How to Make a Praying-Mantis Costume for Kids

Broken down cardboard boxes and felt are the key components of this critter costume.

Praying Mantis costume
Photo: Johnny Miller

Recycled cardboard is the secret to this bug's life. Using our template, cut the head, arms, and tail out of broken-down boxes, cover them with spray adhesive and green felt, and adhere felt-covered antenna wires and plastic-sphere eyes to finish the mask (and let kids see through it). Complete the precious-predator look with a green long-sleeve shirt, leggings, and rain boots. See below for step-by-step instructions and check out or full collection of Halloween costumes for kids for even more ideas.

What You'll Need


  • Costume Template
  • Cardboard or card stock
  • Craft knife
  • Green felt (Mood Fabrics Acrylic Felt in Neon Green)
  • Fabric marker and scissors
  • Spray adhesive
  • 2 Plastic spheres (that open in half) (Kingrol Clear Plastic Ornaments Balls, 4")
  • Hot glue gun
  • 2 Pieces lightweight wire, such as floral or millinery
  • Kid-size face shield of painters' stick
  • Cotton strap belt
  • Green long-sleeve shirt (Earth Elements Long-Sleeve T-shirt in Neon Green)
  • Green leggings (Stretch Is Comfort leggings in Lime Green)
  • Green rain boots (Amoji Rain Boots in Green)


  1. Make mask: Using template, cut cardboard into a wide triangle shape larger than your child's head, rounding the edges. Trace cardboard shape onto green felt, adding two inches all around; cut out. Coat cardboard shape with spray adhesive and center felt on it, stretching it over edges. Use half of a plastic sphere to trace eyes onto triangle shape; use knife to cut out eyeholes. Using a plastic sphere, measure and cut two half-circles of green felt for eyelids. Spray each half-circle of felt with adhesive and place over part of each sphere, stretching felt to smooth out any wrinkles. Hot-glue finished eyes to mask's eyeholes.

  2. Make antennae: Cover pieces of wire with green felt; hot-glue to inside top of mask. To make wearable, hot-glue to face shield (or to stick, if mask will be held).

  3. Make arms: Cut two oval shapes out of cardboard to create sleeves slightly longer than the length of your child's forearm. Cut another two oval shapes to cover hands. Trace cardboard shapes onto green felt, adding a couple of inches all around. Before cutting, add claw-like shapes along edge of felt ovals, per template, about three on each side. Cut out felt. Spray cardboard ovals with adhesive, then stretch felt cutouts over them. Hot-glue edges of larger ovals in a circular shape to create sleeves; bend smaller ovals along their length, then hot-glue tip of each hand piece into inside bottom rim of each sleeve.

  4. Make tail: Cut a large, long, narrow oval from cardboard according to template. Trace that shape onto more cardboard, adding a couple of inches all around; cut larger oval out. Trace both shapes onto green felt, adding an inch all around; cut out. Spray one side of each oval with adhesive, then stretch green felt over them. With uncovered cardboard sides facing, hot-glue edges of ovals together (this will give the tail a bit of shape). Attach tail by looping a short strip of green felt over belt and hot-gluing top of tail between the two edges.

  5. Pair costume with shirt, leggings, and boots.

Related Articles