A great solo or group costume idea for women, men, boys, girls..and even pets!
Wizard of Oz movie costumes are a favorite group costume idea. A number of Family-Vacation-Getaways.com's readers have enjoyed dressing up as Wizard of Oz characters (as you'll see on this page,) and they'd love to help your family plan your Oz movie costumes, too!
In the picture of Wizard of Oz characters to your left you're viewing the adorable Nygaard children of Hawaii dressed up as Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man. Great makeup combined with purchased costumes added up to a terrific "look" for this trio of trick-or-treaters, don't you think?
Whether your whole family or group of friends want to pick an Oz character to portray, or only one member of the family wants to "go solo" with the idea, you'll find that the Wizard of Oz's variety of different character types will offer a broad range of appeal to all ages.
Who are the Wizard of Oz characters?
The Wizard of Oz characters are a perfect choice for a small group wishing to express a wide range of personality types. From the sweet, to the funny, to the downright evil, you'll probably find a choice that you'll want to portray. Here's a list of the story's leading characters--
Dorothy, around whom the story is based, is a sweet--and somewhat naive--small town girl, whose caring and ingenuous personality charm all who meet her.
The Scarecrow, on the other hand, expresses his kind-but-scatterbrained personality in a number of humorous ways. What a perfect costume idea for the "ham" in your family!
The Tin Man, stalwart and brave, makes a good choice for the he-man in your group. The one to rescue and protect, he's also vulnerable to weaknesses of his own. And, his costume, if you're able to cleverly duplicate it, is a show-stopper which would be the talk of any Halloween party you attend.
The Cowardly Lion, also one of Dorothy's companions, is another humorous character...just right to be portrayed by the natural clown in your group. Together, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow's antics could warm up any cold & frostbitten Halloween night!
The good witch Glinda is a radiant, kind and beautiful character perfect for one of the lovely girls or ladies in your group. Her flowing gown, accented by a wand and crown, is the epitome of many a girl's dream costumes.
The Wicked Witch, however, gives your group's prankster a great "evil character" to play around with. The costume itself may give youngsters a scare, but as many a movie actress has said, "playing the evil role is so deliciously fun!"
Photo notes: The pictures of the Oz Characters and of the Tin Man above show the carefully-crafted Wizard of Oz display at Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum in greater Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas. If you'd like more information about visiting this fun Texas family attraction, you'll want to see the Louis Tussaud Wax Museum info page of our sister-website, Have-Fun-in-the-Southwest.com.
What costumes do the Wizard of Oz movie characters wear?
Dorothy's blue and white-checked gingham dress is one of the most famous movie costumes ever made. Yet, it's simple enough for the home seamstress with only a moderate amount of sewing experience to make. Accessories simply MUST include Dorothy's ruby-red slippers; and these must be purchased (unless you're handy with crafts work & wish to transform a pair of your own comfortable, low-heeled shoes.) A tan-colored basket (which is Toto-the-dog's home away from home) is another suggested accessory...and using a stuffed animal to represent Toto is a nice touch, too. Dorothy's makeup is simple, consisting mostly of a little blush and red lipstick. Dorothy's hair, as you surely know, is braided into two strands which cascade down the front side of both shoulders.
A modern variation of the traditional Dorothy costume is the flirty Dorothy (or "sexy Dorothy") costume. This is a mini-skirted version of Dorothy's blue-and-white gingham dress, which is often worn with thigh-high white hosiery or a pair of tights. And still ANOTHER new Dorothy costume variation is for pets...which you may purchase or make with Simplicity's "Dorothy for Doggies" costume pattern!
Photo note: In the picture of a Dorothy costume to your right, reader Liz Bande of Santa Ana, California models this famous movie costume while showing off her cute doggie's Cowardly Lion suit. Who says your Wizard of Oz costume group has to include only humans?!
The Scarecrow's outfit offers a number of interesting construction possibilities. One no-sew idea is simply to use old clothing for the scarecrow's costume---and if it has worn spots & patches, so much the better! Otherwise, any loose pants and shirt patterns can be sewn in autumn colors and brand new patches may be applied (using a contrasting color, so they'll stand out.) Accessories may include a belt and wide-brimmed hat. Pieces of straw may stick out from the hat and/or costume, to give your Scarecrow the freshly-stuffed look! Makeup can range from the simple to the very creative. Get out your Halloween makeup creams and sticks to apply a "sewn-on" smile, rosy cheeks, or even a spot at the tip of the nose.
A modern version of The Scarecrow is a mini-skirted female scarecrow's costume (which is being offered by Simplicity patterns--see details below.) And, yes, just like the Dorothy pet costume you read about above, another new idea from Simplicity is the Scarecrow doggie costume!
Photo note: The precious picture of The Scarecrow to your left was sent in by reader Renee Ward of Michigan. Notice how soft yarn has been substituted for the real (and much scratchier) straw stuffing in this cute baby's scarecrow outfit. You'll even notice a crow sitting on the hat's brim!
The Cowardly Lion's costume is ideally suited for colder climates. Made (or purchased) in a warm, woolly fabric, it's sure to keep its wearer warm while trick-or-treating, even if snowflakes start to fall. (If you live in a warmer climate, it's also easy to make the costume using a lighter-weight fabric.) Cowardly Lion costume patterns for adults may be difficult to find. However, Simplicity IS making a good children's Cowardly Lion costume pattern this year. Or, you may visit the Children's Animal Costumes page of this website & adapt a "plain" lion costume to suit your needs.
The Tin Man's costume can be problematic because, of course, the most authentic looking costume would either need to be a high-quality rental or else a home-constructed project. Still, for those who don't mind a less-authentic appearance for this character, sewing a sliver-colored jumpsuit, then adding appropriate accessories and makeup can be a good substitute. The one must-have accessory is a large metal funnel, which the Tin Man wears upside-down as a hat. A fake woodsman's axe is another authentic accessory which you may wish to add (unless you might get tired of carrying it around.) Make-up can get very creative for your Tin Man, including a complete covering of the face with silver-colored makeup, accented by highlighting colors to complete the effect you're seeking.
The Wicked Witch's costume in the Wizard of Oz was a long, black "crone-style" dress, completed by a tall, pointed hat and a broomstick. If you'll be choosing this style of costume, Simplicity offers an "official" version of this Wizard of Oz favorite.
Also, a Simplicity pattern featuring a less-scary and more flirty version of the traditional Wicked Witch costume. But, it's far from the only witch costume you might decide to choose. For a complete discussion of various witch costumes in many styles, please visit the Witch and Vampire Costumes page of this website.
Glinda the Good Witch's costume, unlike the Wicked Witch costume, is always meant to look stunning. You can have quite a bit of leeway with the Good Witch costume, because more than anything else, it resembles a beautiful princess dress (for which you can choose from a number of NON-Wizard of Oz patterns, and still "look authentic.) Like some of the other Wizard of Oz costumes, there's a new version you can sew which features a mini-skirted look (but is accessorized by Glinda's traditional hat and wand.)
Photo note: The picture of Oz's Wicked Witch and Glinda the Good Witch (seen to your left) were sent in by reader Colleen Wells from Greenville, NC. These 2 sleek cuties seem to be telling us that Wizard of Oz pet costumes aren't just for dogs---Cats look great in them, too!
Buying a Wizard of Oz costume pre-made
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man & other Oz costumes for all ages
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Wizard of Oz costumes which are offered at www.BuyCostumes.com (a large on-line costume shop.) As you can see, all the major Oz characters--Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Wicked Witch, and Glinda the Good Witch--have pre-made costumes available which come in a number of different sizes and styles. Even some of the lesser characters, such as the winged monkeys, can be found!
The costumes and accessories above are just a sampling of what you'll find online. If you'd like to see what else is available (including plenty of accessories you can get to go with any home-sewn costumes you've made,) here's a link to the Wizard of Oz costume section of the www.BuyCostumes.com website, where you'll see a whopping 5 pages of Oz costumes and accessories!
Wizard of Oz Costume Patterns
Patterns for Dorothy's famous blue and white dress
1.) Dorothy's Dress pattern for pets: The following costume pattern is now out-of-print...but it's so absolutely adorable, it will be worth making an internet hunt for it. You'll find that Simplicity's Pattern 2548 gives you a selection of all the dog & cat Wizard of Oz patterns that you'll need for most of the Oz characters...including Dorothy, Glinda, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. The doggie Dorothy dress pattern features cute puffed sleeves, a collar, and (purchased) ric rac trim. Instructions for making a Dorothy wig come included, too! You may check for Simplicity 2548 on Ebay, where it comes up for sale regularly. Note: there is an EBay widget at the end of this page which shows real-time auctions for Wizard of Oz costumes that are going on right now, if you'd like to check it out.
Photo note: In the picture of dog Wizard of Oz costumes to your right, you can see good examples of purchased doggie Dorothy and Wicked Witch pet costumes. These Halloween outfits are graciously being modeled by 2 beloved pets belonging to Barbara Westgate of Massachusetts, who submitted this darling picture.
2.) Dorothy costume for children: If you're sewing for a cute little baby or toddler girl, you'll want to select Simplicity's Wizard of Oz Pattern 4024, which will fit sizes 1/2 (about 6 months) through Girl's 4. In addition to the dress pattern, instructions for making matching diaper cover/shorts are included, as well.
For older girls, you'll need Simplicity's Wizard of Oz Pattern 4139, instead. It's very similar to the toddler & baby pattern, except that it doesn't include the diaper cover pattern pieces. This fits sizes/ages 3 through 8. Another choice, which includes up through girl's size 14 is Butterick's Dorothy Pattern B4320. This pattern is a more historic re-creation of Dorothy's dress, because it's actually a 2-piece set. You'll sew Dorothy's blue and white gingham pinafore, then your child will wear it over her own white blouse.
For a teen or adult Dorothy costume, you'll have a decision to make: "traditional" Dorothy dress, or the new, "short & sassy" style. Which will it be?
A traditional women's Dorothy dress is Simplicity's Dorothy Pattern #4136. This pattern can be purchased in both regular and plus sizes, which fit a range of women's size 6 through 22. This one-piece dress features a built-in white blouse, puffed sleeves, collar, and zipper in the back.
A mini-skirted version of Dorothy's outfit can be made from Simplicity's Dorothy Costume #2546. Depending on what size pattern you choose, you can make anywhere between a Misses size 8 and a Misses Plus Size 24. (Additional sizes all the way up to Woman's 32 may be made by purchasing Simplicity #2547, which is this same costume for larger sizes.) This costume is actually not a dress, per se, but a skirt and blouse. The miniskirt is meant to be made in the traditional blue and white gingham check. A loose white peasant blouse is made to go with it. Last of all, a laced corset (to be made in blue) fits over the top of the blouse to accent your pretty waistline and midriff. Accessories shown on the package front (ruby slippers, Toto dog in basket) are supposed to be purchased separately.
Good witch and wicked witch Oz costume patterns
Wizard of Oz patterns for both Glinda the good witch and for the Wicked Witch of the West are both widely available. The "official" Simplicity Wizard of Oz patterns mentioned in the above section on "Dorothy" costumes ALSO include the good and bad witch patterns in the SAME packet. What an economical way for you to outfit your entire group's cast of female Oz characters! Note: To see a wider range of Witch costumes and patterns, please visit our Witch and Vampire Costumes page.
1.) Simplicity's Traditional Dorothy Pattern #4136 (Misses size 6 thru 22) also includes traditional Glenda and Wicked Witch costume patterns along with the Dorothy dress. Both of these witch patterns feature a sweeping, floor-length design. Glinda's costume, suggested to be made in a beautiful pink material, features a snugly-fitted bodice, full gathered skirt, leg-of-mutton sleeves, and back zipper closure. Patterns for the good witch's crown and wand are included, as well.
The Wicked Witch's costume from this same Simplicity pattern also features leg-of-mutton sleeves, full gathered skirt and back zippered closure. Extra touches include a lace-up corset and the pattern for a tall, pointy witch hat adorned by a scarf.
2.) Flirty good and bad witch costumes come included with the sexy Dorothy pattern, Simplicity's Wizard of Oz Costume #2546 for misses and #2547 for women's plus sizes. This Glinda costume is actually made as a separate skirt and blouse. The mini skirt is suggested to be made in pink; patterns for adornments to the skirt (suggested to be made in silver) are included. The blouse features a gathered neckline and leg-of-mutton sleeves. Separate pattern pieces for a lace-up corset, wand and crown are included. Stockings or tights must be purchased to complete the outfit.
The Wicked Witch mini-skirted costume is also made as a separate 2-piece shorts and blouse combo (with a 3rd piece, the lace-up corset being an important addition to complete the "look.") Also very important to the finished style of the outfit is a 4th piece, a midi-length skirt with jagged hemline (suggested to be made in a sheer material.) Instructions for a tall, pointed witch hat and a short cape come included. Additions, such as a witch's broom and stockings, much be purchased.
3.) For baby and toddler girls, a good witch pattern (but not a wicked witch pattern) is included in the packet of Simplicity's Wizard of Oz Pattern 4024, which fits sizes 1/2 (about 6 months) through Girl's 4. This costume features a one-piece dress with a long, gathered skirt; leg-of-mutton sleeves; and a zippered back closure. The crown pattern is included, but not a wand pattern.
4.) For older girls, from size 3 thru size 8, Simplicity's Wizard of Oz Pattern 4139 is the one you should choose. Glinda's beautiful gown is similar-looking to the one described above for toddlers, and also included the crown AND the wand patterns.
A child's Wicked Witch pattern also comes included with this size range, and features a long-skirted dress with a separate lace-up corset to add over the top of the gown. The patterns for a long, floor-length cape and a pointy witch hat adorned by a scarf come included, as well. Actually, when made in a fabric other than bad-witch black, this outfit would actually look like a beautiful princess gown!
5.) For girls up through size 14, McCall's has a generic princess pattern which you might enjoy using. It's McCall's Storybook pattern M5951. Featuring just a bit different styling for both the dress, wand and crown, it's another lovely pattern which looks quite beautiful and elegant when finished. Or, for other styles of princess gowns which might be converted into your daughter's Glinda gown, please visit the Disney Princess Costumes page of this website.
Cowardly Lion Sewing Patterns
Men wishing to play the part of the "Cowardly Lion" from Oz have several choices in sewing patterns. One is to use an "official" Wizard of Oz Cowardly lion pattern from Simplicity, and the other is to use "just any" lion suit pattern. It's easier to use a generic lion costume pattern. Why? Because generic lion costume patterns for adults can be found locally; they are still being printed this year. The official Simplicity pattern dates from 1997, and Simplicity chose not to renew it when the supply was exhausted. Therefore, you'll have to find the official pattern from a second-hand store, yard sale, or Ebay auction site.
1.) Using vintage patterns: When looking for your official Cowardly Lion costume on Ebay, you will be looking for Simplicity pattern number 7833. They do come up for bid on a regular basis, so keep watching, and you may find it. (That's so much better than in the days before the internet! The chances of finding any specific pattern...by chance...at a local thrift store used to be so slim!)
Another vintage Cowardly Lion pattern is McCalls 2203. If you decide to use ebay, you may look for "Wizard of Oz" patterns or for "Cowardly Lion" costume patterns (enter these terms into their search box.) Depending on the wording which the seller has used in the listing, the pattern will turn up, if available, in your Ebay search results. There is an Ebay widget at the bottom of this page which you may consult, if you wish.
2.) The easy-to-find "still in print" Simplicity's adult lion costume #2853 includes the pattern for making a lion suit (along with an ape/gorilla, tiger/cat, and bear.) It's a unisex pattern which fits men and women from chest sizes 30 inches to 48 inches (all sizes come included in the package. The lion suit, suggested to be made in a flannel or a furry fabric, would be great for staying warm on a cold Halloween night! This lion costume features a one-piece jumpsuit with long pants and long sleeves. A contrasting chest color provides visual interest to the suit, and so does a long tail tipped with a furry tuft. Instructions for a separate hood (the lion's ears and mane!) come included.
3.) For a boy's Cowardly Lion costume (which could also be used for girls,) you'll probably want to use Simplicity's boy's Wizard of costume trio #4133. Available in sizes which will fit kids ages 3 through 8 years old, this "official Wizard of Oz" pattern features a 2-piece pants and shirt set. Designed to be made in a tawny-colored furry fabric, the costume features a long-sleeved top worn over pants made with an elastic waistline and sewn-in tail. Extra pieces include mittens to cover the hands, plus both a hood and a small cape which both serve to portray a long, flowing lion's mane. The Badge of Courage, shown on the package cover, would need to be purchased separately, if you would wish to include this in the costume.
For more kids Cowardly Lion options using a "generic" lion suit pattern, please visit the Children's Animal Costume page of this website.
Tin Man costume patterns
1.) Bad news for men; there is no Tin Man sewing pattern in print. Fortunately, there IS an out-of-print vintage costume which you might be able to find on either Ebay or another auction website. You'll have to look hard; the tin man costume pattern disappears faster than the Cowardly Lion pattern (which can be made from any "generic" lion sewing pattern) or the Scarecrow pattern (since a Scarecrow costume can even be made from old clothing, if necessary.) You'll be looking for Simplicity's Wizard of Oz pattern number 7820. If you do find it, it will probably fit you...since the one pattern package includes sizes XS through XL.
2.) Another option for the Tin Man costume is to use any simple pants and shirt pattern in your size, but make if out of a silver or greyish material. Once you add purchased props...such as the oil funnel hat, the faux woodsman's axe, and (optional) the heart awarded to the Tin Man by the Wizard of Oz...then your suit will appear realistic even though it wasn't made from an "officially licensed" pattern.
3.) Young boys have it luckier; there still IS a kids Tin Man costume in print! It's the Simplicity's boy's Tin Man costume pattern #4133. First, using silver colored fabric, you'll make an elastic-waisted pair of pants and a loose, long-sleeved shirt. Details for making "hinges", to give a more realistic Tin Man "look" to the costume, come included. Also included with this inventive costume are instructions for making shoe covers, plus an unusual hood (featuring the Tin Man's famous funnel hat.) The "Tin Man's heart" (featured in the picture on the package's cover) must be purchased separately. You'll finish off the costume by using silver face makeup, also purchased separately. Baby boys: If you're sewing a baby or toddler Tin Man costume, you'll need to use Simplicity's toddler & baby's Tin Man pattern #4024. It has all the same features, but comes in sizes 1/2 (6 months) to Boy's 4.
4.) Homemade Tin Man Costume: as you can see in the picture of a Tin Man costume to your right, it's possible to craft your own Tin Man suit without a pattern at all! Brian Hopkins of Georgia made his own Tin Man costume out of poster board. What a terrific paint job---it certainly looks like real metal! Brian won 4th place (out of 400 contestants) in one of our Halloween Costume Contests with this hand-crafted TinMan suit!
Scarecrow from Oz sewing patterns
1.) Here's MORE bad news for men! Just as with the Cowardly Lion and Tin Man costumes, there is no adult "Scarecrow" pattern in print. Fortunately, once again, there IS an out-of-print vintage costume which you might be able to find on either Ebay or another auction website. It's Simplicity's Wizard of Oz pattern number 7820, which includes all men's sizes XS through XL.
2.) Another option for the Scarecrow costume is to use any pants and shirt pattern in your size, but make if out of colors and fabrics suitable for the well-dressed scarecrow! Once you add purchased props...like straw "stuffing" and a floppy, wide-brimmed hat...then your scarecrow suit will appear realistic even though it wasn't made from an "officially licensed" Wizard of Oz pattern.
3.) For boys, there is a kids Scarecrow costume in print that you can easily find locally! It's the Simplicity's boy's Scarecrow costume pattern #4133. This costume features an elastic-waisted pair of pants and a loose, long-sleeved shirt. Details for adding "straw stuffing", to give a more realistic scarecrow "look" to the costume, come included. The costume pieces also include an unusual hood...to which is attached a pointed, wide-brim scarecrow's hat. If you need to make a toddler or baby scarecrow costume, then buy Simplicity's baby & toddler's Scarecrow pattern 4024. It's the same thing, only in sizes which fit boys about 6 months to 4 years of age.
Find new and out-of-print Wizard of Oz costumes
Ebay makes it easy to do; simply keep your eyes open!
In the Ebay widget below, you'll find current auctions of Wizard of Oz costume patterns. You may bid on any of these, because no sales of patterns which are already finished & done are reported in this ever-changing widget. (When one auction ends, another new one moves in to take over its spot...when you refresh the page, that is.)
The widget below is set up to show listings using the term "Wizard of Oz sewing patterns." If you would like to make a different search, simply key in the name of what you're seeking into the widget's search box.