Introducing Jack Skellington and Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas!

My wife is a creative genius and gets full credit for this one. Though the movie is now several years old, we knew that the characters were easily identifiable and would have a lasting impact that could make for a fantastic costume. We wanted a tasteful couples costume that didn’t offend anyone or get too raunchy since the event included hundreds of members from the local Chamber of Commerce.

Both homemade Jack Skellington and Sally costume heads are made of paper mache. Jack’s was made with the help of a large inflated beachball and lots of newspaper shredding. It has black felt over the eyes so it acts like a 1-way mirror where I could see out but others couldn’t easily see in. The teeth are wires cut and tied into the mask. As a precaution, duct tape was used to soften the jagged inside ends. The decorative necklace is also paper mache with some leftover fabric as the wrap-around.

She sewed the suit and pants out of fabric found at the craft store. I believe it was around $3/yard. We had to widen the legs a bit to fit over the stilts. The collar has wire structure to help keep a funky shape. The hands were reused from a childhood skeletal costume and simply pasted onto plain black gloves. I wore a plain white t-shirt as shown.

What really makes this costume is its scale or more specifically, its height. Though we tried to make stilts out of 2x4s and Velcro straps, it just didn’t feel safe enough. A local rental store offered drywall stilts for $10/day and we jumped at the opportunity. There is no point to risk safety- especially at nearly 8 feet tall!

The black stick was a last minute addition for balance support. It is a leftover piece of oak from our wood shop that we painted black. If time allowed, we could have made it look more similar to the one shown in the movie with a curly top and some extra decorative add-ons.

Sally’s dress was a patchwork of several fabric patterns also found at the craft store. Since she only needed smaller portions, it was very inexpensive. The hair was a simple wig from a secondhand store and was stapled to the mask. White leggings were used for both the arms and legs and the black shoes were already in her closet. She could have painted her hands white as well, but we ran short on time!

Altogether, we estimate all the materials came to $16 plus the $10 stilt rental = $26. We did win first place at the event and walked away with a token prize and bragging rights :)