DIY Cow Costume – Easy and Cute
My five-year old daughter desperately wanted to be a cow last Halloween. And of course I said yes! What’s better than a DIY cow costume? Especially one with a 3-D set of udders? This costume is super easy for the beginning crafter and can be made in about 2 hours. Plus, it’s great fun for dress-up play thereafter.
This costume is a shirt that is decorated and a hat. I added white pants to keep the “cow-y” look. Want this moo-velous look for yourself? See how I made it step-by-step.
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- 2 white t-shirts (one the right size to wear and the other one just for cutting up)
- 4-6 baby bottle nipples (the old-school yellowish ones)
- Pink felt
- Black felt
- Polyester stuffing (for udder)
- Fabric glue or hot glue gun
- Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
- Scissors that can cut fabric
Step 1 – Cut the Hat Out
To make the hat for this costume – cut a chunk out of the bottom of a white t-shirt and round the top of it. Try to use the hem of the shirt bottom so there’s a nice finished edge. Leave about an inch extra width around the entire shape in order to leave room for the seam allowance.
I used my sewing machine (because I’m lazy like that), but you could hand sew this or just simply glue it. As long as you weren’t looking for it to be a long-term play costume (i.e. it’ll get worn a bazillion times and better be somewhat sturdy) – glue will work just fine.
Step 2 – Create Felt Spots for the Hat
After cutting out the shape of the hat – take some of the black felt and cut out shapes that look like the black spots you see on Holstein cows. Place them on your hat however you want, then use the hot glue gun to stick those babies on. You could definitely sew these on if you’re looking for a hat that will last (and one that would be more washable), but I was just looking for something quick. Ultimately – this hat has gotten a LOT of play post-Halloween and it’s held up remarkably well – but I’ve never attempted to wash it.
Step 3 – Create Ears for the Hat
Cut out ears from black felt. Use one piece of felt to form what looks like a cow ear – I cut the single shape out in order to use it as a template. Now use that same ear as the pattern to cut out the other three.
I used two for each ear in order to make a more shapely cow ear…but if you didn’t want to do that step – you could use a single layer of felt (but it would be more wobbly and wouldn’t stand up as well.)
Sew or glue along the long edges of the ear leaving the bottom (short side) of the ear open. Then flip it right side out (to hide the seam.) In the image below – you can see the difference in size between inside out and right side out ears.
Cut a piece of pink felt to line the inside of the ear. Make it slightly smaller than the width of the ear. Then glue it onto the finished surface of the ear. A cute touch is to fold the ear over slightly and glue or sew it in order to create a more natural looking little curl.
Step 4 – Assemble the Hat
Lay your hat halves out with the spots facing up. Place your ears inside pointing downward with the pink sides facing up. I know this looks crazy, but when it’s fully assembled – everything will be pointing the right direction.
Lay half number one on top of half number two (black spots facing inside) being careful to not move the ears around too much. Then, sew or glue along the rounded portion. Be sure to leave the bottom edge (the hemmed area) open so it’ll fit on your head.
Carefully open up your hat so that it’s right side out. If you opted to glue, you’ll need to wait until the glue is fully dried.
Step 5 – Add Spots to the Shirt
Cut more spots out of the black felt and randomly glue them onto the front and back of the t-shirt you’re using. Leave a space open on the front of the shirt to place your udders.
Step 6 – Create Your Udders
Cut out an oval piece of the pink felt. Take your second white t-shirt and glue or sew the udder in the position on the shirt that will hit about mid-belly of the costume-wearer. If you want to stuff some polyester batting into the udder – leave a small hole when you’re sewing or gluing. I like the look of the udder that sticks out a bit.
Add your stuffing. Now glue or sew the hole closed.
Attach your bottle nipples to the udder with glue or glue AND a bit of stitching. We tried glue only to begin with, but found that the rubber nipples tended to pop off…so I stitched two places on each udder so they’d really stay in place during trick-or-treating.
There was some debate in my house about whether or not the udder should have 4 or 6 teats, but due to the size constraints of a five year old body – I ended up going with 4. However, if you’re making this costume for an adult – I’d go with 6.