How to dress children as characters in "The Grinch"

Updated July 20, 2017

Characters from Dr Seuss stories are popular for fancy dress parties. They are instantly recognisable and easy to create. In the grouchy Grinch stories, the inhabitants of Whoville wear brightly coloured clothes with large, furry collars and hems. Their hairstyles are outrageous and their make-up exaggerated. This makes it simple to create a generic Whoville costume. If you want to copy a particular character, Cindy-Lou and Euchariah Who are the two of the best Whoville personalities for children's costumes. Accessorise them with a small toy dog dressed with an antler to make Max, the Grinch's long-suffering pet.

Cindy-Lou nightdress

Gather in the material of a loosely-fitting pink nightdress just above the child's knees. Leave it loose enough for her to walk comfortably. Secure it in position by ironing hemming tape between the gathered fabric and wide pink ribbon. Finish with a large pink bow.

Hot-glue a length of florists' aluminium wire around the hem of the nightdress. Fan out the fabric below the ribbon, bending the wire to hold it in shape. Attach a collar of bright pink fabric or a feather boa around the neck of the nightdress.

Iron large pink fabric spots onto the nightdress. Dress the child in pink tights or short socks with lacy trim. Add pink shoes or slippers. Use make-up to create rosy pink cheeks and draw long eyelashes above the eyes with facepaint.

Place a polystyrene cup on the child's head. Pull the front, back and middle sections of hair up and over it. Tie the hair above the cup to secure it. Plait each side section of hair, take it up in two loops to the bottom of the cup and secure with grips or hairbands. Arrange the ponytail above the cup in plaits or curls. Spray the hair with strong-hold hairspray. Adorn with large bows of pink or white ribbon.

Cindy-Lou Christmas

Arrange the child's hair and make-up in the same way as above. Use red ribbon for the hairbows instead of pink. Add Christmas brooches or striped candy canes for further decoration.

Dress the child in a long-sleeved red T-shirt and red-and-white striped long socks or tights. Glue white pom-poms to red shoes or slippers and add to the costume. Attach lengths of white feather boa around the cuffs of the T-shirt.

Make a simple skirt by cutting a circle out of red fabric. Glue a white feather boa all around the hem. Cut a hole for the waist and hold in place on the child with a wide elastic belt. Overlay the belt with a white feather boa.

Measure around the child's shoulders. This will give you the width needed to cut a shoulder cape from the red fabric. Curve the front edges. Glue a white feather boa all around the edge of the cape. Attach ribbon to both top edges and tie the cape around the child's shoulders.

Euchariah Who

Dress the child in a long-sleeved orange T-shirt, orange jeans or tights and orange-and-black striped socks. Add baseball boots if the party is outside.

Secure a large orange bow onto one side of the neck of the T-shirt. Pin a small circular badge onto the chest of the T-shirt. Add orange or black gloves to the costume.

Spray the child's hair orange and gel it into lots of short spikes. Give him a pair of joke shop over-sized round glasses with black plastic rims to wear and a brown toy dog to carry.


Re-create the Grinch by painting your child's face green with black grouchy lines, nose and eyebrows. Dress him all in green. Add green gloves, a red Father Christmas cape and hat and long red socks. Accessorise Christmas Cindy-Lou's costume with small presents, candy canes or baubles. Accessorise Cindy-Lou's nightdress costume with a candlestick, bedtime storybook or teddy bear. Accessorise Euchariah Who's costume with a spooky fur fabric monster toy.


Turn the florists' wire back on itself so no dangerous sharp ends poke into the child. Shield the child's eyes when using hairspray or gel. Take care not to get facepaint into the child's eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Pink, red or orange clothes
  • Ribbon
  • Hemming tape
  • Florist's wire
  • Fabric
  • Polystyrene cup
  • Bows
  • Hairspray
  • Hair gel
  • Orange hair spray
  • Pom-poms
  • White feather boas
  • Joke-shop glasses
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About the Author

Catherine Ketley was a teacher in London for 20 years, later authoring online materials for the British government and National College. She moved into print media in 2001. Ketley holds a bachelor's degree in education and English. In 2002, she also earned a distinction for postgraduate research.