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Animal Halloween Costume Ideas

Do you consider yourself to be a rare breed? Then why not dress up like an endangered species this year? You can pay homage to some of the most interesting creatures on Earth, while still rocking a Halloween costume that will impress your friends. Animal costumes can be great choices, but they are sometimes confusing to put together, since they are not really humanoid like a monster or a zombie might be.

Another major thing that you may want to consider is whether you will take a literal or a metaphorical approach to your costume. For example, will you simply dress in the pattern of your animal's coat, but otherwise appear human in shape, or will you go all out and actually look like your chosen animal, to the point where people instantly recognize what you're supposed to be even from far away? Each approach has its own challenges, so here are some tips on how to construct animal costumes for your Halloween festivities this year:

Elephant

If you want to dress as an elephant this Halloween, the first thing you should be concerned with is your face. For example, the ears are a huge distinguishing feature in an elephant, so you're going to need some big, floppy ears. You can either make these yourself out of foam or construction paper, or you can buy commercial "Dumbo" ears that will suit your purposes. How big the ears need to be exactly depends on the size of your head; they simply have to look disproportionate.

Next, consider another feature that is unique to elephants: the trunk. Again, you can choose to make this yourself, but of course it's going to be a bit more complicated. You might try getting a long, thick piece of fabric at the fabric store and making it into a cylinder that you can wrap around your face. It's probably better to buy a commercial elephant's mask, however, as it will probably fit your face better. When it comes to the body, a gray body suit that matches everything else should work just fine.

Lion Costume

If you like to roar through the crowd then this costume idea is perfect for you. Since the lion's face is somewhat complex you may wish to purchase a pre-made mask for this part of the costume, however the body is easy to make.

For the torso and legs you will need a golden-colored sweatshirt and sweatpants. Be sure to add large brown fabric square patches for the stomach and back. In addition, attach a long furry tail. Finally wear a long frizzy orange wig to compete the look.

Tiger

Let your animistic side shine this Halloween with an easy to create tiger costume. First contour your face with dark brown cream and blend it. Then fill in your eyebrows and prime your eyelids by applying a white shadow. Then blend it all in with a black eye shadow. Line your upper lash line with black eyeliner. Use extended eyelashes for a dramatic look.

In order to create a cat like look, add the gold jewels into the inner corner of your eyes. Take white cream makeup and apply it to the upper lips to create the tiger look. Draw a line from your nose and connect it to your lips. Add little dots for the whiskers. Then outline your upper lip with a black pencil. Draw stripes on your face to complete the look.

Hippo

Hippos are large, aggressive creatures with big teeth. To be a hippo for Halloween, you're going to need a lot of padding. Get a dark gray body suit and stuff it to make yourself look round, and don't forget to add a little tail. Next, you're going to want to go for some kind of hippo mask. It's hard to draw a hippo's face with makeup since it's so three-dimensional.

Rhino

Another pachyderm, you're going to want to find a light gray bodysuit as well for this costume. If you're a more rare species of Rhino, such as the black Rhino (which is not exactly black), go for a darker shade. The main aspect of this costume that will allow people to realize what you are is the horn, though, so make it prominent. You can do this by wearing a rhino mask, or by making a convincing-looking horn and attaching it to your head.

Giraffe

A giraffe costume can be very simple or it can be very complex. Obviously, it helps if you're tall, but all you really need at the most basic level is a zentai suit or other type of full-body suit that has giraffe print on it. A headband with some giraffe horns doesn't hurt, either.

If you want to get really fancy about things, though, you could spring for some stilts so that you can hover over everyone at the party. (Drinking water might be a challenge, though.) These are just some basic ideas of how to put together these costumes, but obviously how you go about it will depend on how realistic you want it to all look.

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