How to make a simple lion costume

Updated February 21, 2017

Lions symbolise royalty, power and authority. For this reason, adults and children like to dress up as lions for Halloween, at a party or for a theatrical performance. Making an authentic lion costume can be an intimidating project as it seems like a lot of work, particularly the mane. If you don't have the time or skill required to sew individual pieces of yarn to your lion costume, you can make a simple version with felt strips and glue.

Cut 6 inches by 1 inch strips out of yellow, tan and orange felt. You will be gluing these strips around the hood of your sweatshirt to make a lion's mane. Cutting felt is easier than cutting hundreds of pieces of yarn, which is another popular method of making a lion's mane. Depending on the size of your hood, you will only need to cut 15 to 30 felt strips. Cutting different colours of felt will make the mane more colourful, but you can use only one colour to make things even easier.

Turn your sweatshirt inside out to expose the fuzzy surface. This will make your sweatshirt look more like natural lion's fur than smooth fabric. Using a pre-made sweatshirt and pajama combination is much easier than making a lion costume from scratch, as no sewing or measuring is required. If you don't have a tan or brown sweatshirt or footed pyjamas and you don't want to buy them, you can easily dye light-coloured fabrics with tea. Just submerge your fabric in a large pot of black tea for 30 minutes to an hour to make it brown.

Glue or sew alternating yellow, tan and orange felt strips around your sweatshirt hood to make a colourful lion's mane. Glue or sew inside the hood for a neater look.

Cut paw-shaped pieces out of brown felt. Glue or sew them to the palms of your mittens.

Cut a long strip of tan felt and glue or sew it to the rear of your footed pyjamas to make a quick and easy lion's tail.

Paint a dark nose and whiskers on your face to make it look like a lion's.

Put on your footed pyjamas, followed by your inside-out sweatshirt and mittens.

Things You'll Need

  • Plain tan hooded sweatshirt
  • Plain tan footed pyjamas
  • Tan mittens
  • Yellow, tan, orange and brown felt
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Face paint
  • Black tea bags
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About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.