Before you begin making the costume, make sure you know about the Cowardly Lion’s character. You can read through the book, or watch a couple of movie versions of the book, to get a clearer idea. The character is essentially a shy lion, whose personality tends to border on meek and timid – however, he does interact with humans, and is a companion to Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Toto the Dog. If you wish, you can also co-ordinate costumes so that the Cowardly Lion goes trick-or-treating with friends that are all dressed up as Wizard of Oz characters.
Once you have familiarised yourself with the character, you can begin preparing the costume. Start with a hooded sweat suit which is light brown in colour. It should be one size larger than your usual size. Turn the sweat shirt inside out, so that the fleecy part is on the outside – this will serve as the fur covering your upper torso. Then, in order to create the belly, cut a long oval out of brown fur or felt, and either stitch or glue this onto the front of the torso.
Next, start working on the lion’s head – the hood of the sweat suit will serve as the base for this. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut two ear-shaped triangles out of the brown fur/felt, and either stitch or glue these onto the top of the hood. Then, cut out long strips of felt/fur, and attach these with a needle and thread, all around the sides of the hood, to form the mane. The more strips you sew on, the thicker the mane will be.
Then, create a tail, by cutting out a long broad strip of felt, and attaching lots of small strips at the bottom of this to form a fringe, for the tuft of fur at the end of the tail. Sew this onto the back of the matching sweat suit pants. Finally, put on the sweat shirt and pants, slip the hood up over your head, put on some soft fuzzy brown slippers, and a pair of mittens that are tan in colour.
As a finishing touch, use some face paint – make the entire face tan, then paint the tip of the nose black, add on some black painted whiskers, and ring the eyes with some black eyeliner. The Cowardly Lion costume is now complete.