How to make a children's elephant costume

Updated April 17, 2017

There are many options for a child's Halloween costume, but many of the costumes people purchase not only cost a lot, but it seems like many other children wear the same costume. One great option for an original child's costume is to create one. For children who are animal lovers, an elephant costume may be the answer. Not only is an elephant costume fairly simple to create, but it doesn't require any sewing.

Measure the child's legs and arms. Knowing the exact length is important when in order to alter the trousers and shirt of the costume.

Lay the grey sweatpants and grey sweatshirt so that it lies flat. These should be a couple of sizes too big for the child. Using scissors, cut off the ends of both the legs and the arms so that the shirt and trousers will be one inch longer than the child's measurements. Save the ends of the legs.

Remove the tops from the 510gr oatmeal containers and cut the bottom off to make a hollow tube shape. Lay each cylindrical container on its side and cut them in half. This should make four evenly sized rings.

Place the first ring just inside the right sleeve of the sweatshirt. Adhere the ring by folding over the end of the fabric and gluing it around the inside of the ring. Hold the ring and fabric together using four clothespins until the glue dries. Repeat this step with another ring and the left sleeve.

Using a razor blade, make a one slit across the width of the remaining two rings and then adhere them to the legs of the grey sweatpants using the same process used on the sleeves.

Cut both sheets of 12 by 18-inch white craft foam in half width-wise creating two pieces of foam that are nine by six inches. Lay the foam pieces down flat positioned so the nine inch side is on the top and bottom and the six inch side creates the right and left side.

Draw connected semicircles on the top edge of the foam with a black marker, creating what looks like rolling hills. Make sure that the curved part of the semicircle is pointing up when drawn. Cut along the black lines, to create a toe shape. Glue one foam section to each of the arms and legs with the straight edge flush to the end of the fabric.

Cut the grey felt to make large ears. Start by cutting semicircles in the 12 by 18-inch stiff grey felt, making them as large as you can. This should give you a shape that is rounded at the top and a straight line across the bottom. Going across the bottom, cut a squiggly line to finish the elephant's ear shape.

Adhere the ears to the hood of the grey sweatshirt by putting glue on both sides of the felt and moving the fabric to cover the glue. Hold this in place using clothespins until the glue dries.

Cut one of the left over leg pieces, from the grey sweatpants, vertically from end to end. Then tightly roll the fabric up to create a tail. Use the transparent duct tape to hold the tail together and tap the tail to the inside of the sweatshirt.

To make the trunk of the elephant, cut the other left over leg piece vertically from end to end. Lay the fabric down flat with the long edges forming the sides of the rectangle. Fold both ends a half inch from the top and glue together.

Cut two slits two inches down from the top flap that start at the side and end a half inch from the centre of the fabric. Fold the newly created large flaps in to create a cylinder shape and tape together. Cut the last piece of 12 by 18-inch white craft foam in half lengthwise and roll each piece into a tusk. Tape them shut and then tape them in either side of the trunk. Wrap the piece around the child's head and Velcro the back to keep it on.


To create a wrinkled effect, mix a half cup of water with two teaspoons of grey acrylic paint and place in a spray bottle. Bunch up both the sweatpants and sweatpants and spray with the mixture, then lay flat to dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Gray sweatpants
  • Gray hooded sweatshirt
  • Scissors
  • 2 18-ounce oatmeal containers
  • Tacky glue
  • 3 sheets of white craft foam 12 by 18 inches
  • 2 sheets of grey stiff felt 12 by 18 inches
  • Transparent duct tape
  • Poster board 14 by 9 inches
  • 3-inch adhesive-backed Velcro strip
  • 20 clothespins
  • Razor blade


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About the Author

Emily Retherford has been a full-time writer since 2009. She specializes in travel, parenting, fashion and beauty with work appearing on various online publications.