How to make an elephant head costume

glue bottle image by Bruce MacQueen from

An elephant head costume can be a lot of fun for kids to make and wear. Kids will feel a sense of accomplishment from making it and will have a costume that is different from their friends' shop-bought outfits. There is no sewing involved in the simple project.

Break apart two or three cardboard boxes. Create the approximate shape of the elephant head costume by bending, cutting and shaping the cardboard into a circular form. Hold the cardboard pieces in shape with scotch tape and glue.

Cut a large round hole at the bottom of the box so the child's legs can move in the finished costume. Cut two holes on each side for the child's arms and two holes in the middle of the round elephant head so the child can see.

Mix one part flour and two parts water to make a papier mâché paste. Add flour until it has a thick glue consistency.

Cut thin strips of newspaper and place each strip in the paste until fully coated then glue the strips to the round box. Keep adding newspaper strips, giving it the form of the elephant head. Continue until you have two to three layers of newspaper strips. Allow the head to dry for a day

Roll a large piece of white poster board into a tube shape and bend the end a little to give it the elephant trunk shape.

Break apart another cardboard box and draw the elephant ears from two box sides, then cut them out and use glue and tape to adhere them to the sides of the round elephant head in front of the arm holes.

Add more paper strips soaked in papier mâché paste to the ears, trunk and round elephant head shape. Keep adding layers until the head, ears and trunk are well formed, then place the head in the sun to dry for a couple of days.

Make a new batch of papier mâché paste following the process in Step 3 and coat white paper napkins with a brush previously dipped in the paste. Cover all of the newspaper strips. This way none of the newspaper print will show through the paint. Allow the costume to dry for another day.

Paint the entire costume in elephant grey and draw the eyes in with the marker.

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