Animal Costume From the Muppets




Bring the party with this Animal costume! I strongly suggest starting by finding every relevant picture from the web you can to use as reference. Here are some of the other things you'll need.

Paper Mache (Flour, Water, Salt, and Paper)
Large 17" Balloon
Felt (Red, Pink, and Black)
Clear Plastic Christmas Ornaments
Yarn (Red, Pink, and Orange)
White closed cell hard foam
Black Skrim
Construction Hard Hat

Orange Long Sleeve Shirt
Orange Knee High Soccer Socks
Orange Gloves
Brown Pants
Hemp Rope Belt
Punk Rock T-Shirt

Sintra Plastic
Fake Plastic Chain
Foam Spikes
Drum Sticks

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Step 1: Paper Mache

Paper Mache
1 part flour, 2 parts water, add some salt to help make it stronger and last longer (or so I've been told)

This process can be a little messy, so put down some plastic and wear an apron.

1) Blow up the balloon and tape it to a base that will keep it upright.

2) Rip some recycled paper into 2" strips. Ripping helps make a good edge for bonding, and you should prepare all the paper you'll need before getting your hands dirty.

3) Go to town, making sure to completely cover the balloon evenly. I did about 5-7 total layers to make it really strong and easy to handle later on.

You will need to let it cure completely, which might take a couple days, before you pop the balloon and start cutting!

Step 2: Re-Enforce and Structure

Using your reference pictures, draw on the basic layout to make sure you get the proportions and placement right. I used some tape to make sure my lines were straight and even. A little extra time here will not be wasted.

With the layout right, cut out the mouth and nose opening, and level off the bottom of the head. A sharp utility knife will work just fine.

Re-enforce the edges with some Sintra Plastic to maintain the round shape, and attach a hoop for the bottom of the mouth.

Rivet the mache dome onto the construction hard hat, making sure to leave enough space at the front for the mouth to intrude, and your face to still fit.

Step 3: The Fur and Face

Using spray adhesive, cover the mache dome and stretch the orange fleece, starting in the front and working your way to the back. Make sure you chose a fabric that stretches in both directions so you can more easily work out wrinkles. There will be a lot of extra material at the back. Just cut it off, and you'll cover the ugly seams with the hair.

The eyes are simply clear Christmas ornaments cut in half and spray painted white. Attach them with hot glue and use some scrap fleece to make a lower eye lid. The faux fur makes a great eyebrow, and some extra black felt circles for the pupils.

The nose is another Christmas ornament covered in red felt, and stuck through a hole made in the paper mache.

Step 4: The Mouth

The mouth is formed using two pieces of cardboard, covered with black felt. The top piece is mounted to the paper mache dome, and the bottom piece is attached to the mouth hoop. The bottom has a space cut out for your nose, which is cleverly covered by the tongue made of pink felt. The teeth are hand carved from hard, closed cell foam.

Between the top and bottom, is a piece of black skrim that is see-though up close, but opaque from the front.

To form the chin, simply roll the end of a piece of fleece, glue it in place, then attach the loose end underneath.

Step 5: The Hair - UPDATED

The hair is made of yarn sewn onto strips of fleece and hot glued in place.

Wrap yarn around a piece of cardboard, tape it down the center and sew it all together.

When cut free from the cardboard, and cut in half, you have two lengths of hair to attach to the head. I did some short ones for the beard and base of the head, and a few long ones to cover everything else.

I've added a couple more pictures to make this step a little clearer. The yarn is wrapped around a piece of cardboard, with a couple strips of accent colors laid on top, and a strip of tape holds it all together.

Run a knife or scissors along the back to cut it free from the cardboard. A strip of felt is then laid on top, and the whole thing is sewn together with two parallel stitches. Cut down the center of the felt and the two stitches, and you have two lengths of yarn hair.

I simply attached this to the head using hot glue, but you could sew it in with a curved upholstery needle.

Step 6: The Finishing Touches

To finish off the whole look, I used orange knee high soccer socks, a long sleeve orange shirt, orange gloves, some ripped up brown pants, and a braided hemp rope belt. I found a fun, busy patterned t-shirt, and upped the punk level by stencil spray painting on some rock fingers.

The shackles were made with Sintra plastic and hand carved foam spikes. I attached the plastic chain by cutting one link in half, drilling two holes in the collar, and running a ziptie through the link. All of which were then spray painted metallic silver.

If you have never played with Sintra, it is amazing and versatile stuff. It comes in sheets and can be found at sign supply shops. The material will become soft and plyable under high heat (blowtorch), and will maintain that shape when it cools. It will melt and burn too, so heat it slowly and be careful.

Step 7:

Grab some drum sticks and chase some WOMAN!


Step 8: Updates and More Info

It makes me incredibly happy to have inspired people to try to make their very own Muppet! Due to a tremendous response, I thought I would add a little more info and answer some questions I've received about this costume.

First off, I am aware Animal is a drummer! I took the pictures seen here holding a Guitar Hero guitar at a local haunted house fund raiser I volunteer at. Animal rocks at Guitar Hero!!!

I decided it was necessary to get some proper pictures of Animal doing what he does best, so enjoy!

Halloween Contest

Fourth Prize in the
Halloween Contest

3 People Made This Project!


  • Instrument Contest

    Instrument Contest
  • Make it Glow Contest

    Make it Glow Contest
  • STEM Contest

    STEM Contest

39 Discussions


3 years ago

Hey, thanks for the tips! I have built a lot of costumes, and taken a course in prop-making so I did come in with a bit more experience. But, your pics were a great inspiration! I used a soft constructed 'helmet' as a base, rather than the hardhat and papier-mache, and then went from there! Your tutorial was a great base to work from, and the zip-tie on the nose? Super! Here's the costume I built for our 8-year-old :-)


4 years ago

My husband wants to go as Animal this year and loves this. Neither of us are crafty. Would you be interested in selling?

I used a foam wreath ring, cut in half and then glued the pieces at an angle to make the mouth. I then covered it with a piece of see through fabric and used orange duct tape to attach it to the foam


5 years ago

I was very inspired by your costume so I had to try my own. He turned out pretty cute but a much smaller scale. Thanks for the help!


5 years ago on Introduction

excellent instructions! I used the spray adhesive instead of sewing the hair.


5 years ago on Introduction

Hello, Congrats on this awesome build. I love it... This year, I had a choice of 3 different costumes i wanted to do (Groot, Real Steel "Atom", Animal) and after the Voting was done. Animal took the Cake. So I will be following your guide and making Animal.

I have only 1 question, Where and what size of chain did you get? and is it Plastic?

I can't wait to get started on this years costume.

by the way here was my costumes from the past 2 years, Bender from Futrurama and BeetleJuice "Hammer Hands" 2 years ago.

thank you,



7 years ago on Step 2

Being a Canadian resident, I'm not sure I can get my hands on Sintra Plastic.

What else can I use for this step? Also, what else can be used in place of rivets for attaching the Hard Hat to the mache core? What kind of "hoop" will I need as well. I'm going to attempt this and want as much knowledge as possible before I embark on this task.


8 years ago on Introduction

Just wanted to tell u-your animal costume ROCKs!---so much i attemtped to follow your i could....first time wtih paper mache...etc...didnt' think i could do...but your input was GREAT!!!

October 31 2011 009_PopArt_4.jpgIMG_0092.JPGIMG_0059.JPG
1 reply

8 years ago on Introduction

Well, I did it! I'd never used paper mache or hot glue before but your 'ible was so awesome that the costume came together flawlessly. My kids were skeptical at the beginning of the project and jealous once it was finished. Now they want me to make next year's costumes for them. Mission success!

Animal 1.jpg
1 reply

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Fantastic! Well done, but you've pointed out the real challenge...topping it next year! Good luck!

Hey man, you inspired me to craft my own one as soon as i seen this. I didn't quite follow all of your instructions..... but if it wasn't for this guide i wouldn't even of made one in the first place :P lol.

I have attached a picture of the finished Mask.

Thanks again!

Animal Fin.JPG
2 replies

lol, I like the foam idea much better. Just because I'm very impatient with paper mache. Does yours get too hot after wearing for a long time? (im just guessing cause the foam would get hotter than paper... usually..)

Thanks for the message. Yeah the Mask does tend to heat up a bit especially with all the extra hair (wool) that gets added to it, although with winter fast approaching it does keep the face warm,lol.

I have since uploaded an instructable on here detailing how i achieved this:

But as mentioned credit has to go to Thomas here for his instrucable \m/, hope he doesn't mind me adding a link to my page? (If so let me know and i can remove it man)

Thanks, Nath


8 years ago on Introduction

Thanks so much for all the detailed instructions. We slightly modified them, and the result was a perfect animal costume for our 9-year old daughter. Couldn't have done it without your help!

1 reply

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

That is FANTASTIC, and makes me so very happy! You are welcome and thank you for sharing this!


8 years ago on Introduction

Awesome 'ible!

What did you use for the mouth hoop?