A party with a farm theme lends itself to many costume ideas, from dressing up like a real or fictional farmer to creating a produce or animal costume.
Farmer and His Cow
Creating a farmer's costume may not require anything more than clothing and accessories you already have or can pick up at a thrift or dollar-type store. Bib overalls add the perfect touch. Another classic farmer's getup is a pair of blue jeans and a flannel plaid shirt. When you wear a plain-colored shirt, tie a red paisley bandana around your neck.
Step into rubber boots, cowboy boots or even sneakers. Top it off with a straw farmer's or cowboy hat. Wear a bill cap bearing a farmer-friendly patch, such as a tractor brand, slogan or animal image if you don't have a straw farmer's hat.
While a bit more work than a farmer's costume, you can create a farm animal's costume with just a few craft tools. For a dairy cow costume, start with a pair of white pants or tights and a white top or dress obtained from a thrift store. Draw and fill in the Holstein's irregularly shaped black markings on the clothing with a black tipped marker and black fabric paint. Wear black shoes.
For ears, cut out teardrop shapes from poster board proportionally to fit your head. Draw a smaller teardrop inside of each larger one. Use felt tip markers to color the smaller teardrops pink and the remaining parts of the ear black. Fold over the edge on the bottom to glue the ears to a headband. Alternatively, sew the ears with pieces of colored felt, creating a pocket in them to insert wires so they hold their shape and bend. Wrap the bottom of the wires around the headband.
For those big, soft cow eyes, apply extra-large false eyelashes and wear brown eye shadow.
Literary and TV Farmers
The character Fern in the children's classic Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and the movies it inspired, is an easy one to create with rolled up blue jeans, an oversized checkered shirt and sneakers. Braid hair or yarn into pigtails. A piglet plush toy makes an adorable prop in keeping with the story. If the child is trick-or-treating, create a sling for her to carry the piglet in.
"Green Acres" Costumes
A couple might get a kick out of dressing up as the Douglases from the 1960s TV comedy Green Acres. Mrs. Douglas -- played by Eva Gabor -- was a New York socialite unaccustomed to farm life. Make her costume from a fancy negligee that features faux ostrich feathers. Add fake diamonds or pearls, high-heel slippers, an upswept hairdo or blonde wig done in an upsweep. Glam up the eyes with false eyelashes and black eyeliner. Hand her overly decorated egg basket with a plush-toy hen.
Mr. Douglas, a posh New York layer played by Eddie Albert, wanted to escape from the hectic life of New York City to the fresh air and green acres of Hooterville, a small, but a tad backward farming community. He usually wore his lawyer attire -- vest, slacks and polished shoes. Gray his hair with talcum or baby powder. Create a cardboard pitchfork for him to carry.
A vegetable or produce costume is easier to make because you need only create a costume that suggests the piece of produce, not a life-size model. Wear something with features that replicate some of the farm product's main features and imply the rest.
Creating a peas-in-the-pod costume for a woman or girl is a snap if you keep it simple. Begin with a green straight-line dress. Sew large, shiny green buttons down the front of the dress. Suggest the pod with a green vest. Add dramatic sweeps of green eyeshadow to your eyelids, or use face paint to create a design with other pea pods from your vine on one or both sides of the face. Wear a soft green cap and glue a cardboard stem to it.
One way to make a strawberry costume is to begin with a red A-line dress and sew fluffy material on the inside toward the bottom so it balloons out in the shape of a strawberry. To make it look more authentic, use a felt tip pen to add dark red dots to the dress. Add green tights and shoes to allude to the stems. Sew green leaves cut from felt onto a green cap so the leaves hang down around your head and over your forehead. Include a face painting of a strawberry flower and lips colored with strawberry-red gloss or lipstick.
A sunflower costume works best for for toddlers, women and girls.
On poster board or cardboard, draw a circle large enough to go around the wearer's face. Error on the side of too large. Then draw sunflower petals extending out from the circle. Color the petals with yellow felt pens. Cut out the sunflower, and then cut out the center. To make it more comfortable, pad the inside of the circle with yellow or black glued-on fabric. Apply dots to the wearer's face with a black eyeliner pencil or face paint, to imply the seed pod. Complete the costume by wearing a green sweatsuit or dress and tights. Decorative touches might include two or three large sunflower leaves cut from green felt and applied to the clothing.
Cindy Blankenship, a California native, began reporting in 1996 for the Grants Pass Daily Courier after teaching in Hawaii where she lived 14 years. As assistant editor at the Rogue River Press, she wrote and edited several stories that earned awards from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Her writing appears in numerous publications.