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How To Make Your Own Dog Costume

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Halloween is right around the corner and I thought it would be the perfect time to write a DIY (do it yourself) on How To Make Your Own Dog Costume for Halloween.  This year we dressed Derby in a lion mane dog costume and it was definitely a hit at our guide dog costume party.

Last year I wasn’t too creative with Stetson and his first Halloween costume. However, Target has some great costumes and Stetson and I both dressed up as bee’s (I guess you could say we were a swarm of bees). This year we decided to do a little more preparation and after researching the internet and posting about dog costumes and our favorite: the alligator dog costume…I got really excited about designing my own dog costume for Derby and our Halloween guide dog meeting.

Derby’s Dog Costume – Simba The Lion

Here are some images of Derby in his dog costume as Simba the Lion:

Derby chomping on his prey (looks like a piece of grass or twig)

Derby the happy dog!

Derby giving us his best lion pose!

Don’t mess with Derby the lion.

Derby smelling the grass.

I’m sure everyone’s now wondering…what a brilliant costume! How did you do it?

How To Make Your Own Dog Costume

I was secretly hoping I would get a yellow Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever so I could dress them up as a lion for Halloween. If you saw my post on The 6 Best Dog Costumes On The Internet then you would have seen the Golden Lion who was actually supposed to be Lambert the Sheepish lion. A very random reference, but I just recently saw the short cartoon when watching Disney’s the Fox and the Hound…I’m a kid at heart and still watch cartoons.

Anyhow, I’ve been searching for a lions mane since I got Derby and couldn’t find anything suitable until Halloween costumes started rolling into the local Walmarts and Targets. While walking through Target I saw the perfect Lions mane…it was the hair on the wolfman’s mask. So here are the step-by-step instructions for constructing your very own dog costume.

Items you will need for this project:

  • Wolfman Mask from Target
  • Elastic band
  • Piece of Velcro
  • Extra Collar
  • Sewing kit (needle and thread)
  • Knife or Scissors
  • Optional – rubber band


  1. Go to Target and buy the $9.99 Wolfman mask.
  2. Grab a knife or scissors and unstitch the hair from the latex mask.
  3. With rudimentary sewing skills attach the collar to the lions mane (this will keep it in place when costume is worn.
  4. Next, attach the velcro under the neck. This will keep the lions mane closed around the neck area.
  5. Finally attach the elastic higher up from the velcro just under the chin. This helps to keep the hair from sliding back behind the ears.
  6. Optional – take an extra piece of hair from the mask and attach it to your dogs tail with the rubber band.

And the final results…we won Most Original Costume at our Guide Dogs of America meeting! YAY!

The Fearless Lion

Farm animals about to be preyed upon by the mighty lion!

Thanks to Joe for the wonderful photographs at our GDA meeting.

Let me know if you have any questions about How To Make Your Own Dog Costume. I, myself am not very creative nor very crafty, but was able to piece this one together.

If you haven’t already seen last years Halloween post then please check it out and get some new dog costume ideas.  Definitely one of our favorites was the headless horseman dog costume.

Did your dog wear a dog costume for Halloween? If so, what did he/she dress up as?

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  1. Awesome! I’d love to see pics! We did the lions mane costume with Derby 8 years ago before I could find anything like it at the store. Now you can just order one on Amazon. We would wait at the door for tricker treaters and I would tell them it’s a baby lion. The kids would all take a few steps back. 🙂

  2. I did a pirate last year for my pup i bought the hat part at target and then crafted my own accessories including an eye patch. Im thinking of doing the lion mane this year since hes a golden. kinda excited.

  3. Hi Cherish,

    I’m sorry to hear about the car accident I’m glad Brewsky is doing better. The Lion dog costume is definitely a hit a dog halloween costume parties. I even had my pup wear the costume when we were handing out candies and a few kids asked me if my pup was a baby lion 🙂

    The Wolfman costume was an adult size. I think I mentioned it, but I bought it at Target. I didn’t see the same mask last year at Target, but I think there were some comparable ones. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that will work with Brewsky.

    Good luck with making your own dog costume. We’re hoping to try a new DIY dog halloween costume this year. We’ll post pictures to the blog.

    Happy Halloween!

  4. Hello! I absolutely love your costume idea! Last year My yellow lab (Brewsky) and I were going to enter a pet & owner Halloween costume contest at our local vet. I’ve been working on a lions mane for him, but unfortunately the day before the contest on my birthday Brewsky was hit by a car and luckly only broke his leg but after a whole year he is a hundred percent now and as if nothing ever happened! 🙂 !!! The contest is back…I’m doing the same costume….So is the wig the kids wolfman costume size?? Did he do well with keeping it on?

  5. @Dana, everyone loves this costume and it’s very easy to make. I didn’t see the same mask at Target this year, but their were similar masks that could very easily be used as a lions mane. Best of luck and we’d love to see pictures of your DIY lions mane dog costume later this year!

  6. Thanks! I have a yellow lab (female). She acts like a cat ALL the time! Prowls, stalks, and pounces at us. So, I have been searching for a lion costume… but they all look cheesy. So, this is a GREAT idea!

  7. @Jennifer, I added the elastic under the chin to keep the lions mane from sliding back off his head. It kept it a little more snug under his chin and on his forhead.

  8. Please DO NOT use a rubber band to attach anything at all to the end of your dogs tail!! If you want to make the end of the lion tail use something safer like tape, a rubber band will cut of the circulation to the lower part of your dogs tail- THIS CAN RESULT IN THE NEED FOR AN AMPUTATION!!!

  9. @emi, Thanks I’m going to need your help with the sewing next year. I’m just not to good with the needle and thread.

    @Miko, yeah, he makes a good lion. Now I have to think of a dog costume for him next year…any ideas? You guys were at the Halloween dog costume parade so you must have seen some great and original ideas there.

  10. Super cute colby!! I love the photo of Derby chomping on his prey! he really pulls off the lion look well.

  11. Derby looks great! And the professional photos with the backdrop… very fancy! Looking forward to next year’s costume.

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