How to Make a Clam Costume

Written by j.d. richards
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How to Make a Clam Costume
Clams are bivalve mollusks found throughout the world. (calico clam image by Pix by Marti from

Dressing as a clam is not always appropriate, but when it is, you can impress a crowd with a meticulously made costume. Whether the occasion is Halloween, a Little Mermaid theme party or an aquarium fundraiser, your peers will appreciate the effort you put into your costume. A clam costume could also be a good way to instruct students about the anatomy of a mollusc.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 6-foot-by-7-foot sheets of 1-inch foam
  • 2 1/2 inches of 3/4-inch adhesive-backed Velcro
  • Spray paint
  • Electrical, packing or duct tape
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Overhead projector (optional)

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  1. 1

    Cut the two large valves of the clam shell from the foam. The easiest way to acquire foam is from a mattress store. For extra precision, print out costume diagrams (see Resources, page 39, for an example) and project them onto the foam. You can then trace the projections onto the foam and cut along those lines. If you're cutting them out freehand, the valves should be just shorter than you are, and slightly taller than they are wide.

  2. 2

    Cut out a large, tongue-shaped piece of foam for the clam's foot. It should be about 3/4 the height of the shell. Cut out a band from the foam that will run the width of the shell and hold the foot to it.

  3. 3

    Cut out four 18-inch shell straps.

  4. 4

    Glue the sides of the two shell valves together with rubber cement, forming the shell's hinge.

  5. 5

    Glue the ends of two shell straps to the inside of each shell half, so that the two straps run parallel to each other in each set. You will put your arms through these straps when you wear the costume.

  6. 6

    Glue the foot to the middle of the foot strap, and adhere Velcro to each end of the strap. You can pick up Velcro at a craft store. When you wear the costume, you will join the two ends of the foot strap around your waist, with the foot out in front of your body. It will show out the bottom of the shell when your arms are closed, and it will be completely exposed when your arms are open.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear gloves when you handle rubber cement, as it can be difficult to remove.

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