DIY Tiger Mask

Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s the question on everyone’s mind: what’s your costume going to be? I enjoy the good joke ensemble myself—Freudian Slip, anyone?—but I find that my default is definitely the classic animal getup. Those looks are sweet, spirited, and always easy to put together by combining special accessories with the clothes already in my closet. One year, for instance, I wore all gray and made myself a horn. Lots of people assumed I was a unicorn, but I was only too happy to correct them—I was a narwhal, of course!

This year, I wanted to put an update on the ever-popular cat costume. I’ve rocked the whiskers myself, but this year I thought I would make a mask and show some serious fangs as a tiger. I was also a bit inspired by Katy Perry’s music video for the smash single “Roar.” Miss Perry definitely lends herself to Halloween costumes!

I used a classic domino shape for my mask, but I added little ears, too. I also made the ties out of long pieces of black satin ribbon, so I could tie a pretty bow in the back when I put my mask in place.

The trickiest part of this craft is making the template. Once that’s set, though, you’re only a few minutes away from a cute costume – perfect if you’re something of a Halloween procrastinator, like (ahem) a certain seamstress who will remain nameless.


  • Piece of paper
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Orange and black felt
  • Black ribbon
  • Black thread
  • Basic sewing needle

Craft away:

  • To make a template for your mask, first fold your piece of paper in half, hamburger-style, as they say in school (short end to short end). Measure about three inches in from the fold of the paper, and make a little end mark there. If you want, you can also draw a horizontal center line to help you square everything up.
  • Halfway between the fold and that end mark, draw a vertical line measuring three inches, an inch-and-a-half on either side of the center line of the mask. This makes the wider areas of the mask that go around the eyes.
  • Connect those marks with a pen, making a rounded shape. Just eyeball it—it doesn’t need to be perfect!
  • Add a slanted cat eye hole in the middle of the shape, about two inches across.
  • Put a pointed ear on top of your mask, right above the eye hole.
  • Keeping the piece of paper folded, cut out the template, including the eye holes. When you unfold it, it makes a nice, symmetrical shape. You can check its fit on your face in the mirror, and make any little adjustments as needed.
  • Trace the template onto the orange felt, and cut it out, including the eye holes.
  • Cut tiger stripes out of the black felt. I made a bunch of narrow triangles to go underneath the eye holes, two u-shaped pieces to go between the eye holes, and two triangular pieces to add an accent to the ears. I also added triangles at the corners of the eye holes to give my mask fun little eyelashes. Pin them to the mask.
  • Cut a couple feet of black thread, then thread the needle and tie a knot.
  • Stitch the tiger stripes to the mask using a looping motion. This makes the stitches nearly invisible against the black felt.
  • Cut two 24-inch-long pieces of black ribbon. Pin each piece to the sides of the mask, then sew them in place using a simple in-and-out motion.
  • You’re all set! Hey, who’s that cool kitty?
Filed Under