How to make a simple pantomime cow costume

Written by jennifer gigantino
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How to make a simple pantomime cow costume
The two-man cow costume is a feature of British pantomimes. (Leonard Mc Lane/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A pantomime cow is a theatrical depiction of a cow that requires two actors or dancers. One of the actors or dancers portrays the front end and head of the cow, while the other plays the cow's hind legs, rump and midsection. They are often seen as part of comedies, both on stage and on-screen. Learn how to make a simple pantomime cow costume.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • White hooded sweatshirt
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Measuring tape
  • White blanket
  • Two pairs of white overalls
  • Black fabric
  • One latex glove
  • Pink spray paint
  • Twine
  • Two pairs of black shoes
  • Safety pins (optional)
  • Cowbell (optional)
  • Black and white face paint (optional)

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  1. 1

    Cut the sleeves off the white sweatshirt, and sew the armholes closed.

  2. 2

    Measure the person who is to play the back of the cow around the shoulders and from head to butt. Add 5 cm (2 inches) to each of these measurements and -- if necessary -- cut the blanket down to be a rectangle of those measurements.

  3. 3

    Sew this rectangle into a tube. Rip two holes in the back of the sweatshirt, long enough to put a person's arms through. Sew one end of this tube to the back of the armless sweatshirt, making sure to cover both holes.

  4. 4

    Take the removed sweatshirt sleeves or a scrap of the blanket, cut it down and sew it into a thin tube about a foot long.

  5. 5

    Cut a piece of black fabric, about 5 cm by 20 cm (2 inches by 8 inches). Roll it into a 5 cm (2 inch) long tube, and sew up one end. Cut the other end into a brush. Sew this to the end of the white tube from Step 4. This is the cow's tail.

  6. 6

    Sew the tail to the rump of one of the pairs of overalls, between and just above the back pockets.

  7. 7

    Cut two flower petal-like shapes from the black fabric, measuring about 10 cm (4 inches) long and 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) wide. Fold the two corners of each piece's broad end together, and sew the pieces to the hood of the armless sweatshirt, an inch or so above where the wearer's ears will be located.

  8. 8

    Paint the blanket, the sweatshirt and both pairs of overalls with large, black spots. Allow to dry completely.

  9. 9

    Blow up the latex glove, and tie the end securely with twine. Spray paint the glove pink. Carefully sew the edge of the glove, the noninflated part, to the seam of the blanket-tube, 5 or 7.5 cm (2 or 3 inches) in from the loose end.

  10. 10

    Dress one person in the overalls with the tail and the second in the overalls without the tail and the sweatshirt with the attached blanket and the hood up. Put them both in black shoes. Have the "tail" bend over, and reach through the holes in the back of the sweatshirt to grasp the "head's" waist. Cover the "tail's" head and torso with the blanket tube, and if desired, safety-pin the tube to the "tail's" overalls directly above the tail. If desired, accessorise with a cowbell around the "head's" neck, and paint the "head's" face black and white.

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