How To Make A Wembley Fraggle Rock Costume

How to Make a Fraggle Costume
How to Make a Fraggle Costume | Source

7 Steps To Making Your Wembley Costume

1. Gather Your Materials
2. Make The Eyes
3. Make Wembley's Head
4. How to Handle Fraggle Hair
5. Make The Body
6. Make The Fuzzy Bodysuit and Tail
7. Make Wembley's Hawaiian Shirt

The best Halloween costume I ever made for myself was of one of Jim Henson's Muppets, and I am a full grown adult. Wembley, the goofy/naïve Fraggle from the 80s favorite Fraggle Rock, is definitely my favorite. I was living in San Francisco at the time, where it is cold at night and walking for miles on Halloween is the norm. I wanted something that wasn't skimpy and was very comfortable to wear, and something I could wear with a pair of sneakers and not look out of character. Taking a cue from the children's costume DIY-ers, I decided my best bet was to sew my own costume.

In this article, you will find a detailed list of the materials I used to bring Wembley to life, and a how-to to help you create your own muppet creation. I'm also offering you, my gentle readers, some tips and tricks that even the non-crafty crafters among you can apply.

What's a Fraggle?

I'm glad you asked. Here is the Fraggle Rock theme song, in all it's glory (Wembley is the yellow guy):

Full Confession

I am not a sewer. I barely know how to thread my own sewing machine. My point is that:

a) You too can make a sweet homemade Fraggle costume if you have limited crafting abilities.

- or -

b) If you are a sewer, think of how much more AWESOME you can make this look!

THE Fraggle Essential

36" OSTRICH Feather Fringe - YELLOW (3"-6" In Height)
36" OSTRICH Feather Fringe - YELLOW (3"-6" In Height)

Whether you're Wembley, Red, Gobo, Mokey, Boober, or Uncle Traveling Matt, you absolutely should invest in some ostrich feather trim. It's what they actually used on Jim Henson's puppets, so it will absolutely give your costume a Fraggley look (and whimsical hair movement). Even if you scrimp on other materials, this stuff is a necessary luxury.

My DIY Wembley Fraggle Costume
My DIY Wembley Fraggle Costume

1. Gather Your Materials

Fraggle Fabrics:

  • Soft Fleece Fabric in lemon or light yellow - for the head, feet, and hands
  • Very Stretchy Fabric in lemon or light yellow - for the arms and legs
  • Faux Fur Fabric in Olive Green or Green/Brown - for the bodysuit and tail
  • Hawaiian Shirt Fabric in white/cream with green palm trees - for the shirt. You have some leeway for this. So long as you get the color scheme close, it should look great!
  • Black Felt - for the eyes

Necessary Trim:

  • Ostrich Feather Trim/Fringe in yellow (optional: a small bit in white and olive) - for the head and tail
  • Fabric Ribbon in lemon or light Yellow(3/8 inch is a good size) - for the head
  • Two Orange Buttons (7/8 inch to 1 inch) - for the hawaiian shirt (shank buttons are best if you're going for authentic)
  • Thread
  • A 6 inch zipper (optional)

Other Materials:

  • Polyester Stuffing
  • Hook and Eye Fasteners (large) or Safety Pins (large) - I used 6 Hook & Eyes on the bodysuit, and safety pins on the tail. These are interchangeable, however.
  • Thick, Bendable Wire - for the tail - 3 feet - I got mine from a hardware store (it's about 10-12 gauge), but you could also use an unbent wire hanger. The important thing is that the wire should be flexible enough to bend, but hard enough to maintain it's shape inside the tail.
  • Fishing Bobbers (the classic red/white kind) 1.75 inch - You'll need two for the eyes
  • White Acrylic Craft Paint - A small tube is fine. This is for the eyes


  • Heavy Duty Needles
  • Normal Needles
  • A Sewing Machine (ideally)
  • Fabric Glue
  • Sandpaper

How to Make Fraggle or Muppet Eyes (Wembley)
How to Make Fraggle or Muppet Eyes (Wembley) | Source

2. Make The Eyes

  • Wembley, Boober, Gobo, Red, Mokey, and all the Fraggle crew all have eyes, well, except for Boober. Who has a hat. The eyes are important because they will give your DIY Fraggle costume a soul.
  • The eyes should be the first thing you start on since they require several coats of paint (and drying time in between). I opted for the traditional Fraggle eye: the fishing bobber. To start, I sanded the whole thing down, taking extra care to flatten out the "lip" that runs in between the red and yellow part a bit. You can see from the photo that the "lip" isn't completely flat on mine, but it still looks fine. I then painted the whole eye (the red and white part) with a basic white acrylic craft paint. I had to use several coats to get the red covered completely.
  • For the pupils, I cut out two circles of black felt and glued them on with some fabric glue. I found that a pupil about the size of a dime look great (although mine are slightly smaller). For more info on Fraggle eyes, and muppet eyes in general, check out the "Resources" section at the bottom of this page.

Materials For The Eyes

I had read that some of the original Fraggle Muppet eyes were made from fishing bobbers, so that's what I did with this costume. Ping pong balls could be used on a child costume, but I think they're too small for adults. Styrofoam might be another option worth exploring.

Thill Round-A-Bout Plastic Bobbers - 1.75 inch
Thill Round-A-Bout Plastic Bobbers - 1.75 inch

Don't worry about the red part, the piece sticking out the back, or the flat bottom. These are the same ones I used for my costume.

How to Make a Fraggle Costume
How to Make a Fraggle Costume

3. Make Wembley's Head

  • Other than using a basic ear-flap knit hat for the general shape, making Wembley's head was largely trial and error. I looked at a bunch of images of Wembley online to get an idea of the shape I wanted the head in. It is made of two pieces of fabric that are mirrors of each other. I started with rather large pieces of fabric, then safety pinned and filled in with some stuffing (in the nose and upper head area) and cut it down, until I got the shape that I wanted.
  • Once I had a good lookin' Fraggle head, I finished the edges (around the face and neck openings) and added two pieces of fabric ribbon to be tied around the chin. I then sewed the two halves together, and fixed up the Fraggle "hair" (you can see how I did Fraggle hair in the section below). Next, I added the stuffing to the nose/upper head area, and roughly stitched and glued the fleece pieces on the inside to keep the stuffing in place, and cover up the stitches from the Ostrich feathers. As you can see from the photos, the inside is rather sloppy, but you can't see this at all once the costume is on!
  • For the eyes (which were painted and ready to go), I used the little wire "hook" that's built into the bobber to sew it to the head. I glued the eyes down with a healthy amount of fabric glue on the lower/inner parts of the eye, to give that slightly "crossed eye" look. To finish it off, I glued little squares of fleece over the red bobber piece that sticks out in the back.

Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Adhesive 4oz
Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Adhesive 4oz

Unlike Elmers, fabric glue is not water soluble; it won't lose its bond if exposed to moisture or sweat. I used glue on the head part of the costume to secure the eyes and underneath to hold all the stuffing in.

Fraggle Hair - Ostrich Feathers
Fraggle Hair - Ostrich Feathers

4. How to Handle Fraggle Hair

I used ostrich feather trim (aka ostrich fringe) for Wembley's hair. I took the fringe and started it at the top-center of where I wanted the hair to be with the string side on the fleece and started sewing it it in a spiral going out. Each "pass" around the head was about 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch apart.

Optional step: Once I had the hair how I liked it, I used a large craft needle to thread individual pieces of yellow and white feather along the "hair-line" to make it look more "natural"... well as natural as Fraggle hair can look.

If you're interested in making a costume or cosplay for any of the other Fraggles, here's a breakdown of the color of their hair:

  • Red - red with orange and yellow highlights
  • Gobo - fuschia/purple with white highlights
  • Mokey - light blue/periwinkle with white and light lime green throughout
  • Boober - bright orange or reddish orange straight up
  • Wembley - yellow with white highlights (add olive green in the tail)
  • Uncle Traveling Matt - white as the driven snow

Ostrich Feathers , Olive Green Ostrich Fringe Feather - 6 Inches
Ostrich Feathers , Olive Green Ostrich Fringe Feather - 6 Inches

This trim is perfect for the tail. I used a very similar one for my costume, but mixed in some of the yellow feathers. You'd probably only need one 4 inch strip, but you could also opt for 8 inches (ie double the order) to be on the safe side.


A Word on Ostrich Feathers

The ostrich feathers are arguably the most important part of a Fraggle costume. It is exactly what Jim Henson used on his Fraggles, so you know you'll have that familiar "Fraggle hair" movement. They can be expensive, but it's entirely worth it; invest in this part of the costume, and even if the rest is not perfect, you'll look quite Fraggley.

When I made this costume, I ordered yellow ostrich trim (also called "fringe") online from Lamplight Feather. While you could technically make it work by sewing on individual pieces of ostrich feather from a plume, as you'll soon see, buying the feathers pre-sewn to a strip of ribbon or string will make creating this costume so much easier. Here is the exact trim I'm talking about. Lamplight Feather has ostrich fringe in every color you'd need to create ANY of the Fraggle characters.

Dritz Assorted Heavy Duty Hand Needles, 7-Pack
Dritz Assorted Heavy Duty Hand Needles, 7-Pack

I used these exact needles to thread individual pieces of ostrich feathers, as well as to hand sew the super thick fuzzy bodysuit.

Wembley Shirt and Pants
Wembley Shirt and Pants | Source

5. Make The Body

I made leggings and a tight fitting long sleeve shirt out of some stretchy polyester-like fabric in light yellow. Because I'm not a sewer, all I did was trace the shape of the leggings that I wanted (one piece for the front, and one for the back), then cut it out and sewed it together.

For the shirt, I looked at a long sleeved shirt that fit me well, and traced a pattern out based on that (I used a piece for the front, one for the back, and one for each of the arms). Keep in mind that only the arms are visible once the costume is on, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

If you want to make a DIY costume or cosplay of another Fraggle, here's a breakdown of the color of their bodies:

  • Red - golden yellow or light yellowish orange
  • Gobo - medium orange
  • Mokey - light to medium pink with a hint of lavender
  • Boober - light mint green or aquamarine
  • Wembley - pale yellow with a hint of light green
  • Uncle Traveling Matt - subtle tan brown

Ugh. Way too much sewing, Fraggle girl.

Fear not! You can definitely cut a few corners when making any muppet style Halloween costume. You can still have that awesome hand-made look with slightly less effort. While the head/hat part and fuzzy body and tail sections should probably be hand made, you can buy leggings, a long sleeved shirt, a Hawaiian shirt, and gloves as is.

Make Your Own Fraggle Costume
Make Your Own Fraggle Costume

6. Make The Fuzzy Bodysuit and Tail

Because the furry fabric was so thick, I opted to sew both the bodysuit and the tail by hand. Your machine might be better equipped to handle this however.

For the body suit, since I was using a limited amount of rather expensive fabric, I made extra sure that I had the size right before making any cuts. I basically sewed a simple, high neck, one-piece swimsuit (or bodysuit) shape out of two pieces of furry fabric. I measured the largest part of my body (which for me is my hips/butt) so I could deduce how wide the body suit would need to be. I sewed up the sides of the suit, and made a rough hem along the arm holes and the leg holes. I left the top open, securing it with two hook and eye fasteners on either side of the neck opening, as well as the crotch (which is also secured with two hook and eye fasteners), for ease of changing/going to the bathroom.

For the Fraggle tail, I cut a strip of fur about 3 feet long and 4 inches wide. On one end, I sewed in about 6 inches or so of yellow and olive colored ostrich feather fringe that I had rolled up to make the "pouf." I then roughly sewed a 10-12 gauge wire on the inside of the fabric (with either end curled to prevent pokey ends), then sewed the whole thing up into a tube by hand.

Want to make a different Fraggle costume? Here's a breakdown of the color of their torsos and tails (ie the fuzzy part!):

  • Red - golden yellow or light yellowish orange
  • Gobo - red orange or medium coral
  • Mokey - lavender with a hint of pink
  • Boober - light blue with a hint of mint green
  • Wembley - brown green (olive green)
  • Uncle Traveling Matt - subtle tan brown

Fuzzy Fraggle Fabrics

I highly recommend buying your fabrics at a fabric or craft store. That way you can get the color, thickness, elasticity and feel right. That said, the furry body/tail part of the Wembley costume can be hard to find in conventional stores. I found mine in a super awesome fabric place in the Haight/Ashbury part of San Francisco, but I realize this is wholly useless to those that don't live there. Faux fur fabric is easy to find online.

Note On Colors: If you're going for authenticity, know that "Wembley Puke Green" is very hard to find in faux fur. Olive green or green/brown look great, but you could also go with brown or another shade of green if you're having problems finding a match.

Faux / Fake Fur Mongolian OLIVE GREEN Fabric by the Yard
Faux / Fake Fur Mongolian OLIVE GREEN Fabric by the Yard

This is that classic "monster" type faux fur fabric that would work very well on a Wembley costume. The fabric I got was a bit darker, but this one is actually a better fit as far as texture goes.

Wembley's Shirt (Fraggle Rock)
Wembley's Shirt (Fraggle Rock)

7. Make Wembley's Hawaiian Shirt

Actually... technically it's a Banana Tree Shirt.

  • Admittedly, the Hawaiian shirt was the hardest part of the Wembley costume for me to make. It makes sense because I have absolutely no background in sewing, so I didn't know the proper way to make a shirt. All things considered, I don't think it turned out half bad!
  • My best advice is to find a short sleeved button down shirt (a mens shirt would be fine for this) and turn it inside-out to see how it was constructed. You can create a rough pattern from this, keeping in mind that Wembley's shirt has a shawl collar and wraps (with those two orange buttons in the front). I rolled up some pipe cleaners in the sleeve hems to get that "Fraggle sleeve" thing going.
  • If all this is too much fuss for you, you could just as easily USE a normal short sleeved hawaiian shirt for the costume. Goodwill and thrift stores are fantastic for this.

What do the rest of the Fraggles wear? Here's the each Fraggle's wardrobe:

  1. Red - red turtle neck sweater, pink hair bows
  2. Gobo - red and gold striped sweater, brown vest, burgundy scarf
  3. Mokey - long, open and draped grey-blue/green sweater or robe; beaded necklace
  4. Boober (aka the most naked Fraggle) - long brown scarf and brown newsboy cap / hat
  5. Wembley - A white banana tree shirt (hawaiian shirt) with orange buttons
  6. Uncle Traveling Matt - explorer hat, khaki safari jacket with shorts (plus brown belt), white scarf, white tube socks, tan boots

Wembley's Hawaiian Shirt (the Easy Way!)

Benny's Womens Flamingos Hawaiian Shirt (S, Sand)
Benny's Womens Flamingos Hawaiian Shirt (S, Sand)

This is as close a match as I've seen to a pre-made Wembley "Banana Tree" Hawaiian shirt. When buying pre-made, make sure you get a size that will be nice and baggy so it will fit over your fuzzy body-suit. You can also find a Hawaiian shirt at a thrift store and doctor it up to look more like Wembley's (with some orange buttons).

Fraggle Hands and Feet
Fraggle Hands and Feet

7. Making Wembley's Hands and Feet

  • The hands and feet are made out of the same light yellow fleece that I used for the head. Fraggles have 4 fingers on each hand and 4 toes on each feet. For the "gloves" I simply sewed two glove-shaped pieces of fleece together with the middle and ring finger forming one "finger-hole."
  • The feet are meant to be worn over tennis-shoes (I wore Toms). The shoe covers were sewn together from 3 pieces (two for the top, and one for the bottom), then I hand stitched the toes together; this not only gave the foot a more Fraggle-y look, it also made the shoe covers curved so that they lay more naturally over the foot. To get the covers to stick, I used a combination of safety pins and plain-ole tape.

Tips and Tricks

  • Your Fraggle costume is likely to be devoid of pockets. You don't want be the Fraggle that's holding a purse or a Fraggle with a wallet shoved down your front (and possibly falling out your bottom) on Halloween or at a comic convention. You just want to be a FRAGGLE. I got a plain 6-inch zipper and made a pocket on the inside of the Hawaiian shirt. It's the perfect place for an ID, some money, and a key, and since you're a Fraggle, you won't need much else.
  • As I've mentioned in the previous sections, many of the pieces of this costume can be bought pre-made without sacrificing the overall look of your Fraggle self. The key to this, however, is to get pieces that are as close as possible to the same shade as the fleece you use for your head piece. Mine ended up being a bit lighter than what actual Wembley looks like (he's actually light yellow with subtle green undertones), but because all the fabric matches, I don't think it's distracting.
  • Also, when it comes to color matching, it can be difficult to get the EXACT shade you want in the EXACT type of fabric you need. Cost issues can also come into play, as you can imagine, so you may have to sacrifice a little authenticity.
  • The shoe-covers will get dirty. You can see mine have some dark stains on the toes, which unfortunately did not wash out. Such is the curse of being a costumed Fraggle.
  • Make the tail detachable. If you're going somewhere that's crowded, are worried about people grabbing at it, or if you are making the costume for a child, it can be very nice to have the option to take the tail off. I got lazy and used a few safety pins to add/remove my tail, but any kind of fastener would be fine.

Fraggle Poll!

Who's your favorite Fraggle Rock character?

  • What's a Fraggle??
  • Is Kermit a Fraggle?
  • Red. She's got spunk and she knows how to use it.
  • Wembley. He's perpetually confused and perpetually AWESOME.
  • Mokey. Love that hippy dippy Fraggle. So wise.
  • Gobo. Fraggle leader I'd follow you right off a cliff!
  • Boober. The most unique Fraggle in the pack!
  • Uncle Traveling Matt. That Fraggle cracks me up.
  • The Doozers. I think I want to eat some of their buildings too.
  • Sprocket. It's all about that floppy mop dog.
  • Marjory the Trash Heap -or- The Gorgs -or- Philo and Gunge
  • I love them all!
See results without voting

© 2013 Shay Marie

Comments - If you have any questions, do let me know! 23 comments

shellys-space profile image

shellys-space 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

You made a great Fraggle Rock costume and considering you don't sew, I am amazed!

ideadesigns profile image

ideadesigns 3 years ago from Central USA

I loved fraggle rock. It was the only thing on HBO that was for kids (kind of). Great step by step and photos bring it to life.

shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 3 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you for all the comments guys! You've made this gal very happy!

girlfriendfactory profile image

girlfriendfactory 3 years ago

Very creative and absolutely adorable!

JHarbourn 3 years ago

You are my HERO! This is truly awesome :)

Rhonda Lytle profile image

Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

This is so cute. I loved this show. Major congratulations. Most impressively creative!

LadyDuck 3 years ago

Great costume, it was a lot of work. Congratulations.

shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 3 years ago from Southern California Author

@Susan Zutautas: Aw, thank you! Made my morning!

Susan Zutautas profile image

Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

This is the cutest costume I've ever seen.

LeslieMirror profile image

LeslieMirror 3 years ago

Just great! I guess the amount of sweets is enormously huge! =)

anonymous 3 years ago

first time i have seen this. very unique

AundreaG profile image

AundreaG 3 years ago

Fantastic costume; Wembley looks absolutely adorable!

Raymond Eagar profile image

Raymond Eagar 3 years ago

I like it

SheGetsCreative profile image

SheGetsCreative 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

Very cute!

PaigSr profile image

PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

Great idea however I would have gone with Boober as he was my favorite.

shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 3 years ago from Southern California Author

@Mary Stephenson: I LOVE wearing costumes. Now if I could just find someplace to go...

Mary Stephenson profile image

Mary Stephenson 3 years ago from California

How cute! I am not into wearing costumes, but I could see my daughter wearing something like that.

shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 3 years ago from Southern California Author

@mina009: Thanks! It took a little time to make it, but I think it was worth it.

shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 3 years ago from Southern California Author

@DebW07: Thank you!

shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 3 years ago from Southern California Author

@sybil watson: I have to look at the instruction manual every time I use my sewing machine. Ugh. Thank's for stopping by!

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