!!!
Update: The full ensemble for Halloween!!