How to make hippo costumes for kids

Updated April 17, 2017

Animal costumes are a popular choice for kids but can be expensive if purchased in the store. Making a hippo costume at home can be a cost-effective project and can be easily done with a few tools, some of which can be found at home. With some tips and guidance, this project can be quick and rewarding.

Blow up two balloons. One should be a ball shape the width of the head of the person who will wear the costume. The second should be an oval shape that is long and could look like a snout. Tape the ball-shaped balloon on top of the oval balloon, making sure some of the oval balloon comes out farther than the ball balloon.

Mix a paste of equal parts glue, flour and water in a bowl, about one cup of each. Stir well.

Dampen strips of newspaper in the mix and lay the wet strips onto the balloon construction. Make sure to follow the shape of the balloons with the strips but only cover the top half of the construction, which will ensure a head can fit in later. Let the strips dry completely.

Pop the balloons with a straight pin and pull out all the balloon remnants.

Paint the newspaper construction to look like a hippo head. Paint the entire piece a grey colour and add ears, eyes, a nose and a mouth with a contrasting colour. Let dry.

Tape an elastic strap under the hippo head, which can act as a chin strap. Pair the hippo head with all grey clothes and the hippo costume is complete.


Let kids help decorate the hippo head. Use extra newspaper strips to mould little ears onto the hippo.


Make sure the wearer can see out from under the hippo head, to prevent tripping.

Things You'll Need

  • Balloons
  • Masking tape
  • Measuring cup
  • Glue
  • Flour
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Newspaper
  • Straight pin
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Elastic strip
  • Gray clothes
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About the Author

Erica Morris has six years of journalism experience, working for publications in New York, London and South Florida. She has served as associate editor for a Jewish lifestyle magazine in Florida for the past two years, and worked as both a news and features writer for a number of weekly newspapers.