DIY Hungry Hungry Hippo Costume

Creativity meets childhood nostalgia with these fun, colorful, and interactive Hungy Hungy Hippo Costumes. Great for couples or groups, these easy-to-make costumes are a guaranteed hit for your next party.

(Image: Hungry Hippos Complete)

Things You'll Need

  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • 3 foam sheets in Hippo color of choice, 12 inches by 18 inches
  • 1 white foam sheet, 9 inches by 12 inches 
  • 1 black foam sheet, 9 inches by 12 inches
  • Ruler
  • Exacto knife or sharp scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Stapler
  • Small piece of elastic
  • 6-inch foam ball
  • Fishing wire

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Create Your Hippo Parts

Step 1:

Select the color of your Hippo. (I decided to go with my favorite color, green.) Use a 12 inch by 18 inch foam sheet of your selected color and create a "U" shape. This piece will be used to create the base of your hippo headpiece.

(Image: Create Your Hippo Parts- Step 1)

Step 2:

Lay down another green foam sheet. Place your "U" shape on top and trace around the outside.

(Image: Create Your Hippo Parts- Step 2)


  • Start out close to the edge of the foam sheet to save room.

Step 3:

Cut out your "U" shape using an exacto knife or scissors. Trace and repeat. You should have two U-shaped foam pieces.

(Image: Create Your Hippo Parts- Step 3)

Step 4:

Measure and cut a 4 inch by 11 inch strip to be used for the mouth. Create a "U" shape and repeat steps 1 through 3.

(Image: Create your Hippo Parts- Step 4)

Step 5:

Measure and cut two 1/2-inch by 3 inches strips to be used for nostrils. Create a cylinder and use a glue gun to attach the edges.

(Image: Create Your Hippo Parts- Step 5)

Step 6:

Use the cylinder to trace and cut out two circles. Glue the circles to your cylinders to create the nostrils.

(Image: Create Your Hippo Parts- Step 6)

Step 7:

Draw an ear shape measuring approximately 3 inches length and 2 inches for widest width and cut out. Trace and repeat.

(Image: Create Your Hippo Parts- Step 7)

Step 8:

Using the glue gun put a small dot of glue at the bottom of the ear and pinch corners together. Repeat for the the other ear.

(Image: Create Hippo Parts- Step 8-Glue)
(Image: Create Hippo Part- Step 8 Create ears)

Step 9:

Create the whites of the eyes using your white foam sheet. Your shape should be a rectangle with rounded edges, measuring approximately 5.5 inches width by 3.5 inches length.

(Image: Create Hippo Parts- Step 9)

Step 10:

Use your black foam sheet to create your eyes. Draw two ovals measuring approximately 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches and cut out.

(Image: Create Your Hippo Parts- Step 10)

Construct Your Hippo

Step 1: Assemble Large "U" Shape

Take your 12 inches by 18 inches foam sheet and recreate a "U" shape. Use the glue gun to line the edges and attach end piece. Repeat on the opposite side.

(Image: Construct Your Hippo- Step 1)
(Image: Construct Your Hippo- Step 1-B)
(Image: Construct Your Hippo- Step 1-C)

Step 2: Assemble Small "U" Shape

Take your 4 inch by 11 inches strip and recreate a "U" shape. Use the glue gun to line the edges and attach end piece. Repeat on the opposite side.

(Image: Construct your Hippo- Part 2)

Step 3:

Use the glue gun to attach both "U" shaped pieces.

(Image: Construct Your Hippo- Step 4-B)

Step 4:

Attach cylinders to nose area to create nostrils

(Image: Construct Your Hippo- Step 5)

Step 5:

Attach ears to large "U"shape. The placement should be closer to the front.

(Image: Construct Your Hippo- Step 6)

Step 6:

Create the eyes by gluing the black pieces to the white background. Then attach above the nose.

(Image: Construct Your Hippo- Step 7)

Make Your Hippo Wearable

Step 1:

Measure and cut three .75 inches by 12 inches foam strips. (Note: This section will not be seen so you can use any color you choose.)

(Image: Make Your Hippo Wearable- Step 1)

Step 2:

Connect two of the strips by creating a 1-inch overlap and staple. Use this piece to create a circle that fits snugly around your head. Overlap and staple.

(Image: Make Your Hippo Wearable- Step 2)

Step 3:

Once circle is created, use the last strip to measure the top of your head. Staple in place and trim any excess

(Image: Make Your Hippo Wearable- Step 3)

Step 4:

Attach your head piece to your hippo. Start by stapling the small piece of elastic on the outside of your circle and then attach the opposite side to the back of your hippo. This piece of elastic will allow the headpiece to bob up and down.

(Image: Make Your Hippo Wearable- Step 4)

Step 5:

Stabilize your head piece by stapling each side to your Hippo

(Image: Make Your Hippo Wearable- Step 5)

Create the Full Costume

Step 1:

Now that your headpiece is ready, it is time to create our favorite accessory, the beloved ball. Create a necklace using fishing wire and a foam ball. Just poke a hole through the ball with a small paintbrush or pencil and drop the fishing wire through the ball. Tie the ends of the fishing wire into a knot and you are all set!

(Image: Hippo head to Toe- Step 2)

Step 2:

Now that your costume is complete, it is time to dress the part. Be sure to wear your selected color head to toe and accessorize with matching sweatbands or bracelets.

(Image: Nichole Walla)
(Image: Hungry Hippo Group Costume)
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