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DIY Dress-up Animal Ears Tutorial

DIY dress-up animal ears tutorial

Lily recently played Mama Bear in a production of The Three Little Bears, and for that role she needed some dress-up bear ears. I have made animal ears before (like the pair Emma is wearing in this post), but had trouble getting them to stand up. This method works really well – and you could even stitch in some pipe cleaner to reinforce taller ears! I do think that this method (and ear headbands in general) works best if you use a plastic headband with teeth – like these. The teeth anchor the felt in place on the headband.

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DIY Dress-up Animal Ears Tutorial

To make your dress-up animal ears, you will need:

  • A headband – I recommend headbands with teeth.
  • Felt
  • Needle and thread.
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue (if your headband does not have teeth or if you want to take some shortcuts)

Make animal dress-up ears out of felt

First, cut out the shape of your ear on the fold. Then unfold so it looks like this:

Tutorial for making dress-up animal ears

Add on a smaller pink or white or tan marking on one side to show the inner ear. You can hot glue or stitch this on; I used stitches. We actually used fleece for this because I had run out of pink felt, but felt is easier to stitch on. Next, fold the ear over the headband. If your headband has teeth, use those to lock the felt in place. If your headband is smooth, you might want to add a thin layer of hot glue to the underside of the headband to keep the ear in place.

Sewing on dress-up animal ears on a headband so they stand up straight

Next stitch along the ear – as close to the top of the headband as possible. If you use tiny stitches, they will be barely visible – see the photo at the top of this post. Here is a close-up of the ear with the bottom row of stitching done so you can see what it looks like from the side:

Sewing dress-up outfits for kids: animal ears

Stitch around the edges of the ear, using your choice of medium, tiny, or long stitches, and enjoy wearing your new ears! This pair has now held up to several weeks of play!

dress-up bear ears for The Three Little Bears

If you are making rabbit or other long ears, you can stitch in a piece of pipe cleaner to help them stay upright, or just use thick/stiff felt.

More Dress-up Tutorials

Do your kids love pretend play? Here are some other fun DIY dress-up sewing tutorials from this blog:

Do you have a dress-up tutorial to share? I would love to see links in the comments!

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

5 thoughts on “DIY Dress-up Animal Ears Tutorial”

  1. So fantastic you’re able to make her costumes! My mom made a few of my earlier Halloween and school-related costumes as well.

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