I love Halloween. And I don’t mean in the wild-about-zombies kind of way. I just like to dress up and see other people’s costumes. My faves are the homemade ones.

I have a friend who makes these crazily intricate costumes for her whole family. One year, they were characters from Toy Story and I remember her trying to think of different ways she could make Buzz Lightyear’s space helmet. This year her son is going as a turtle and according to Facebook, she turned to paper machet for the shell.

Each Halloween, I’d hope for that kind of ingenuity and find myself at Party City picking from the catalog of costumes on the wall. Then came this year.  My friend was having a Halloween party and she wanted us all to dress up. I was excited, but as the date drew near, I didn’t know what to be. All of my previous cool Halloween outfits were too snug for comfort.

I also didn’t want to buy a costume, especially since Logan wants to be a fireman for the second year in a row it meant I didn’t have to purchase one for him. If I wasn’t buying a kid a costume, I certainly wasn’t forking over the dough for me. Obviously, it was DIY time. I wondered what is something that I could make. It came to me in a flash: A binder of women.

In one of the debates, Republican Gov. Mitt Romney was talking about hiring people to fill his cabinet as Massachusetts governor. He said he noticed all the candidates were men.  “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?'” Romney said. “And they brought us whole binders full of women!” And like that, a catchphrase was born.

I figured it couldn’t be too hard to make a binder, I had a big cardboard box at home, so I was sure I could whip something up. Then I turned to Google. Naturally there was already a tutorial on making a Mitten-esque binder. And it was easy. I’m grateful for that especially since I waited until the morning of the party to start working on the costume.

After taking the boys to soccer, I dragged them to a few stores to pick up the supplies. Materials needed:

  • 3 sheets pre-cut foam board (38in x 48in)
  • Several sheets of large poster board (for the pages inside the binder)
  • Duct tape
  • Binder rings
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Markers
  • Magazines
  • Glue stick

Then, since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to make the costume outside so the boys could play. 1)      I cut one of the foam boards in half and made that the spine of my binder and then outlined them in duct tape. 2)   In connecting the three foam boards using more duct tape, keep them a half inch apart so the binder can be flexible. 4)      Cut a hole for the arm in the spine of the binder and line it with more duct tape. (Clearly you’re going to be using a lot of duct tape.)

5)      Take the poster boards and paste pictures of women on them. I found more than enough in People magazine. (Which naturally I bought only for this project and no other reason, ahem, ahem.)   6)      Attach the binder rings with duct tape on the spine. 7)      Cut two small holes in the back of the binder and lace a ribbon through so that you can tie it around your waist. I forgot to buy a ribbon and in my latest closet purge I threw out anything that could be of use, so I duct taped one of Hubby’s old belts onto the back. 8)      Decorate the front. I chose to use stencil to spell out “women.” Lucky for me Mittens was there to help.   9)      Slide into your binder and enjoy!


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