Easy to Make Jungle-Themed Costumes

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Jungle-themed costumes are easy to make and can take many forms: Jungle animals, safari-inspired gear, Tarzan and Jane, and Indian Jones. All of these costumes can be whipped together with what you have on hand and are suitable for men, women and children. Creating a jungle-themed look takes only four steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Khaki colored basic clothing you have on hand (pants or tights, shirt, vest and/or skirt)
  • Any solid tan, brown or black belts
  • Anything in your closet with an animal print on it
  • Scarves in colors to match the jungle theme you choose from the list below
  • Headband (animals), straw hat (safari) or leather hat (Indiana)
  • Felt (to make ears)
  • Knee-high stocking for creating a tail (animal)
  • Batting or cotton balls to stuff tail
  • Two toilet paper rolls (safari)
  • Long stick (Tarzan spear)
  • Dark colored cord or yarn
  • Scissors
  • Face paints
  • Cord, yarn or decorative duct tape
  • Tape
  • Safety pins
  • Shoes or boots in matching color

For Jungle Animal Costumes

The jungle animal costumes are fun. Start by deciding which animal you'd like to be. The key elements of any animal costume are tail, makeup and ears -- each obviously determined by the animal of choice. The most popular costumes are large cats (jaguar, cougar, leopard and tiger) and primates (monkey, chimpanzee and gorilla). Choose an animal, and start with a basic color. Leggings and a long-sleeve shirt work well for animal costumes. Anything you have in an animal print can be useful too for draping, belting and tying. Make a tail by stuffing a knee-high stocking full of batting or cotton balls and then tying a knot in the end. Attach to your costume with a belt or a safety pin. Make ears from felt and attach to a headband. Alternatively wear a hooded sweatshirt and attach ears to the hood with safety pins.

For Safari Costumes

Safari costumes require khaki colored clothes, a vest, a hat and a pair of binoculars. The hat should be a lightweight straw or hiking hat. Make binoculars by taping two toilet paper tubes together. Use a scissors to put a small hole in the sides of the two tubes and string yarn through so that you can wear them around your neck.

For Tarzan and Jane Costumes

The Tarzan and Jane costumes require the least amount of clothing! Tarzan can get by with a simple loin cloth, preferably in an animal print. Jane can wear an animal print skirt or a simple wrap of fabric around the waist and a wrapped bandeau for a top. Hold a long animal print scarf or piece of fabric out in front of you. Cover across your breasts, cross in the back and bring back around the front finishing by tying around the neck. Use a stick as a spear.

For Indiana Jones Costumes

The Indiana Jones look is an easy one. Stick with the basic khaki and leather theme. Khaki pants. Khaki shirt. Leather belt. Vest if you have one. You could throw in a neck scarf. The two most important elements of the Indiana Jones costume are the hat and the whip. A leather hat is perfect, but any brown colored hat will do. Make a whip from a long strip of leather or cord. Put the end inside an empty toilet paper tube. Fold the tube in half tightly around the cord and apply a heavy layer of tape. If you have brown tape, perfect. If not, clear tape will do. Simply wrap it tightly and then also wrap a layer of yarn or a scarf around the handle to hide the tape.

Step 1: Choose a Focus

Look through your closet to help pick one of the above four themes.

Step 2: Assemble the Basic Costume Layer

From your wardrobe, assemble the basic layer. This is the layer on which everything else will be based. Here look for pants, leggings or skirts for the bottom half and shirts and sweatshirts for the top half.

Step 3: Accessorize Your Costume

This is the most important step, and it gives your costume the key details to stand out. For animals: Make ears and a tail. For the safari ensemble: Use a hat, binoculars and perhaps a leather strap slung from left to right from shoulder to waist. For Tarzan and Jane: Cut jagged edges in the ends of your fabric and consider carrying a makeshift spear. For the Indiana Jones look: Find a hat and make a whip.

Step 4: Apply Face Paint or Makeup

The animal costumes require more makeup, specifically whiskers, a nose and highlighted eyes. The other costumes require enough basic makeup to draw attention to your costume.

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