DIY Wild Thing Costumes: Unleash Your Creativity!

Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” has captured the hearts of readers for generations. The story follows Max, a mischievous boy who sails away to the land of the Wild Things, a group of fantastical creatures with whom he embarks on wild adventures. Halloween is the perfect time to celebrate this whimsical tale, and what better way to do so than with a DIY Where the Wild Things Are costume?

Choosing Your Wild Thing

The beauty of Wild Thing costumes lies in their inherent individuality. There’s no single “correct” way to embody a Wild Thing. Each Wild Thing in the book possesses unique characteristics – some have horns, some have fur of different colors and textures, and some have wild expressions. So, the first step is to decide which Wild Thing resonates most with you. Do you crave the fierce independence of Carol, with her prominent horns and furrowed brow? Perhaps the sweet goofiness of Judith, with her floppy ears and button eyes, is more your style. Or maybe you’d like to channel the wild energy of the creature with the striped fur and pointed tail.

Crafting Your Wild Thing Look

Once you’ve chosen your Wild Thing muse, it’s time to unleash your creativity! The good news is that Wild Thing costumes can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. Here are some ideas to get you started:

The Basics:

No matter which Wild Thing you choose, there are some common elements you can incorporate. Start with a base layer of comfortable brown, beige, or cream-colored clothing – leggings, sweatpants, or a brown onesie for children, will work well.

Fur is Fun:

Wild Things are known for their wild fur. To create a furry effect, you can use various materials. Fleece fabric is a popular option – it’s soft, easy to work with, and comes in a variety of colors and textures. Faux fur can also be used, but it can be trickier to cut and sew. For a more low-effort approach, consider wearing a brown, beige, or white furry vest or jacket over your base layer.

Tails and Ears:

No Wild Thing is complete without a tail and ears! Wild Thing tails come in all shapes and sizes – long and curly, short and spiky, or a combination of both. Use felt, fleece, or faux fur to create your tail, and secure it to your base layer with a safety pin or by sewing it on. Wild Thing ears can be made from the same materials. Attach them to a headband or hair clip for easy wear.

max where the wild things are costume

Taking Your Wild Thing to the Next Level

If you’re feeling ambitious, there are many ways to elevate your Wild Thing costume and truly capture the spirit of the character. Here are some ideas:

  • Facial Features: Wild Things have expressive faces. Use face paint or makeup to create wild eyebrows, a furrowed brow, a toothy grin, or a surprised expression – whatever reflects the personality of your chosen Wild Thing.

  • Horns and Spikes: Some Wild Things have prominent horns or spikes. These can be made from craft foam, cardboard, or even paper cones, painted and attached to a headband.

  • Claws and Paw Prints: Add some menace to your Wild Thing with claws! Attach brown felt cutouts in the shape of claws to your fingers with double-sided tape. You can also add paw print details to your knees or the backs of your hands using face paint or fabric markers.

Wild Thing Accessories

The perfect Wild Thing costume isn’t complete without some fun accessories. Here are a few ideas:

  • Crown the King (or Queen) of the Wild Things: Max wears a golden crown in the book, and it can easily be incorporated into your Wild Thing costume. You can buy a pre-made crown at a costume store or craft your own out of cardboard or craft foam, and decorate it with gold paint, glitter, or jewels.

  • Sail Away with a Boat: If you’re dressing up as Max, consider carrying a small toy sailboat as an accessory. This adds a nice touch and completes the connection to the story.

  • Bring Your Wild Thing to Life with a Toy: Wild Things love to rumpus! Carry around a stuffed animal monster or another fantastical toy to add to the playful spirit of your costume.

Embrace the Wild Thing Within

The beauty of a Wild Thing costume is that it encourages you to embrace your wild side and unleash your creativity. Don’t be afraid to get messy with paint, experiment with different materials, and most importantly, have fun! There’s no right or wrong way to create a Wild Thing costume. The key is to let your imagination run wild and channel the playful spirit of these beloved creatures.

max where the wild things are costume

Wild Thing Costume Ideas for Groups and Families

Wild Thing costumes are perfect for group and family dress-up endeavors.

  • A Family of Wild Things: If you’re dressing up with your family, each member can embody a different Wild Thing. This creates a visually stunning and playful group costume.

  • Max and the Wild Things: If your child is dressing up as Max, consider having other family members or friends dress up as some of the Wild Things that Max encounters in the book. This creates a fun and recognizable scene from the story.

  • Wild Rumpus Ride: If you have a large group, consider creating a “Wild Rumpus” scene. Some people can dress up as Wild Things, while others can carry signs or noisemakers to recreate the sense of chaotic fun from the book.

Beyond Halloween: Wearing Your Wild Thing Beyond October 31st

Wild Thing costumes are great for costume parties, book character days at school, or simply for imaginative playtime at home. The cozy fleece or fur materials used in many Wild Thing costumes can also be quite warm, making them perfect for winter wear.

With a little creativity and some readily available materials, you can craft a fantastic Wild Thing costume that will turn heads and unleash your inner wild thing. So, this Halloween, sail away to the land of the Wild Things and let the rumpus begin!


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