I've been asked about costumes for our family's annual living nativity, so I decided to share with you how to make a simple costume for a sheep that can be turned into a costume for a cow (and then back into a sheep).
Start with white sweatpants and a white hooded sweatshirt. I've been able to find them during the fall at Academy. They don't have to be new, though. My sheep play on the ground and get pretty dirty, so you could use stained sweats and be fine. After one hour of living nativity, my sheep's sweats are nasty looking. See what I mean? These are clean. I don't bother trying to get the stains out because these will only be used as sheep and cow costumes, so I'm not bothered by the stains.
You'll need a piece of black felt. I bought one recently at Hobby Lobby for a whopping 25 cents!
This one piece of felt is enough for me to make ears for two sheep (which I need to do either this week or the next). The only other pieces of costume for the sheep are a pair of black socks and black gloves.
Remove tags from the sweats. Then, prepare to cut out the ears. I drew off a simple shape on a piece of scrap paper and cut it out. You see a close-up of it here laying on the black felt. It's about 5" tall and 4" across at the widest point.
Since I'll be making enough ears for 2 sheep, I folded my felt and cut it in half. Then, lay your pattern down on top of the folded felt because that way you can cut once, but get 2 ears.
Cut around your pattern and you'll end up with something like this. Two ears (one on top of the other) and the leftover felt.
Before sewing the ears on, I fold it in half at the base of the ear. Then, either sew it on by hand, or machine stitch it on to the sides of the sweatshirt hood.
You only have to sew straight across the folded bottom, that's all. It will be able to stand open in this shape when it's sewn on.
Here's a picture that shows the placement for the ears.
Try to get them sewn on at the same height on both sides of the hood for a balanced looking sheep.
And, here are some of my sheep in action last December. Imagine the "baaa" sounds coming from them.
So, now you want to know how to turn these sheep costumes into cow costumes? Simply get black construction paper (it can be bought in a package of all black at Staples) and cut out cow-like spots. Use tape looped around (so it won't show) and place it on the back of each spot and place spots in a random pattern on the sweats. Ta-da! Cow costumes. See?
This was us on Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day in 2009. Free food at our favorite fast food place is why we want to be able to turn sheep into cows. After we get the free food, we simply rip off the spots and our sheep are ready for the next December.