from The Nightmare Before Christmas

(Halloween 1994 & Halloween 1997)

When the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas was released in 1993, I immediately wanted to make a Sally costume, but since the movie was released only a couple weeks before Halloween, I wouldn't have had the chance to do it justice, so I waited until the following year, when the added bonus of the video being released gave me the opportunity to freeze-frame whatever I needed to get accurate details. Even though I have a personal moratorium on repeating costumes (you'll notice that even though she has made repeat appearances, T'Leo has a different outfit each time!), when I was in England in 1997, I had another opinion in the picture limiting our costume choices to only "Halloweeny" costumes, so even though Sally was repeated, at least the combination costume of Jack and Sally was new. :-)

Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas

I made my own wig out of just the right rust-orange color of yarn & lots of it. I used my sewing machine to stitch down the partline, then used a piece of elastic to go around like a headband and attached the ends of the "part" to that.
Sally's Eyes - 1994 and 1997

I've done two sets of eyes...if you look at the picture with Jack Skellington standing next to me from Halloween 1997, you'll see that my reprise of Sally had different eyes. Those eyes were made of a couple layers of tulle netting by tying the netting around an egg & using various heat methods until the netting formed to the shape of the egg (boiling & hairdryer I think). I had to use two eggs, one for each eye, since you need to gather up the slack & tie it tightly. Then I used black yarn tied on for eyelashes, drew in a black pupil, and attached them to a wire "glasses" form that hooked on with a small line of elastic around my head.

The first set from Halloween 1994 was white felt formed around two eggs, since when you get felt wet and dry it stretched into a new shape, it will retain the new form. After trimming the wrinkled excess felt away from each "eye" shape, I glued fabric-covered floral wire around the inside edge for stability, then cut a hole the size of the pupil in each and added the novelty eyelash strips. I just used spirit gum to attach the felt eyes around my own eyes, which can be dangerous, so don't get the spirit gum too close to your eyes, but make sure the eyeballs themselves are large enough to cover your own eyebrows.

Sally and Jack
I like how the first set of eyes look better, but I couldn't see at all, and I actually broke off the heel to my shoe before I even got to the party! If I was doing it again, I would combine the best techniques of both sets. I would use felt again, but cut a larger hole to see out of, use the yarn eyelashes, and I would put them on the "glasses" frame - much easier to take on & off than spirit gum, then you can just take them off when you really need to see.


I found "Blythe Spirit" theatre pancake makeup at a costume store that was the perfect shade of light blue for the skin. My face, neck and arms were all the pancake base, then I used a black eyeliner pencil to draw on all the seams and stitching. Set the pancake with powder to help it not rub off. Plain white talcum powder works the best so you don't get any flesh color spoiling your blue (yes, for the sake of the furniture in England, I did not use the blue on my entire arms, so you can see how obvious the flesh color looks against the blue!). I used black nail polish for my fingernails also.

Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas

I made a sheath out of old fabric for the basic dress, making it the shape of how it fits on Sally, which is pretty basic. Then I studied the video closely for all the different colors & swirled patterns to go where on the dress. Since I didn't have the resources to design my own fabric and didn't want to paint it all individually, I went to the fabric store, picked out ones that were very close to the same colors and patterns. I used pinking shears (triangle edge scissors) to cut out the pieces, laid them out on the dress, and used black yarn to sew the "patches" to the dress. After that was all done, since all the colors were too bright, I dyed the whole dress in strong cold coffee to give it the drab look.


Since I knew there was no way makeup would stay on my legs without rubbing off and making a mess on the furniture, I struggled to find light blue tights. I never did find the right color, so I found a steel blue pair, and wore white nylons over those (more see-through than the tights). I put them both on, then drew on seams and stitches with a Sharpie permanent fabric marker.
Sally Button


Believe it or not, in 1994 I could not find black & white striped socks anywhere - only red & white for Raggedy Ann/Andy. So, I took a pair of plain white socks, used my trusty Sharpie marker again, and drew on the stripes!


I had bought the shoes a year before just because I liked them. They are not the big clunky platform heels that are in style today, but not as thin a heel as pumps or granny boots. I think you could get away with just using any short black boots if you couldn't find the perfect ones.

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