This wall mounted taxidermy Jackalope costume is one of my most favorite things I've ever made. Not only did it help me win a costume contest at work last year, I'm pretty sure I now know what it must feel like to be Bill Murray, Kristen Wiig, or some other well paid jokester, bringing famous funny to the people - as tons of folks asked for a picture with me while giggling. It was a super fun five minutes of fame.
In this instructable, I'm going give you a peek behind the curtain (wallpaper actually), and show you the fast track for becoming an overnight Halloween sensation.
Step 1: Supplies
- (2x) 36" x 24" cardboard sheets
- dark woodgrain contact paper
- duct tape
- scotch tape
- Elmers glue
- 2 yards of faux fur fabric* (for hood and ears)
- two matching 3/4" buttons (for hood)
- quarter yard of blue (or other color) corduroy fabric (for ear insides)
- quarter yard of brown or ivory corduroy fabric (for antlers)
- matching thread for antler fabric
- 1 yard x 2.5 yards of heavy linen, granny wallpaper pattern fabric (for '"wallpaper")
- 1" wide plastic headband**
- thin cardstock***
- synthetic stuffing (for antlers)
- hot glue sticks
- 14 feet of 1" x 2" kiln dried pine or fir wood (for wall frame)
- (14x) 3/4" wood screws
- deep backpack***
- white face paint
- black pencil face paint (an eyeliner would also work)
*I found a nappy, curly one that was perfect, but any light brown or white will do.
**I got mine at a fabric store.
***I used a file folder.
*** My Alite Ochiba pack worked perfectly.
- laser cutter (exacto knife will also work)
- exacto knife
- cutting mat
- craft scissors
- fabric scissors
- sewing machine
- glue gun
- staple gun
- hand drill
- chop saw or hack saw
Step 2: Making the Wooden Mount: Part I
I've attached both Illustrator .ai files and .pdf files of the piece patterns. If you have access to a laser cutter, that is the easiest way to cut out the four layers that make up the mount. If not, have no fear, you can 'tile print' out the patterns and cut them by hand with an exacto knife.
Once you have your four pieces cut, glue them together in the order outlined in the photos above.
Step 3: Making the Wooden Mount: Part II
Unroll your woodgrain contact paper, and laying the mount down on top of it, cut out a piece of contact paper that is the same shape as the mount, with a 1-1 1/2" border. (like pictured)
Use scotch tape to tape the cut out onto your work surface and remove the paper backing.
Carefully lay the cardboard mount, top down, onto the sticky side of the paper.
Turn it over press/smooth the contact paper down, removing any air bubbles.
Step 4: Making the Wooden Mount: Part III
Using craft scissors, cut tabs into the remaining contact paper all the way around the mount, right up to the mount edge. (cut out sections of the contact paper at all the corners, shown in the third image)
Pull each tab taut and stick it to then back side of the mount. Repeat until the entire outside edge is stuck in place.
Use duct tape to reinforce the folded over tabs.
Cut a hole out of the contact paper within the center hole of the mount. Repeat the tab/tape process.
And voila! The slightly smaller front cardboard layer should give your mount an authentic, slightly beveled look.
Step 5: Sewing the Head Hood
I used a furry ski hat as the foundation for my pattern. As a FYI, I revised the pattern slightly for y'all as mine was made completely on the fly and ended up being a bit Frankenstein-y, so the attached patterns will look slightly different than the cut pieces in the images above.
Print out the attached two pattern pieces full scale (you will need to tile print to achieve this).
Cut both pieces out of the faux fur fabric.
Also cut out a long straight piece that is 20" x 3". You will use this piece to connect the two hood halves.
Using a sewing machine, sew the long straight piece to both halves of the hood along the 'seam' lines indicated on the patterns. Make sure that all the pieces end up furry side out!
If you have time, you can sew a fold over seam along the edges of the hood that will frame your face. If not, no bigs.
Hand sew on two buttons. (indicated on pattern) And before cutting the holes on the other side of the hood, try on the hood first and you may find your own button hole placements that will work better for your own head shape/size.
Step 6: Making the Ears
Print out the attached ear pattern.
Use it to cut out two pieces of card stock ears.
Then cut out two pieces of faux fur that are just slightly bigger than the pattern shape. DO NOT cut out the tabs. Instead just cut straight across the bottom.
On the ear tips, cut a few tabs into the faux fur fabric. (as pictured in image 4 above)
Cut out two pieces of the colored corduroy (with the lines running up and down) that are the same shape as the pattern, minus the bottom tab bits.
Using a hot glue gun, glue the inner ear corduroy pieces onto the card stock pieces and then the card stock pieces onto the backside of the faux fur pieces (so that the furry side is facing down).
Then fold over the faux fur edges and glue them in place onto the front side of the ears.
Step 7: Making the Antlers
Print out the attached antler pattern.
Fold the brown corduroy in half, so that the corduroy ribs are facing out.
Cut out two double layered antlers.
Leaving the pieces corduroy side out, sew a small seam around the edges, leaving the bottoms open.
Use a pencil to fill the antlers with stuffing. Don't over stuff! They just need to have a bit of shape to them. And leave the bottom inch of each antler unstuffed.
Step 8: Putting the Headpiece Together
The first step is to attach the ears to the 1" plastic headband. Do this by curling the bottoms of the ears in, so that the paper tabs are overlapping each other. This will give your ears the traditional bunny ear shape. Using the hot glue gun, glue the paper to the headband so that the two ear bases are about 1" apart and centered on the headband.
Next, glue the antlers in place by putting hot glue on the bottom backside 1" of each antler and glueing that area to the underside of the headband. (like pictured) Putting a tiny bit of hot glue in between where the antlers and ears touch each other will keep the antlers upright and in place.
Cover the rest of the headband with a slightly wider piece of faux fur, without wrapping it around the underside. The reason for not doing the wrap is that then the fabric piece can blend better with the hood, creating a more seamless look between hood and headpiece.
Step 9: Building Your "Wall" Frame
The dimensions of your wood frame will depend on the dimensions of your back pack. If you go the extra mile and get the awesome Alite Ochiba pack, use the following dimensions:
Cut your 1"x2" wood into the following lengths:
- (2x) 44" lengths
- (3x) 11 1/2" lengths
- (1x) 36" length
If you are using a different brand/style of backpack, measure the inside depth and width, and adjust the 'C' piece lengths accordingly (the A & B pieces will remain the same length), as well as the distance between the bottom two cross pieces. (the '17" in the image above) The bottom piece will line up with the bottom of the uprights, and it will be the middle one that will get lowered or raised to match your pack depth. (To see exactly how the frame will be fit into a pack, look ahead to step 11)
Screw the frame together in the orientation pictured.
Step 10: Cutting Your "Wall" Fabric
Figuring out the size of your wall fabric is simple. No matter how tall you are, it will be 3' wide to match the top cross piece of wood.
For how long to make it, we'll use my height as a baseline. I am 5'6" and cut my piece to a length of 82". So just add or subtract to 82" depending on your height. (Example: If you're 5'10", you will make your length 86".)
Leave the edges of the fabric raw and un-hemmed. It will fray a tiny bit, but not very much and will hang more evenly without seams.
Step 11: Connecting Your "Wall" to It's Frame
Lay the wall fabric out, pattern down, on the the floor.
Place the frame on the fabric so that the top cross piece is about two inches from the top edge of the fabric.
Starting in the center and working out to the sides, wrap the top edge of the fabric around the cross piece and staple it tautly in place using a staple gun. Take care to keep the fabric edge even and taut, so that the whole piece will hang without ripples.
Step 12: Load Up the Pack
Leaving the fabric and frame as is, with fabric pattern facing down, load the bottom of the frame into your pack and zip it/cinch it so that the frame is securely in there. This pack worked so well because it has that little cinch strap inside towards the top that can be secured around the second cross piece and the side cinch straps.
Step 13: Cutting the Face Hole
Put on your pack and stand so that the fabric is in front of you, hanging down to the floor.
Have a friend mark on the fabric where your nose is.
Remove the pack and cut a hole large enough for your head to fit through into the fabric, with your nose as the center point.
Step 14: Putting It All Together: Part I
Put your hood on and do up the buttons.
Put your Wall back on. Use your pack's waist strap to help disperse the weight of the wall away from your shoulders and to keep it from tipping forward.
Put your face through the hole.
Step 15: Putting It All Together: Part II
Slip the mount over your head, letting it rest on your neck.
Put your ear/antler headpiece on.
Pull the mount forward so that it sits just behind the head piece. The wall fabric and fuzzy fabric of the hood will help keep it in place.
Step 16: Put Your Face On
Use the white face paint to give yourself a little bunny shnoz.
Then use the black face paint pen to add whiskers.
While in front of the mirror, practice your industry standard 'happy to be dead' taxidermy face. This is to be used in all photos taken of you by your adoring Halloween public.
Step 17: And Then... Hit the Streets!
Once you're all put together, it's time to spread your costume joy throughout the lands.
NOTE: There may be a few awkward transition moments, like wearing your costume onto the train and having to sit on the floor...
NOTE 2: Look out for low hanging tree branches!
NOTE 3: Have so much fun and happy Halloween!!!