Halloween Costume: Carl Fredricksen from “Up”

If you have been following what was happening with me and the Global Talent Search, and haven’t found out through my Facebook page yet, I hate to break it to you, but I didn’t get into final six. Because of that, it gave me all the time in the world (well, not really) to think about Halloween.


Halloween became such a big deal after I had a child. I never really celebrated Halloween ever, and I don’t think I have ever dressed up. With a child, Halloween became “the event of the month” if not the year: You have to figure out the costume and predict if it is something your child would be willing and tolerate enough to wear; shop or make the costume/props, stock up with candy for trick-or-treaters, go to the zoo/aquarium/parties/wherever 1-2 weeks in advance and dress your child in the costume, go to school and dress your child in the costume, and then the Halloween night you take carry your kid as you run around the neighborhood. Even after Halloween, you still have to handle it by skillfully eat destroy your child’s candy without him remembering where did the candy go. Such hard work.

It is that time of the year again. I had some big ideas in mind, which I can’t share because I’d probably fail in executing it. I can, however, share what we did last year. It wasn’t original, but it was definitely pretty fun.

We planned to be Elmo to begin with, I even purchased the Elmo costume! However, Connor was on the smaller side, and the 2 year old size I purchased was too big for him (He was going to be 18 months on Halloween). He also wasn’t a fan with the hooded costume, he kept trying to rip off the “Elmo hat” when I tried it on him.

Later on, I found out that a friend was also planning to dress her toddler girl as Elmo, so that gave me the incentive to hunt for a new costume. I searched online for “boy toddler Halloween costumes” ideas, and came across this incredibly cute image of a little toddler dressed as Carl Fredricksen from the Disney/Pixar animation, Up:

010614_Up_AI saw this via Huffington Post. The original photography was from Auburn Soul Photography, a clever mama.

I was very excited to recreate this costume! With my limited sewing skills, I DIY-ed the bow tie using some of Connor’s old clothes. I also DIY-ed the Grape Soda button following this tutorial with free printables. I ordered the toddler glasses and Jacket from Amazon.

Theoretically this would *have been* a success! I planned to take really beautiful pictures using my SLR. It was going to be beautiful in my head! However, this costume ended up to be a mommy fail to some extent.

We had a party, an event, and the actual Halloween Trick or Treat to attend to. I purchased the first batch of balloons on the day of one of the first parties. Without having an actual plan on how to tie these balloons down (there were so many ribbons that ended up to be quite a mess, and I also didn’t want to tie it down in a way where I couldn’t easily remove them if I wanted to), they ended up being tied too loosely, and the whole batch of balloons flew away within the first 10 minutes of the party! I was very bummed.



Since we had an event we have planned to go to with our friends the next morning, I purchased a new batch of balloons the night before. I was surprised and disappointed to find that the balloons didn’t hold up at all the next morning. They weren’t floating as they should have, and they pretty much completely died off as we reached the garden, where I have planned to take oh-so-beautiful photos. Epic mommy fail!

I was pretty discouraged by Halloween. I wasn’t going to spend another $8 for a batch of balloons that may end up flying away! We had a party at the daycare, and I didn’t want to tie a bunch of balloons to Connor while he would be amongst a bunch of wild toddlers. So I bought just one blue balloon for the Halloween daycare party + Trick or Treat. It held up pretty well, stayed attached, and it floated as it should.


So, here are my tips for you if you are planning to recreate Carl from Up for your toddler this year, so you won’t end up like me:

  • I found out that you can ask them to add an extra layer of “enhancement” on the balloons (I forgot what it was called) at extra cost of course, and the balloons would stay alive for a few days! I am not sure why no one told me about it before! However, don’t count on it lasting for a week or more. If you have two events that are a week apart, plan on buying a new batch of balloons.
  • Check ahead if this extra layer of “enhancement” is available at your “balloon supplier”. If not, buy your balloons a few hours before your event. Don’t expect them to last more than 10 hours.
  • Trim down the balloon ribbons, and securely tie them onto a big plastic clip. This way, the balloons are tied down to a weight, and can easily clip on your toddler. It can be removed for a diaper change and what not, and it won’t fly away by accident.
  • I would buy 6-8 balloons if you plan to have a photoshoot. For the day of Halloween Trick or Treat, I’d buy 3 balloons so it will be more manageable – I ended up having to carry Connor all the way back home, and it wouldn’t be cool if I was also tangled with 6-8 balloons!

Last but not least, here is Carl Fredricksen in action (it is preloading 30MB, so it will take a while):

Music Credits: Disney Pixar Up – Married Life

I hope this offered you some help on recreating the Carl costume!

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