How to make donkey ears, hooves and tail

Donkey image by Laima Penekaite from

A number of costuming ideas require donkey ears, a tail and hooves. Perhaps you are going to a party as Pinocchio when he was turning into a donkey. Or maybe you are King Midas, who was cursed with donkey ears. Whatever the costuming occasion, you can make these simple costume accessories with just a little sewing and imagination.


Cut out four ear shapes, using the short fabric, to make the fronts and backs of two ears. Donkey ears look like horse ears except longer. Think of them also as looking like rabbit ears but a little shorter.

Sew a pair of ear shapes together, with the furry sides of the pieces on the inside. Sew a seam around the ear, leaving the bottom end open. Clip around the edge, careful to cut only fabric and not the seam. Turn the ear inside out, so that the fur is outside and the seam and raw edges are inside. Sew the second ear.

Bend floral wire to fit in the ears. This will make the ears stiffer and able to stand up. As an alternative to floral wire, use buckram or stiff interfacing; cut out ear shape and insert in the ears to make them stiff.

Cut out a headband. Make it about 5 cm (2 inches) wide and long enough to stretch around your head from ear to ear. For comfort, taper the ends of the headband to points. Cut two of these shapes to make top and bottom sides.

Sew the headband together as you did the ears, sewing all the way around but leaving open an edge. Turn the headband inside out, tuck the raw edges of the opening inside and sew the opening shut.

Turn the raw edges of the ears inside, and then sew the ears onto the headband.

Finish the headband by sewing elastic to the end points. The headband should fit snugly on your head; cut the elastic so it'll have to stretch a little when the headband is being worn.


Cut a rectangular length of the short fur fabric. Cut it the length you would like the tail to be. About 30 cm (12 inches) long by 5 cm (2 inches) wide should suffice.

Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise, with the fur on the inside. Sew up one side, and sew one end shut. Then turn the tail inside out through the open end.

Cut a tuft from the longer fur fabric to make the end of the tail. Cut this piece about 5 cm x 5 cm (2 inches x 2 inches).

Comb the longer fur to lie in one direction and then fold in half, so the fur moves in the direction of the seam. Sew up one side only, and then turn the tuft inside out. Because the fur is long, you'll leave the end open, so the fur can hang.

Tuck in the raw edge of the longer tail piece. Insert an end of the furry tuft piece, and sew these pieces together. This completes the tail. Simply pin it on your trousers with a safety pin to wear.


Use a spats pattern to make your hooves. If you don't have one, you can improvise with a circle. Using paper, cut out a circle big enough to easily cover the top of your foot. Cut another circle out of the middle for your ankle, making your pattern now a ring. Then cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the outer edge of the circle. Place the pattern over your foot, and make sure the sides come down far enough but do not drag the floor, and that the back can overlap at the heel. Adjust the pattern until it fits.

Using your pattern, cut out a pair of spats from the black felt. Because felt doesn't ravel, you won't have to finish any edges.

Add Velcro to the back of the hoof spats, so they can close around the feet. Either sew the Velcro on or use the self-sticking Velcro.

Sew elastic to the sides of the spats, to be passed under your shoes. The elastic will add stability and hold the sides of the spats in place. Now your hooves are complete.

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