DIY Sadness Costume Ideas for Girls and Tweens

Sadness Watching for Rain
Sadness in a tween-friendly, no sew sweater costume

Sadness is a perfect costume for the cooler fall weather. The large, warm sweater is like wearing a big comfortable blanket. Because it is so large and long, the sweater is wearer-friendly.

This is also an easy last-minute costume, especially if you already have a large knit sweater and blue pants, tights or leggings.

The basic costume minimally requires:

  • A large knit sweater
  • Blue leggings, jeggings, pants or tights
  • A blue wig
  • Large round glasses, preferably purple

This page has more information and materials for making girls and tween costumes. Adults and teens can see our page on DIY Sadness Costume from Inside Out.

Image from Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out

We ❤ Sadness

Sadness was the surprise break-out star from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out. Her costume became one of the most popular DIY ones at Comic Con 2015. Based on the premade costumes for this year, her popularity is continuing.

Phyllis Smith, the voice of Sadness, speculated why her costume was so popular with girls, teens and young adults in this interview:

Maybe it’s their way to express themselves without having to be embarrassed about it or having to actually talk about their sad feelings.

They can just run around looking blue.

Phyllis Smith

Dressing like Sadness is ideal for any blue girls, tweens or teens, particularly those who wear glasses already. Being the blue emotion, who feels like she doesn’t fit in and she isn’t important lets them act like a normal grade, middle or high schooler.

She is a sympathetic ‘Debbie Downer.’ With Sadness you just want to give her a big hug because you know it will help, like with most grade, middle and high schoolers.

Sadness Deflated from Inside Out
I’ll just lie here until tomorrow. I’m so deflated.

Who hasn’t wanted to plop down, when tired or deflated and just lie around.

I believe that Sadness is so beloved because she does, says and expresses what many of us would really like to do, say or express.

The Costume Detective.

I speculated even more on Why do We love Disney Pixar Inside Out’s Sadness? in the blog.

Image from Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out

DIY Sadness Costume Supplies

Sadness Looking Sad
Sadness Looking Sad

This DIY costume is a easy-to-make, no sew costume that requires a few articles of clothing and some accessories. The complete list of costume supplies needed is below.

  • Blue or gray over-sized sweater
  • Blue leggings, yoga pants or running tights
  • Blue shoes or slippers
  • Sparkly short blue wig
  • Blue face makeup
  • Blue hand makeup or blue gloves
  • Large Round Purple Glasses
  • Extras: Memory Ball, Memory Manual

Sweaters, Leggings and Slippers

It proved to be quite challenging finding knit sweaters in light blue for girls, since this isn’t a usual color choice, though it was my favorite color growing up. It may not matter though because my daughter insists that Sadness’ sweater is gray.

For this outfit any over-sized knit sweater in a light color like blue, gray, beige or white will work. You might even consider dying a white or light gray sweater to a light blue.  Other options are wearing a sweater dress, tunic or sweatshirt. If you have to purchase something, choose garments that can be used again.

For the bottom part leggings, jeggings, pants or tights (with a dress) work. Blue spa slippers work only if the costume wearer is going to be inside. Go for blue shoes or flats.

Sadness Glowing from Inside Out
Sadness Sparkles and Glows in Disney’s Inside Out

Hair, Sparkle and Makeup

For the hair, start with a blue wig, a short one is better, but a longer one can be cut and styled into her someone uncombed look.

Style her hair so she has a side part and the bangs sweep to the side of her face. The final touch is to add sparkles, so her hair glows.

If you look closely at any of the emotions—Joy, Sadness or Disgust—you will discover that they glow or have a halo around them. They also have hair that sparkles or glistens, as you can see in the image to the right.

Blue Face and Makeup

For the make up, decided what shade of blue you want to use. Pastel blue, light blue, sky blue and brilliant light blue are some of the choices. You probably want to go lighter, so it is easier to remove. Her face and hands are blue, so you will want to put make up on your hands. An simple alternative to hand makeup is to wear blue gloves that match the face makeup.

Makeup Tutorial

One of the best makeup tutorials comes from Jackie Wyers did an amazing job of turning herself blue. I love her recreation of sadness crying.

Large Purple Glasses

DIY Sadness Glasses
DIY Sadness Purple Glasses from Inside Out

If you have any prior Halloween costumes that had large round or nerd glasses (any Harry Potter fans?) you could reuse them for Sadness’ character. Many people are substituting black (or even pink) round glasses for her costume.

Her recognizable glasses have large round purple frames, which can be easily made using our template found at the DIY Sadness Purple Glasses page. If you’d rather buy glasses we have a few suggestions.

Extras – Memory Ball and Memory Retrieval Manual

Beyond the basic blue costume, the extras added are what helps to make your version of this costume unique and special.

Tiny Sadness with a Memory Sphere

Memory Balls or Spheres

Riley’s five emotions are tasked with keeping track of her memories in colored glass balls, spheres or orbs. The color of the ball depends on the main emotion experienced at the time. Joy’s are yellow, Sadness’ are blue, Disgust’s are green, Fear’s are purple and Anger’s are red.

We discover that Sadness is able change a yellow memory to blue if she holds it. By the end of the movie, Joy learns the importance of Sadness. They all learn that memories are more often a combination or a mixture of different emotions―Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear.

An easy way to add blue memory ball to your costume is by carrying a color-changing LED orb lights. These Rainbow Orb LED lights, available on Amazon, allow you to choose a single color. Set it to blue and you’ll have an LED blue ball that glows, like one of Sadness’ memory spheres.

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

Memory Retrieval Manual

Early in the movie we learn that Sadness is the only one of the emotions who has read (and enjoys reading) the manuals on memory retrieval.

Her knowledge of the manuals, especially Volume 47, comes in handy when Joy and Sadness suddenly find themselves in Long Term Memory, looking for a way to get home.

The DIY Long Term Memory Retrieval Manual page has images and templates to print out, slip into a binder and use to create your own 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. There is also an adult version of the costume.

For those interested in a different easy-to-do look, Riley’s imaginary boyfriend is a popular, humorous option.

More Costume Ideas

For several of the costumes we’ve separated out the girl and tween costume from the main adult costume.

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

Our Pinterest board has collection of costume ideas for Riley and her emotions―Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out Movie. Make, modify or mash-up costumes for the different emotions inside your head. The board also includes inspiration for doing your own group emotion costumes.

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

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