How to Make a Lion Costume

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A lion costume can be cute and cuddly for a baby or toddler, or a ferocious king of the jungle for an older child. You can even make a Cowardly Lion costume for a Wizard of Oz theme. All you need to make a simple lion costume is a brown, orange or golden sweat suit, some felt, and a strong fabric glue, such as Fabri-Tac. You can buy felt by the yard in a variety of colors in most fabric stores. Since the lion costume is made from a sweatshirt and sweatpants, it will be snug and warm for Halloween or other cold weather occasions. Read on to learn how to make a lion costume.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 yard of brown or orange felt
  • Square of darker brown felt
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue
  • Large flat work surface
  • Brown or gold hooded sweatshirt
  • Brown or gold sweatpants
  • Paper and pencil

Cut about 20 strips of brown or orange felt, about 1-inch wide and as long as you want the lion costume mane.

Glue one end of each felt strip to the sweatshirt hood, just above the drawstring area. Overlap the strips slightly to make sure the lion’s mane looks full. Add more strips as needed to make a row of strips all around the top and sides of the hood.

Cut and glue a second row of felt strips behind to the first row for a fuller lion’s mane, if desired.

Cut and glue strips of felt to the neck area of the sweatshirt to make the bottom of the lion’s mane.

Cut two ears from felt. Glue the ears to the sides of the sweatshirt hood.

Let all the glue dry for at least half an hour before touching or moving the lion costume.

Cut a strip of felt about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and as long as you want the tail. Glue the end of the tail to the back of the sweatpants.

Cut about 10 strips of darker brown felt, each about 1/2-inch wide and 3 inches long. Glue one end of each strip to the end of the tail for the tail tip.

Have the child place his or her hand on a piece of paper. Draw a mitten shape around the child’s hand, about 1 inch away from the fingers and thumb. Cut out the mitten shape to use as a pattern.

Cut two felt mittens using the pattern, then flip the pattern over and cut two more mittens.

Glue two felt mitten pieces together along the curved edges, leaving the wrist end open. Glue the other two mitten pieces together the same way.

Cut circles of dark brown felt for paw prints and glue them to the mittens, if desired. Let the glue dry completely for at least half an hour before trying on the lion costume.

Tips & Warnings

  • To complete the costume, you may want to add a lion mask or use face paint to make the lion nose and whiskers.
  • Supervise children working with scissors.
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