Category Archives: The SFMBC Top 10’s

Top Ten Christmas Traditions

Every year we celebrate the Christmas holidays with so many wonderful traditions.  Some of our favorite traditions for the season are here in our TOP TEN CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS.



The Christmas season begins for many with the start of Advent.  Advent, from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming,” is the time of preparation and waiting for the celebration of the Nativity and Jesus’ birth at Christmas.  In many Western churches, it begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25.    It is celebrated with Advent wreaths – a decorative wreath of greenery with 4 candles, one for each week of Advent.  The passage of Advent is marked by the lighting of one candle each week, until in week 4, all are lit.  It is a special time, lighting the candle and remembering what this special season is all about!  It is a tradition that is never missed in the home of yours truly!

Advent Calendar Sample

Advent Calendar with Gifts

Advent is often also celebrated and marked with an Advent Calendar.  Most often it is a calendar of 24 days, beginning December 1 and moving through December 24, with the culmination on Day 25 with Christmas. Many are made for children in the form of windows, with one opened each day to reveal a poem, picture, or part of a story.   I remember having one when I was a child and the expectation each day when a new ‘window’ would be opened on the calendar.  The excitement and anticipation are still to be remembered.  Some more elaborate Advent calendars have a small gift concealed in each window, such as a toy or a chocolate item.   YUM!   What was your favorite advent surprise?



Christmas Cards

How many Christmas Cards do you get each year in your mail?  Or in your email?  Or now via Facebook posts?   I look forward each year to picking up the mail in December and seeing what my friends, family and co-workers have been doing this past year.  It is especially nice to get the newsletters in those special  cards, telling all the tales of the year.    Photos….photos….photos… we have them in digital form, so it’s easy to include them in these traditional cards.     An extra special idea is to make a home-made Christmas card, full of color, glitter, and add-ons.  Here is a link to a site that describes how to make a pop-up Christmas Tree card, with a video showing you step-by-step.

Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card
Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card – Ready to Decorate!

Take a few moments with one of your children and make a special card for Grandmother, a special Aunt or Uncle, or a favorite friend.   Include a favorite saying from your family or use traditional sentiments like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”.   Collect your Christmas cards each year and use them the next year for ideas.  Cut out images from them and paste them on your new designs….add some glitter and a special message and VOILA!   A Christmas treasure!




Christmas Tree

They come in all sizes and all kinds….tall, short, wide, narrow, spruce, fir, pine, green, white, and multicolored.  They have a multitude of decorations….ornaments, garland, lights, stars, bows, balls, candles, handmade, purchased.   And they are the heart of most home décor at Christmas.   Many families have a tradition for ‘setting up the tree’.

In our home, we set aside a day when the whole family can participate.  We start by getting the decorations out of storage….that’s a job, as we’ve collected much over the years.   Then we get the video camera….a tradition we started when the children were small.  It’s a great memory for us each year to look back on.  Dad sets it up on the tripod, and we’re off!

The tree is set up first, then the lights are added.   That is the biggest job, and DAD is in charge!   Then the garland….each year we change it up with different colors.  Then the ornaments….oh, what a collection of homemade, school-made, gifted, and purchased.   Each brings a memory to our minds.  Last, but not least, is the star on top…..the crowning moment when we all step back and admire our work.

This tradition is always made more fun with hot chocolate, wassail, and cookies.    If you are lucky enough to not have allergies to pine, I’m sure many of you have ‘real’ trees and make a tradition of finding the right one.  Whatever your tradition, a tree is a special addition to the season.

Jingle Bell Rotating Christmas Tree - Plays "O Christmas Tree"

Here is one from SFMB that can be placed on your mantel or end table, if you have no other.   ENJOY!



Christmas Stockings

“And their stockings were hung by the chimney with care…..”   What is the origin of Christmas stockings being hung by the chimney?   Various versions abound, but one popular legend describes the following:

“Very long ago, there lived a poor man and his three very beautiful daughters. He had no money to get his daughters married, and he was worried what would happen to them after his death.

Saint Nicholas was passing through when he heard the villagers talking about the girls. St. Nicholas wanted to help, but knew that the old man wouldn’t accept charity. He decided to help in secret. He waited until it was night and crept through the chimney.

He had three bags of gold coins with him, one for each girl. As he was looking for a place to keep those three bags, he noticed stockings of the three girls that were hung over the mantelpiece for drying. He put one bag in each stocking and off he went. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning, they found the bags of gold coins and were of course, overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after.”  (

Christmas Stockings on Mantel

Christmas Stockings Ready for Santa

Some families celebrate the coming of St. Nicholas on December 6
with small gifts and candy secretly left for the family members.   Whatever your tradition, Christmas stockings are a special addition to the mantel at Christmas time.




The reason for the Season…..Jesus’ birth.   This tradition is well-known in all of Christianity.    Most nativity depictions show the Virgin Mary, her spouse Joseph, and the infant Jesus, either laying in a manger or being held by Mary.   This represents the Holy Family and their journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.   Having no room at the inn, the Holy Family stay in a stable, which is often shown in a Nativity scene.    Others join the Nativity scene….the shepherds and their sheep, who hear the ‘great news’ from the Angels.   Three wise men, or Magi, follow a star to Bethlehem to find the newborn King, where they honor him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold Nativity Water Globe Figurine

Gold Nativity Water Globe Figurine

Having a Nativity as a part of the holiday is a tradition for many.   Some display them under the Christmas tree, others in a special place in the home.  Many holiday programs include a Nativity reenactment as part of the program.   In our home, the Nativity holds a place of honor, as we remember why we celebrate this holy season.

If you are looking for a special nativity that holds the magic of Christmas, here is a beautiful musical water globe/figurine just for you!  I plays one of my personal favorites for Christmas – “O Holy Night”.



Christmas Lights

Jesus is the light of the world….what better way to commemorate the season celebrating His birth than with light!    Lights on the Christmas tree in multi colors or simply in white!  Candles on the table or on the tree!   Lights on the house and around the bushes and up the driveway!   Neighborhoods are decorated with matching lights.  And many places of business outline their stores with lights.  Some go another step and add music to the lights for a true holiday display!    In Kansas City, our SFMB home, we celebrate the holiday season with two fond ‘lighting’ traditions.

Kansas City Plaza Lights
Kansas City Country Club Plaza Lights during the Holidays

On Thanksgiving night, the world famous Plaza lights are lit.  It is a phenomenal display of color and pageantry, with over 80 miles of lights outlining the spectacular architecture of this classic shopping district in the heart of Kansas City.

Then, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree is lit the following weekend at another traditional ceremony. The 100-foot-tall Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s tallest, is the centerpiece for an illuminating holiday celebration. It’s the symbol of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which is dedicated to assisting the city’s less fortunate.   After the holidays, the wood from the Mayor’s Christmas Tree is made into commemorative ornaments, which are sold the following year to benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund.  ( )

What holiday lighting ceremonies are your favorites?



Christmas Baking

What would the holiday season be without sweets, sweets, sweets?   Christmas baking is a classic tradition and one that children look forward to eagerly.   Who doesn’t love the fun of decorating a gingerbread house?  Or making cut-out sugar cookies in the shape of bells, trees, and stars…then frosting and eating them?   What about a classic holiday fruitcake?  And those special candies and cookies and breads?   Oh, I can feel the pounds coming on by just thinking about all those yummy treats!   We make sure all our friends and family have a sampling of whatever we bake.    And don’t forget, some of those special cookies need to be saved for Christmas Eve to leave out on a special plate for Santa.

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies - YUMMY!

Here is a favorite recipe from one of our SFMB fans:


1 c. sugar                    1 c. confectioners sugar           1 c. margarine

2 eggs                         1 c. oil                                      4.5 c flour

1 tsp. baking soda       1 tsp. cream of tartar              1 tsp. vanilla

Mix.  Roll out and cut out cookie shapes.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet.  375 degrees,  10 min.


Christmas Caroling

One of the most loved parts of the holiday season is the music.   It makes one feel good by just listening.  And there are so many wonderful holiday songs….old songs and new songs, famous songs and not-so-famous songs.  Three of our fans shared their favorites on our Facebook page:

ANN:  Carol of the Bells, originally titled Shchedryk, was composed by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych in 1916. This Ukrainian folk song is about a sparrow and the bountiful year that awaits a family.  In theUnited States the song was first performed in 1921 at Carnegie Hall.   Peter J. Wilhousky wrote new lyrics for the melody, copyrighted it and the song is what we now know as “Carol of the Bells.”  This hauntingly beautiful song is about the sound of bells come Christmas time. (

BARBARA:  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a song introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical “Meet Me In St. Louis.”  Frank Sinatra later recorded a version with modified lyrics, which has become more common than the original. (

ANGELA:  “The Little Drummer Boy,” originally known as “Carol of the Drum,” is a popular Christmas song written by the American classical music composer/teacher Katherine Davis in 1941. It was recorded  in 1955 by the Trapp Family Singers and further popularized by a 1958 recording by the Harry Chorale.   In the lyrics the singer relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the Magi to the nativity where, without a gift for the infant Jesus, he played his drum with the Virgin Mary’s approval, remembering “I played my best for Him” and “He smiled at me”.  (

And another one of my personal favorites:

Silent Night originated in the little town ofOberndorf,Austria in 1818.  Christmas Eve was almost upon them when the priest, Joseph Mohr, discovered that the organ didn’t work.  Some say it was because of rust; some say that a mouse ate through the cables. Whatever the reason, it was unfixable.  So Mohr pulled out a poem he had written called “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht,” and asked his friend and organist Franz Gruber to write a simple melody to it that could be played on the guitar. He did; the choir quickly learned the song; “Silent Night” became history. (

Enjoy the sounds of the holidays in some of SFMB’s spectacular snow globes and figurines!



Christmas  Service

A tradition that truly reflects the meaning of Christmas….Christmas service at your place of worship.  Remembering that this special season is about the birth of our Savior Jesus is what makes all of the other traditions have meaning.   Families and friends dress up to attend mass, religious services, prayer services, musical programs, and reenactments of the Nativity.    It is a special time to remember the Christ Child and pray for Peace On Earth.




Christmas Presents

It’s 4:00 a.m.   The kids are tip-toeing down the stairs to peak at the presents.  “Hurry Up!”  they whisper to each other.   One goes to find a flashlight.  The others  wait.   Slowly, carefully, they check out the packages and gifts, discovering names on each.   Quietly they pick up a few and shake them.   They whisper, hoping their parents are still sleeping.   They crawl up on the couch and fall asleep for another 2 hours.   When 7:00 arrives, they bound into mom and dad’s bedroom and shake them.  “Wake Up!  Wake Up!   Santa was here!”   Everyone dashes to the living room …. the excitement is contagious.   The packages under the tree are gaily wrapped, sparkling, and calling ‘Open Me’.   It’s a moment like no other.   All the shopping, all the wrapping, all the late nights.….the feeling when you give a gift to another and see their joy is unparalleled.  No matter how small the gift….sharing with another, without expecting anything in return, is priceless.

Thank you, Jesus, for your gift to us.

Happy holidays to our SFMB fans.



Top 10 Stages of Women, Gift Ideas & Traditions

Throughout their lifetime, women will take on many different roles that mean something different to every person they touch in that lifetime. Today we have decided to write about the very special events / occasions that most girls will experience in their lives, along with some unique and heartfelt gifts ideas. If we have missed any that you, our readers, think we have forgotten – please feel free to add to the list!

10. Birth Day: You wake up to the phone ringing from your bedside table. It is your very best friend from childhood, your daughter, granddaughter or niece …and she has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. It is her first baby and you want to get her the perfect gift. A gift that marks this very precious moment in her life. We suggest one of our Musical Music Boxes, they make the perfect Keepsake box. Shown is our “Heart Shaped Window Musical Jewelry Box.” It plays the tune, “La Vie En Rose.” We invite you to click on the image for more details.
As mothers, we like to keep things such as:

  • The baby’s first lock of hair – A common superstition holds that a lock of hair from a baby’s first haircut should be kept for good luck.
  • A piece of the babies first “lovey” or “blanket.”
  • Babies first spoon.
  • Christening Rosary.

9. Christening: After the birth of a baby, some parents choose to Baptize or Christen their new bundle of joy. Godparents are honored and family is gathered for this very special event. New mothers get to dress their baby girls in a frilly and fancy white gown. Gifts are usually special keepsakes. We suggest our “Bedtime Prayers Girl, Rotating Water Globe” that plays the tune “Jesus Loves Me.” If she has a baby boy, we also carry a blue Bedtime Prayers Boy, Rotating Water Globe.”

8. Piano Recital: After months of lessons and hours of practice (and maybe a few Aspirin), the day of her very first Piano Recital has arrived. Everyone is so proud and excited to be a part of this special event. Following the recital, everyone will meet at her favorite restaurant or someones house to celebrate. For a little girls first Piano Recital, we suggest our “Wooden Baby Grand Piano Musical Ring Box” that plays the tune “”Always In My Heart.”


7. Christmas: If you are anything like me, shopping for mom at Christmas time is always a challenge. What do you get for the person that seemingly has everything? Make it easy by starting her a Holiday Snow Globe collection! The San Francisco Music Box Company has a history of producing the most magnificent and collectable Snow Globes in histtory.  You can start by checking out our collection here!

6. Sweet Sixteen: 16 is such a pivotal and esteemed juncture in every girls life. They are no longer a little girl but a young woman “coming of age.” Even the candles on the cake have a special meaning, Wikipedia says.

  • The first candle is for the girl’s parents.
  • The second candle is for the siblings. (If there are no siblings, then this candle can represent the grandparents.)
  • Candles 3, 4, 5 and 6 are for the rest of the family members.
  • Candles 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 are for friends.
  • Candle 15 is for the girl’s best friend or friends.
  • The 16th candle is for a significant male, such as a boyfriend or good friend.
  • Some add a 17th candle which represents good luck

A great gift idea for sweet 16 would be our “Carousel Trinket Box.” It represents the treasured memories of childhood but also, reminds them throughout their adult life, to never loose site of the magic and dreams captured from their youth.

5. High School Graduation: High School Graduation is steeped in ritual. From having their names called out, walking across a stage, and being handed their diplomas in front of their entire class, family and friends to the final throwing of the graduate hat, High School Graduation is a great accomplishment for any teen. They are excited but nervous about leaving home for college. The future is right around the corner and they are ready to go! Might we suggest our “Ruby Slippers Click Figurine.” It plays the tune “Over The Rainbow.”  It is something they can set on their bedside to always know that loved ones are only a phone call away AND as reminder that “There’s no place like home.”

4. Wedding Day: From the time they are little girls, women are planning their picture perfect wedding day. They dream of their Prince Charming and what he will look like. They circle pictures of wedding dresses in their mothers magazines and practice dancing their first dance. Needless to say, a brides wedding day plan has been in the works since the first time they saw Cinderella. For this gift idea, we make a suggestion to the husband-to-be. As every man knows, jewelry is a woman’s best friends. Our “To My Love Music Box” is the perfect memoir to keep her favorite jewelry in. This box features a the following sentiment “To My Love -You have given me many wonderful memories. May we continue to build more memories as the days go on. I Love You.” The tune is “Let me call you Sweetheart.”

3. Baby Shower: Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family’s first child, and both men and women attended. The original intent was for women to share wisdom and lessons on the art of becoming a mother. You can’t go wrong with The San Francisco Music Box Company’s “Hey Diddle Diddle Animated Toy Box.”

A loving piece for a nursery, with all the favorite characters from Mother Goose: Humpty Dumpty, The Cat and the Fiddle, The Dish and The Spoon, The Cow Jumping Over The Moon and Mother Goose herself!  With animated movement and the classic tune “Hey Diddle Diddle,” this piece is sure to be a favorite for years to come!

2. Wedding Anniversary: For most men, finding that “perfect” anniversary gift can be quite a challenge. We can’t think of a better way to profess one’s love than through one of the most well know and beloved characters of all time!

Our favorite bird with our favorite sentiment, the “Tweety I Wuv You” figurine is sure to put a smile on her face.  Tweety offers your true love a beautiful flower and plays the tune: “I Wanna Be Loved By You.”

1. Mother’s Day: Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in our lives. As little girls dream of being brides, they will never know of another bond as strong until they become new mothers. They soon shift their aspirations and hopes upon their children and spend their lives bettering themselves through their accomplishments. What do we – as daughters, son’s, husbands and grandmothers – give our mothers to celebrate their unconditional love? The best gifts, as most mothers will concur, are the gifts made with love by their children. We can only second this gift by suggesting you re-read our #10 on the list. This gift idea is specifically aimed to our new Grandmothers.

For a new mother’s FIRST mother’s day, we propose to re-gift.  The music box you recieved, or the keepsake box that you have kept for all these years, when she was born. Now she can carry on the tradition of the Mother’s Music Box!

We must not forget the Grandmother’s in our lives. Honor your Grandmother with our “Red Rose Mushroom Water Globe” that plays the tune “The Rose.” A classic red rose, the perfect gift of love.

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – The Lullaby League

The Lullaby League
“We represent the Lullaby League, The Lullaby League, The Lullaby League
And in the name of the Lullaby League, We wish to welcome you to Munchkinland,”
~ The Lullaby League.

You might be a Lollipop Kid if you tend to:
...insist on always taking a couple of friends with you when you go to the powder room.
…feel like you never get to be in the “middle”.
…you can never to seem to get that one particular song out of your head.



Becoming a Member of the Lullaby League
You Will Need:

Pink tights
Pink tutu
Pink or red ballet slippers
Pink or red ribbon (to match the slippers)
Pink leotard

The Hat
Poster board
Pink fabric
Fake pink flowers
Fabric glue
Pink ribbon

The only DIY part of the Lullaby League costume is the hat. Take the poster board, cut and roll it into a tall cone that will fit on the head. Unroll the poster board and attach pink fabric to the poster board with fabric glue. Take your pink flowers and pull off blooms, petals and flowers and staple or glue them around the bottom of the hat. Take a bigger flower with 3-4 in. of stem and glue or staple the end of the stem on top of the point of the hat. Wrap pink ribbon around the stem and glue or staple. The flower should hang off the top of the hat. Use elastic string or pink ribbon to hold on the head.

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – The Lollipop Kids of the Lollipop Guild

Lollipop Kids from the Lollipop Guild
“We represent the Lollipop Guild, The Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild.
And in the name of the Lollipop Guild, We wish to welcome you to Munchkin Land,”
~ The Lollipop Guild.
The Oz Munchkins
“The Munchkins were brought to Hollywood for The Wizard of Oz by an agent named Leo Singer, who specialized in little people vaudeville and who had earlier supplied the cast for the all-midget musical, The Terror of Tiny Town. He paid each Munchkin $50 to $75 a week. Singer hired only midgets because they were proportional like average-size people. Dwarfs have slight deformities, making them less adept at dancing and moving about fluidly.” ~ by Stephen Cox,, The Munchkins of Oz, Book Review.
You might be a Lollipop Kid if you tend to
…have no idea what the word “portions” mean.
…take 2-3 hours getting ready to go out for the evening.
…spend way too much money on hair product.

Becoming a Lollipop Kid
You Will Need:

Plaid Shirt – White Collar
Red, Blue or Green Trousers
One Styrofoam disc (Craft Store)
One dowel rod to stick into the disk (Craft Store)
Matching striped socks
Brown boots
Thick hair pomade or hair wax
Hairspray (Aquanet)

Putting together a Lollipop kid costume is as easy as visiting your local Goodwill. If you can’t find a plaid shirt with a white color, color the collar with white fabric paint.  Cut the sleeves and shirt bottom off with a 1 inch zig-zag pattern. Take your trousers and cut them in the same zig-zag pattern just above the knee. Put on the stripped socks or tights, slip on some brown boots. The hair is basically a pompadour with some additional flair. The key is to get enough of the wax or pomade in your hair to make it moldable. Once you get the style right, spray it down!

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – The Wicked Witch of the West

Miss Gulch – The Wicked Witch of the West

The ORIGINAL Woman behind the Warts
Margaret Hamilton, the actress, is as fascinating as the character of the Wicked Witch. She was given the role when another actress, Gale Sondergaard, refused to wear the make-up that would make her look ugly.  During the filming of “The Wizard of Oz,” Margaret was severely burned during a take of the scene where the witch makes a fiery exit from Munchkinland. She suffered second degree burns to her face and third degree burns to her hand. She was out of work for six weeks, and when she came back to the set she refused to do any more scenes involving fire. Wikipedia says, “The character ranks No. 4 in the American Film Institute’s list of the 50 Best Movie Villains of All Time, making her the highest ranking female villain, as well as placing 90th on Empire’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.”

This infamous green-skinned witch dressed in a long black dress with a black pointed hat has become the most mimicked super-villains of all time and still manages to terrorize the children of today.

The Casting of the Wicked Witch of the West

You might be the Wicked Witch of the West if you tend to
…do whatever it takes to get what you want, even if it hurts others.
…always get stuck as the 3rd wheel, be the bridesmaid but never the bride.
….likes to be in controls in most every situation, not for the success but for the power.

Becoming the Wicked Witch of the West
You Will Need:

Green Face Makeup
Black Witches Hat
Black Pointy Boots
Black Dress
Silver Buttons

The WWW does require face and hand makeup. We recommend that you first do a test run on your arm to make sure you do not have any nasty allergic reactions. This might make you look truly wicked but will make you wish you would melt. You can find face makeup and most any costume shops or online.
After you find the right makeup, start on the clothing. The Wicked Witch of the West wears a long-sleeved black dress with silver buttons up the front. Use a dress or a skirt and shirt combination. A great place to look would be your local Goodwill shop. Glue or sew silver buttons from the neck to the waist. Wear a pointed black witches hat and carry a broom.

We have provided a video that might be helpful in your transformation. Don’t forget to cackle and add “and your little dog too!” whenever you can!

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – The Scarecrow

The Scarecrow
Who is the Scarecrow?
The Scarecrow was made by a Munchkin farmer only two days before being discovered by Dorothy. Being informed by the local crows that he had no brain and therefore believing he lacked any intelligence, he joined Dorothy on her journey to the Emerald City in hopes of asking the Wizard of Oz for a new brain.

When the Scarecrow and his friends finally meet the great Oz, the Scarecrow has his chance to ask for a brain. Unfortunately, the Wizard did not have a brain to give.

“I can’t give you a brain, but I can give you a diploma.”
– The Wizard of Oz

The Casting of the Scarecrow

You might be the Scarecrow if you tend to
…think know the answer but assume you are always wrong.
…learn more from real life experiences rather than in a classroom setting.
…find yourself, more often than not, in a leadership role.

Becoming the Scarecrow
The Scarecrow costume requires an old pair of baggy pants and an oversize long-sleeved shirt. Tie the waist, wrists and the bottom of the pants legs with brown braided rope and staple or glue straw, tan pipe cleaners or yellow yarn at the ankles, wrists and collar of the costume to create a stuffed appearance. An old floppy hat and some scarecrow face makeup will complete the ensemble.

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – The Wizard

Professor Marvel – The Wizard of Oz
The Professor Marvel has to be one of the most eclectic, fascinating and bizarre characters in the 1939 movie and Baum books.

Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs worked as a magician for a circus. On the side of his hot air balloon, he wrote his initials of his first and middle name, OZ. He would have used all of his initials if they didn’t spell O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D.  One day his balloon accidentally sailed into the Land of Oz. The inhabitants of OZ had never seen such a marvel and began to worship him as a great sorcerer.  As Oz had no leadership at the time, he became Supreme Ruler of the kingdom, and did his best to sustain the myth.

Oz was actually none of those things. He was just a kind and somewhat ordinary circus man from Omaha, Nebraska who used a lot of elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and powerful.”

The Casting of “The Wizard”

You might be Professor Marvel if you tend to
…be a daydreamer with illusions of grandeur.
…act like something or someone you are not to gain acceptance of other people.
…be extremely observant and will see things others might not.
…compensate for self-esteem short comings by making others feel less superior.

Becoming the “Great and Powerful” Wizard
You Will Need:

Black sports jacket (well worn)
Black dress pant (well worn)
Emerald green vest
White dress shirt
Gold pocket watch with chain
Top hat with emerald green accent ribbon
White / Gray Hair

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – The Tin Man

The Tin Man

The Story of the Tin Man.
There once was a Woodsman whom fell in love with an enchanting Munchkin. His greatest desire was to marry this Munchkin. The Wicked Witch of the East, however, had other plans and they did not include marriage. Enraged by the thought, she enchanted the Woodsman’s very own axe to chop off his leg. The Woodsman had a friend whom could create prosthetics with mere tin and made him a new leg of tin. The Witch heard news of the quick fix and even more enraged, she enchanted the axe to cut off all limbs, including his head. Determined to marry his true love, he employed the tins man to again, replace his missing parts with tin. Again, the witch enchanted the axe to deliver a blow that she knew would be the end of the Woodsman / Tin man. The axe chopped the Woodsman right clean in half. Sadly, the tins man could only replace the torso, not the heart. Now no longer a human, thinking himself incapable of love, he left his hopes and dreams of marrying his true love and the marriage never occurred.

You might be the Tin Man if you tend to
…put the needs of others in front of your own, especially to the underprivileged, neglected and mistreated.
…root for the underdog and protect others from the bullies of the world.
…be claustrophobic, afraid of being trapped and unable to move forward with your life.
…avoid intimacy at all cost.

Becoming the Tin Man

The Tin Man costume will be the most difficult of the 10 to recreate but with some silver duct tape, some moving boxes, silver spray paint and an oil syphon, you can get pretty close!
You Will Need:
Cardboard Moving Box (Medium – Large)
Silver Duct Tape
Silver Spray Paint
Red Poster Paint
White Poster Paint
Sharpie or Black Paint
Old Shoes or Boots
Silver Face Paint

Step 1:
Find a light grey (close to silver) hooded sweatshirt and matching sweatpants.
Step 2: Find a big sturdy cardboard box.  For the top body of the costume, measure loosely around the chest and rib cage area. Next, measure from just under the arm pit to the bottom of the waist to get the vertical length area.
For the straps, measure from the bottom of the front arm pit, over the shoulder and around to the bottom of the back arm pit.
Take these dimensions and cut out a horizontal rectangle for the body and then cut 2 vertical strips for the straps. The straps should be at least 3 inches wide.
Step 3: In a highly ventilated area, spray paint these pieces silver.
Step 4: Once dried for at least 8 hours, duct tape or staple the pieces together to resemble the image below.
Step 5: From the cardboard scraps, cut out a heart. For the clock, cut out a circle that will fit in the center of the heart. Paint the heart red and the circle white. Once dried, use black paint or a permanent marker to draw the 2 hands of a clock. Glue or staple the heart onto the left side of the chest.
Step 6: Take the duct tape and wrap some old boots or tennis shoes.
Step 7: If you have an silver oil funnel in the garage, you have lucked out. Take the funnel, use the duct tape and tape an elastic string to either side and wear on head. If you do not have a funnel, you can pick one a plastic one for cheap at an automotive store. Spray paint it silver and put on the straps.
Step 8: Cover face with silver face paint. Make sure you test on your arm first for any skin allergy.

“When a man’s an empty kettle,
He should be on his mettle,
And yet I’m torn apart.
Just because I’m presumin’
That I could be kinda human
If I only had a heart.”
~ The Tin Man

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – The Cowardly Lion

The Cowardly Lion
Who is the Cowardly Lion?
“What makes you a coward?” asked Dorothy, looking at the great beast in wonder, for he was as big as a small horse.

“It’s a mystery,” replied the Lion. “I suppose I was born that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I’ve met a man I’ve been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run myself–I’m such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go.”

You might be the Cowardly Lion if you tend to
…say, “I’ll think about it” rather than “No” even though you mean absolutely NOT?
…leave when the going gets tough instead of sticking around to help out?
…leave the hard decisions up to someone else?
…hide your feelings from everybody, even yourself?
…avoid any and all confrontation even when you know you should?
…take others criticism even when it is unfounded?

Becoming the Cowardly Lion

The Top Body & Head

Gather your hooded sweatshirt and faux fur. Turn the sweatshirt inside out. Cut a small oval out of a piece of light brown faux fur. Glue it to the center of a darker brown hooded sweatshirt to give the tummy a furry look.

The Bottom Body
When shopping for the hooded sweatshirt, pick up a pair of matching color sweatpants. Turn the sweatpants inside out.

The Mane
Take some dark brown and light brown felt material and cut them into 1 inch and 2 inch strips of varying lengths. Use basic fabric glue to adhesive each strip of felt around the top of the hood of the sweatshirt. Make sure to glue only the bottom of each strip down to the hood. The strips need to hang down to resemble a lion’s mane.

Cut longer, thinner strips of the dark brown felt and glue them around the bottom of the hood to make the mane appear fuller around the neck and face. Cut and glue a second row of felt strips behind to the first row for a fuller lion’s mane, if desired.

Don’t forget about the red bow on top of the mane or better yet, a crooked green “broken flower pot” crown.

The Tail
Make the tail out of the leftover faux fur or felt. Cut the material into one long strip. Safety pin the tail to the seat of the sweatpants. Make sure your tail is long enough…the Cowardly Lion tends to carry it around like a security blanket!

The Feet
Use brown socks  or furry slippers for the feet . You can cut the remaining brown felt into an oval and three small circles. Glue these to the bottom of the sock or slipper. It will look like the foot pads on the bottom of a lion’s foot.  For trick or treating, you can put the sock over your child’s shoe.

The Make-Up
The jowls are a major part of the Cowardly Lion face. The jowls give the “droopy cheek” look. Use a dark brown eyeliner pencil and draw a big U shape from the corner of the mouth down to about an ½ inch above the jawline and back up to the ear lobe. To make the jowls more prominent, take a make-up wedge and a highlight the inside of the U. Start from the bottom of the U and blend upwards and stop at an imaginary line drawn from the bottom of the right ear lobe over to the left.

Starting just under the nostrils, add black with a brush or small sponge up to just below the tip of the nose, then expand outward around the nostrils. This should create the illusion of an upside-down triangle. For whiskers, you can paint them on with an liquid eyeliner in quick upward strokes.

The eyebrows should start above the inside corner of the eye, about an inch above the nose. Then, they move up toward the hairline at a 45-degree angle.

“Yeah, it’s sad, believe me, missy,
When you’re born to be a sissy,
Without the vim and verve,
But I could show my prowess,
Be a lion, not a mow-ess,
If I only had the nerve.
I’m afraid there’s no denyin’
I’m just a dandy-lion —
A fate I don’t deserve.”
~ The Cowardly Lion

Top 10 Oz Characters and Costume Ideas – Dorothy Gale

Dorothy Gale

Who is Dorothy Gale?
Dorothy Gale is just like any other Kansas country girl. She’s loving, humble, usually sweet tempered, and loves her little dog Toto very much. She has a round face, rosy cheeks and earnest eyes. She is a dreamer, like her mother. Aunt Em has suggested that the Fairies marked her at birth, since she has been protected in all her adventures through many strange places.

In the Land of Oz Dorothy is well known for killing the Wicked Witches of the East and West. She was made a Princess by Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, but was not spoiled by the magnificence around her. She is loved by everyone for her simple sweetness and honesty.

Shirley Temple as Dorothy?

You might be Dorothy Gale if you tend to

…be that person that tries to be friends with anyone and everyone.
…keep up with friends and loved ones, new and old.
…be staunchly practical and always keep things in perspective.
…speak in a straightforward manner so that there is no misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
…always keep hold of your dreams and help your friends and loved ones achieve their own.

Becoming Dorothy
For the adult Dorothy, we found this easy to follow video that takes you from any regular country girl from Kansas to the old Hollywood style glamorous Dorothy of Oz.

The Shoes

Take any old pair of dress shoes and spray-paint them red. Go to your local craft shop and pick up a package of red sequin. Carefully, glue the sequin on. You can also paint them with red glitter paint.

The Dress

If you are a seamstress, search for the Butterick 4600 pattern. The dress is two parts: an apron or pinafore (blue and white) that ties in the back. A white petticoat dress with the hemline trimmed in white eyelet. The back closure can be Velcro or a zipper.

Gather the essential pieces. Dorothy is usually seen wearing a light blue dress over a short-sleeved, white shirt. The dress is typically sleeveless, with thick spaghetti straps. Use an old or thrift store purchase dress that you can cut the sleeves to match this pattern. The white shirt is generally seen with short, puffy or ruffled sleeves. This detail can be deviated from without hurting the overall recognizable quality of the costume.

Use a white, ruffled slip, a ballet tutu or strips of white tulle to form the petticoat Dorothy wears underneath the blue dress. The tulle can be purchased at a fabric store. Stitch the ends of the strip together to form a skirt. The stitching can be crude, as the only visible portion will be at the very bottom of the skirt.

The Stockings

Add some white or blue stockings or socks. The style of the stockings can vary from ankle socks, to knee highs, to full white tights.

The Hair
Many little girls dress up as Dorothy with braided pigtails tied with blue ribbons at the end.

The Accessories
Picnic basket and a Toto stuffed animal decoy.

“There’s no place like home,” ~ Doroty Gale
Note: ranked #23 in the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.