Introduction: Faux Fur Animal Ears
Finalist in the
Autodesk Employee Halloween Contest
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)
- 20 gauge wire
- a new razor blade
- thread & needle
- glue gun + sticks
- hair clips or headband for attaching
- pink felt for inside of ears
- ear pattern, included on this step
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!
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
- a comparison between a shaven ear and a ear that hasn't been touched with the trimmer yet
- 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
- 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
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