How to make a giraffe costume

Updated July 19, 2017

Enjoy having the most original – and tallest – costume at your next fancy dress event by turning up as a fantastic giraffe. This fun costume, easily and affordably created from basic household items, is a particular favourite for children who remain perpetually enchanted by this impressive but tender creature. You can even add your own imaginative slant on the costume by making spots for the giraffe in the colour of your choice.

Cut a hole in the top of the large cardboard box, used for the body, large enough for the head to pass through comfortably with the craft knife. Place the box over the head of the person who plans to wear the costume until it rests on the shoulders. Mark out where the arms will pass through on either side of the box and cut out spaces for them with the craft knife.

Roll a piece of paperboard, used for the neck, into a conical shape with the lower section large enough to fit over the head of the wearer completely. Run down the length of the paperboard with masking tape to secure. Make a second cone, with the bottom section made to the same size as the top of the first section, and tape it onto the first piece for a really tall neck.

Cut out a piece of paperboard measuring approximately 30cm in length and 20cm in width for the giraffe head. Roll into a cone and tape together the ends before attaching the wider part at a 90-degree angle to the top of the neck with more masking tape.

Tear strips of newspapers into roughly equal sizes and soak in a mixture of flour and water paste to create a paper mache. Apply the strips of newspaper to the joined neck and head sections, smoothing them down as flatly as possible. Create several layers for added strength. Leave to dry overnight.

Cut out spots, eyelashes, ears and a long mane in the coloured craft paper of your choice. Remember to use varying sizes of spots for a true giraffe effect. Use craft glue to stick the cutout pieces to the body, neck and head and leave to dry.

Pierce a foam ball with the narrow end of a chopstick and repeat with the second foam ball. Cut two slits adjacent to each other on top of the head section and insert the wide end of a chopstick into each one to create the horn-like knobs used when giraffes fight (ossicones).

Put the completed head and neck section on the wearer and mark out a hole large enough for the face. Cut out the hole with scissors to finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Large cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Paperboard
  • Masking tape
  • Newspapers
  • Flour
  • Water paste
  • Craft glue
  • Coloured craft paper
  • Craft knife
  • 2 chopsticks
  • 2 foam balls
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About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, Paul Miceli has been a professional writer since 2006. He has been published online by Ideate Media and Promiga and has a proven track record of producing informational articles and sales copy. Miceli is educated to U.K. "A-level" standard, continues to work as a paint sprayer and has more than 25 years of automotive body repair experience.