How to make Lion King costumes

Image by Shawn D. Ashley; Flickr.

Though buying a costume might seem easier, making your own can save you a lot of money. Most fancy dress costumes cost an average of £30 for even child-sized outfits.

Costumes may sell for less during the Halloween season, but the Lion King was a popular costume when the film first arrived, so a Lion King costume's price would increase greatly due to the lack of demand since then. Buy your own material and assemble a Lion King costume yourself to save money.

Take the measurements of the person or child who will be wearing the finished Lion King costume. Measure the length of the legs, as well as circumference around the stomach, hips, and chest. Do this with the tape measure.

Buy the appropriately sized lion costume pattern. Any lion will work for the pattern; you'll just want to mimic the colours of The Lion King character you are making the costume to resemble. Purchase the fabric at this time. For Simba you will need both a light tan fabric and an orange-gold fabric to match his colours. Purchase two or three metres of each fabric; any leftover pieces can be used for quilts or pillows.

Use the pattern and cut the pieces of fabric accordingly. You may wish to use the safety pins to hold the pattern in place over the fabric while you are cutting; work slowly and carefully to prevent damage to the pattern.

Remove the safety pins, and then use them to hold the pieces of fabric together where the seams will need to go. Be sure to place the furry sides against one another so that when the costume is turned inside out the seams will be on the inside and the furry sides on the outside.

Use a sewing machine to sew along the seams, removing the safety pins as you work to prevent the sewing machine needle from breaking. If you are hand sewing you will also need to move the safety pins out of the way.

Turn the costume inside out to place the seams on the inside of the costume; at this time check to make sure the seams are even and do not bunch up the fabric and make it appear sloppy. Have the costume's intended wearer put on the costume. If the seams are uneven or adjustments need to be made to the costume in order to fit the wearer, make notes so that you can take out seams and resew.

Make your own Simba or other Lion King character mask. This is optional and may be done with cloth, foam rubber, paper or a thin layer of coloured silicone in a homemade mould. Use a picture of the character for reference and create a great looking mask.