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Pippi Longstocking is one of my all-time favorite Halloween costumes. I love getting to step into the role of the empowered, imaginative, and fiercely independent character. Pippi is a classic, and her look is easy to copy, both of which are important requirements for a good costume. The clothes she wore were mismatched and patchwork, accompanied, of course, by odd long socks. But her hair makes the look. Pippi’s braids stick up into the air, and they are her trademark. With some wire hidden inside, it’s an easy and silly trick to achieve.



Wire cutters
Hair bands
Bobby pins

Step 1: Wash your hair the day before you wear the Pippi braids, but not the day of. Having slightly dirty hair helps the style hold. Brush it out well.
Step 2: Part your hair into 2 piggy tails.
Step 3: Measure out and cut a single piece of wire. Find the right length by placing the wire across the crown of your head and making sure it is as long as both pigtails. Then give yourself an extra inch or two on each end, just in case. Bend the wire to match the curve of your head.
Step 4: Undo 1 pigtail and separate into 3 sections. Braid your hair just like normal, except wrap the wire inside the braid. This means to just make sure that the wire is snug inside each weave of the braid.
Step 5: Secure the end with a hairband. Then braid the other half.
Step 6: Clip the extra wire from the end of the braids.
Step 7: Cover any obvious wire with your hair by using a bobby pin.
Step 8: Add ribbons to the ends. Cute!



  1. hotbettie says:

    I made her costume 2 years ago and spent days watching the original dubbed versions getting it just right. I had to use a wig, since my hair was turquoise at the time, but I used the same technique in the article and it worked like a charm! if you have a facebook account, you can see my finished costume here

  2. Marie {Make and Takes} says:

    This is so great. I think my hair is long enough I’m going to do this!!!

  3. Wendy Piersall says:

    I totally did this costume over the weekend and it was a HUGE hit with both kids and their parents.
    I used floral wire and just wrapped it around the base of each pony tail in the middle of the wire, and braided the two long wired ends into my hair. They stayed up and I didn’t have to hide any wire.
    On a side note, Target has a gazillion knee high and thigh high patterned socks right now – I swear it took about ten minutes for me to pick out the perfect Pippi Longstocking socks for my costume! There were like 25+ choices – pure torture because I wanted them all. :)

  4. Kim says:

    Wendy, Where did you find the floral wire? Thanks. K

  5. Mara says:

    If your hair is fine and not too heavy, I recommend using orange pipe cleaners. I’ve had great success braiding them into my hair.

  6. Anon says:

    It isn’t slightly dirty hair. It’s simply hair with more sebum that was produced. Generally, people wash their hair daily and strip their hair of natural oils that actually help them. If you’re just washing and sleeping not long after, it isn’t dirty unless you didn’t wash your pillow often enough, or if you washed your hair and put product in it before sleeping.

  7. symeona says:

    great idea never wouldnt have thought of it thanks :)

  8. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much!! Brilliant idea for my daughter for book week.

  9. Dreaply says:

    AWSOME I’m doin this for the pumpkin fest

  10. bodog88 says:

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  11. sbobet says:

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  12. […] Longstocking: Those trademark braids take some work, so this is better suited for an older child or […]

  13. […] Helpful Resources How-To: Pippi Longstocking Braids | MAKE […]

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