Christina Clement. Photo by Ray Sepesy.

Look What Mom Made!

A neighbor’s knack for creative repurposing

By Allison Parker

Photos courtesy of Christina Clement

Kids can have all kinds of special wishes for Halloween costumes and birthday cakes. A Ballantyne neighbor and mom, Christina Clement, loves engineering and creating both from scratch. She opens her creative world to us here.

Who inspires your projects?

I want to make things that are especially for my children, Cora and Kai. I started to make my own costumes because I couldn’t find a “Llama, Llama Red Pajama” costume. I had never sewn before, but I thought, with the help of YouTube and Pinterest, I could figure it out. As for the cakes, my grandmother always made me homemade cakes. I wanted mine to be as special as hers.

What common items do you use?

Cardboard is amazingly versatile. Thicker cardboard can support a costume, and thinner can be cut and molded to just about any shape. Papier-mache is great as well, using newspapers. I often deconstruct old backpacks from a thrift store for padding, straps, chords and fasteners.

How long do the projects take to complete?

My children tell me what (Halloween costumes) they want before September so I can think of ways to make them come to life. There is trial and error in every costume. Actual construction takes two to three weeks. Cakes take a day or two.

What’s been your most challenging project?

For my daughter’s sea turtle costume, I couldn’t figure out what to use for the head, so I molded one from macaroni boxes and ping pong balls. But they all challenge me in different ways.

What’s your favorite project to date?

I liked the transformer because it surprised and shocked everyone who saw it transform from a truck to a robot, and my son wanted to show everyone.

Readers, share with us your creative projects, too!

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