Introduction: Emperor Kuzco

Emperor Kuzco is such a fun character from one of Disney's more underrated animations. And dressing like him can be both fun and simple.

First things first, look up references for the character. It's always good to study out the sources before you make something.

I made this for my kid for Halloween, but the same instructions can easily be modified for your kid or your more adult sized self. Kuzco is also a fun cosplay that can be pulled off by both guys or girls (so if a couple wanted to go as Kuzco and Pacha).

Step 1: Things to Know...

Skills needed for this project:

  • Foam crafting - this is a pretty simple crafting skill, though you will want some good, sharp blades and at least a heat gun. Here's one of my favorite resources for getting started:
  • Sewing - it would be hard to get into costuming without knowing how to sew. Thankfully, this is a great beginner project.

Step 2: Materials

The Crown:

  • 6mm craft foam (available at most craft stores)
  • Plastidip (or whatever your favorite method is for sealing foam)
  • Gold paint

The Robe and Sash:

  • Bright red fabric - about 2-3 yards depending on your size. (I just went with a basic cotton-blend)
  • Darker red fabric for the trim (I used a poly-satin for the shine factor)
  • Gold color trim (a thin ribbon works great)
  • red and gold thread

The Neckpiece:

  • Gold colored fabric (I used a poly-satin for this)
  • gold thread


  • Sandals
  • Blue disc earrings
  • Black wig (Egyptian cut or Short bob can both work)

Step 3: The Crown: Pattern It

The first step to patterning is measuring. You will need to measure around your forehead at the widest part.


To draw the pattern, you will need to take that measurement, add half of an inch and divide by 4 (lets call this crown measurement - CM). The dome of the crown will be made by 4 pieces (each a quarter of your head). You will take those measurements and draw a triangle shape where all three sides are the CM.

Now here's the tricky part, each side is slightly curved in a way that each corner of the triangle is a 90 degree angle. This is the key to the pieces becoming a nice dome shape when you glue them together. You will also notice on the pattern I drew, that I also marked the top, bottom front and side edges. This is because I know I'm not perfect in drawing and I want to make sure each side matches up nicely. Be sure to also add registration marks to also ensure that things line up correctly.

For the large fan, I actually patterned this after making the dome. That way I could ensure that it fits nicely on the curve. But for the main shape, it is half of an oval. The width is double the diameter of your head (which is your head measurement divided by 3.14). The height of the fan is 1.5 times the diameter (see the drawing for reference). Now divide it into six sections for the lines, and cut out the shape of the dome. Please note that the bottom of the fan does NOT line up with the bottom of the dome. It goes up an inch or two.

Step 4: The Crown: Make It

Cut out the four pieces of the dome from your pattern. Make sure that when you trace the pattern over, you include the registration marks and mark the sides. Be sure to also cut out two of the pieces with the pattern flipped over so that you have two sides that can meet.

One the pieces are cut out, use a heat gun and a domes object (I actually just use my knee) to give a curve to the dome pieces.

Once they are all curved, glue the edges together (you can use hot glue or contact cement glue). Once it is all dry, you can try and shape the dome a little more.

I smooth the seams by lightly sanding them, and filling them with some latex caulk.

Once the dome is complete, you can now pattern the fan. The fan is very straight forward to make, since it is flat. Just cut the pattern out of the foam (feel free to divide it into two pieces if needed). For the lines on the fan, I just lightly cut them in with a knife (maybe 1-2mm down) and straight edge. You can then hit the cuts with a heat gun, and it will open them up.

Glue the fan to the dome, then hit the helmet up with a few layers of plasti-dip. Once that is all dry, hit it up with some gold paint. I didn't bother weathering it, just to keep a little more flat/cartoony look.

I also added a black, thin elastic to it to help keep it on my kids head.

Step 5: The Robe: Pattern It

Measurements required for the robe:

  • top of the shoulder to the knee (or however long you want it to go)
  • elbow to elbow (across the shoulders) minus about 2 inches on both sides
  • neck length
  • arm-hole length (I would add a couple of inches to it)

The best part of the robe is that the main part isn't much more than a rectangle on both sides. Sew them together leaving a hole for the head and holes for the arms.

The width of each rectangle is the elbow to elbow measurement. The length is the shoulder to knee measurement. I didn't bother adding seam allowances, since the trim will lengthen both the sleeves and the overall length.

The trim can be anywhere from 2-3 inches depending on the size of the person. If I decide on three inches, then the width for all of the trim strips will be 7.25 inches (3 doubled so that I can fold it over, and 1.25 inches for a 5/8 in seam allowance on both sides). You will then cut two length the same as the width of the main robe (for the bottom), and two more rectangles that are double the armhole length plus 1.25 in seam allowance. As a note, I always cut the trim long, because it is always easier to shorten it later than it is to lengthen it.

Step 6: The Robe: Make It

Start by sewing together the two main body rectangles. Leave an opening for the head and the arms. If the arm holes are two small, just open them up more. For the head hole, if it is too small cut a small slit in the middle.

Once those are together, iron the trims in half and attach them to the holes. To attach the bottom trim, sew the two lengths together, and iron them in half match up the seams to the body, and with right sides together, sew the trim to the body.

To attach the arm hole trims, sew them in a loop that matches the arm hole size, iron them in half, then with the body inside out, sew the trim into the armhole (matching the unfinished edges together and the folded edge of the trim pointing into the body. Then when you turn it right-side out, you can easily point the trim outward.

Once the dark trim is attached, stitch down the gold trim between the red and dark red layers.

For the sash, measure out a very long strip of dark red fabric. Measure the width of the fabric the same way you would the trim (so 3 inch sash would mean 7.25 in strip). Fold it in half and sew it. flip it right-side out and close the ends.

Step 7: Neckpiece: Pattern It

To pattern the neckpiece, I taped newspaper around the neck (careful not to choke anyone). Do it in a front piece and back piece. Once it is around nicely, then draw on the newspaper the design for the neckpiece. Once. You have it how you like it, then cut it out. You should have a front piece and a back. Be sure to label them. You will need to add a 5/8 seam allowance around both pieces.

Step 8: Neckpiece: Make It

I cut out two of both the front and back pieces of the neckpiece. Sew one front piece to one back piece across one shoulder. Do the same on the other pieces. Just be aware of which shoulders you sew together, because you will take the two new pieces and sew them together (right sides together). Leave an opening on the non-stitched shoulder so that you can flip the piece right-side out. Close the open shoulder, then top stitch the detail lines around the neck piece.

To close it, I added some velcro to the open shoulder pieces. Make sure that the scratchy side of the velcro faces away from the skin.

Step 9: Accessories

Sandals - Kuzco's sandals are pretty basic. Mostly just plain and brown. Shouldn't be too hard to find.

Earrings - Kusco has large blue disc earrings. You can try to find some, but I just made some by cutting out two discs from a thin piece of foam, then smoothing the edges a little. I then painted them blue and glued them to so clip-on earring pieces I found from a craft store.

Wig - If you don't already have long, dark hair, I find that the Egyptian style wigs look pretty good. You can also get away with a dark bob.

Step 10: Go Out and Groove

Now that it is complete, you are ready to go out and groove. Just don't forget your friends and your theme-song guy.

Halloween Costume Contest 2016

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest 2016