The Muppet Man Project




Hey all, since Halloween is just around the corner I thought I'd share the steps I took to make my "Animal Head Mask". I have added a wee list of all the items I used to achieve this - feel free to use your creativity to adapt them to create the perfect mask for you.

*Edit - Thanks for all the comments so far! When I started making this mask for our drummer's 21st birthday I never knew it would be so well received. Considering making another 3 - a bit of a tribute to "Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem". I've posted a link to my bands site below, if anyone has any suggestions for characters for the remaining members let me know (the more original the better). Would be ideal for our upcoming single release gig on Halloween. ;) Looking forward to posting more instructables very soon!

Cheers, Nath

The List:

1inch Foam (depending on type, as some are more durable then others) (Mask + Teeth)
Orange Felt
Red Felt
Black Felt
Purple Felt
Black Feather Boa
Crimson Feather Boa (Optional)
2 Large Styrofoam Balls
1 Medium Styrofoam Ball
Red Wool
Multi Coloured Wool (Own Preference)
Black Tights
Sewing Needle
Orange + Black Thread

Credit to: for the idea in which to try this!

Step 1: The Basic Structure

Step one:

The main step in which to achieve this Muppet head is when inflating the size of the template! (First picture)

The template can also found here:

One idea we did was to draw out the template on a small piece of paper so that you become comfortable with the shape and how it is held together. This way you can also experiment with shapes and size to create other Muppet characters!

1. Draw out the template either straight onto the foam or on a large piece of white paper (pictured) in case you fancy making more in the future! Template size really depends on the persons head. This will really have to be trail and error here.

2. Cut out the foam template then attach all the loose ends together. I opted to staple it together since the foam is thin enough to achieve this although feel free to use a glue gun or even sewing it!

3. By now it should start to look like a head shaped mask that can fit over your head (Pictured).

Step 2: Cover Me... Hey Shut Your Lip!

Step 2:

1. Next step is to cover the whole head in orange felt. It would actually be easier using orange fleece is the material is more stretchy and you are less likely to end up with creases. The best option is to use your template (you cut out earlier) to cut the same shape from your orange felt adding a few inches here and there for error! Again i opted to just staple the felt to the head of the Muppet instead of gluing, as it was much quicker and at the end of the day there's a lot of hair to go on this thing so it will cover it all in time.

2. For the nose you just simply wrap the medium sized styrofoam ball in the red felt pulling it tight and tie it of with an elastic band. To attached it i just removed the staple at the front of the face near the upper lip and inserted the nose, i had to cut up just a little in which to get it to the position i wanted then just stapled the lip and orange felt back together.

3. To thickin out the lips i took some left over stripes of orange felt which i glued in half for thinkness, make sure they are long enough to wrap right around the lips. I then sewed this right round the circumference of the lip, before threading through some old ethernet cable for stability to the whole thing. Plus it covered up the nasty look of the staples i had made :P lol.

Last picture shows the finished sewed lips, while i thread the cable through. Again for most of the steps a glue gun would work perfect if you're not keen on sewing. I just had plenty of time on my hands :P lol.

Step 3: Say Ahhhhhhhh....

Step 3:

Getting the mouth on was probably one of the hardest steps of the whole project!! Unfortunately i don't have any pictures on the actually process of achieving the lip as it was more of an experiment that worked. But i have included pics of what i used to obtain the end product.

1. To achieve the mouth look is simple! although i wanted to be able to wear this Muppet head without having your nose pushing through the tights, or cause friction when wearing it. I basically put on the mask then using left over wire from the ethernet cable I constructed a wire structure which i stuck inside the head around the lip so that i knew where to rest the tights against so that it would make for a perfect fit. Once that was in place i basically covered right round the inside of the lip with glue and held it in place with close pegs while it dried. I did this for top and bottom. While the glue was drying i cut out a rough tongue shape and then glued it on to the tights after the lip had dried and was firmly in place.

Step 4: The Hair... the Hair!!

Step 4:

This has to be the longest part and most boring. I had also roughly marked out were I'd like the eyes to sit so i know where the top hair line would be.

1. To get the hair i first pulled of the lid of my beer box... as you'll need a few for this step although any old bit of cardboard will do. I had a large piece and a smaller one for shorter strands of hair around the beard and crown of the head, but again feel free to try out other ways. Just wrap the red wool around the cardboard about 30/40 times the pull off what you have and sew an orange strip of felt across the middle. Once you have successfully sewin the felt to the wool, cut out all the loops either side of it thus achieving the hair. I have included a good few pics on how this is done and should potentially look.

Optional: To get the muliti coloured look i basically just wrapped the red wool around the cardboard as normal but then wrapped x amount of muiliti coloured wool in to it then sewed it together as normal. You basically just need to keep making as many as possible in which to cover your Animal Head and to create the beard. This really is down to your preference! I also glued the stitching right across the middle just to make it more stable.

2. Once you have made all the hair you require for your mask to the next step is to attache it. I used some needles in which to attach all the hair to the head to make sure it would cover it. Also while it is then in place it was just a matter of sewing it all on to the head. Since you have sewing them all the a strips of orange felt it makes it much easier to attach, you could even just glue them on. Again i covered all the sticking inside the head with glue to make sure it doesn't come apart.

Step 5: Time to Bring This Animal to Life.

Step 5:

I had mapped out roughly were the top of the hair line would be by this point so that it didn't hang down over the eyes too much!

1. To create the teeth i just used some left over foam (nothing gets wasted here!) and cut them in to the shape until they resemble that of Animals. I also painted them white although the more i worked on the mask while they were attached the paint started to cracked here and there which actually gave it more of a real look. To attache them to the mouth i just sewed them to the mask behind the lip.

2. For the Eyes again i took some left over orange felt which i glued to the bottom of them to create an eyelid. I first however painted them white giving them about 3/4 coats to really give them an unreal look, then glued on two circular black felt eyes which i had cut out earlier. To get the shine on them i used clingfilm tightly wrapped around each eye, although I'm sure there maybe other ways to achieve this. I attached the eyes to the face by super gluing the bottom eyelid that i had attached directly to the mask. It takes a bit of doing get the right position for the eyes, but just keep movin' them about holding them in with needles until you are happy.

3. For the eyebrows i cut a feather boa in half and bent the cut stripes in half again to thickin'. I then sewed on each eyebrow just above each eye, sewing directly onto the mask. I only added like one stitch either side of the eyebrow so that the feather boa had some room to move about and give that crazy Animal look.

Step 6: Drum Roll Please.

Finale Step:

For those still here we have finally made it.

1. If you had made smaller hair pieces earlier while doing the hair then your well on your way. The lasts step is to attach the beard:

Top Beard: For the top of the beard a used a handful of loose multi colored wool which had been left over and glued the ends of it under the nose. While it was drying i also added a large stitch using black thread over the middle to hold the strands of beard in place. This also gives them some freedom to hang of the face.

Bottom Beard: For the bottom of the beard i just cut the hair pieces in half so that they weren't so think given more of a hanging beard feel, then just sewed them right round the chin just like the hair on the head using the orange felt strip.

Final touches: To cover up any stitching i had made and the orange felt strips along the lip i just ripped of handfuls of crimson feather boa and glued them in place, This actually worked quite well to give the beard a more Animal look. Once the glue has dried pop on your Muppet head and sit back and enjoy your masterpiece!


Step 7: Your Muppet Head Creations \m/


Sorry it has taken me so long to update this Instructable. But as mentioned on my page i have since uploaded all the pics that have been sent to me by you of your Animal Head Creations. Which by they way are AMAZING!

Seeing them really put a smile on my face and hearing how each one made there own unique adjustments to improve it or suit there style was ace!! If anyone else has an fin head they'd like me to share on here along with your id tag let me and I'll post it up.

Def looking forward to embarking on another project this year... the questions is what? But until then enjoy and if you have any question feel free to email me.

Thanks, Nathan

Halloween Epic Costumes Challenge

Finalist in the
Halloween Epic Costumes Challenge



  • Classroom Science Contest

    Classroom Science Contest
  • Backyard Contest

    Backyard Contest
  • Pets Challenge

    Pets Challenge

29 Discussions


3 years ago

love your animal, can I ask what size measurements you used for the head? Its a bit hard to get from such a small picture.. thanks


5 years ago on Introduction

I wanted to thank you for putting up this project. Using the helmet out of foam, I made the Count von Count costume which turned out great.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Hey Avital, thank you so much for your comments! Glad to hear this instructable helped. Would love to see a pic of your Count Mask, if possible? Plan to make a few more this year!


6 years ago on Introduction

Hello I hope you still access this site. I need some further explanation on the mouth portion. I am so confused. Please tell me where the tights connect to the mask I understand how to do it but just not where :(

1 reply

Hi Coco, sorry i wasn't able to reply to this message before Halloween as i was out of the country with no internet. I hope you where able to sort the Mouth Issue out? Or if you still require help just let me know. Thank you.


6 years ago on Introduction

Just wanted to say thank you for the detailed and quite helpful instructions.

Thanks to you I was, needless to say, the hit of the party.

1 reply

Thank you so much for your kind comment Elephino. So glad my instructable was able to help you out! The Costume looks amazing. Cheers also for posting a picture. ROCK ON \m/

Hey All,

Just wanted to drop a quick message to say that I'm planning on adding an extra step to the Instructable to show of everyone's finished Animal Heads they have created. I have been sent a couple already and see one an here, they just look amazing!

If you could send me the a finished picture of your Animal Head pic:

I'll upload it here as well as add a link to your instructable site for a bit of promo if you would like also. Not forgetting a link to the new Muppets Movie site.

Thanks again to everyone for the comments and taken the time to give this a bash.


1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you so much for making your design available on the web! I followed your instructions and made an amazing Animal head for Halloween. Everyone loved it!

3 replies

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Hey Saries, glad to hear my instructable was so useful to you :D Be sure to post some pictures would be great to see the finished product \m/


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

That looks ACE \m/. Delighted with the idea of wearing one of those Orange Lycra suits underneath to give your skin that actual Muppet look. Amazing!!


7 years ago on Introduction

Hi Nath,

Great project! I'm off to go buy some foam, but can you clarify one thing for me: in the list of stuff you used it says 1/2 inch foam, but looking at the pictures and comparing it to whats in the store it looks more like 1 inch. Can you clarify which you used/which you would suggest? the 1/2 inch doesn't look all that stiff.


1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Hi Dave, thanks for the message. Sorry about that it should actually be 1" just realized the mistake now. Thanks for the heads up!

Although you do get different types of foam, some or more durable than others, so you can get away with it being slightly thinner aka 1/2inch. The best plan of action would be to go for 1inch, and see how that feels in terms of durability, then from there it size can be adjusted.

Hope that helps. If you (or anybody) have any other questions feel free to give me a shout.

thanks, Nath


7 years ago on Step 6

Once the Animal Head is on the bottom lip should hang a bit. You should be able to see through the tights that you used for the mouth. You may find that the tongue needs to be reduced in size if you are having difficulties seeing passed it or better yet just remove it for function!

Hope that helps.


7 years ago on Step 3

this is the only step that confuses me... could you possibly clarify? i really want to make one of these for my boyfriend, he is a drummer :)
where does the pictured wire structure sit inside the mask? did you put the tights on after gluing the wires in place? i do not really understand :(

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Step 3

The wire structure is only used to work out how far in the tights need to be without them hitting your nose when you put the mask on and take it off.

If you take the middle part of the wire structure and basically glue/tape that inside the mask from the middle of the top lip to the middle of the bottom lip then try putting the mask on. If the wire isn't hitting your nose but there's still a lot of room to play with try adding some more length or bend to the wire. Once you make the tweaks to the point you are able to out the mask on with minimal to no contact with the wire, then the next step is to take a longer piece of wire and basically tape/glue the end on from cheek to cheek making sure that it also get's attached to the wire you have already in place to the front of it. Again try the mask on once in place to make sure it does not hit your nose again.

The next stage is to stretch the tights right over the mouth making sure you give up enough slack for them to hit the back of your wire structure that is in place. You will find it easier to peg the tights to the top and bottom lip as you are doing this, again making sure there is some slack on for the tights to hit the back of the structure.

Once you have it pegged in place again try the mask on and make sure it does not hit your nose (have said that quite a lot now :P )

Next step is to glue on the top lip from the inside and again for the bottom lip. I found it easier to do it in stages - unpegging to add the glue and adding the peg to help the glue set.

Once the glue has set REMOVE the wire structure. You should now be able to wear your mask without your nose protruding from the mouth.

Hope these instructions are more helpful. If not please let me know and I'll do my best to add some visual instructions.

Good luck, Nath


7 years ago on Introduction

This is fantastic, and I can actually see what improvements I'd need to do to it, to make an Elmo, Oscar &/or Ernie mask. Or just one to hang on the wall to scare the be-jesus out of my cats. I love Animal. I have a ball cap of him and a glow in the dark t-shirt. :D :D :D

1 reply

Hey Tricorvus, hopefully the design will be of use to you (although your cats may not be so impressed!). I agree that the design could be very easily adapted into just about any Muppet. I'm hoping people will try out some new designs based on mine and post them here - can't wait to see what everyone comes up with! :)