How to Make a DIY Dolly Costume from Toy Story

Dolly Toy Story DIY costume

Do you want to make a DIY Dolly (Toy Story) costume? We’ll have you stitched up in no time with our step-by-step outfit guide.

Dolly is a homemade plush doll who first appears in Toy Story 3 (2010) and again in Toy Story 4 (2019). As one of Bonnie’s favorite toys, Dolly plays a maternal leadership role over Bonnie’s other toys, in much the same way as Woody does with Andy’s toys.

Andy’s toys are gifted to Bonnie after he outgrows them and Dolly is one of the first characters they encounter. Her sweet and caring nature becomes immediately apparent as she cares for the damaged and discarded toys, as well as helping the original ensemble on their quest to be reunited with Andy.

More DIY Toy Story Costume Guides:

As Dolly is a handmade toy, she is the perfect DIY costume idea for fans of Toy Story, new and old. Here is how to make the best Dolly outfit for yourself:

DIY Dolly Costume Guide

DIY Dolly Toy Story costume guide

Buy Dolly costume items:

  1. Orange Tunic Dress
  2. Green cotton thread
  3. mini gold bowl
  4. Yellow plastic plates
  5. Blue square plates
  6. Brown flats
  7. Large butterfly hairclips
  8. Purple wig

Step 1: Dolly’s Dress

For Dolly’s dress we started with an oversized orange T-shirt. We chose this over a standard dress because of its more baggy and shapeless silhouette, which fits perfectly with Dolly’s self-made sack look.

First, cut off the arms at the shoulder. Don’t worry about it being too neat; in fact, you want a bit of a jagged, uneven finish – like a child had made it. Do the same with the base, cutting it to your desired length and leaving a slightly uneven line.

If you want to add the yellow polka dots, paint them on now with some yellow fabric paint.

You might feel that your dress is still looking too ‘new’ and vibrant for your DIY Dolly costume. If you want to create a more faded and naturally worn look, run the shirt through the washer a few times. If you’re blessed with dependable weather and a washing line, a couple of days in the sun also does wonders to naturally fade clothing. Check out this excellent guide from Sliverbobbin on how to fade clothes for more tips.

Finally, using a thick green yarn, sew a basic over-under line across the neck and hem of the dress. Note, on Dolly’s dress, the stitch lines are slightly larger at the base than the neck.

Step 2: Dolly’s Buttons

One of the most recognizable aspects of this Dolly Toy Story costume is the three oversized buttons the character has sewn onto her dress.

For our outfit, we used plastic plates. We have also seen others use painted paper plates to achieve the same effect. This is definitely the cheaper and easier option, so if you’re making your DIY Dolly costume in a hurry, this is the best option.

However, we felt plastic plates looked more like the plastic buttons Dolly has and just gave the whole cosplay more of a premium feel. Drill 4 holes into a yellow plastic plate and sew onto the upper right half of the dress using a simple criss-cross stitch.

Drill two holes into the square blue plate and stitch onto the bottom right half.

Now, the problem with using plastic plates is that they’re difficult to find online without being in bulk. If you’re hosting your own costume party, maybe you could kill two birds with one stone here – catering and costume in one.

If you don’t want to buy plates in bulk only to use a couple here, a quick trip down to your nearest Party-supply store should do the trick.

Finally, for the gold pin, a shallow brass bowl with an unpolished finish is great for recreating that well-played-with look. Of course, simply painting another paper plate gold is another (much easier) option if you’re in a hurry. To fix the bowl to your dress, drill 4 holes around the edge and sew it on in the same way as the yellow button.

Step 3: Dolly Costume Finishing Touches

With the dress complete, your DIY Toy Story Dolly costume is almost finished! Now for the last few accessories.

For her shoes, we went with a simple pair of brown loafers. If you have a pair of old brown slippers lying around (we all have a pair that have seen better days) that would work well too.

Next, get yourself a pair of large pink and blue butterfly hairclips. If you still have thread left over, then you can also wrap some around the spring for added authenticity.

Finally, for Dolly’s distinctive hair color, you can either use some temporary purple hair dye (the kind that comes out the next time you wash your hair) or get yourself a purple costume wig if you don’t want to change your natural hair color. For added cuteness, tie your hair/wig in two high pigtails.

And just like that, your DIY Dolly from Toy Story costume is ready to go!

Is Dolly the right Toy Story costume for you?

Dolly from Toy Story

Is Dolly really the best-fit Toy Story costume for you? Dolly is an empathetic and thoughtful character who cares deeply for the toys she is responsible for. Let’s find out if it is a match by comparing your personality with Dolly’s:

  • The mother of the group: You are naturally protective and caring. Looking after other toys comes as second nature to you and there is nothing you won’t do to help your loved ones.
  • Soft as a kitten: You are soft-spoken and warmhearted. People shouldn’t be fooled though, this mommy bear has claws too.
  • Responsible and dependable: You take your role is the caretaker of the group seriously. You are a considerate and dependable shoulder to confide in.
  • A calm port in a storm: Like a Swiss army knife, you have the calm and composure to adapt to life’s many challenges, especially when they are least expected.
  • Warm and approachable: People just seem to gravitate toward you. Your compassion and warmth make you a natural leader and you wear that honor with pride.

More DIY Toy Story costume ideas:

Not sure if a Dolly costume is right for you after all? Don’t worry we are sure to have a guide for your favorite Toy Story character. Now, be honest, how would your closest friends and family describe you?