Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Costume

So for once I wanted to make a totally different costume. I usually get into creepy costumes with contacts. BUT unfortunately my contacts ripped *and they are prescribed*. I had to come up with some new. Well I got this idea for a Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween costume one day searching online for make up effects. I kept coming across doll like eyes, that was all I needed. I never thought it would come out so good! With the exception of my dress falling apart the day of the Halloween party! my patches fell apart!  I had to use safety pins to hold the remaining pieces. And to top it all off it was a COLD night, my dress was not warm enough. So what to do? I found I had some leg warmers that came with last year’s Christmas exchange at work, never used in a drawer…. LOVED THEM AS SLEEVES!

The make up, WOW, took two hours to get it right! The eye lashes were the hard part to glue on…even with “professional glue” they would not stay still, but somehow it finally stayed! Last mistake was using really cheap face make up, it started cracking and flaking, so MAKE SURE you spend the extra 3-4 dollars for the good stuff. The reaction from the gas station stop to fill up on our way to the party all the way to a friends house, people could not stop pointing. At the party I was asked by numerous people to take pictures, by the way this was my first time EVER at this house, out of the whole crowd I only knew one person. It felt good to have so many strangers coming up to me as if I was a character from Disneyland or Universal.

Take your time, THRIFT STORES!

I went to the Goodwill and got several clothing items to cut patches and make the dress. Sally’s dress is consisted of multiple colors and designs, so don’t’ be afraid if mixing stripes with polka dots to plain. Strive for bright colors, pinks, purples, blue, green. I ended up with about 15 dollars worth of items, and when I say items I literally mean skirts, blouses, pillow cases, etc. One thing that would be a MOST definite item is a t-shirt type dress. 


OK, once you’re set with your materials, place a color fabric on top of a section of the dress that you want to add to (i.e the sleeve) with a sharpie, trace *on the material you’re going to cut* the shape of the sleeve. Once you cut you glue it to the sleeve. Make sure you use glue that is safe for fabric and does not destroy the patterns. I used glue stick…which seemed fine at first but when the day came to wear it…. MY PATCHES STARTED FALLING, I was devastated! I had spent so much time on getting the dress with the patterns just the way I wanted them! It was kind of funny so I ended up using safety pins to hold the pieces that fell. This is just an example of a sleeve for the rest of the dress, don’t be afraid of making really big patterns to tiny-tiny patterns, always keep in mind that sally IS a rag doll.

Finished dress

Once you have all your patterns on your dress, and it’s dry, start using black yarn and make crosses with your glue. Make sure they are all different shapes and sizes these are going to be used to simulate stitching. The stitches have to be dramatic as in the movie. Once you have these done place them on as your outline patches!


Face paint basics

  • white tube, blue tube, pale green tube. (try to strive for the good brands so you wont peel later)
  • black eye liquid eye liner, black eyelashes and glue, red lipstick, blue eye shadow
  • red wig

1. Mix white with a little blue and green, you can mix as much as you want there really isn’t a quantity it is more of what color you want for your skin color of your character. meaning Sally.

2. Cover your face, neck , and chest with your new “skin” color, get in on the nose and creases. You have to simulate flawless skin.

3. Eyelids, cover in JUST white from your brow to eye lashes, imagine a side ways egg.

4. Outline the white with blue eye shadow, all the way under your eyes, you should look like a blue raccoon. ☺

5. Black liquid liner, out line the white, then add an arch on top of your eye brows (this arch will be Sally’s eye lids)

6. Use black liner to place two dots right below your brow (this will be the iris)

7. Cut your lashes into 5 pieces and glue them along your brow.

8. Draw stitches on your forehead, neck and chest, with the liquid liner.

9. Also use the liner to outline your lips and draw stitches coming out of each corner of your mouth. Fill in with red lipstick.

10. Put on your wig.