Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes

November 6, 2019

Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - dogs in costume in the machinePhoenix and Gryphon are cuddly stuffed animals inside a giant claw machine, like the ones you see at arcades. Phoenix is a stuffed polar bear and Gryphon is a stuffed lion. We're sure anyone would want to win these adorable stuffed animals!


Total Time: About 2 Weeks

Yield: One Claw Machine with Polar Bear and Lion Stuffed Animal Costumes


  • sheets of foamboard
  • red paint
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • computer printed letters and signs
  • Fabri-tac glue
  • yellow pom poms
  • black paint
  • paw print stickers
  • small carton
  • joystick
  • plastic buttons
  • two headbands
  • silver paint
  • silver posterboard
  • polar bear toddler outfit
  • lion toddler outfit
  • stuffing
  • ribbon
  • stuffed animals


  1. Making the Claw Box: We made the claw box out of many sheets of foamboard. We started by painting the sheets red. We measured the dogs, trying to create a box that would fit both dogs inside and also would have several inches above their heads, for the claw to hang down. We glued sheets of foamboard together to make it big enough. We then cut window holes in three of the sides. We cut the windows starting at a height around the dogs waist-lines, so the bottom of the dogs would be hidden. We then glued the box together with a glue gun.
  2. Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - foamboard painted red

  3. Decorating the Claw Box: To make the box have the classic claw look, we started out with the name of the machine. We decided to call it The Dog Claw Machine. To make the letters, we measured the area at the top of the box where the name would go. We then designed the letters to fit the space in photoshop. We printed them, and then cut out each letter individually and glued them on one by one. We also printed out a sign saying Play and Win! and Prize with an arrow. We glued these on in the appropriate spots. Above the Dog Claw Machine sign, we glued on yellow pom poms across the top, to look like the lights atop a claw machine. Under the Prize sign, we painted a black oval shape with a flat top, to indicate the hole where the prizes would come out. We also added paw print stickers to the sides of the window area.
  4. Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - decorated machine box

  5. Claw Control Panel: To make the controls for the claw machine, we started with a small carton. We painted the carton black. We cut a hole in the top of the box, and inserted the top part of a joystick and glued it in place. We also glued on two small plastic buttons. We printed two signs saying insert 50 cents and glued those to the front of the box. Then we glued the whole panel onto the bottom area of the claw machine with the glue gun.
  6. Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - painting a small cardboard box black for the joystick
    Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - adding 50 cent signs
  7. The Claw: To make the claw itself, we used two headbands. We painted the headbands silver on both sides, giving them several coats so they would have a shiny metallic look. Then we glued the headbands together crosswise to look like the claw. We attached the claw to a strip we cut out of silver posterboard. Then we glued it hanging down from the top of the machine, so it would rest several inches above the dogs' heads.
  8. Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - glueing the painted headbands together

  9. Stuffed Animal Outfits: For the dogs' outfits, we used a polar bear and lion outfit intended for toddlers. We stuffed both outfits with stuffing, to give them shape. We also attached a piece of ribbon on each side of the neck area on each outfit. We glued a piece of foamboard right along the bottom of the window cut out of the front of the box to make a secret shelf. The legs of the outfits were then glued onto this secret shelf inside the box to create the illusion. The dogs were then able to sit inside the box, and the neck ribbons were tied around the dogs' necks to keep the outfits in place. The dogs wore the matching hats on their heads. We added some other stuffed animals, resting on the shelf in the box, to make the machine look like it was very full.
  10. Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - stuffing toddler costumes
    Claw Machine with Stuffed Animal Costumes - stuffed costume bodies

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