How to Make the Head for a Bear Costume

Written by miranda sinclair
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How to Make the Head for a Bear Costume
Look at pictures of bears to brainstorm ideas for your costume. (bear image by Mat Hayward from

Bears are amazing creatures and fascinate both children and adults. Bears can be cute costumes for children, powerful or funny mascots, or mysterious totem animals for certain religious celebrations. When creating the head for your bear costume, you can be as realistic or imaginative as you like. You can use white paint and fabric to make a polar bear or brown for a grizzly bear. You can create a funny teddy bear style costume or a fierce looking representation of this wild animal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Balloon
  • Packaging or duct tape
  • Small plastic bowl or other rounded container
  • Dish soap
  • Cling film
  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Pen
  • Craft knife
  • Acrylic paint
  • Headband or hood
  • Felt
  • Fur fabric
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread

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  1. 1

    Blow up the balloon. Tie off the end. The tied-off end will mark the bottom of the mask.

  2. 2

    Attach the small bowl to the centre of the balloon with tape. It should be midway between the top and bottom. Make sure it is fastened securely.

  3. 3

    Coat the mould in dish soap and wrap in cling film so that you can easily remove the mould once the papier mache is dry.

  4. 4

    Mix flour and water in equal parts.

  5. 5

    Tear newspaper into strips. These should be about 1-inch wide and 6 to 8 inches in length. Be sure to tear rather than cut as this helps to bind the paper together.

  6. 6

    Dip newspaper strips into paster and smooth over the mould until it is covered. Set aside to dry overnight.

  7. 7

    Remove the mould from the mask once the papier mache is dry. It may help to pop the balloon.

  8. 8

    Place the mask on your face to determine where to cut the eye holes. Mark it with a pen. Place the mask on a stable surface and use the craft knife to carefully cut circles for the eyes.

  9. 9

    Decorate the mask with acrylic paint. You can be as imaginative or realistic as you like with your design. You might want to sketch some ideas on paper before painting your mask.

  1. 1

    Cut ear shapes out of felt. The ears may be as large or as small as you like, but should curve at the top. You should fold the felt over so that you can cut both ear shapes at once. This will make them identical.

  2. 2

    Place felt ears on furry material. Trace and cut four more ear pieces.

  3. 3

    Sew the ears together. For each ear, you will have three ear pieces, one felt and two fur. The furry side of the material should be facing outwards. You now have two furry ears with felt on the inside to make them stand up.

  4. 4

    Sew or glue the ears to your headband or hood.

Tips and warnings

  • Before beginning your bear costume, you might want to look at pictures of bears for inspiration. You can even take a trip to the zoo to see real bears up close.
  • If you are doing this project with a child, be sure to supervise her closely as paint should not be swallowed. You might want to cut the eye holes, as this can be a delicate procedure and dangerous for small hands.

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