Introduction: DIY Homemade Cincinnati Bengals Tiger Mascot "Who Dey"
My husband is a huge Cincinnati Bengals fan so this one is for him. Normally I make costumes to sell so I try to keep the cost under $15. The materials for this were hard for me to find in my area so I ordered the fabric online, $7.20yd. I bought 2 yards. The fur I bought at my local craft store, they didn't have what I needed by the yard so I had to buy swatches 5 at $2.99 each. I'm sure this would have been cheaper online too. The fur was the final touch and would have been ok without it. Other materials included; paper mache, white fleece, White foam, black foam, black felt,orange felt, red felt, polyfil, elastic and cardboard. And..lots and of hot glue. Thanks for checking it out! www.JJsHalloween Outlet.com 8/19 Just a little update. Got the sleeves sewn on his shirt and gloves made.
Step 1: Head Structure
I started with a paper mache head. Paper mache is water, flour and salt mixed like pancake batter (a little thinner). I used strips of orange printer paper, it just looks nicer on the inside than newspaper. I covered a punch balloon with about 5 layers and let is dry overnight. I popped the balloon the next morning, cut a hole in the bottom for the head and the tiger's mouth where you will see through. I then covered the head with two layers; the first was white fleece and the second was the tiger striped fabric . I used the white fleece to just to make a smoother finish. To make an easy fit measure the distance around the head, divide it by 4 and cut 4 strips. Mine was 48" around so I used (4) 12" strips. Cut the strips so they curve 3/4 of the way up and come to a point. Sew all your points and sides together. Slide it over the head gluing the ends inside the bottom. Then cut the mouth open and sew that inside as well. I repeated this process for the tiger fabric as well. Along the way I realized I spent way too much time worrying about my seams when I ended up covering a lot of it with fur, so no worries on a perfect fit.
Step 2: The Nose and Mouth
This was by far the hardest part for me. I sewed to parts that looked like pockets. The first was the nose and top jaw. I used white fleece and made a regular pocket, cut a triangle out of the top. I sewed the orange and black fabric in the middle replacing the triangle. This created the snout and nose. I later glued a new larger nose on so that's a step you can skip. The second pocket was just the white fleece. When sewing round both pockets at the bottom. Almost all the white on this steps gets covered later with the white fur or inside of the mouth. I used cardboard for structure in the top and bottom of the mouth/nose. I bent cardboard to glue to the head. Stuffed the whole thing with polyfil and hand sewed it on. The jaws were just too far apart and I struggled with making them look right. I honestly spent a whole day on this and was still never crazy how it ended up. But after I glued the fur on it, it came together really well. It covered all my seems and I could even everything out. The fur was long enough you can't see where it's pieced together. So don't stress, it's just a structure.
Step 3: Eyes and Ears
The eyes I cut with my Cricut, I used the same layout for all three colors; white, black and orange so each circle would fit inside the other. The small white circle is cut with a hole punch. You could buy the circles precut at a craft store. They don't have to be flat like these, you could simply layers the colors. Normally I used the sheer fabric on the eyes but the vision on this head is the mouth so I could detail the eyes anymore. If you want to see out of the eyes then leave out the black foam and replace with sheer black fabric. Of course you would have to cut holes in the head too. I cut a straight edge at the bottom of the eyes and glued them in place. The ears are simple triangles stuffed with polyfil (you can use stuffing out of a pillow or stuffed animal). Then I hand sewed them in place. I glued black felt to the front of the ears.
Step 4: The White Fur
I cut the white fur into sections. All the white on the snout (except the inside of the mouth) is covered with fur. I cut it into larger sections and glued it on. The fur was so easy to use because to sections next to each blend so well you can't tell they are even separate. I cut smaller strips to got around the ears and eyes. I used two large strips, one on each side of his head from his ears to the bottom. A small section on top between his ears. I ended up trimming the hair around his mouth, he was starting to look like a schnauzer. FYI: The hair is messing, really messy. Especially when you start cutting it.
Step 5: Finishing Touches for the Head
I cut a half circle out of black felt for the mouth and glued it in place. I cut the tongue out of red felt and glued a small black strip out of the black and glued that in place. The whiskers are small strips of black foam, hand sewed in place. The teeth are 2 strips of white foam, cut jagged and glued in place. The top teeth I made with larger pointy teeth in the back. This picture is after I trimmed the fur around the mouth too. I covered the inside of the mouth opening with sheer black fabric. I'm still working on the rest of the outfit. I have a Bengals jersey that I sewed long sleeves in with the same tiger fabric. Gloves with 4 fingers out of the tiger fabric.I included a pic of what I have done. He will wear football pants with the bottom half being the tiger fabric. I also made a long "cane" shaped tail that I'll sew to his pants. I had one swatch of the fur left and I'll make show covers with it. I will update this as I go, but I couldn't wait!! Thanks for looking. The last picture in this bunch was my reference picture. I missed the mark lol but created my own version.