Introduction: Faux Fur Animal Ears

These faux fur ears are perfect for cosplay and costumes! They're easy to put together (even though I admit they're a little time consuming!), and pretty cheap as well. I've included a template for the ear shape I went with, but I think these faux fur ears could be easily modified to look like cat, fox, wolf, or dog ears! Using fur also allows your ears to look much more realistic - now you can cosplay in style. No more lumpy cloth ears for you!

They're also perfect for cosplay because they can be attached using only hair clips - I was afraid they'd be heavy enough I'd need to use a headband, but that's not the case. They'd also look excellent sewn onto a wig. (which I had originally planned, but couldn't find the perfect wig!) :D

So go ahead and cosplay as a fancy space cat or a warrior fox! You can do it!

(more photos on the last step, too! :D)

Oh, and if you're looking for a tail to go with the ears, check out my faux fur tail tutorial.

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • cardboard (I used a cereal box)
  • faux fur (longer fur works best)
  • trimmer/shaver
  • 20 gauge wire
  • a new razor blade
  • thread & needle
  • pins
  • glue gun + sticks
  • hair clips or headband for attaching
  • pink felt for inside of ears
  • ear pattern, included on this step
As you can see, the list of things needed is pretty small. :D I already had most of them around my house.

Step 2: Cut Out Cardboard Ear Bases

You'll need two of these!

Print out the template and cut it out. Trace around it and then cut it out of the cardboard. :)

Step 3: Cut Out the Fabric Pieces for the Ears

You'll have to be careful with this part! If you're using a striped fur like I am, you'll want to think carefully about where you're placing your ears. I wanted the top fringe on my ears to be darker, while the body of the ear is lighter, so I aligned mine with the smaller ear edge overlapping the darker fur.

Also keep in mind that you want the fur pointing up towards the tips of the ears. It will sew easier and look much much nicer. :)

Lay the fur cloth side up with the fur pointing away from you. Lay one of the cardboard ears on the cloth and trace around it, keeping a 1/4 inch gap around all sides of the cardboard.

Then, flip the cardboard over the trace again. :) You'll want to do this for each ear.

Step 4: Cut the Ears Out

Use a new razor blade to cut them out - just follow the lines. :) Once they're cut out, pull off any excess loose hair around the edges!

For more info on working with faux fur, check out this instructable!

Step 5: Pin the Ears Together

Place the ear halves together, fur sides facing. Use long pins and pin the ears together as shown. Tuck any hair down inside the ears while you pin. Make sure you pin all over the place - otherwise it'll be tricky to sew. :)

Step 6: Sew the Ears Together

Using a double threaded needle, sew the ears together with a 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch seam allowance. Use a small running stitch. A backstitch will take forever and ever and not be that much more effective. Also make sure to take the pins out as you go - leaving them in will cause tangles. :D

Make sure to knot very well and make a few small stitches at each end of the ear. Leave the bottom of the ear open. :)

Step 7: Fold and Fit the Ears

Grab the cardboard ears and fold over the shorter edge. You'll want to fold it from the tip of the ear to the bottom, about 1.5 inches in.

Now take the ear and place it over the cardboard and maneuver it into place. This will give you an initial idea about how it's going to look. This will help you know where to shave your ears, and will also let you adjust the shape of them - you can fold them in lots of ways. :D

(note that the ear I used for this inital fitting is already shaved. getting ahead of myself, whoops. yours won't look like that.)

Step 8: Shave the Ears!

(welcome to my bathroom!)

This is probably the most time consuming part of the whole process. You'll want to use an electric trimmer if you have one. I'm sure scissors would work, but it would take a while and not end up as clean. :)

You'll essentially be trimming everything but the top end of the ears to allow your ears to have a fringe. If you just want everything to be short, you can do that as well.

I recommend doing this over a trashcan on a tile floor. You will be cleaning up hair forever otherwise. :P

photo 1
  • a comparison between a shaven ear and a ear that hasn't been touched with the trimmer yet
photo 2
  • the shaven ear on the left, and we're catching up on the right! once it gets to this point you just have to trim the fringe on the top
photo 3
  • both ears are shaved! hooray!

Step 9: Add Wire to the Cardboard Ears

Get out your hot glue gun and your wire!

You'll want to make a small bend in the wire no longer than the folded over edge of the ear. Glue the small part of the wire to the folded edge first.

Then, grab the longer piece of wire going across the bottom of the ear. Hold it and the cardboard firmly and bend it slightly so the ear becomes curved.

Glue down the part of the wire closest to the fold first. Once that's dry trim the end of the wire off. Then glue the rest of the wire down.

Make sure you wait until the glue goes opaque before you let go of the wire and the cardboard. My hot glue took quite a while to dry!

Step 10: Add the Insides of the Ears

I went with a light pink colored felt, but a cream color would probably look nicer.

Use the initial paper ear template and draw out how large you'd like the insides to be and then cut it out and test it on one of your ears. It's best if you test it when the fabric is over the cardboard form. Once you're happy, cut two of the shapes out of the felt.

Now you'll glue the felt to the fur!

Start at the bottom edge of the ear, and hot glue the bottom edge of the felt to it little by little. Then fold the felt down and add another line of glue, press into the felt, let dry and repeat. Keep folding and gluing until it's all attached to the fur. Doing it a little at a time helps you avoid wrinkles and get the felt in the right place. :D

Step 11: Glue the Faux Fur to the Cardboard Ears

Run a large line of hot glue along the inside of the folded edge of the ear.

Slip the faux fur ear onto the cardboard one (make sure the cardboard is all the way in!) and then press it into place. You'll want to push the longer area of the fur up to the edge of the fold.

(it helps if you practice this motion a couple times before you actually get the hot glue involved)

Step 12: Glue the Bottom Edges of the Ears to the Cardboard

Now you'll want to glue the fur to the cardboard forms.

Stretch the fur over the cardboard and glue the edges into place. Trim off any cardboard that sticks out too much. I glued down the front of the ear first, then the folded edge and then the back. Stretch the back so the fur comes to the front of the bottom of the ear so you don't have any cardboard hanging out. :)

Step 13: And You're Done!

Your ears should look like this when you're finished. :D

Step 14: Add Hairclips or Attach to a Headband

I added hairclips. I sewed them on because I was worried hot glue could end up causing problems with the hairclips closing.

Make sew that if you sew on hairclips you get the needle and thread through the actual fabric backing the fur, and not just in the fur. You want the stitches to be nice and strong. I also made sure to have the fat ends of the hairclips facing the front of my head so they were easier to put on.

Step 15: If You're Using Hairclips...

Here's a fancy thing I figured out to keep the ears in place. :D

Make a small braid (1/2 inch or less wide) from the top of your head to below your ear right above your ear. You can anchor the faux fur ears in the braids! You don't have to secure the braid or braid all the way down your hair, either. It's pretty invisible. I've included photos to show you how I did it. The ears survived going up and down stairs, walking up and down the street, and San Francisco wind!

(braiding hair: srs biz)

Step 16: More Photos

Special thanks to Tyler for braving the mean, lean and very busy streets in front of the office to take pictures. :D

Comments

author
JinxEndless (author)2017-06-03

You think it's possible for a headband to hold them or no?

author
jessyratfink (author)JinxEndless2017-06-05

Definitely! Just make sure it's a grippy headband to hold the weight in place :)

author
T0BY (author)2016-12-08

Cute!

author
foxandfalco (author)2016-04-21

love it! this is perfect for a costume!

author
The cloud 1808 (author)2016-02-11

could you use kinda of a medium size or could you just use long fur

author
LilyTavares98 (author)2015-04-03

Could I use a sewing machine to sew them together? :3

author

You can, but it's super frustrating. The feed dogs under the foot will grab at the fabric/hair and pull it, so it's pretty rough. BUT if you have a walking foot for your machine, that might work because it'll help with the pulling.

I just don't think it's worth all the cussing with a regular presser foot :P

author
AlyT2 (author)jessyratfink2016-01-20

The trick is to ensure the fur is properly tucked in. Also, you need a thick sewing needle, probably the thickest you can go. I make ears and tails all the time, and was able to sew fur with a cheapo $100 machine for a year, with only two broken needles!

author
Addiicat (author)2015-11-04

I made a pair of ears following this pattern and I loved it. Thank you! Also, where did you buy your fur? It seems so realistic compared to mine and I'd love to use some for my next pair

author
atabatchnick made it! (author)2015-07-25

Hey! Thanks for the tutorial! I followed it and made my own set of Gnar ears from league of legends for Otakon 2015! It took a much shorter time than i expected too.

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author
KiranP2 (author)2015-07-13

When you add the cardboard to the ears, does the furry part go over it like a glove, or is it put over the cardboard as if it were a frame? Also, are these compatible with Necomimi headsets?

author
creationwiz (author)2015-04-14

great project, by any chance have you ever heard about the furry fandom

author
mtchang leith (author)2014-08-25

so i used your patern to create some Gnar ears and it worked miracles! as i created them for a glow party im going to they are also reactive to UV light ^.^

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author

How do u get them to stay up and uv glow??

author

I used some alligator hair clips and A LOT of bobby pins :p they were a little wobly but held fairly well, i would recoment sewing them on a hairband if you're going to move a lot or don't want to replace them all day. They were UV reactive because it was for a black light glow part, so i fashioned my ears out of white fur and then used specific paint that reacts to black light to paint the colors making the ears tail and skill head piece seem like they're glowing under black light.

author

Lol I used her guide to make my Gnar ears too xD

author

i used her tail to make a tail for my Gnar tail too :D

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author

Same xD LOVE your ears and tail :D Though, mine are both SUPER fluffy hahaa. I only shaved the ear part where I put the pink lol. I think the tail is still posted as the top comment on her instructable :3 How did you get your ears to stay on so well? I'm having troubles, but it could be because I made them really fluffy and a bit larger like hers in her instructions. I tried it without my hair pulled back but they wouldn't stay too well :/

author

nice! mine aren't fluffy for the only reason that my glow paint wasn't fabric friendly so it stiffened up the fur a little. i wish they were fluffy though what did you use? and for the hair clip i used something like the photo, but my hair in a half ponytail or braid ( really tight) hooked one the ears and then added like a tons of boby pins to keep them in place, they're a little wobilly but they hold real well and the wobble makes them look more life like :) i also made them bigger than the model and gabe myself an extra challenge by also cutting out the bite marks in Gnars left ear :) hope it helps :)

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author

These are my ears :3 I FINALLY got off my butt and went to buy bobby pins and hair ties. Tried it out, and it worked awesome! I just used the hair clips like she showed in her tutorial but the pins and hair tie back help a LOT. Probably would hold better if my hair wasn't so tangled from the wind today either, BUT oh well lol. Now I just need to find a good way to get a 'bone' look for his weapon and skull : / They're already paper mache'd so I just have to find a decent paint to go on after the primer >.<

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author

wow so nice! i notice how your hair is flat too im guessing thats why the ears have a hard time stickying on ( im a massive curly so like literally anything holds) what i would sugest is put some long hold hairspray in your hair and pins and they won't have the tendency to slife as much ^.^ they look really cool! for my head piece ( that i mcguyvered in like 8hrs and finishes in the hotel room for the convention) i used paper maché and acrylic. once the 1st coat was dry i applied some detail and to make it look old i used a sea spong to remove excess paint and give it the old boney look ;) hope it helps ;D

author

Yeah I just think my hair hates clips xD I'm thinking I'll try to give it more of a messy look though and hopefully it'll help out a bit. Ohh a sponge is a good idea!!! Yeah so far the weapon has taken.....about 9 days including paper mache drying time lol. I used expanding foam for the headpiece and weapon so that took a bit of time >.< I'll have to try the sponge though :P I don't want to go through the weathering process, I've heard its a major pain lol.

author
mtchang leith (author)2014-12-10

:D also made matching ears to my tails ^.^

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author
sscott14 (author)2014-10-16

Used them for a werewolf cosplay and was amazed.

author
brittany.marie9289 (author)2014-09-23

I made some gnar ears too lol, they are so large tho and I'm having a hard time getting them to stay... i sewed 2 big clips on them but my hair won't hold :( i really didnt want to use a big head band. any suggestions?

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author

Where did you get the fabric for the ears? Did you find it online?
Im making Gnar ears for a cosplay event that I am going to in November, but I cant seem to find a good orange faux fur! Any help would be appreciated!

author

i actually had a really hard time as well and i managed to spend all day (and night including a league rave glow party) by fixing my ears as much as possible with the pin (tying my hair in a half ponytail also helped as it gave a better ground for the clips to latch on) and then adding like a million bobby pins through the ear and clip i had. see coments below ;) and then i prayed for the best and it turned out great! plus the ears were UV reactive and i shined like a christmas tree hihihi good luck on your GnarrrrRRRRRR

author
iluvkittehs made it! (author)2014-09-08

Made these for my Gnar cosplay :D Awesome Instructable!!!! I'll have to super tie mine down though since my hair isn't a fan of clips much haha.

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author
CasseyTheDanosaur (author)2014-03-02

This looks great and I want to use it for my next cosplay. I'm having a little trouble as to finding the fur though, so I would like to know where you got yours and how much it cost?

author

hey Cassey i got mine at a fabric store and they run around 20-45CND per meter you can also find some online (I've never done it but it aparently is super easy to find ). ;)

author
kenbob (author)2014-01-18

Looks great:) , now to add a sensor, some servos, ... ala

http://www.necomimi.com/ (one of my favorite concept products )

author
Mille_ (author)2013-12-02

How cool :)

author
DaFluffehOne (author)2013-10-21

Awesome ^_^
Planning on making the tail later today, love the tutorial ^_^

author
stackerjack (author)2013-10-11

LOVE IT !!!!
Well Done Jessy, and Thank You.

author
abunda (author)2013-10-10

Niice!!

author
finton (author)2013-05-02

Great set of ears! For those of us who are iggerant, "cosplay" is short for "costume play".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosplay

author
citrusoda2009co (author)2013-03-06

These ears look Awsome!! Good Job

author
Klappstuhl (author)2013-01-24

Daaawwww, so cute! :D

author
NOODLE! (author)2012-12-13

thank you for making so many awesome ibles! I made your Max hat, and i LOVE it! your instuctions are really clear, which makes the project super easy. (^-^)

author
Leonardo_Pimentel (author)2012-12-06

lovely idea!

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jawasan (author)2012-11-07

Cute for sure!

author
Yerboogieman (author)2012-11-03

Stop trying to close your eyes to make them not seem big. lol

author
pinkhottiek (author)2012-11-01

These are Super Cute!!!!!

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ShadowJesus (author)2012-10-31

This is simple, and the outcome looks awesome!

Would you use foam for the inside?

author
jessyratfink (author)ShadowJesus2012-11-01

Carving a piece of foam would probably work pretty well for the base of the ears. I'm not sure it would play well with the hot glue, though, ha! You'd have to improvise that bit. :D

author
PitStoP (author)2012-10-31

That's cute Jessy. =) Looks nice on you and the pink goes well with your skin.

author
jde moraes (author)2012-10-31

Oh, nice!

author
emilyvanleemput (author)2012-10-31

You look great wearing them!

author
mikolynn (author)2012-10-31

Can't wait to see the complete costume!

author
HollyMann (author)mikolynn2012-10-31

yeah me too! cute!

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Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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