How to Make Mane Out of Yarn for a Lion Costume

    by Kathryn Hatter

    About the Author

    Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.


    The key element of any lion costume is the mane. It is what distinguishes the king of the beasts from a common house cat. You don't need any special skills or expensive materials to make a dramatic lion mane fit for royalty, but you do need to cut up a hooded sweatshirt. If you don't have a hoodie you are willing to sacrifice, you should be able to find one at a thrift store for a reasonable price. The other main ingredient is yarn, and lots of it.

    Things You'll Need

    • Yellow or Brown hooded sweatshirt
    • 1 skein orange worsted weight yarn
    • 1 skein yellow worsted weight yarn
    • 1 skein brown worsted weight yarn
    • Ruler
    • Yarn needle
    • Sewing machine
    • Thread
    • Scissors
    • Pins

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    Lay the hooded sweatshirt out on a flat working surface with the top of the sweatshirt facing up. Adjust the seams of the sweatshirt so they are all aligned and neat.

    Cut the hood from the base of the sweatshirt. Cut approximately 1 inch below the seam that attaches the hood to the sweatshirt. Cut all the way around the neckline to completely detach the hood from the sweatshirt.

    Turn under the edge of the hood to conceal the raw edges. Pin it in place to secure it.

    Stitch around the pinned edge to finish the bottom edge of the hood.

    Measure and cut 4-inch lengths of the three colors of yarn. Continue until you have cut up all three skeins. Place the cut lengths of yarn into three piles separated by color.

    Thread one 4-inch length of yarn (any color) onto the yarn needle.

    Insert the needle into the underside of the hood at one edge near the bottom. Pull the needle up through the hood leaving enough yarn on the underside of the hood to tie a knot. Remove the needle from the length of yarn and set it aside for a moment.

    Tie one overhand knot with the yarn on the underside of the hood to secure this piece of the lion mane.

    Repeat Steps 6 through 9 to add more lengths of yarn to the lion's mane. Mix up the yarn colors so the mane has a varied color appearance. Make the mane as thick as you desire by filling in the yarn as thinly or as thickly as you like.

    Place the hood on your head and tie the hood under your chin to secure the mane to your face.

    • Another option is to incorporate the entire hooded sweatshirt into the lion costume. If you do this, you will not have to remove the hood from the sweatshirt. Instead, start constructing the mane at Step 5.