Werewolf Costume With Simple Animatronic Wagging Tail




My son wanted to be a werewolf for Halloween this year. He picked a store bought mask, and then we made the rest of the costume, including a simple animatronic wagging tail!

Step 1: Mask

We just picked up a cheap werewolf mask at our local department store (it was 50% off, so it was cheap and my son loved it). We made him wear it all around the store to make sure he knew what it would be like to wear it around on Halloween (I didn't think he would keep it on, but he did). You could make your own mask for sure, and there are some great instructables for that, but for the right price this option worked out very nicely.

Step 2: Fur Leg and Arm Cuffs

We made some little cuffs for his legs and arms that he could slip on and tuck under his shirt sleeve and pant legs.

We bought a few packs of costume fur from our local craft store (they come in 8.5" x 11" sheets in lots of different colors). We just picked the color that matched the mask that we bought. We also bought 4 sheets of grey felt and used some 1/2" elastic that we had laying around.

We started by taking some of the elastic and stretching it around his arms and legs, and measuring how long it had to be to be snug on his limbs without causing discomfort. We then cut all of those lengths of elastic out.

Next we sewed the felt and fake fur sheet together on one of the short sides with the fur facing in. Then we turned it right side out, and pinned the elastic (while stretched out) onto the sewn edge of the felt/fur. Then we sewed the whole thing up like a cylinder on the long side (inside out), and then turned it right side out and it was all done. We just repeated this for each arm and leg.

Step 3: Animatronic Wagging Tail

Test run with the finished tail, I couldn't resist trying it on!

We used the Adafruit simple animatronic tail guide (https://learn.adafruit.com/really-simple-animatron...) to make our tail. It worked great and they have excellent instructions and wiring diagrams to follow. Please note that you will need to use their Trinket micro controller if you plan on just copying the code from their site (https://learn.adafruit.com/really-simple-animatron...). It is not the exact same as an arduino, so the code will not work with arduino as provided. The trinket requires a few tricks to allow it to control a servo, so the code for the arduino would be much simpler actually. But they also provide 3D models for the case (https://learn.adafruit.com/really-simple-animatron...) and those models are specifically spaced out for the Trinket board. Just something to note.

To make the actual tail, we took another sheet of the costume fur and folded it over with the back showing. I then drew a long half tear drop shape the length of the fur (skinny on top, fat on bottom). I then ran it threw the sewing machine, making sure to leave enough unsewed on the top so that I could flip it right side out. Then I stuffed it full of quilt batting, and hand sewed it the rest of the way closed.

To attach the tail to the servo, instead of using the 3D printed part that you are supposed to zip tie to the tail, we just used one of the supplied servo horns with one arm that had holes all the way down the arm. We then just sewed the tail into those holes. I think this worked much better than the 3D printed part.

Also, the Adafruit project calls for the SG92R micro servo. I had an SG90 (the SG92R is the update of the SG90), but I wasn't sure if it would work. The footprint is the exact same so it fit into the 3D printed enclosure perfectly, and to my relief it also worked perfectly with the code. No changes were needed. So if you have an old SG90, there is no need to buy a new micro servo for this project.

Here is the finished tail on my son.

Step 4: Clothes

Clothing was very simple. We got a pair of jeans at our local thrift store, and we cut the legs off to be jagged looking. After Halloween, we'll just make them into a pair of cut offs our son can wear later.

The shirt was just a cheap flannel we picked up from Walmart, and we didn't cut it up so that he could just wear that after Halloween was over as well. He just wore his regular shoes, so this was a simple part of the project.

So putting it all together with the fur cuffs, tail and mask, and we were ready for Halloween!

Step 5: Finished

The costume came out great, and the tail held up great all day and night, even with him sitting down on it a number of times and ripping it off to go in a bounce house etc... My son loved it, and it was really fun to add the simple animatronic tail to give it a subtle and fun upgrade!

Halloween Costume Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest 2015

Robotics Contest

Participated in the
Robotics Contest

Epilog Contest VII

Participated in the
Epilog Contest VII

Wearable Tech Contest

Participated in the
Wearable Tech Contest



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    4 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Thats so realistic!!! great job!!


    3 years ago

    It looks scary

    melarkyDIY Hacks and How Tos

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks, it was sort of last minute, he was originally going to be a pirate (he begged to be a pirate for a month before this, then when we went to go get the stuff for it, he all of a sudden said he wanted to be a werewolf). It was fun to make and turned out great!