DIY Sadness Costume from Disney Pixar Inside Out

Sadness from Disney Pixar Inside Out
Sadness in her Easy-to-make, No Sew Costume

Sadness, one of Riley Andersen’s 5 emotions from Disney•Pixar Inside Out, is one of the easier dress up options to pull together, especially if you own a large over-sized knit sweater or know someone who can knit you one.

Hers is an easy to make, no sew, comfy cozy costume. She also wears a sweater-based outfit that is sensible for anyone going out or trick-or-treating on cool autumn nights. With the huge sweater covering most of her, this costume is wearer-friendly, no matter what your body shape or size.

Time Magazine’s Eliana Dockterman predicted this comfy sweater costume just might “start a revolution because Halloween for so long has been about skimpy outfits.” This one, based on a very popular Disney•Pixar character is sensible, wearable, comfortable and warm, perfect for fall.

This comfy, blue outfit would have been my costume choice if we’d had made it to the Disneyland Mickey’s Halloween Party.

Sadness is proving to be a very popular dress-up choice, for the second year, as an emotion outfit, with cosplay and particularly with group costumes where five people dress up like all of Riley’s emotions. out of all of the emotions. To get started click on the costume ideas link.

Image from from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out.

Who is Sadness?

My favorite character from Disney•Pixar Inside Out was the melancholy, blue emotion. She reminds me a lot of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, only Sadness is less gloomy and sometimes gets to smile.

Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.


In this video from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out, Phyllis Smith, the voice of Sadness, introduces us to the emotion that takes over when things aren’t quite going your way.

Concept Art – She’s a Teardrop

When the concept art was being worked on for Inside Out, writer/director Pete Docter was tasked with figuring out the different emotions and then also how each of those characters emotions would be represented.

Sadness on Fabric Teardrop
Her Shape on Fabric. She’s sooo blue.

Each character ended up with his or her own designs shape and concept. Joy was a star, Sadness was a tear, Disgust was broccoli (yes, really broccoli), Fear was a frayed nerve and Anger was a brick of fire.

When you realize that she is literally a giant blue teardrop, with water for hair, her character’s design make a lot of sense. Docter described her hair as “a waterfall coming down.” In the original concept art for Sadness from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out she is even sadder and gloomier than the final version.

Character art director Albert Lozano turned to his his own empathetic mother for inspiration. His mother wanted to take on the sadness for everyone else.

The art team used this empathetic trait to make this down, melancholy character into one that the audience would relate to rather than shy away from. They also let her express emotions freely (like crying) that many people would like to be able to express.

Her comfortable, knit sweater started off as the pajamas you stay in all day when you are down. Instead of pajamas, she wears an over-sized sweater, like a warm, cozy safety blanket to hide in. Kind of like living inside of Linus’blue blanket.

DIY Sadness Costume Ideas

This is one of those costumes that can be pulled together from separate items. It works well for those who knit or know someone who could knit you an over-sized sweater. Her attire is wearable, comfortable, plus-size and mom-friendly. The over-sized sweater is also perfect for hiding any extra pounds, or muffin tops.

From top to bottom the clothes and accessories needed to put together a DIY Costume:

Sadness Figure with Long Term Memory Manual
  • Sparkly, glittery blue wig
  • Big round purple framed glasses
  • Blue face and hand makeup
  • Blueish-gray, light blue, or light gray over-sized, long turtleneck knit sweater
  • Blue pants or leggings
  • Blue scuff, spa slippers or flats
  • (Blue gloves – instead of hand makeup)
  • Accessories: Memory ball, blue orb or Long term Memory Retrieval Manual

With this outfit is the accessories that are going to make your DIY version of this blue emotion costume stand out, like carrying the manual or memory ball.

Sadness Costume Supplies

This emotion of Riley has light blue skin, dark blue hair and sapphire blue eyes. She wears a light blue to blueish-gray turtleneck sweater, big round dark purple glasses, and navy to royal blue pants or leggings and house slippers.

Clothes and Shoes

  • Blueish-gray, light blue, light gray over-sized, long turtleneck knit sweater
  • Blue pants or leggings
  • Blue slippers or flats

Her sweater is an oversized loose turtleneck or cowl neck in light blue. Blueish-gray would also work. Another option is to take a light grey, beige or white sweater and dye it blue. Since this could be a sweater that is reused after the costume, finding a stylish one would make re-wearing it more likely.

Finishing up the bottom of her costume, she wears royal blue pants or leggings and slippers. If running or yoga leggings are used (like getting a new pair of Blue Nike Running Tights), there is a better chance that the new athletic clothes may inspire you to reuse them and get you up off the couch.

For outside trick-or-treating or parties the blue spa slippers may need to be replaces with harder bottom blue shoes, like the Isotoner hard bottom spa slipper, clogs or mules like the Crocs Sataya Mule.

Hair and Makeup

Close up of Sadness
See How her Blue Hair Sparkles

Unless your hair is short and you are willing to dye your hair blue, most people will need to get a blue wig to recreate her short, uncombed hair.

For hair and makeup portion of this outfit you need:

  • Blue wig
  • Blue glitter spray (optional)
  • Blue face makeup

One of the unique elements of Joy, Sadness and Disgust is that they all glow in their dominant color. This is very apparent if you look closely at her hair in the image to the right or rewatch the movie to see how their hair glitters, glows or sparkles.

Hair, Sparkle Spray and Wigs

For those willing to dye your hair blue, all you need to add is some blue glitter hairspray to complete the sparkly look. For those who’d rather go for a temporary look, I’ve found some good wig options that will give you an instant blue do.

Make up Choices for Turning Blue

Jackie Wyers did an adorable tutorial for turning yourself blue like sadness.

Here are some of the face make up and face paint choices available for turning light blue, pastel blue or sky blue not blueberry blue like Violet Beaureguard from Willy Wonka.

If you don’t want to paint your hands too, blue gloves or even better if you have access to blue disposable gloves. Many of the costumes examples from Comic Con used gloves in place of hand make up. Check that you have the right size for your hands.

Short Blue Novelty Gloves
Short Blue Gloves

Small Blue Disposable Gloves
Small Blue Disposable Gloves

In another video tutorial, Morgan Stradling, of Rotoscopers, steps us through her version of getting the perfect blue Sadness makeup for your next cosplay or Halloween costume.


The accessories you add to the basic costume will be what helps to make your version of this costume unique. Her purple glasses are pretty much a required part of the costume. Carry a Long term Memory Retrieval Manual or a Memory Ball to look even more like Sadness.

Long Term Memory Ball

Carry a Blue “Memory Ball”

In the beginning of the movie Sadness is chastised by Joy for touching the memory balls, particularly the long term ones, because she turns them from yellow, happy “Joy-ful” memories into blue ones.

Later in the movie, Joy learns the importance of Sadness and they all learn how memories are often a combination of different emotions―Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear.

These color-changing orb’s (to the right) are an easy way to carry a blue memory. These LED orb lights have eight different color-changing modes or you can display a single color choice, like blue.

Glasses and Memory Retrieval Manual

Her glasses have large round purple frames, which can be made using our template. You could also use large round black framed glasses from other prior Halloween costumes.

The DIY Sadness Purple Glasses and the DIY Long Term Memory Retrieval Manual pages include templates to will help you create these important costume accessories.

DIY Sadness Glasses Template
DIY Sadness Purple Glasses from Inside Out

Long Term Memory Manual Mockup
DIY Sadness’s Long Term Memory Retrieval Manual

More Inside Out Costumes

To make it easier for indexing and publishing we’ve split up the costume and accessories into separate pages.

We also have one for Riley’s Imaginary Boyfriend, which is another easy one to make. With luck there will be a few more costume ideas from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out for Riley and the rest of her many emotions—Joy, Disgust, Fear and Anger.

Our Pinterest Board for DIY Disney Pixar’s Inside Out Movie Costumes

Our collection of costume ideas for Riley and her emotions―Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear from Disney Pixars Inside Out Movie. Make, modify or mash-up costumes for the different emotions inside your head. The board also includes fun ideas, activities and information for Disney/Pixars Inside Out Movie.

Visit our Pinterest board for more fun ideas from Inside Out.

Follow The Costume Detective’s board DIY Disney Pixar Inside Out Movie Costume Ideas on Pinterest.