How to Make an Alf Costume

Updated April 17, 2017

ALF became a syndicated smash hit in the 1980s, bringing the cat-eating sarcastic alien life form to television sets of fans. Creating a homemade ALF costume takes a little effort, but can be the perfect outfit for Halloween events and period parties. With a few easily purchased supplies and creative crafting, Halloween partygoers can create a realistic ALF costume to wear.

Cut out shapes for costume trousers from the shag fabric. Unroll the shag fabric bolt on the floor face down. Lay a pair of jeans or trousers down on top of the fabric bolt. Carefully trace around the edges of the trousers or jeans, allowing for a 1 1/2-inch margin on either side and a 3-inch margin at the top of the trousers. Use scissors to cut around your traced shape. Repeat this process until you have two trousers-outlines cut out of your shag fabric.

Sew the two trousers sides together using the carpet needle and heavy-duty thread. Fold over a 1/2-inch hem on each side, with the outsides of the fabric showing. Use a looped stitch to sew the sides of the trousers together. Turn the trousers inside out so that the shaggy side is showing on the outside of the trousers.

Embed the elastic in the waistband of the costume trousers. Measure your waist with the measuring tape and add 1 inch. Cut the elastic to this new measurement using scissors. Lay the elastic down in a ring on the inside of the costume trousers, roughly 2 inches from the top of the trousers and pin in place. Sew the elastic in place with stitches 3 inches apart, and fold the top of the trousers down into the inside over the elastic. Sew the top edge of the costume trousers into the inside of the trousers to secure.

Cut out the shapes for your costume top. Lay down your long-sleeved shirt on the shag fabric face down, tracing around its edges with a 2-inch margin with the permanent marker. Cut out the shape along the marker line. Lay the first shape down against the remaining fabric, tracing around the edges with the permanent marker to create a second shape. Cut out the second identical shape with scissors.

Sew the two shirt shapes together with needle and heavyweight thread. Lay both sides of the costume top against each other so that the fabric backing is showing on either side. Sew down the sleeves to join them 3/4-inch from the edge of the fabric. Repeat this process around the neckline to join the top. Turn the sewn top inside out so that the right side of the fabric shows on the outside.

Cover the gardening gloves with spray paint. Cover your floor or ground with newspaper and lay the gardening gloves on top. Shake the spray paint and spray it evenly on the gardening gloves. Allow to dry.

Create the ALF costume mask using the papier-mache method. Take your costume mask and set it on a protected surface or table. Boil 5 parts water with 1 part flour in the pot for 3 minutes. Cut long strips of newspaper 2 1/2 inches wide with your scissors. Allow the water and flour mixture to cool and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Soak your newspaper strips in the mixture, using your fingers to remove the excess liquid. Lay your strips on top of the costume mask building up horizontal ridges several strips deep along the face. Repeat this process on the costume snout until you have built the snout up to a height of 6 inches. Allow both papier-mache pieces to dry.

Attach the dry snout nose piece to the base mask using a hot glue gun. Add a few more papier-mache strips of newspaper to smooth out the transitional area between the snout and base mask. Allow the combined mask to dry.

Use your hot glue gun to attach the hair extension to the top and costume ears to the sides of the ALF mask. Cut the hair extension to a length of 4 1/2 inches. Use a curling iron or straightening iron to curl the hair over the top of the mask.

Add detail to the ALF mask. Use the reddish brown spray paint to cover the papier-mache mask thoroughly. Allow the mask to dry and begin to add detail to the mask, drawing along each ridge with the black permanent marker.

Have the costume wearer don the elastic-waistbanded costume trousers, gloves and costume top. Place the reddish brown wig on the head of the wearer and the ALF mask on the face of the partygoer. Carry the stuffed animal cat for full character effect.


Make sure your base mask allows for adequate vision and breathing upon wearing. Keep hot irons and hot glue guns out of the reach of unsupervised children.


Temporary hair dye can be used in place of the reddish brown wig.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Bolt of reddish brown shag fabric
  • Hair extension
  • Scissors
  • Human Halloween mask
  • Costume snout
  • Large costume ears
  • Gardening gloves
  • Reddish brown spray paint
  • Brown shoes
  • Black permanent marker
  • Short reddish brown wig
  • Elastic
  • Carpet needle
  • Heavyweight thread
  • Fitted jeans or trousers
  • Loose long-sleeved shirt
  • Newspaper
  • Straight pins
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Pot
  • Cat stuffed animal
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About the Author

With a career spanning business writing and technical commentaries, Jasmine Haryana has been writing and editing since 1996. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Davis and holds her certification in grant writing from The Foundation Center.