I’m a huge Wizard Oz fan, and I’m referring to the original Oz series by L. Frank Baum (although I also enjoy the countless adaptations and reboots that exist out there, like MGM’s 1939 film with Judy Garland and the Wicked series).
I think it’s unfortunate that more people aren’t aware of how big the Wizard of Oz was back in its day– it was like the Harry Potter of the early 20th century!
The craze was so tremendous that it’s actually the public that partly created the Oz series. That is, L. Frank Baum had always intended for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to be a standalone book–but he received so much fan mail from children imploring him to continue the story that he relented and ultimately penned a total of 14 books in the Oz canon. He always referred to himself as the “Royal Historian of Oz” to imply that Oz was indeed a real, magical land, and that he was simply relaying the stories that were communicated to him via wireless telegraph. His dedications were also to the children (and I’m sure there were adults as well!) who kept writing him to ask for just one more story–and he couldn’t bear to let them down.
In the Oz series, the rightful ruler of Oz is Ozma, and I’ve always loved her look!
Her backstory is also pretty cool– she’s the daughter of King Pastoria of Oz. The witches of Oz colluded to remove the royal family, so Pastoria mysteriously disappeared, and soon after the Wizard arrived and proclaimed himself ruler. As for Ozma, the rightful heir to the throne, the witch Mombi transformed her into a servant boy named Tip so he’d have no recollection of his(her) true identity. Ultimately, the deception is discovered, and Tip is turned back into Ozma, and she reclaims the throne. Hmm….a trans character in the early 1900s? Interesting!
Anyway, while I love the Oz series, I never felt a great pull to be Dorothy, or the other characters from the the first book. Ozma has always been far more interesting to me, and so I decided to make an Ozma costume for Halloween 2015.
I also wanted a budget-friendly costume, so the Dollar Tree and Jo-Ann Craft and Fabric Stores were my go to places for materials. As you can see below, I tackled the project in three phases: the wand, the head pieces, and, the gown.
For the wand, I used the handle of a mop and wrapped some gold ribbon around it. Also, if you look at the green part of the wand carefully, you’ll notice that it’s a glittery green Christmas tree that I just attached upside down (Finally, a real upside for Christmas decorations being on the shelves before Halloween has even passed!). For the “OZ”, I cut it out of some gold glitter card stock, and also tied on a green ribbon bow.
For the head pieces, there are several parts to consider. Luckily, I found some fake red flowers that I just bobby pinned to my hair. The crown was a simple cut and staple job with the same gold glitter card stock I used before. I used thread to tie the crown to a headband so it would stay on top of my head. The OZ headband was a challenge, but luckily inspiration struck inside the Dollar Tree! They had these super cheap, thin, plastic headbands. I decided I would simply wear two of them across my forehead. I glued thin strips of gold glitter cardstock to the part of the headband that were visible, and used the big OZ emblem in the middle to connect the two headbands together.
For the gown, I just looked for a plain nightgown-like pattern at Jo-Ann’s and modified it (3/4 sleeves, slightly off the shoulder, and an added collar to mimic Ozma’s dress). I also found some green embellishments in the beads section for the front ornament.
This was by far the most fun I’ve had making a Halloween costume, and I was only sorry I didn’t get a chance to go to West Hollywood this year to try to meet some of my Oz brethren!
Now it’s time to start brainstorming for what I’ll be next year!