Oscar the Grouch





Introduction: 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).

Step 2: Oscar's Head - Part 2

I felt it was important to make Oscar's eyes look good. I ended up using a 4" styrofoam ball. Cut it in half and reshaped with a knife and sand paper. Once I had the desired shape, I then coated the eyes with paper mache. Once dry, I painted them white and then drew in the pupils with a black sharpie.

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to make Oscar's eyebrows move. This was something I considered just not doing. But it does add that little something extra. So what I did was I took a wire coat hanger and bent it. I used 5 rubber bands that I attached to the top of Oscar's head and then looped around the hook close to my finger. So when I press down on the hook with my pointer finger the eyebrows go up and then back down due to the rubber bands. I just used some excess green fun, cut it, glued it, and then used brown spray paint, for the single eyebrow. I put a small amount of hot glue in the center of the brow to hold it.

Then I started to cut and glue the green fur to the head.

I cut the black cloth to fit the mouth and cut out a tongue shape from the red cloth and glued that to the black cloth.

Step 3: The Arms

I took the 2 pvc pipes and cut them in half. Connected them by a L connector (glued them together). I then added cut pieces of foam from the Pool Noodle. Glued and taped them to stay in place. I bent some wire coat hangers to made the shape of the hands (looking back, this was a waste of time. just stuff the gloves with paper towels or toilet paper. Glue / tape the hands to the end of the pvc pipe. Then stuff the arms through the coveralls and glue them where you want them.

Step 4: The Can

I cut out 2 holes for my arms to go through. I just took a drill w/ a large bit so to be able to start cutting. I then cut out 2 holes in the front of the coveralls. The holes in the coveralls were cut by figuring out were the holes were gonna be then finding the center of these holes and kinda pizza cutting outward. This was so I had these slices to glue to the inside of the can. I attached the fake hands to the handles with lots of hot glue. Just make sure to adjust them to where you want them to stay before applying glue. 

I then cut open the back of the coveralls from almost down to the crotch up to the collar. I attached the zipper with more hot glue. 

Step 5: Oscar's Hands and Body

I cut out a tapered square then glued both ends to make a short of funnel for Oscar's body. The hands don't need to be very long. I traced them out, cut them, and then glued them. I cut out 2 holes in the front of his body to attach the hands / arms. These holes need to be placed more in the front of the body than on the sides. I then took the same approach for attaching the body to the can as I did for attaching the coveralls. I cut 2 holes in the back and again pizza cut them and glued to the coveralls. 

I had to have assistance when gluing the head to the body. Someone held the head while I glued (I think i suffered my 8th or 9th burns during this process). 

I then added that pipe insulation to protect you from bein' cut by the can.

Step 6: Finish

Well I hope this was easy enough to follow. Thanks a lot for checking it out! I'm really excited to wear this out for Halloween! Let me know if you have any questions! I'll be happy to answer them. I'm sure there are some things I forgot to add. I'll update if I remember some steps. Thanks again!

Halloween Epic Costumes Challenge

Second Prize in the
Halloween Epic Costumes Challenge

Make It Stick Contest 2

Finalist in the
Make It Stick Contest 2

5 People Made This Project!


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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!

Awesome, I love how you can move his eyebrows too, nicely done!

This is fantastic! Now all we need is a Slimey the Worm, and the gang's complete.

Amazing. Looks like he came off the set of Sesame Street!


That's totally amazing.

I'm just blown away as you did a great job and it's super cool.

Do you have anymore pictures of the inside of oscars head?

it looks just like the real one!!!!! great job ?

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. ;)

8 replies

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.

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!

Also, Thanks for the comments!!


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

1 reply

That's awesome! I'm happy to see others making this.

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?