Christmas Story Bunny Costume





Introduction: Christmas Story Bunny Costume

About: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is Sam and I'm a community manager here at Instructables.

My brother-in-law needed a costume to wear to his family's Christmas party and asked me to make him Ralphie's deranged Easter bunny/pink nightmare costume.

I couldn't pass this up.

You can buy a similar costume online for $100, but where's the fun in that? This only cost around $30. Plus a lot of hours of course, but it was worth it.

(That's me with my best attempt at an unhappy Ralphie-scowl.)

Step 1: In Case You've Been Living Under a Rock...

Step 2: Pattern

When I sew stuff, I enjoy making up my own patterns.

But making up patterns isn't what most people would consider fun, so I've included a PDF with scale drawings on graph paper of all the pattern pieces, along with some construction details that might be helpful. You'll still have to lay everything out full scale, but I figured someone who was willing to do the work would find it useful.

The body section is just a big floppy jumpsuit, so I didn't need a terribly precise pattern for it. The hood pattern, however, took a little more effort and required some trial and error before I came up with the right shape.

This pattern is designed for anyone around 6 feet or so, and upwards of 200 pounds. Skinny people can adjust it accordingly. Or eat more.

Step 3: Body and Sleeves

The body section is made from two pieces. The pattern is laid out so the sides are on a fold, which eliminates the long unnecessary seams on the sides.

The two body pieces are joined with a seam along the back, down to the crotch.

The two sides of each sleeve are sewed together along the bottom. The half-sewn sleeves are pinned to, and then sewed into the sleeve openings on the body section. (This process is upside down to how most sleeves are attached to shirts.)

A seam is made across the tops of the sleeves and each shoulder.

Step 4: Ears

Each ear is made from two pieces of fabric.  The back pink piece is slightly bigger than the front red piece, but the seams are made keeping the edges even.  When turned right-side-out, this makes the back of the ear curl around the front slightly. 

To increase this effect, I added a pleat down the middle of each ear.

Step 5: Wiring the Ears

The ears needed to be adjustable, but stiff enough to hold their shape. To do this, I used some plastic coated copper wire from the hardware store that felt like it had the right amount of flexibility.

About three feet of wire was used for each ear. It was bent in half, inserted into the ears, and lashed in place with waxed dental floss. Hand sewing with waxed dental floss makes things really secure. I'm not sure where I picked this trick up, but I use it a lot.

The two loose ends of wire were wrapped tight with masking tape.

Step 6: Hood, and Attaching Ears to It

The hood pieces are sewn together, with the ears carefully sewn in place as well. These were placed about four inches back from the front.

When the needle got close to the wires, the machine was hand-turned and the fabric adjusted so the needle went over the wires without hitting them.

The inner hood lining was sewn together and sewn in place, but only along the front of the hood.

Step 7: Ear Support Structure

I struggled with this step for a while, trying to figure out the best way to do it. 

For the ears to stand up straight, yet still be sturdy and adjustable, I concluded that I needed to make an under-structure to attach them to.

This under-structure was made from stiff cardboard, hanger wire, and masking tape.  The wires from the bottom of the ears were bent as needed to keep them upright, and hot glued to the cardboard piece.

Step 8: Hood Padding

Batting was added to create some padding in the hood and help conceal the cardboard ear support piece. Pieces of batting were spot hot glued around and to the cardboard, and to each other.

The lining was then pulled over the batting/cardboard structure, and the outer hood layer was stitched to the lining along the existing seams. The hood was then closed up with a seam around the bottom.

Step 9: Attach Hood and Zipper, Finish Legs and Sleeves

The hood was attached to the body section, and the front tabs of the hood were trimmed even with the front opening of the body section where the zipper was to be attached.  Then the zipper was installed.

Legs and sleeves were finished. Elastic was added to the sleeve cuffs.

This photo may give you an idea of the beastly mass of pink fleece I was wrangling at this point.

Not pleasant.

Step 10: Fluffy White Tail

A fluffy white tail was made and safety pinned in place.  (It's removable in case you need to sit down.)

Step 11: Mittens

Mittens were made using an oven mitt as a pattern.

Step 12: Slipper Ears

I bought some fake Croc-type shoes at Walmart for the bunny slippers. These particular shoes had fuzzy liners, which were nice.  The liners were removed, and then later replaced once the pink covering was on.

The ears for these were made much like the ears for the hood. These were attached with lots of hot glue.

Step 13: Slipper Covering

After a pattern was made and a practice covering was found to be adequate, covers were made for each shoe. These were stretched and glued in place.

The liners were replaced and glued back in with hot glue.

Step 14: Slipper Details

Bunny faces were added with black yarn, felt, and googly eyes.  That's it!

Merry Christmas!

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62 Discussions

How long would you say this could take for an experienced seamstress vs. a person who doesn't do this often?

I ask because I may ask someone to do this for me who sews more frequently than I do. But before I ask I want to take a twirl in doing it.

I am so glad that you have this pattern for the Ralphy Bunny suit. It looks totally awesome. My son has been after me to make him this costume for years, the thing is he is over 300 lbs and I wasn't quite sure I would be able to make a pattern this large. I have been sewing for years, and made a lot of Halloween costumes when he was a kid, but I always had a pattern to follow and modify. He is over 6 ft tall, will this pattern be large enough for a man of his girth?

1 reply

I would think so. It was made to be loose on a guy that's 250 lbs. But if you needed more girth, it could be added when you layout the pattern.

I have almost completed the costume by your pics only til I looked further and you have printable instructions. I am having extreme difficulty with the hood. Can you tell me the width of the hood middle and both measurements you use for the hood sides. This is my first project and I have never read a pattern.

1 reply

Hi, my pattern is very simple. Each block represents 1 inch. So you have to draw out full-scale pattern pieces for yourself, based on the dimensions I've provided.

Let me know if you still have trouble . . . but you should be good to go if you have some large sheets of paper and a ruler and pencil. Good luck!

This pattern looks amazing!!!!! I would love to make this for my cousins new husband (welcome him to the family ;) ) Unfournatly I am having some difficulty opening the PDF file. Is there any other way of looking at the PDF file or getting the pattern?

2 replies

So I'm new to the whole sewing thing but really want to try making this for a Christmas present. The person I'm making this for is around 6 foot and 150 pounds. I know you said that the pattern fits someone upwards of 200 pounds, so how would you recommend that I take this in so that it will fit. Sorry for the stupid question, anything you can help with will be greatly appreciated! Thanks for the pattern!

making this now! i'll (hopefully) finish it for halloween and post a photo. one thing though...i wish it had a master list of supplies, because i found myself at the fabric store a few times to get white and black felt, wire, etc. maybe i just didnt see a list?

its coming out well so far! thanks for the tutorial!


1 reply

I included a list on the pattern form (the pdf), but didn't mention everything right there I guess. All the the stuff you need is listed throughout the various steps, but I guess that's not too good for a quick shopping list...

Can't wait to see yours all finished. Good luck!

I am so excited! I am going to an 80's Movies themed Halloween party and was not sure what to go as! this is it! One question...what kind of material did you use? I want it to be fluffy, but not too hot! Thanks for the instructions!

1 reply

It's pink fleece. And it is, unfortunately, extremely hot. You might try flannel for comfort, but it wouldn't look very fluffy. Whatever you choose, good luck!

i love this pattern and want to make it for my boyfriend, but i'm unable to down load the PDF is there anyway i can have you email it to me?

Thanks so much for posting this pattern and photos. I created this costume for my boyfriend who is 6'5 & this was my first sewing project EVER. I got most of it done by myself and my mom helped me attach the hood the zipper.

Our Christmas party was last weekend and we went as Ralphie and Leg Lamp. I made some minor adjustments, but all in all we were quite satisfied with the results. I posted a few photos below (the whale on the wall behind Ralphie is a giant 5 foot long narwal whale that we paper mache'd in honor of the narwal in our other favorite Christmas movie, Elf).

ralphie.jpgleglamp & ralphie.jpg
1 reply

This is great! I love the leg lamp costume idea. Very clever!

Thank you for sharing the photos!

Thank you very much for this instructable - its presence provoked the costume. I found very helpful the slipper section and got the exact shoes from W-mart. The only change there was ending the fleece at the shoe bottom edge since this will be taken outdoors trick or treating. I did make some changes - due to my limitations and materials at hand, I definitely futzed some parts after the initial cutting out. The wire I used on the ears was floral design wire - something in my stash. Aluminum and very light weight but flexible, it's used for accents and held up the fleece while still being very light. I recommend it as a crafting material. We'll see if it stands up to the party and trick or treating! Thanks again, we admire all of your additions.

1 reply

That looks great! I'm glad you were able to make one. Thank you for the photos!

I'm having trouble down loading the pattern it tries to connect ta web site then nothing what gives