Picture of Lion Dog Costume
Tucker had always dreamed of being a lion.  He imagined languid days on the Serengeti, punctuated with thrilling hunts, watching the lionesses chase down wild antelope, and then moving in for his share.  When he thought about it enough, he could even feel the hot, dry wind blowing through his luxurious mane.

While Tucker may never be a lion (and we don't need to let him know lions are cats, after all), at least part of his dream could be fulfilled. He could dominate his pack of friends with the most glorious mane of them all.

And this is how Tucker got his mane.  
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Step 1: Get measurements

Picture of Get measurements
Since Tucker (a 3-yr-old Golden Retriever)  lives in NYC and I live in SF, we had to rely on email and texting for all communication.  Fortunately, Tucker's people are very savvy and were able to send me great photos of him getting his measurements taken.  You can tell how much he'd been dreaming of that mane by how very patient and well behaved he was during his measurements. 

From these, I was able to construct a mock Tucker head out of paper and tape. 

Step 2: Making the base

Picture of Making the base
Once I had a suitable Tucker head model based on his measurements, I could go to town figuring out how this thing was going to work.

I draped a soft lycra piece around the head and collar to use as the foundation for the fur.  The collar piece closed on the side with strips of velcro.

Then I was able to play around with the fur until I could get it to look like what I wanted.

Step 3: Draping the fur

Picture of Draping the fur
I took pieces of fur and played around until I had an understanding of how it needed to go together.  One big piece shaped to fit the head would make the fur lay in funny directions that looked unrealistic.  Using strips of fur would allow it to lay more naturally, but didn't provide nearly the volume I wanted to see. 

The answer came in pleating the strips of fur, and stacking them closely together.  In retrospect, I wish I had done two or three more layers of fur for even more luxurious volume!

Be sure to reference Step 3 in How to Cut & Sew Faux Fur if you haven't cut fur before. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way. 

Step 4: Sewing the fur

Picture of Sewing the fur
It's best to sew on each layer of fur as you pin it to the base.  Otherwise, you'll have to unpin all of the top layers to get to the bottom ones anyway.

I first sewed down all of the pleats in the fur, and then attached them to the lycra base.  Turns out this wasn't really necessary, and you can just sew the whole thing together all at once.  

Finally, I cut some little ear shapes out of polar fleece and hand sewed them to the top of the mane.  And it was complete! 

Step 5: A dog and his mane

Picture of A dog and his mane
Now that Tucker had his mane, it was time for him to strut his stuff,. What better timing than Halloween when all good dogs get to be whatever they dream of?  

Tucker wore his mane proudly through the streets, scaring off threats and keeping his pride safe, while garnering adoring awws and treats from the more appreciative onlookers.  After all, how could you refuse pupcorn to this adorable little scamp?  
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Your dog must Love You!
Mine would probably eat me if I tried dressing them up ;-)

PowellMade5 months ago

This has to be one of the coolest instructables ever!!!! I absolutely love it does he mind wearing it?

EliRob10199 months ago

Where did you find the fur? I'm having a heck of a time finding the right stuff in the right color. And I only have till Sunday to finish! Eeek!

basketpam9 months ago

You should contact the website Craftsy, which has instructors teach ALL sorts of lessons from Cake Decorating, Sewing, Woodwork, Photography and much more. You SHOULD contact them and see if they would take you on as an instructor in the sewing section to teach this. I bet they would. They are constantly adding new things and this is the perfect time of the year. If you do, please let me know. Thanks!

abbey.mac.7 made it!9 months ago

I saw your amazing lion's mane after I had ordered a cheapo one online. When it came (and it was pretty lame) I used your ideas to augment it, adding extra layers of pleated craft-fur. It turned out pretty well--not quite as nice as yours. Next time I will start from scratch. Thanks for the great idea!

Dolly Lion 2014.jpgDolly lion on the run 2014.jpegDolly the lion 2014.jpeg
szq103110 months ago

How much fabric did you purchase for this?

Fikjast Scott10 months ago

This made my day, great job

Saw this just in time for Halloween. Turning my aunts dog into a lion now. This is awesome!!
RushNafikov10 months ago

Very cute !!

nabukadnazar10 months ago

He is adoorable.

saskfire10 months ago
best thing ive seen all day.!
smolkster10 months ago

Not fair, your dog would win every costume contest. And if you said it was my friend dressed as a dog in a lion costume...you could bring him to the bar.

tenchman10 months ago
Awesome make . looks really kool
awesomelumens10 months ago


catlily10 months ago
Cool! tucker is SOOOO cute! I made a loin mane for my cat. Twinzes!
BLR_RAVI10 months ago
love it..its so new refreshing idea..very well made...literally you transformed a dog to a lion..
gjulia32691 year ago
Awwwww so cute
Jackiebain1 year ago
Awesome! I have a toy chihuahua I'm going to make this for- will post an update...

Just found this scooch, it's great! I don't get notices of new projects of authors I follow???? Did that policy change or is it on my end?

That's ace and the dogs adorable :-) :-p
Soo funny it made the app example in the app store
rsevacko1 year ago
I'd like to know if you could glue the fur
aimeee1 year ago
This is pure awesome. I must try this for precious puggle Charlie
scoochmaroo (author)  aimeee1 year ago
I can't wait to see it!
RedGuff1 year ago
It's so fun that I want to become a dog, in order to be disguised as a lion!
jennieqdeng2 years ago
hi!! I was wondering where you got the faux fur! I'm looking EVERYWHERE and I cant seem to find it. please let me know!
I actually got some of the fur for my dog and the local Goodwill, but Walmart has 'fur' throw pieces that you can use to cut up. Works well, and the author of this is amazing.
lolson11 year ago
Wonderful job, you are amazing!!
hammer98761 year ago
Executed well. Documented well. Absolutely adorable.

Congratulations on being part of the 31 Days of Halloween.

Waiting for you to figure out how to do the lion tail.
bwolfe08261 year ago
How did you sew on the front piece to hide the stitching? Did you use your machine to sew on all strips? I am afraid it would get harder as you get to the top! Did this stay on the dog well? Thank you
beme20131 year ago
That's so adorable!
sincitysir12 years ago
Haha agh I hate people who are so savvy with sewing and making such cool stuff
Holy sh*t my dogs a lion
martinroca2 years ago
This is hilarious. I mean that in a good way ;) The first picture is too funny.
This is just to AWESOME!!! Wonder if I can make one for my cat (((wink wink)))
stefanya892 years ago
I have a 3.5 year golden retriever too, THE best dogs! This is so cute & hes about the same size, do you make these & would you ship to Australia?? :)))
where can i order one of these from i want one for my dog!
Ur doggie is soooo cute????
scoochmaroo (author)  AndrewryanSears2 years ago
If that's a question, the answer is yes!
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