How to Make Halloween Costume Animal Tails

  • 01 of 03

    Lion or Cow Tail

    Lion's tail
    Rebecca Emery/Getty Images

    You'll need to start with a tube of fabric to create this lion or cow tail. The length of the tube will depend upon the size of the person who will be wearing the tail. It's a good idea to start with a tube a little longer than you think you may need—you can always make a tail shorter in the end. 

    Directions: 

    1. Cut a strip of fabric approximately 2 1/2" wide, fold the length of the strip with the wrong sides of the fabric together.
    2. Insert pieces of yarn at the narrow end. Using 1/4" seams, sew the end seam, sewing the yarn into the seam.
    3. Push all of the yarn towards the folded edge and sew the long edge of the tube.
    4. If your fabric tends to fray, resew the seams a few times and use small stitches and apply a seam finish.
    5. Turn right side out.
    6. Stuff the tube with polyester or cotton stuffing.
    7. Hand tack more pieces of yarn on to the end of the tail if you want a fluffier look.
    8. Turn in the unfinished edge of the fabric and attach to your costume by machine sewing or hand sewing

    If you want a tail that holds a curve or bend, use pipe cleaners as described in the pig tail below. 

     

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    A Curly Pig Tail

    A pig's tail
    Wikimedia Commons

    Start with a narrow tube of pink fabric. To determine the desired length, hold the tube up to the person who will be wearing the tail. Again, be sure to make the tail a little longer than you think you may need. This is especially important with this spring-like tail because it becomes even shorter with the curling process. 

    Directions:

    1. Cut a strip of fabric approximately 1" wide, fold the length of the strip with the wrong sides of the fabric together.
    2. Using 1/4" seams, sew one end and along the length of the strip.
    3. Turn right side out by using a semi-sharpened dowel to push the stitched end through the tube
    4. Join pipe cleaners to make them the length of your fabric tube, by overlapping them and twisting them together.
    5. Turn the ends over and clamp them tightly to prevent the wire ends from poking anyone.
    6. Insert the pipe cleaners ​into the tube.
    7. Wrap the tube around a pencil or dowel, to create a spring.
    8. Turn in the unfinished edge of the fabric and attach to your costume by hand or machine. 
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Bird Feather Costume Tail

    Chicken costume
    Adam Crowley/Getty Images

    Make a narrow tube of fabric as described in the pig tail directions.

    Directions:

    1. Turn tube right side out.
    2. Sew various length feathers along one edge.
    3. Roll the tube up, keeping the fabric coiled against and tack through all layers.
    4. Sew on to the costume, by hand sewing, catching as many areas as possible, especially the edges of the circle.
    5. Fluff the feathers to your liking and attach to your costume.

    You can find feathers at most fabric and craft stores. Some can even be found attached to ribbon for easier assembly. You can also try repurposing a tail from an older costume and applying feathers with a hot glue gun.