How to make an armadillo costume

Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images

An armadillo, which means "little armoured one" in Spanish, is a small mammal with a shell-like armour covering that protects from predators. If you want a costume to honour these unique creatures, a costume shop tends to provide a variety of animal costumes.

However, store-bought costumes run pricey, especially around the Halloween season. Instead of spending a fortune on a costume for a Halloween party or school play, the materials for an armadillo costume show a personalised touch and save money.

Cover your work surface with a tarp to protect from glue and paints. Place a round winter sled on the work surface, curved side up.

Tear strips of newspaper into one by nine inch pieces. Pour three cups of liquid starch into a disposable dish. Dip the strips into the starch and allow to soak for 30 seconds. Pass the strips through your fingers to remove the excess starch and press the strips to the surface of the sled. Cover the entire sled and overlap the strips as you go.

Allow the starch to dry overnight. Apply a second layer of newspaper strips to the surface of the first using the same method as the first layer. Allow the second layer to dry overnight, too.

Remove the newspaper dome from the surface of the sled. Paint the top of the sled with grey spray paint. Allow the paint to dry for three to four hours. Use a paintbrush to paint dark grey strips across the surface of the dome to create the ridges on the shell. Space the lines 6-inches apart. Allow the stripes to dry overnight.

Punch four holes into the edge of the painted dome two inches in from the edge using a knife. Place the holes at the one o'clock, five o'clock, seven o'clock and eleven o'clock positions. Cut two 24-inch long pieces of twine. Tie one piece of twine in the holes at the one and five o'clock positions, then tie one piece of twine in the holes at the seven and eleven o'clock positions to create straps for wearing the shell.

Dress in all grey, including grey pants, turtleneck, gloves, socks and shoes. If you cannot find matching clothes, use white and dye them grey with fabric dyes.

Cut out two large pointed ears in the shape of an armadillo ears from a piece of grey felt. Make the ears 6-inches long and 2-inches wide. Pinch the ears at the base and hot glue them to a headband.

Cut a 24-inch long piece of grey felt for the tail two inches wide at the base and 1/2-inch wide at the tip. Use a safety pin to attach the tail to the back of the pants.