I keep seeing tutorials for cosplay fox tails that involve tying tiny bundles of yarn together, and then brushing it out, and then straight-ironing it. It sounds rather tedious, and calls for items that many people don't already have on hand, like a metal pet brush and a hair straightener. So I came up with one that is faster, easier, and more customizable.
You can make a skinny cat tail, or a super full Cheschire cat one, in any colors that markers come in, and it takes less than one hour for an average tail.
It's also a great project that you can do with your kids, if they can color and follow basic directions. And older ones can do it all by themselves! We will be making more of these, so check back later for updates!
Here is the source of my remix:
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
faux fur fabric -you will need about at least 5 inches to half a yard (about $2-8, less if you have 40% off coupon)
markers in colors you want - I like sharpies, but any permanent marker will do
thin stick to separate the fur (skewer, rat-tailed comb, or paintbrush handle will work)
hot glue gun (plus 2-3 sticks of glue)
2 strips of felt or ribbon(will be used as backing) - 1 in wide, as long as tail length
quilt batting or rags (about 2-3 handfuls for stuffing, optional)
clothespin or clip (optional to help hold it together while you glue)
Step 2: Cut Out the Shape
Cut a rectangle from the fur fabric. The dimensions should be as follows:
-length : from waist to mid-calf of wearer, somewhere around 15" for a toddler, to 30" for adult
-width: minimum of 4 in for a cat-like tail, to 10 inches for a foxy tail, and wider if you want a really bushy tail
For me, this was 17" long, and 9 inches wide.
Snip the fabric from the back, guiding the tip of scissors in between the rows of fur, so you don't have the odd, blunt cut edge. If you have this edge from where the sales clerk cut it for you, just snip that part off before making your measurements.
Mark and trim away 2 triangles at each end to make a leaf shape.
Step 3: Color in the Fur
It is helpful to sketch out your colors and designs on the back first.
Brush all the fur in the direction you want, usually downwards towards the tip of tail.
Use the thin stick to separate the fur down to the fabric, and start coloring.
Start at the root and drag the marker in the direction of the fur. Don't be afraid to get all the way in there, it will help make the color look fuller and more finished. You might pull out a wee bit of fuzz with the marker, but it will not hurt the project at all.
Color each layer of fur, in both direction, before flipping the next layer down. The thinner you make the layers, the more thoroughly you can color it, and thus the more saturated the color. And you can always go back and color in more if needed.
Occasionally hold the piece up to a light so you can see if your design is on track.
This particular design took me about 15 min to color in.
Step 4: Cut Strips of Felt or Ribbon to Use As Backing
Cut 2 strips, about 1 inch wide, one for the slanted edge of the tip, and one longer one for the rest of the tail.
Also time to plug in your hot glue gun.
Step 5: Glue the Tail Together
(You can absolutely sew this together, but my sewing skill is limited)
Use the clothespin or clip to hold the top edge together, and mark dots where the edges lines up.
Use dots of hot glue to glue the strip of felt so that it holds the edges closed. Using dots rather than long strips of glue helps the tail stay soft and flexible.
Do this all along the long strip for the main body of the tail, but only on ONE SIDE for the shorter piece of the slanted edge, so that you basically have a tube that's open on both ends. (This will help you roll the fabric right side out, as the fur is bulky)
Step 6: Glue the Rest of the Tail Together
Roll your tail right side out and glue the loose edge of the tail tip onto the felt strip, closing the "tube".
Step 7: Blending the Edges Together
Use markers to touch up uncolored patches and even out your design. And if you're wayy off, you can snip it free from the felt backing and reglue as needed.
Give the tail a good brushing to blend it together.
The pics are the "Before/After" of the touch up and fluffing. The seam is nearly indistinguishable, but you will still want to position this side down.
Step 8: Stuff the Tail
Use as much or as little stuffing as you like. For a skinny, cat-like tail, you won't even need to stuff at all.
If you don't have a small child handy (ha ha, hand-y, get it? sorry) use a long stick or wooden spoon to help you stuff.
The stuffing might cause bulging and gaping at the seam, just add more glue as needed.
Step 9: Finish It Up
Glue the open end of the tail closed, then add a safety pin.
Attach to excited recipient, and you're done!
Note: Remember to attach to the pants, or there's a good chance the tail will get dipped in the toilet, just saying...
Good luck and happy making!