How to make a homemade panda costume

With their black and white fur, slow steps and sweet faces, pandas are irresistible. They also make dramatic Halloween costumes. It only takes a few pieces to create an adorable, easy panda costume. This costume is comfortable and doesn't obstruct vision, especially important if it's a child who'll be wearing it while trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Those who are experienced at sewing might make the costume from a pattern using fake fur or fleece in black and white. For those who want a quick, easy, homemade version, you can make do with a black sweatshirt and sweatpants, some black and white stage make-up, and a handful of bright green bamboo from the craft store to add colour.

Wear a black sweatshirt and sweatpants as the basic panda outfit. Substitute black corduroys or jeans if you don't have sweatpants.

Get a piece of white cotton material or white paper to make an oval large enough to cover the front of the sweatshirt from the chest to the stomach. Sew it on with needle and thread if it's fabric. Pin it on using safety pins if it's paper.

Use white face paint to cover most of your face except for the following areas. With black face paint, paint a black triangle on the nose, with the point facing down and the flat top longer than the sides. Draw a short black line to connect the nose to the mouth, curving the line so it splits and spreads in opposite directions above the lips. Use black face paint to create the panda's eye markings. Make a black oval stretching above the eye around the outside and bottom of both eyes to simulate panda eyes.

Wear a black ski mask or balaclava over your head. Draw two half-circles of equal sizes on black fleece, leaving an extra half-inch of fabric at the end. Cut out the ears. Set them fairly far apart on the top of the ski mask, turn the half-inch of fabric underneath, and sew it in place.

Put on black mittens to look like panda paws. Wear plain black shoes or boots on your feet. Carry a handful of silk bamboo leaves from the craft store as your snack.

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