A donkey costume does not need to be overly elaborate or expensive to make. In fact, it is one of the simplest animals to costume for a Christmas pageant or Halloween using only materials found around many homes.
To start, a gray sweat suit in the size best suited to the person who will wear the costume serves as the base. Many times, a child's costume will use a turtleneck shirt under a gray jacket or sweater, especially for cases where the weather is on the chilly side. White, black, or gray socks and black shoes should be worn to achieve the look of a donkey's hooves. For the tail, use a handful of black yarn knotted together at the top or cut a piece of black felt into a tail shape and pin it to the tailbone area of the wearer's sweat pants.
Generally, either mittens or socks are placed over the costume wearer's hands to simulate front hooves. Once again, use black ones for the most realistic effect, although many people choose to use gray or white to match the sweat suit being used for the base. If white or gray mittens or socks are the only ones available, the tips can always be painted or colored black much as the inside of the ears may have been painted pink.
Gray face paints can be used, or the face can be left natural, depending on how much like a donkey the wearer of the costume chooses to look. For the ears, makers of a donkey costume on a budget often use socks. If the person to be wearing the costume has long hair, very realistic donkey ears can be simulated by pulling the hair up into two ponytails and placing one sock over each before securing them with rubber bands. Another tip would be to take markers or paints and color one side of each sock gray and the other pink to show the inside and outside of each of the donkey's ears. If the eventual wearer of the donkey suit has shorter hair, attach the ears with pins or hook and loop tape to a simple headband , ski band, or ball cap in the person's size so he or she can wear them comfortably.
If the person who will eventually wear the costume is to be one in a group of donkeys, as often happens in church Christmas pageants, this method of making the costume can insure that the group looks alike. It will also save the maker and wearer of the costume money since all of the components can be found around an average home or cheaply in dollar and discount stores. This simplicity, since it also saves the costume maker's time, makes the donkey a popular animal to suit up for parties and pageants of all kinds.