How to Make "Wizard of Oz" Costumes

Updated November 21, 2016

The "Wizard of Oz" books and movie have been popular for generations. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion and even the Wicked Witch are familiar and beloved characters to all, and these characters are a popular choice for Halloween and masquerade party costumes. If you have a family or group of friends that is planning to dress up as the cast from the Land of Oz, there is no need to buy expensive costumes and accessories; you can easily make "Wizard of Oz" costumes at home with these simple ideas.

For a Dorothy costume, buy or make a blue and white gingham jumper or bib apron with a full skirt. Wear a white short-sleeved shirt underneath. Spray paint an old pair of pumps or Mary Jane shoes with red glossy paint and sprinkle them with red glitter while the paint is still wet. Wear the shoes with ankle-length white or light blue socks. Part your hair in the middle, and divide into two loose ponytails tied with blue ribbons. For a finishing touch, carry a small basket with a stuffed or real black dog inside to play the part of Toto.

For a Scarecrow costume, find an old pair of trousers and a flannel shirt---these items will look even better if they are worn out and patched. Tie lengths of rope around the ankles of the trousers and the untucked shirt, at the waist and wrists. Make a hood out of a small burlap bag, cutting out a hole for your face and leaving a generous length to serve as a collar. Tie the burlap hood loosely at the neck with more rope. Obtain a witch hat and crumple, crush and twist it to make it look worn; you can even sew some patches on it or tear it in places. Stuff a generous amount of straw around the wrists, ankles, and neck of the costume so that it is clearly visible.

For a Tin Man costume, you will need light grey clothing, such as a grey leotard and tights. Buy silver foil dryer air ducts at a home improvement store to wear on your arms and legs. Cut two large rectangles out of cardboard. They will need to be large enough to cover your torso. Paint both sides of the cardboard with silver metallic paint, and make them into a sandwich board to wear around your torso, fastening the front and back sides with silver ribbon or duct tape. For a hat, paint a large funnel with silver paint and punch a hole in each side at the widest point. Thread silver ribbon through the holes and tie around your chin with the funnel on top of your head. Use silver eyeshadow to paint your face.

For a Cowardly Lion costume, start with a baggy brown sweatsuit or brown furry footsie pyjamas, and add a pair of brown furry slippers. Attach a length of rope to the seat of the trousers to serve as a tail. Buy some faux fur at a fabric store and make it into a hood that will look like a lion's mane. Cut two ears out of brown felt and attach them to the top of the hood with a hot glue gun. Paint your face brown and draw whiskers on with a black eyeliner pencil.

To make a Wicked Witch costume, find a solid black dress at a thrift store, or sew a basic black dress yourself. Paint your face and hands green with green eyeshadow or costume make-up. Add a witch hat tied with a green ribbon around the base and black shoes, and carry an old straw broom.

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