Picture of Oscar the Grouch
Oscar the Grouch is my newest costume. I'm going to attempt to describe how you can make this. This costume took around 50 hours and the cost was around $150.

What you'll need:
- Green Fabric / Fur - 2 Yards (I went to this site - http://www.fabricempire.com/mongolian-faux-fur-olive-green.aspx)
- 2 - 4 inch styrofoam balls (for the eyes)
- Lots of hot glue (I used 2 bags) and gun
- 1 - 20 gallon tin garbage can
- Pipe insulation (to protect your arms for the holes you cut out in the can)
- White paint
- Black paint or sharpie
- Coveralls
- 1 zipper 40+ inches
- 1 pair of garden gloves
- Wire coat hangers (for eyebrows and hands)
- Brown spray paint
- 1 - 15 inch rubber ball
- A good amount of Paper Mache.
- A pair of Scissors
- 1 yard of black cloth
- 1 small piece of red cloth
- 2 - 2 foot Pvc Pipes
- 2 L shape Pvc connectors
- Duct Tape

Step 1: Oscar's Head - Part 1

This step was prob the most time consuming. I had a hard time deciding on what size his head should  be. Ultimately, I ended up using a 15" inflatable toy ball. Considering how many time I resized and reduced the size of this, I now suggest just using a basket ball or similar size. I then used paper mache over the ball. Once it was dry, I just stabbed it and started cutting it in half and then almost into quarters. I then took one top half / quarter and attached them together with a piece of cardboard and hot glue.

The green strap on the top is what holds my 3 fingers (middle, index, and pinky). I attached this strap with hot glue. And then my thumb goes into the bottom loop. The pointer finger goes into the blue loop to move the eyebrows (see step 2).
1-40 of 49Next »
Manbuddha3 years ago
you got shafted!!! you should have one first place!!!this costume is awesome ...Who Does't love Muppet's... brilliant!!! Oscar rocks all sesame street!
Absolutely Fabulous!!!!!!!!!!
ChrysN3 years ago
Awesome, I love how you can move his eyebrows too, nicely done!
kazmataz3 years ago
This is fantastic! Now all we need is a Slimey the Worm, and the gang's complete.
sheinonen3 years ago
Amazing. Looks like he came off the set of Sesame Street!
starwarsgeek15 months ago
it looks just like the real one!!!!! great job ?
vjames1 made it!9 months ago

Thanks for the great instructable, here's my final results!!

Oscar image2.JPGOscar image3.JPGOscar image15.jpeg
Oscar Video.MOV(516x290) 16 KB
SteveGerber3 years ago
This is a great costume! I'm thinking it would be even more awesome if you could make him talk. One way would be to have a set of prerecorded digitally recorded phrases that you could trigger, but the phrase set might get old rather fast since Oscar couldn't really hold a conversation. Perhaps a better solution would be to give yourself a costume that covers your whole head (Bert or Ernie perhaps?) and then have a toggled microphone leading to a speaker inside Oscars mouth. That way you could speak for Oscar (insulting people in the proper context) without anyone seeing your mouth move. You'd want to rig your own costume mouth to move too, of course, so you could have conversations with Oscar. Or maybe your costume could be the muppet Beaker would doesn't talk too much. ;)
GB_Costumes (author)  SteveGerber3 years ago
I feel like mastering vantriloquism would be easier...
First: Awesome Job!

In the show the garbage man has a rather simple face and never talks so Steve's idea of wearing a mask would work and no need for the sound system or moving parts on another mask.

I am don't think it's needed because my first thought was how do you drink your beer with your hands in the puppet! but I am sure Oscar can be somewhat helpful in holding the glass.

Again great job! I was completely thrown off in the video trying to figure out how you controlled the puppet.
I didn't remember that there was a trash man on Sesame Street, but apparently his name is Bruno.

That's him, I didn't realize his garbage can was so dinged up That would be an easy detail to add.
GB_Costumes (author)  mntbkrguy3 years ago
Yeah, I thought about doing that. But like you said, you didn't realize it looked like this. I figured nobody else would either. This costume takes a long time to make as it is. But could you share what you would do to add this look?
This is just off the top of my head off the top of my head, but I might see if scrubbing it with some scotch-bright pads and then some baking soda. I am not sure if that will have the same effect as the patina on an old garbage can but it may add some age. If you do want to try it maybe do the bottom or where it will be against your chest so no one will see it if it's not going to work. I haven't messed with the different chemicals that speed up the aging process of metals but it is definitely on my list.

You are completely right about no one noticing. I can see everyone so enamored by Oscar who would pick out something like the condition of the garbage can. It only stood out after seeing a side by side comparison.
Again great work!

As I'm making a version of this costume, I found something that works well for "aging" a new galvanized metal trash can:


I'll include pictures when I'm done.

GB_Costumes (author)  mntbkrguy3 years ago
Also, Thanks for the comments!!
ag61 year ago

Made it for this years "Rosenmontagszug" at Cologne (Germany). Love how impressed the people were! Thanks for this Instructable!

GB_Costumes (author)  ag61 year ago
That's awesome! I'm happy to see others making this.
vjames11 year ago
I did come up with one other legitimate question. How did u make the ridges above the eyebrows? Is this just foam covered with paper mâché?
vjames11 year ago
Forget my last comment, I answered my own question by actually reading your directive :)
vjames11 year ago
First of all, great work! You've truly inspired me to build one of these costumes although I highly doubt it will look anywhere near as good as yours!

I have a question if you don't mind.

You mentioned that you cut two holes in the front of the body to attach the arms/hands, if this is the case what attaches to the two holes in the garbage can? The head and ???

I only ask because I was under the impression that the other hole in the can was for Oscars left hand, which obviously cannot be the case if its attached to the body.
alejzp2 years ago
Ohhhh very very nice... I have thought about doing this costume but I had a doubt since the first time I saw it... it is regarding the head... And now that I see you did it so well I'll ask you and hopefully you can help me...

OK you have the paper mache head ready, you cut it in half and then in quarter as the main guy explained... when you attach the cardboard to make the mouth how deep does it go? I mean from the whole circule the hard palade lets call it how deep into the mouth goes? is it half of the circle so that you have space for your hand?

Another question I have is if the semicircle you have lets say the top part of the head is it the hole circle or you also have to cut some of the paper mache on the back of the head? is the back of the head soft or hard?
amenhotep42 years ago
We did it!!! Best Costume Ever!!!!
We went for the more traditional Bruno with the jacket and the red shirt. I can't even look at Oscar anymore, he creeps me out. http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FO1/FQ9S/H8CVL5Y0/FO1FQ9SH8CVL5Y0.THUMB.jpg
GB_Costumes (author)  amenhotep42 years ago
Nice job! Looks great!
amenhotep42 years ago
do you remember what the approximate dimension of the body is?
Looking at the parts list. It says you used a tin can. All I can find are stainless steel trash cans. Where did you buy the tin can? Also, if you cut the 4 inch ball in half for the eyes, you only need one 4 inch ball.
GB_Costumes (author)  detroitgrass2 years ago
Yeah, stainless, buy just 1. Sorry I blew up.
Makkie743 years ago
It's great! I'm a guy from the netherlands , and i'm going to make this custume!!!
I'll hope its going to be easy..


seanpbell3 years ago
I am going to keep my eye out for a old beat up trash can and when i see one im taking it and replacing it with a brand new one ,im sure the owner of the can wont mind at all for the upgrade,how did u go about covering the back of the head and neck areas ?
GB_Costumes (author)  seanpbell3 years ago
I just used the green fur and glued it... Took lots of patince and glue... I also, posted on facebook asking for a old used tin garbage can before I purchased one.
seanpbell3 years ago
great costume im woreking on one for next year, i plan on installing a very small speaker either in the front of the can or in his head and download a bunch of sayings onto an mp3 player which will bev in the mouth which i can control with my hand,im wondering how did the head hold up with just paper mache? i have made something similar but covered it with fiberglass but i think it may get to be av little heavy. so you have to take it off to use the bathroom? is your hand inside his head or behind the head under the fur?could u post a diagram of how the eyebrows are rigged up ,i think i got an idea of how it is but i want to make sure
ftt3 years ago
Is the top section of the head bigger than the bottom section?
GB_Costumes (author)  ftt3 years ago
No they are they same size.
svassair3 years ago
Where did you get a 20 gallon tin garbage can?
GB_Costumes (author)  svassair3 years ago
I found this at Menards. Any hardware shop should have one.
amenhotep43 years ago
Do you have approximate dimensions of the pieces of fur you cut for the body and the length of the arms? This is the greatest thing I've ever seen. The only problem with showing up at a party in this is trying to top it next year.
SHIFT!3 years ago
"This is a terrible, terrible idea and a horrible Instructable. Truly the worst costume I've ever seen on this site." (Remember everything is backwards for Grouches, so I actually LOVE this muppet replica! But don't tell Oscar-he hates to be loved.)
WOW!!! NIce job!!
zzebrowski3 years ago
Awesome. So jealous.
GaryB1013 years ago
Mass props to you! That's beautiful!
1-40 of 49Next »