How to Make a Forest Animal Costume

Updated July 20, 2017

A cute, furry forest animal has appeared in almost every child's movie ever made and a school play wouldn't be any fun without them. As cute as they are, having only days to whip up a forest animal costume is not so adorable. With a simple, hooded sweatsuit and a few items from the craft store, you can make an easy, inexpensive costume of almost any animal by simply varying the ears, tail and make-up.

Decide what animal you want to be. This will determine the colour of your sweatsuit, the colour of your ears and tummy and the shape of your ears and tail. For example, you may want to use brown or black for a bear, grey for a raccoon, white or tan for a rabbit or red for a fox.

With a fabric marker, draw an oval on the coloured felt (the piece that is a shade lighter in colour than the sweatsuit) that is big enough to cover most of the front of the sweatshirt. Cut out the oval and glue to the front of the shirt.

Draw your ears onto coloured felt (the piece that is the same colour as the sweatsuit) and cut them out. The shape will depend on the animal. For example; rounded ears for bears and raccoons, long ears for rabbits or short, pointed ears for foxes.

Draw and cut two ears from the pink felt about 1/2-inch smaller than the ears you cut out in Step 3. Glue pink ears to centre of animal-coloured ears with white glue. Sew ears to hood, pink side forward.

Decide on the shape and colour of your tail. Draw tail onto the back side of the faux fur. Add about 1/2-inch all the way around for a sew line. Cut it out and use as a pattern to draw and cut out another tail. Again, the shape and colour of will depend on the animal. A bear tail will be short and stubby, raccoon and fox tails will be long and thicker in the middle. Use a pom-pom for the rabbit.

Lay the two pieces on top of each other fur side together. Sew them together around the edges leaving the base of the tail open. Flip inside out and sew to the back of the sweatpants.

Paint your face. Paint your nose black or pink. Paint on whiskers. For a raccoon, paint a black mask. Wear with mittens or gloves and socks or fuzzy slippers.

Things You'll Need

  • Hooded fleece sweatshirt
  • Matching sweatpants
  • White glue
  • Piece of felt about the size of the front of your sweatshirt, a shade lighter than your sweatsuit
  • 8- by10-inch piece of pink felt
  • 8- by 10-inch piece of felt the same colour as sweatsuit
  • Socks or fuzzy slippers
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Scissors
  • Pink face paint
  • Black face paint
  • Fabric marker
  • Needle and thread
  • Faux fur, enough to make two tails.
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About the Author

Kathy Bellamy was a writer/producer for the Eternal Word Television Network for 17 years. She developed and scripted many of the short interstitials on the lives of the saints, educational segments for children’s programming and on-air promos.