My 2.5 year old girl wanted to be a lion (YAAAAASSSSS SHE DIDN'T ASK for ELSA!!!)
I don't have a sewing machine and I am not that good with little details anyway so I pinterested a bit and came up with this costume.
It was a big hit.
Comfort was my main guideline so the outcome is very comfortable for a toddler (or an adult for that matter) because it is based on glueing extras to normal clothes + head piece based on a hairband.
The shoe covers were too scary for her so she never wore them but still altogether happy toddler and happy mum.
I hope you'll enjoy making this. Really super easy!
Step 1: Get Your Supplies!
1. Camel/ mustard/ yellow/ orange long sleeved shirt
2. Camel/ mustard/ yellow/ orange trousers
3. Any old hairband
4. Felt sheets in oramge and brown
5. 0.5 m of faux fur - the longer the hair, the better
6. Fabric glue
7. Water colours+ brushes
So basically, one trip to a fabric shop should do.
Step 2: Make the Shirt
This is an easy step. All you need to do is to cut two strips of faux fur for the end of the sleeves and a triangle-ish shape for the breast. See picture for reference.
Next step is to glue them to the shirt, make sure you don't glue the shirt to itself (front to back), you can place a piece of cardboad inside so the two sides of the shirt won't stick together.
I knew my toddler will refuse to wear this if the fur tickled or itched so I made sure there is some shirt space and it doesn't touch her skin.
Let it sit untill dry.
*TIP - it took me a couple of tries to understand how to cut the fur without it looking like a dog with a bad haircut. The trick is to fold the fur over the bottom blade of your scissors.
Step 3: Make the Trousers
I used old sweatpants for this and didn't do much with them, just added a fun tail.
You could add strips of fur at the ankles like we did with the sleeves before. I just wanted to make it as comfortable as possible for her to be able to run around.
For the tail I used the waste elastic of old yellow shorts and glued fur to the end. The fact it was elastic added an unexpected element of fun. She wagged it endlessly. If you don' have that, any yellow/brown fabric will do. You can cut a strip of the felt sheets i to a tail as well.
You can attach the tail to the trousers with glue or sew them with a simple stitch.
Step 4: Shoe Covers
These are quite easy to make and they can disguise even the pinkest trainers. They will vary based on the shoe structure.
My toddler found them too scary and refused to wear them... but I think they are still cool so maybe others can benefit.
To make them I took one of LO's shoes, covered them with felt and drew the outline with a pencil on the felt around the shoe and the opening.
I then cut them along the lines and glued felt fingernails! I added two little cuts to insert the shoe's velcro band so it attaches better.
Step 5: Head Piece - Ears
This step explains itself through the pictures. You'll need to leave long 'taiIs' because they will get wrapped around the hairband to make the ears stand.
Step 6: Head Piece - Mane
This is the trickiest part.
First you need to cut orange felt squares and glue them to the headband between the ears and on the sides so they create rectangles that are popping outwards (see photo). When this dries out you are ready fir the fur.
Cut one long strip of fur that is as wide as the felt squares. Notice fhe direction of the fur hair, you want it to be as straight as possible. Now Start glueing the fur to the felt rectangles from left to right, and behind the ears. Then fold the strip in half and glue it to the back side of the felt rectangles. This makes the long hairs of the fur pop out and look mane-y.
Step 7: Final Touches
The only faux fur I could find was a bit gray so I wanted to add colours to connect it to the rest of the costume and make it more lion-y. So I used just plain watercolours- brown, orange and yellow and just applied streaks of colour to the fur. Just a nice-to-have but does add a theatrical flare.