In this study, solid, stable, and cost-effective optical phantoms of scalp-skull, white matter and grey matter are developed by inverse method. To begin with, to obtain a range of optical parameters, absorption and reduced scattering coefficients (μa and μ′s, respectively), 20 homogeneous phantoms were made of paraffin wax by using optically contrast black and highly scattering white colouring materials in different combination. By comparing the measured reflectance values for each phantom got from the four channel reflectometer with that obtained from steady-state diffusion equation, the values of μa and μ′s were determined. Next, phantoms which exhibit specific optical properties of scalp-skull, white and grey matter are developed iteratively by comparing actual reflectance measurements got by adjusting the colour concentration with the predicted reflectance values from the diffusion equation. This is done as follows: to obtain μa of 0.04 mm -1 for scalp-skull, 9.5 mg of black dye per 100 ml of wax added since more attenuation of light occurs in bone tissue. To obtain a μ′s 6.0 mm-1 for white matter in brain tissue, 190 mg of white dye per 100 ml of wax was used to facilitate more scatter of light. The colour concentrations of phantoms were then adjusted to obtain the predetermined values of optical parameters for scalp-skull, grey and white matter. © Springer-Verlag 2005.