How to Make a Realistic Grizzly Bear Costume

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Whether you want to dress as a grizzly to scare your friends on a camping trip (not recommended!) or act in a school play, or just bring a little of the wild and rustic outdoors to your next Halloween party, learn how to select the right materials to create a realistic grizzly bear costume. The color and quality of the faux fur is key, as is the ability to walk on all fours while wearing this costume!

Things You'll Need

  • Brown, black or tan sweatsuit
  • Faux fur (about two yards or more, depending on your size)
  • Felt (optional)
  • Foam (optional; two yards)
  • Scissors
  • Headband (optional)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fabric marker
  • Fabric adhesive
  • Safety pin
  • Bear mask (or face makeup)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Elastic
  • Plastic claws
  • Fabric paint
  • Paint brush
  • Choose a sweatsuit and faux fur in your desired color or colors. Grizzly bears are either gold, tan, silver or almost-black in color. The suit could be a paler shade of brown to create a lighter-colored belly, as the suit will show through at the belly area. Choose a suit without hoods or bulky pockets and preferably without zippers. It should be cotton to allow your skin to breathe so it doesn't get too hot inside your grizzly bear costume.

  • Cut out two half-circles from foam for the bear ears. Cut out two smaller shapes from a light brown felt for the inner portion of the ear. Note: You may skip Steps 2 and 3 if you purchase a bear mask instead of using face paint and making ears.

  • Paint the foam ears brown. Glue the inner half-circles to the foam. Finish by gluing the foam ears to a headband.

  • Lay the sweatsuit on a large piece of faux fur and trace it with a fabric marker. Flip the suit over and trace another pattern on a different section of fur for the fronts of the legs and arms. Use the same method to cut out strips of craft foam to add bulk to the bear's body. Cut out the faux fur and use fabric adhesive to attach it to the strips of foam, and use the fabric glue again to attach both the foam and fur to the back and legs of the sweat suit.

  • Cut out a small piece of faux fur in the shape of a bear's tail. Attach it with the safety pin to the rear end of the faux-fur suit as the tail.

  • Purchase a realistic-looking bear mask to wear with the suit, or use face paint to achieve a bear face and paint hands and neck to match the suit.

  • Cut out mitten-shaped paws for an even more realistic look. Turn inside out to sew together and hem with 1-inch seams gathered to an elastic band. Decorate by gluing black plastic claws from a Halloween store. Put on the paws to complete the costume.

  • Paint the tips of the fur a slightly lighter color using fabric paint. This gives the grizzly costume a natural, grizzled appearance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cover the entire sweatsuit with foam and then with the faux fur for an even more realistic costume.

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