I made these DIY cat ears and tail using Oly*Fun, fiberfil, and glitter. My daughter needed a simple costume that she could wear at school and a couple of parties. We agreed that a black cat costume would be the most comfortable. This is her 2nd Halloween costume for this year. Her 1st is a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who, which is here and here. If cats aren’t your thing, you could use this costume concept for other animals…mouse, fox, dog, racoon, monkey…etc. Alter the colors and shapes to fit your needs.
SUPPLIES for diy cat ears and tail:
- 1 Grab and Go OlyFun Pack in Jet Black
- 1 – 10 oz Bag Crafter’s Choice Dry Fiberfil
- Tulip Fashion Glitter Bond (glue)
- Tulip Fashion Glitter in Black Fine Jewel
- 1 Spool black thread
- Black or white 1 1/2″ wide elastic
- A long ruler
- White chalk
- A small paint brush
- A thin paper plate
- Paper towels
- Straight pins
- A large safety pin
- A hand sewing needle
- A sewing machine
- 2 Black alligator clips
INSTRUCTIONS for diy cat ears and tail:
1) Determine how tall and wide you want your ears to be. Mine are 3.5″ wide by 4″ tall. Fold over the Oly*Fun fabric to match the height measurements. With the chalk, draw a cat ear, equal to the desired height and width, using the fold as the bottom of the ear. Cut the ear out with scissors. Onto the Oly*Fun, trace around that ear with the chalk. Cut the 2nd ear out with scissors.
2) Using the sewing machine, stitch around a folded ear, about 1/8 in. from the edge. This is to secure the shape. Repeat with the 2nd ear.
3) Over a paper plate, apply a little glue around the edge of one ear, over the stitch line. Smooth out with the paint brush. Repeat for any designs. I made tabby cat stripes.
4) While the glue is still wet, sprinkle on some black glitter. Tap off excess onto the plate. Set the ear aside.
5) Carefully fold the plate in half, tapping the glitter towards the center. Pour the glitter back into the glitter bottle.
REPEAT STEPS 3-4 with 2nd ear. Lay both ears flat, with the glitter/glue sides up. Let the glue dry completely. This can take a few hours, though the glue package says 2. On the other side of the ears, I added glue and glitter around the edge, to hide the stitching. Let the glue dry completely before moving on to the next step.
6) With the hand sewing needle threaded, stitch one alligator clip to the bottom edge of each ear. Alligator clips work in most hair types.
1) Decide how long you want your tail to be. On the black Oly*Fun, using the chalk and ruler, mark out a long rectangle equal to your desired length + 3 inches. Make the rectangle 5-6 inches wide. You can make the width thinner or thicker depending on what thickness of tail you desire. Cut out the rectangle with scissors. My finished tail is 25″ long by 6.5″ around.
2) Fold the fabric in half, matching up the long sides. With the sewing machine, stitching straight about 1/4 inch from the edge. You’ve now created a tube.
3) Using the threaded hand sewing needle, sew a running stitch about 1/4 inch from edge of a tube end. Pull the thread to gather the fabric. Make stitches through the gathered fabric, to keep it secure and tightly bound. Knot the thread and cut the excess.
4) Turn the tube inside out, so the seam edges are inside. Use a chopstick to shape the gathered end from the inside.
5) Stuff the tail with Crafter’s Choice Dry Fiberfil, using the chopstick to help you push it to the end. Keep stuffing until you are about 3″ from the top. Leave the last 3″ not stuffed, to help with attaching it to a waistband in a bit.
6) For the waistband, measure a piece of elastic around the waist or upper hips of person who will be wearing the tail. Overlap the ends about 1″. Cut with scissors.
7) I made this tail for my daughter, while she was at school. I guessed at her hip measurement, as she’s not very curvy. For the cover of the waistband, the length should be your hip measurement + a couple inches. On the Oly*Fun fabric, measure out a long rectangle that is 4 1/2″ wide by that lengthed hip measurement. Cut out with scissors.
8) On the sewing machine, stitch down about 3″ from both ends, 1/4″ from the edge. Turn the tube inside out.
9) Match the ends up with right sides facing. With the sewing machine, sew the ends together.
10) Add the safety pin to one end of the elastic. Feed the elastic through the waistband. Make sure not to pull the other end inside the tube.
11) When you’ve pulled the safety pin end through the tube, make sure the elastic is flat and even. Sometimes it can twist. Overlap the ends and stitch them in place. You can do this by hand or machine. I had to tighten the tension on my machine to sew the elastic. Tuck the elastic into the tube and adjust so it’s even and flat.
12) Back to the tail. It’s time to attach it to the waistband. I pleated the sides of the open end, so it would fit nicely into the small opening left on the waistband. Fold in the edges of the waistband opening, so they match the rest of the seam. Use straight pins to secure the tail to the waistband.
13) Using the sewing machine, carefully stitch the opening closed, securing the tail at the same time.
14) I added glitter stripes, so the tail coordinated with the ears. Same as the ears, I worked over top of a paper plate. I worked one striped at time. I applied glue to the tail and used the paintbrush to smooth it. I sprinkled glitter onto the wet glue, tapping off the excess onto the plate.
15) After I finished with the glue and glitter, I folded the plate in half, and carefully poured the excess back into the glitter bottle. Let the glue completely dry before wearing the tail.
That’s all for this costume. As I mentioned in the beginning, you can alter the size and shape of the ears and tail to suit your creature. One Grab & Go Oly*Fun roll will make a lot of ears and tails…and many other costume pieces. This can be great for plays or other times where you need multiples of the same costume. If you don’t like glitter (It’s very messy!), you can add details using Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in Matte or Velveteen. Happy Halloween!
DISCLOSURE: Fairfield World provided me with the OlyFun and Crafter’s Choice Dry Fiberfill. I Love to Create provided me with the Tulip Fashion Glitter Bond and Tulip Fashion Glitter. The links are not affiliated links. All photos, instructions, and opinions are my own.