Cardboard & Paper Costume Cat Ears
Whip up these quick 3-D cardboard ears and be ready for Halloween, costume play or any convenient feline masquerading opportunity. No wire is required, just paper supported by light-weight cardboard. The use of an elastic headband allows easy adjustment of the placement and angle of the ears and provides comfort and flexible sizing. Use colored paper, decorative paper or just hand-decorate with markers, crayons, paints etc, to give your ears unique flare.
You will need:
- The pattern: Blank Cat Ears Pattern or pre-decorated Leopard Print Cat Ears Pattern
- Some light-weight cardboard (cereal boxes are perfect)
- Gluestick or other non-wrinkling glue
- Elastic headband (or 3/8" sewing elastic cut to size and sewn/safety-pinned into a circle)
- Glue gun or tape
- Optional: patterned/colored paper
- Print the pattern on plain or colored paper
- Cut out the patterns for the cardboard pieces. Trace them onto cardboard and cut them out.
- Decorate the remaining pattern pieces right on the print-out or trace them onto different paper and then decorate:
- Cut decorated paper ears out. You may also want to cut out an inner-ear shape from contrasting paper and affix it to the front of the ear.
- Glue the cardboard pieces to the back of the paper as shown below.
Note that the fourth triangle (marked "overlap" on the printed pattern) does not have a cardboard backing.
- Fold the paper into a 3-sided cone, wrapping the "overlap" triangle without the cardboard backing around the corner and gluing it down to hold the ear in shape.
- Fold over and glue down the two flaps on the back parts of the ear, wrapping them around the cut edges of the cardboard.
- Glue the bottom cardboard piece to the corresponding paper piece. Notch the curved edges and wrap/glue all the flaps around the edges.
- Use a hot glue gun or some tape to attach the back corner of the bottom to the back corner of the ear. Don't fasten the entire edge; leave room for the headband.
- Slide the headband between ear and the bottom.
- Cut notches into the remaining (front) flap. Glue down the notched flap, pressing the front of the ear to fit to the curve. Hold in place until the glue bond is secure.
- Repeat for the second ear, being careful to mount it onto the headband facing the same direction as the first ear.
- Optional: wrap entire ear with packing tape for a bit of water and/or wear resistance.
NOTE: This sample was created by tracing the pattern pieces onto beige-colored paper and hand-drawing the design. The inner ear was cut out of scrapbook paper and glued on. The "Leopard Print" pattern page linked above uses a scan of the hand-decorated paper before it was cut and folded. It should look similar to the hand-decorated version, but will not be an exact replica.
- Use scrapbook paper or wrapping paper for eye-catching color and pattern, especially animal prints.
- Use construction paper or color copy paper as a base for hand-decorations.
- Use recycled paper, magazine/catalog pages, etc
- Glitter or glitter glue
- Foil (space cat!)
- Before assembly put some knotted strands of black yarn inside with the ends trailing out at the point for a caracal look.
- Add flowers, ribbon, bows, etc
- Attach the ears to barrettes instead of to a headband. A wide barrette could slip all the way through the slot the headband goes in, or a shorter one could be hot-glued to the bottom. This option will probably work best for someone with thick hair.