Make this easy DIY Tin Man Costume in 30 minutes or less. Follow this simple tutorial that anyone can do. Perfect for Halloween!
This Easy Tin Man Costume is a simple DIY that you can make in 30 minutes or less! It’s also a great last minute costume idea, can be made on a budget, and requires only a few supplies.
Halloween is such a fun time of year. I don’t love the scary stuff as much, but I’m all about traditions like our Halloween book countdown, making Mummy Pretzels and other spooky recipes with my kids, putting up Halloween wreaths and other decor, and dressing up to go trick-or-treating.
Every Halloween my kids dress up together in a theme, and I love it. The Wizard of Oz has to be one of my all time favorites! I was able to find the other costumes pretty easily, but the Tin Man was so much harder. I just wasn’t in love with any of the ones that I saw, and didn’t want to pay the price they were asking for them. So…I decided to make one. I came up with this totally adorable and EASY DIY Tin Man costume, and it just might be my favorite!
This cute costume only took less than 30 minutes to make, and it’s all straight lines. You could even do it all by hand if you don’t have access to a sewing machine. It would take you longer, but still definitely doable. It’s also inexpensive–my total cost was around $9.
This fits the bill for all of my criteria…easy, fast, inexpensive, and darling!
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Long-sleeved gray tee shirt: I bought this one at Walmart for $4.
1/4 yard shiny metallic fabric or more/less: This is how much I needed for a size 4T tee shirt–a 9 inch square on the front of his shirt. If you’re making this for a bigger child or adult, you’ll need more yardage to get a wider square.
I bought my fabric a Joann Fabrics–it’s stretchy, with a white back. It was originally $16.99 a yard, but I only needed 1/4 of a yard, plus I had a 50% off coupon, making it only $2 total. This fabric was 36 inches in width, and I needed 1/4 yard so that the square would be wide enough (9 inches across). Measure your shirt ahead of time so you’ll know how big you need this piece of fabric to be.
I didn’t need to hem this particular fabric first, which is another major reason I purchased it. If you choose a material that does have to be hemmed first, make sure you take that into consideration when deciding how much you need.
Red felt: You need enough to cut out a red heart. I found a felt square at Joann Fabrics that was only 25 cents and it worked perfectly.
Extra felt or weather stripping: You need enough to along the inside edges of the funnel to make it softer on the head.
Plastic funnel: I found this dark gray plastic funnel at Walmart in the automotive section for $3. If you can’t find a gray, any color will work–you’ll just need to get a dark gray spray paint. There are tin or aluminum funnels, but I didn’t go that route due to sharp edges of the ones I saw. Just double check first!
White elastic: This goes on to each side of the funnel and goes under the chin, so you’ll need a length to do that, plus a little extra to make sure you can tie it on. The elastic width isn’t super important–although anything very wide will be harder to tie into a knot.
*Adhesive Fabric Spray: This is for a quick no-sew option! You wouldn’t need the thread if you use this spray.
How to make
1. Cut out a square of shiny metallic fabric to fit the front of the tee shirt.
2. Cut out a red heart from the felt and pin it to the corner of the square you just cut out. Make sure you leave enough room to sew around the edges.
4. Thread a needle with white thread, and hand stitch the heart to the fabric. You can use the sewing machine if you want to, but I love the look of the hand stitching for this part. Red thread is also an option, but I really like the contrast of the white.
5. Pin your fabric square to the front of the tee shirt, and sew around the edges with the silver or gray thread. If you bought fabric that needs to be hemmed, you’ll need to do that first.
Quick no-sew option: If you don’t have access to a sewing machine, there is another method that’s just as fast. Use an adhesive fabric spray to adhere the fabric to the shirt instead of sewing it on. You could do this for the heart as well!
1. Drill two holes on either side of the funnel. There may be an extra piece of plastic sticking out from the back of the funnel, but you can easily cut it off with a pair of tin snips.
2. Thread a piece of elastic (measure your child’s head first) through the holes and tie a knot on each side to secure it
3. I was going to use a pieces of felt around the inside edges of the funnel so it would be softer on his head, but my husband was the one who bought the funnel, and he decided to buy weather stripping for the same purpose! So…we used the weather stripping, but you could most definitely use felt. The weather stripping has sticky back so it was easy to adhere. To adhere the felt, hot glue would work.
Costume Idea: For a little girl, you could use a gray tutu and leggings on the bottom. You could also opt for gray sweats instead of jeans.
Do I have to use a sewing machine? No, you can use a fabric spray adhesive instead, which is super fast and easy.
What can they wear for the bottom half of the costume? Jeans or gray sweat pants work great. For a little girl, a tutu and gray leggings would be adorable.
Where can I find inexpensive fabric? I suggest looking at Walmart, and also at JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. JoAnn Fabrics has great fabric coupons every week, including some for 40% off. Hobby Lobby doesn’t do coupons anymore, but they often run 50% sales in different areas of their store.
Wizard of Oz family costumes
More Halloween ideas
Hey – you’ve made it this far, so now we’re basically best friends! ? If you make this costume, or have any questions, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Join me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, too!
I really enjoyed making this costume, and loved how quick and easy it was to do. I hope you do too!
*Originally posted 2014. Updated 2023.