How to Make a Toddler Tin Man Costume

by Nadia Haris

    The Tin Man character from the classic novel, "The Wizard of Oz", is well known by adults and children alike. After reading this story to your toddler, let him recreate the story and develop his imagination with a homemade costume. A Tin Man costume is also a unique idea for Halloween or a kid's costume party. You can design and create this costume with materials you probably already have around the house. It's a cute costume for a little kid, who -- unlike the Tin Man -- has a big, warm heart that's ready to please family and neighbors.

    Items you will need

    • Rectangular cardboard box
    • Construction paper
    • Plastic funnel
    • Aluminum foil
    • Tape
    • Scissors
    Step 1

    Make the body of the Tin Man costume with a small rectangular box that's slightly bigger than your toddler's torso. The box should be open at the bottom end lengthwise and closed on all three other sides. Cut a round opening at the top of the box that is large enough to fit over your child's head easily. Make two smaller round holes at either side that are big enough for his arm to fit through comfortably on either side.

    Step 2

    Cover the entire outer surface of the box with sheets of aluminum foil. Place the aluminum foil on the box so that the shiny side is up. Use strips of clear tape to hold it securely in place.

    Step 3

    Create the heart and door detail with a square piece of cardboard that is about as big as your toddler's hand. Cover the cardboard piece on both sides with aluminum foil. Cut out a hear with red construction paper and tape it onto the upper left area of the box. Attach the small door on top of it using tape for the hinges and handle.

    Step 4

    Shape the Tin Man costume headpiece using a large rectangular piece of construction paper. Roll the construction to form a tube that will fit over your toddler's head. Cut out a rectangular window for his face to show through. Use a plastic funnel as a hat portion of the headpiece. Cover both pieces with aluminum foil and attach them together with tape. Leave out the bottom of the headpiece and use the funnel hat only, if your child finds it uncomfortable.

    Step 5

    Make an oil can to complete the Tin Man costume by covering a small plastic watering can with aluminum foil using clear tape.

    Step 6

    Dress your toddler in a long-sleeved gray sweatshirt or T-shirt and gray pants. Slip the costume over his clothes, place the headpiece over his head and give him the watering can to hold.


    • Use a light cardboard box to make the costume to keep your toddler comfortable.
    • If your toddler will not wear the box use sheets of aluminum foil or silver paper only to make the torso piece.
    • Fashion an open collar with aluminum foil to place on top of the costume.
    • Alternatively, use silver cloth or paper instead of aluminum foil.
    • Fashion a funnel shaped headpiece out of construction paper if you do not have a funnel.


    • Do not use glue to attach the aluminum foil to the cardboard and construction paper as this can a toxic reaction on your child's skin and when inhaled.
    • Check for any sharp edges on the cut cardboard, paper and aluminum foil before putting the costume on your toddler.
    • Ensure that the costume does not cover your toddler's face or restrict his breathing and movement.
    • Monitor your toddler carefully while he is wearing the costume to make sure he does not fall and injure himself.

    About the Author

    Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images