How to Make a Cheshire Cat Costume for a Toddler

The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland is an interesting twist to the traditional cat costume and can make a toddler stand out among other children at a Halloween or costume party. The Cheshire Cat is a purple and pink striped, troublemaking cat from the classic tale who added to Alice's confusion once she found her way to Wonderland. The costume can be created from a sweatsuit or pyjamas and striped with fabric paint or by sewing or gluing fabric stripes onto the clothing.

Cut a piece of fleece for the tail that measures roughly from the toddler's waist to the toddler's ankle and about eight inches wide. Stitch or glue the seam together by overlapping the long sides of the fabric and curving the end of the tail. Leave the top open for stuffing with poly fill.

Stuff the tail, when the glue is dry if gluing, with the polyester fibre fill. Set aside.

Cut stripes from the fabric and lay them evenly spaced on the purple sweatsuit or pyjamas. Glue or stitch the stripes in place, wrapping them around the outfit so stripes are even and consistent around the arms, legs, and torso. If gluing, allow time for the glue to dry completely before continuing.

Alternatively, use the fabric paint to paint stripes on one side of the outfit, then let the paint dry. Turn the outfit over and continue the stripes to the back, wrapping them around the arms, legs and torso of the sweatsuit or pyjamas. Let the paint dry completely before continuing.

Stitch or glue the opening of the tail (at the top of the tail created in step one) to the centre of the seat of the sweatpants or on the pyjamas in roughly the same spot; centred on the rear end just below the waist.

Cut two triangular cat-ear shapes from the darker felt, leaving a half-inch extension of felt at the lower edge on each. Make a slit with the scissors about half an inch deep, centred on the lower edge, then crease the two sides bringing one forward and one back. These will support the Cheshire Cat ears when glued to the headband.

Cut two smaller triangles from the pink felt and glue in the centres of the fronts of the darker triangles, forming the inner pink part of the cat's ears. If using craft or fabric glue, give the glue time to dry before continuing. If using hot glue, then proceed.

Place a line of glue along part of the headband, slightly off-centre but still near the top. Press the two opposite-facing flaps at the bottom of one ear onto the glue and secure. Repeat on the other side, also slightly off-centre, forming the two Cheshire Cat ears for the costume.

Put the costume on the toddler. Slide the headband on top of the head, with the ears facing forward. Use the face paint to draw whiskers on the toddler's cheeks, and if desired, draw a kitten nose on the tip of the toddler's nose as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Purple sweatsuit or pajama set
  • Darker purple or fuchsia fabric paint or fabric (felt, fleece)
  • Needle and thread or fabric glue (if using fabric)
  • Paintbrush (if using fabric paint)
  • Purple and pink fleece (to make the tail)
  • Polyester fibre-fill
  • Headband (hair accessory)
  • Dark purple and pink felt
  • Glue gun or craft glue
  • Face paint
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About the Author

Sasha Maggio specializes in topics related to psychology, fitness, nutrition, health, medicine, dentistry, and recovery after surgery, as well as cultural topics including Buddhism, Japanese culture, travel, languages and cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Japanese from the University of Hawaii, as well as a Master of Arts in forensic psychology. She is currently pursuing Medical and PhD programs.