The DIY look perfectly embraces 2020.

By Jennifer Aldrich
October 29, 2020
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For Greg Dietzenbach, a father of two from Marion, Iowa, creating the perfect Halloween look for his children is a big deal. "My kids challenge me every year to make a unique costume," says Dietzenbach. This year, the illustrator created something especially clever that nods to 2020: a killer Zoom meeting costume.

Credit: Courtesy of Greg Dietzenbach

Dietzenbach explains that social distancing has made Zoom experts of his children. He thought of the project right away for his daughter, Ada. But when he suggested options for his son, Milo, he opted for a store-bought Spider-Man. "I love Spider-Man; he's hard to beat," Dietzenbach says.

Dietzenbach came up with the concept in mid-September, started it on October 12, and finished it six days later. "It was the fastest costume I've ever built," he says.

"I recreated the Zoom interface, adding subtle jokes... instead of, 'Share screen,' it's, 'Share scream,'" he says. "[I also changed] 'End meeting for all,' to, 'End life,' and transformed photos of my daughter into monsters."

It took him about 90 minutes to create each monster (seven in total). He then printed out the art, mounted it on 1/4-inch foam board, and hot-glued straps to the back.

"The best part of this costume creation was the photo shoot I had with my daughter," Dietzenbach says, as they "were laughing the whole time." The costumes were created by raiding the kids' dress-up box, and if he couldn't find something, like Dracula's necklace or Frankenstein's bolts, he'd draw it. "Part of the fun of making these costumes is all the creative solutions I discover while building them," he says. "I embrace the challenge every year, and the Halloween deadline is always a good motivator."

A YouTube video of the costume creation has been viewed more than 20,000 times, and Dietzenbach says he can't believe all the positivity. "The comments make me feel good and put a smile on my face, but it’s not a competition," he says. "I want to tell other parents that you don’t have to do these big crazy things to be thought of as the greatest parent ever by your kids. It’s all the little moments I share with my kids that make them and me feel special."

Of course, the costume is unique for many reasons, but this year it's extra meaningful. "Every year is special, but I can't ignore the fact that my daughter is getting older, and she might want to just hang out with her friends next year," Dietzenbach says. "If this is her last, I'm glad it's such a big hit."

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