Halloween Costumes 2012: The Wolf (from ‘Little Red Riding Hood’)
Okay, sorry for the little delay on Friday. This little wolf of mine wasn’t quite finished. I just had to add a few little details before letting my 4-year-old, Connor, jump inside and test out his tormenting skills on my
And then I got to thinking, this same concept and costume shape could be used for other animals like a bear, dog, cat, lion, tiger, etc. The structure would be the same……..the face would just need to be adjusted a bit. So, if you are trying to figure out something similar, hopefully today’s post will help you out a little bit.
Because this little wolf is ready to share now. In all his rascally little glory.
And what was the hold up? His little claws. And can you tell what they’re made of? Yep, the curved tip of plastic hangers. I know, crazy. But they worked out great…….and aren’t sharp. Or expensive. (Especially if you have extras in your closet.) Hooray for both!
And I know, wolves are supposed to be snarly and ferocious. But every time I told Connor to growl and act mean…….he would start out mean but would end up in a fit of giggles. Maybe it’s that super soft fur fabric (that’s irresistible to touch) that I found, that refuses to give off any sort of “scary” vibe. And well, the friendly wolf face doesn’t help either. But…….he’s 4, so we’re not ready for “scary” anyway.
But he kept on trying to give me his scariest wolf growl……..
And what’s a wolf without a bushy tail? Check. We’ve got one of those too.
This big bad wolf has a top and bottom jaw, with a full set of pointy teeth. The head piece actually comes completely off with a veclro closure near the front but can also be flopped back off the head if your little wolf wants to reveal his true identity. But it’s constructed right on top of a baseball cap, so it’s completely comfortable and helps that ferocious (er, sweet) head stay right in place. Also, strips of elastic keep those little paws in place on both the hands and feet.
Unfortunately, my Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t have a chance. Just look at that face…….this friendly little wolf will surely trick her.
But even though he didn’t look like the scariest wolf around, he snarled and giggled and muttered phrases from the book, while pretending that he was that mean old wolf. And all the while, he hunted for “Little Red” and “Granny”, by sniffing them out all over our backyard.
Go on little dude, and keep pretending you’re as real as they come. You’re a riot to watch……especially while carefully pawing at the ground with those last minute claws. :)
Anyone need a little wolf (or bear, cat, etc.) costume for Halloween this year?
(And I can hardly wait to show you the 3rd costume in the theme…….you’ll die. Laughing, of course!)
Supply List (made in boys size 5):
- 2 yards of fluffy fur-like fabric ($12 or so dollars a yard, on sale for $6/yd??)
- 1 long heavy duty metal zipper (20 inches or so)
- red, white, and black felt (from my stash)
- 1 baseball cap that fits your subjects head (and that you no longer want…..because you can’t remove it once you’re done with the costume, I found mine on clearance at Target)
- several sheets of plastic canvas, depending on the size you buy/have (from my stash……….but they’re maybe $2 a sheet?)
- 20 black plastic hangers ($1 for 10 at Wal-mart)
- wide velcro
- wide elastic
- hot glue gun
- needle and thread
**I bought the fabric and notions that I needed (and that wasn’t in my stash) at Joann Fabric. Now is a great time to buy fabrics because most everything is on sale for Halloween. Also, you may have an old baseball cap on hand or a bunch of extra hangers in your closet.
The fabric that I found looks more like a teddy bear but I couldn’t find a straight haired fur. So, I used this curly brown fur anyway……and it worked out just fine! Also, because it’s so furry and curly, it’s very forgiving and hides many things for you, so your seams can be uneven and wonky and no one will EVER know!! :) (**And just so you know, this fur gets everywhere. When you cut it, you’re cutting through the long pieces of fur and it clings to everything and gets everywhere. But once you cut and shake off the excess, it won’t shed anymore. So you don’t have to finish off any edges. Yay!!)
Let’s get started on the Wolf Body Suit:
Find a loose fitting shirt/pants that fit your subject, to use as your pattern. Fold both in half lengthwise and lay them down on your fur fabric. (It’s easier to place the fur face down while cutting.) Overlap the shirt and pants just enough that the length from the shoulder down to the end of the pant leg is the same length as measuring your subject from their shoulder down to the ground. (Add a few inches to the length just to be safe. You can always cut some length off the leg later on.) Now, start cutting around the shirt and pants (adding enough for a seam allowance), making one continuous piece, making sure to cut the curve of the arm hole opening plus the curve of the crotch of the pants. And to be sure that your wolf costume is roomy and comfortable (and doesn’t look like a skinny wolf) add a few extra inches to the width (on the side of the arm hole, not the side of the pant crotch curve).
You will need a total of 4 pieces, 2 left sides and 2 right sides, so be sure to cut the left side mirror imaged from the right side. Then place one left and one right side together, with right sides together and then sew them together along the side with the crotch slope (using the seam allowance that you gave yourself while cutting). But stop once you reach the end of the slope, stop. Then repeat with your other two pieces.
Now, normally you would have a back left and right side and a front left and right side. But because you aren’t making this fitted and you don’t need to worry about a larger slope in the back crotch pieces (like you normally would), your front and back pieces are the same. So commit to one of the sewn together pieces to be the front section and then add a long zipper to the center seam. And because this curly fur can be kind of annoying and can get tangled in the zipper, I recommend using a heavy duty metal zipper. It will pull through the fur a lot easier. (Or you could ditch the zipper and use velcro. I just wanted to be able to un-zip and let Granny and Little Red out!!) Check out my simple Zipper Tutorial, if you need a little help putting one in.
After putting the zipper in, trim the fur down to keep it out of the zipper tracks. And if you accidentally trim through the base fabric of the fur, don’t worry, it won’t fray. Well, some of the fur will fray off but the base of the fabric that the zipper is sewn to won’t fray. So don’t worry about this zipper installation being perfect. Just don’t cut through the seam that’s holding the zipper in place.
Then, cut out some long sleeves (from folded fabric) that have the same curve and length at the top as the curve and length of the arm hole on your main bodice piece. Cut each sleeve on the fold and be sure that they are a little extra roomy for comfort. (Oh, and add in enough for a seam allowance as well. Read my shirt tutorial for more info.
Set the sleeves aside for a moment and place the front bodice piece and the back bodice piece together, with right sides together. Sew them together along the top at each shoulders.
Then attach each sleeve to the main bodice section and then fold the whole thing together and sew up each side. Follow this shirt tutorial if you need some help.
Now, for the tail. And really, the tail can be any shape but I was trying to make it look more like a bushy wolf tail. Whatever shape you choose, cut out two pieces that are the same shape. Then, place them together with right sides together and sew around the entire thing, except for the top. Then turn right side out and if you want, shove the end of the tail with a bit of batting, just to plump it up a bit.
Then, I sewed the top of the tail to the back of the costume. I didn’t even tuck under the end because the fabric is so fluffy and hides everything……so I didn’t even bother.
Now, for the head piece.
Cut out two main pieces that are similar to the shape below. It doesn’t have to be perfect because it will just kind of hang on the head and you can also trim and adjust as you go. Just be sure that the widest point at the top is bigger than half the circumference of the subject’s head. You want it to fit all the way around plus a little extra space. Cut out two pieces, that are a mirror image to each other.
Then place them together with right sides together and sew along the outer curved edge. Then place on top of your baseball cap and let it hang. (I found this Star Wars hat on clearance at Target. Now is a good time to find clearanced hats.) You want the front of the fur hood to come down to the base of baseball cap, just reaching the bill of the hat. Adjust any seams or trim edges if necessary. And remember, you can just leave these edges raw, so don’t worry about cutting and adjusting as you go.
Then, take the fur back off the hat. (And yes, when you cut this furry stuff, the extra pieces of fur get everywhere. Hang in there…..because after you’re done cutting and you shake off the extra, it won’t shed anymore.) Then cut out two large triangles for the ears, and hot glue them right down to the baseball cap.
Then cut out some triangle shapes out of the fur and hot glue them right to the front and back of the triangles. Glue the edges down securely and trim off any extra fur pieces.
Then cut two slits in the fur hood, right where the ears would slide through.
And then slip it back onto the hat, fitting the ears through the slits that you just cut. Now, glue down the fur hood down to the front half of the hat, keeping the fur nice and even and in place, right down to bill of the hat. Don’t bother gluing the back of the hat because it can just hang back there but I also wanted to leave it open so that I could leave the baseball cap adjustable for growing kids or different users.
Next, you’re going to lengthen out the bill to give the wolf a long snout. Cut out a long curved piece of your plastic canvas, that has a curve at the top that matches the bill of the hat.
Then hot glue it down to the bill of the hat.
Next, cut out some fur that’s slightly larger than the canvas you just cut out and hot glue it down. Then fold under the edges to the bottom side of the hat’s bill and glue them down too.
Then cut out a piece of red felt that is the same shape as the under side of bill and hot glue that down as well.
Next, cut out a long strip of teeth out of your plastic canvas and a strip of white felt that’s slightly bigger.
Hot glue the canvas teeth down to the felt (be careful…..don’t burn yourself) and then trim the extra felt off.
Hot glue the teeth all the way around the edge of the bill.
Then, for the nose, cut out a black circle of felt and grab a bit of batting.
Now, you can hand stitch a loose basting stitch around the outer edge of the circle (like these fabric yo-yo’s) and then put your batting at the center and then pull your thread to cinch it in. OR, you can use hot glue and wrestle the felt a bit until you have a circle shape. And then cover it wither another felt circle if you need to cover up some of the batting. I was too lazy to go and grab a needle and thread and wrestled with the glue gun instead. It probably would have been just as fast to go grab a needle, so I don’t recommend the glue version, unless you have fingertips of steel like mine! ;)
Then, hot glue that nose right down to the end of the snout.
For the eyes, I just cut out circles for the eyes and little curved triangle pieces for the eye reflection detail. And then I used hot glue to attach them to the head.
Next, this is optional but I really wanted a bottom jaw. So I cut out a curved piece out of the plastic canvas that was smaller than the top jaw. You want it to look similar to the top but since it just hangs, it will look huge if you cut it the same size as the top jaw. Then cut out some of the fur, slightly bigger than the canvas. Hot glue the fur to the canvas and fold the edges up and around to this top side.
Then cut out a piece of red felt and glue it down to this top side, covering the extra edges of the fur. Then cut out some teeth the same way as the top teeth and then glue them to the outer curved edge of this bottom jaw.
Then, cut out two long tongue pieces that are a bit longer than the bottom jaw (so it can hang out of the wolf’s mout)h and sew them together around the outer edge and then a seam down the center.
This is where I forgot a picture but glue the tongue down to the bottom jaw at the very end (the straight end) only. That way, the curved end of the tongue can still flop around freely.
Then set the bottom jaw to the side.
Now, cut out a rectangle piece of the fur and sew one end to one side of the hood at the neck and then add velcro to the other end. (Be sure you try this on your subject so you can see where to place the rectangle piece of fur. You want it to sit right below the chin and then cover the subject’s neck.
Then, hot glue the bottom jaw right to this rectangle piece of fur, making sure that it’s centered and will still look centered when the head piece is on your subject.
Lastly, the paws.
Cut out some curved pieces from your fur that have a straight end and are about the same size as your subject’s palm. Only slightly bigger. Also, be sure to add even more for a seam allowance around the curve and about an inch at the straight end, which is where you’ll attach it to the costume. Then cut a piece of elastic that is the same width as the fabric.
Then pick up that paw piece that was on the left in the picture above, and place it face down on the paw piece on the right……….leaving the elastic right where it was in the picture above. Then sew all the way around the outer curve, making sure to include both ends of your elastic in your seam.
Now, turn right side out. And then make another paw for the other hand.
Next, make 2 feet paws the same way, only bigger. You want it to cover the top of your subject’s shoes so have them put their shoes on to help you decide how big to cut them.
Now, paws aren’t paws without claws. So I decided to keep them friendly and use the rounded ends of plastic hangers and cut the ends off of 20 of the with a little hand saw.
Then, I drilled a small hole into the ends of each “claw”.
And then hand-stitched them onto the end of each paw, with really thick upholstery thread.
I know, they kinda look like bear paws but whatever…….they turned out great!! :) Because they’re exaggerated, they stand out. And that’s what we want on a costume, right?!! ;)
Finally, tuck the very end of each paw under the end of each pant leg and each sleeve, about an inch…….and stitch them right down. No need to finish any edges off. They’ll be just fine as they are.
Can you believe it? You’re done!
And now have the cutest little wolfy in town! :) (Or bear, cat, lion, tiger……or something similar!)
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