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Halloween Costumes: King of the (Asphalt) Jungle Gorilla Costume

King of the (Asphalt) Jungle

Total Time Needed: Weekend Project

Your kids are sure to go ape for this famous gorilla, complete with a building perch and pint-size damsel in distress.


  • Cardboard box (ours was 16 by 16 by 16 inches)
  • Masking tape
  • Box knife
  • Silver acrylic paint (8 ounces)
  • Paintbrush
  • Duct tape
  • Adhesive-backed Velcro
  • Doll
  • 36- by 36-inch piece of shaggy black fur fabric (we got ours for $15 a yard at a fabric store)
  • Face-only gorilla mask (available at and party stores)
  • Black hooded sweatshirt
  • Double-sided carpet tape
  • 2 safety pins
  • Heavyweight black tights (we used girl's size 4-6)
  • 2 pairs of child-size black gloves
  • Fiberfill
  • 2 (18-inch-long) pieces of 16- or 18-gauge floral wire
  • 1/4 yard of brown vinyl (available at fabric stores)
  • Black permanent marker
  • 2 yards of 1 1/2-inch-wide black ribbon


1. To Make the Building: Seal one end of the box, including the seams, with masking tape (so you won't see them when the box is painted) as shown in blue on the box diagram above right.

2. With the box knife (a parent's job), cut an oval opening in the top of the box. It should be about an inch closer to the front of the box than the back to help keep the costume from pitching forward. Cut off the bottom of the box at an angle so your child can sit while wearing it.

King of the (Asphalt) Jungle - Step 3

3. Paint the box (you may need 2 coats). When dry (about 20 minutes per coat), decorate the box with a duct tape door and windows.

4. Put a piece of Velcro on the top of the box, near one of the front corners. Place the corresponding piece on the seat of the doll's dress or pants.

King of the (Asphalt) Jungle - Step 5

5. To Make the Gorilla: Cut the fur as shown.

King of the (Asphalt) Jungle - Step 6

6. Fold the 14- by 32-inch piece of fur in half, smooth sides together, and cut out the face hole as shown. Attach the Velcro where shown: 2 pieces (A) on the outside of one neck flap and the corresponding pieces (B) on the inside of the other. Put another piece (C) on the inside crease of the top flap and attach the corresponding piece to the forehead of the gorilla mask.

7. Attach the fur to the top and sides of the sweatshirt hood with double-sided carpet tape. Attach the fur to the back of the hood with pins and tape, folding one piece over the other as shown.

8. With the double-sided tape, attach a 6- by 24-inch strip of fur to each arm of the sweatshirt. Attach the 9- by 12-inch piece to the upper back.

King of the (Asphalt) Jungle - Step 9

9. Stuff the legs of the tights and one pair of gloves with fiberfill. For each foot, bend one length of floral wire in half and push the curved end halfway into the glove. Push the other ends into the tights, piercing the toe as shown, and work the glove about 3 inches up the leg. Secure it in place with the double-sided tape. Now bend the wire so the feet stick straight out.

10. With double-sided tape, attach a 6- by 18-inch strip of fur to the front of each leg. Attach a 4- by 6-inch patch of fur to the top of both pairs of gloves.

11. From the vinyl, cut a 7- by 9-inch gorilla chest and use the marker to add the details shown. On the underside of the chest, attach several pieces of Velcro. Secure the matching pieces to the sweatshirt and stick the chest in place.

King of the (Asphalt) Jungle - Step 12

12. Cut the ribbon in half to make suspenders. With duct tape, secure one end of each ribbon inside the front of the box. Have your child put on the box, adjust the suspenders so the top of the box hits between his chest and waist, and tape the free ends of the ribbons to the underside of the back of the box. Take the box off and use duct tape to secure the upper portion of the tights to the underside of the front of the box as shown.

King of the (Asphalt) Jungle - Step 13

13. To Don the Costume: Have your child put on the sweatshirt and mask. Secure the tip of the hood to the mask. Help him put on the box and the gloves. Finally, hand him the doll.