So, you want to be a cat for Halloween? Well, I believe you might be in luck — as I, friends, am an expert on easy cat Halloween costumes. Not only did I dominate as "black cat" for approximately three years back in elementary school, but my career goal as a youngster was also "cat." Sadly, I haven't succeeded on that front, but trust me, it wasn't based on lack of trying.
I do, however, own a black cat, so I'm an expert with all mannerisms that you might want to adopt once you've pulled this costume together. Go big or go home, am I right?
Sure, the cat costume might scream "last ditch effort," but it's definitely a classic. First off, everyone will recognize what you're trying to pull off. Second, it's a costume that you can maneuver pretty easily in at any party (as in, no fear of getting stuck in a doorway/no removal of entire costume for when you have to go to the bathroom). Third, you probably own a majority of the materials already, and the ones you don't can easily be picked up at most stores. Since not everyone is in the market to buy a $70 Elsa costume, "black cat" might be the most budget-friendly, yet adorable, costume choice you can make.
Here are the steps to take to make an absolutely purr-fect cat costume:
Step One: The Ears
I know a few of you have your own cat ears at home. I did too, until I moved a billion times and threw them out in a fit of stressful rage. So, here's how to make your own. You'll need some felt (black and pink, or black and white), one of those cheap fabric headbands you can buy at the grocery store, and a needle with some thread.
Cat ears are mostly triangular, but have a bit of width near the bottom. Cut out one ear, and then use it as a stencil, so that your second ear matches.
If you prefer an ear-filler for a little dimension, a light pink or white will work well. Cut out a similar small triangle from this color, and create its pair. From there, you'll want to either use a little bit of Elmer's or tacky glue to put the pieces together. Or, you can sew it. Prove to your middle school sewing teacher that yes, you can thread a needle!
Once your ears are set, you'll want to sew them onto your headband. The reason that the cheap fabric headbands work so well is because you can thread right through them — and also, since they're a light material, you won't feel a lot of pressure behind your ears as the night goes on. If you're a fan of headbands, you know how important this is.
Step Two: The Ensemble
Have a basic long sleeved black tee? If not, you can probably pick one up pretty easily. Not only will long sleeves help bring your cat arms to life, but you'll be way warmer, and not in a "I'm horrifically uncomfortable" way. What'll cool you down are some leggings.
Even if you're on board the "leggings aren't pants" train, they're truly your best bet for the costume. There's no way to salvage these leggings once you assemble a tail (see step three), so if you can't part with your pricier pair, make sure to pick up a cheap pair that has some weight to them.
Step Three: The Tail
Have a metal hanger lying around? You'll need that, along with some furry black fabric that you can probably find at JoAnn Fabric, or at your mother's house in a giant bin labeled "ARTS AND CRAFTS." If not, some leftover felt will do. Cut the hanger at the bottom, until you get a piece of metal you can twist into a tail shape. Hot glue the fabric onto the hanger, and when it's dry, sew it carefully to the elastic part of your leggings — and make sure it's center. Remember, this is something that will be hanging straight from your butt for the entire night, so precision is key.
Or, if you're looking for something a tad bit easier, consider picking up this cat tail from Amazon. Unfortunately, it's not available through Prime, so it might not be the best choice if you're in "I have to attend a party in two days!" mode.
Better yet, be a Manx cat.
Step Four: The Makeup
If you have a bottle of black liquid eyeliner that you've never been brave enough to use for its intended purposes, congratulations! Today is your day. Liquid black eyeliner works perfectly for a tiny black cat nose. I used a pencil for mine, and it turned out just as well.
Drugstores typically carry makeup kits as well, if you're in a pinch (or don't want to use your everyday makeup.) Obviously you can go above and beyond a nose and whiskers, but that's up to you. Halloween is all about creativity. Don't be afraid to extend those whiskers, or accentuate the look with a pair of those tricky disposable cat lenses. (I mean, fashion over function, right?)
Images: Karen Belz