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To create original costumes (for Parents and Nick Jr. Family Magazine) that kids would want to wear, but parents could make in a few hours (or less). The costumes had to be comfortable and safe, which meant no masks or floppy feet.
The trick (and treat) was to use readily available materials such as trash bags, old towels, sweat pants, or stockings with runs. Velcro and fabric glue were definitely preferred over sewing machines. Hats and face paint eliminated the need for masks. Kids own shoes were incorporated into the finished costumes. Most years the fun and funky results were featured on TV.