DIY Owl Costume
When my nature-loving Kenna told me she wanted to be an owl – I couldn’t wait to try my hand at creating something for her. I like to brainstorm with the kiddo and ask them how they want their costume to feel when they’re wearing it. She was sure she wanted her owl costume to be comfortable and easy to move in, but wanted big colorful wings. And since she said she was okay with something on her head, we opted to create an owl headpiece. This costume is my favorite kind – a blend of items we had at home and special pieces we created just for it. Plus it was very easy and inexpensive to pull together.
I always like to start with an inspiration piece to build a costume around. During one of my trips to a resale shop close to home, I found this wonderful little dance costume/leotard. I knew it could be the base to a lot of different costumes, but when we started to build the owl costume – I realized it was just the thing.
The next step was to raid my fabric stash and see what I had on hand that we could use to create feathers. Because the leotard had touches of turquoise – we decided the wings should help to pull that color out. Luckily we had quite the stash of turquoise bits.
Next up was cutting…lots of it. I used a bit of cardboard to create a feather shape (a U shape) and traced it onto the various fabrics and cut each feather out.
To add a bit of visual interest, I made some of the feathers into plain old triangles.
Here’s a shot of the brown material (which is a beat up old T-shirt) with the feathers outlined and ready to cut out.
To create the base of the wings we used two things. One was a pair of wings from a kid’s subscription box made out of a thin blue material. The nice part about those wings was that the edges were already scalloped and the tops had small slits punched out that were meant to thread elastic through. I didn’t get a shot of the wings before the feathers were added, but you can see them peeking out in the pictures of the completed costume.
The second layer was a plain white material that I had kicking around from a previous costume. I attached the feathers to the white layer and then sewed the entire white part to the blue wings. I laid out the feathers in rows of alternating colors and then sewed them on row by row. I know a lot of folks hear sewing and immediately check out, but this would be easy to modify and simply glue (using fabric glue) the feathers down to the white fabric.
Here’s one of the wings with all the feathers sewn on. Since this is a costume, I didn’t get fancy and worry about raw edges – the result is to make the costume look more natural and wispy. Plus, let’s be honest – it was a lot faster! LOL!
Once the feathers were sewn on and attached to the blue wings, I used a bit of elastic and threaded it through the holes on top of the wings. Then the ends of the elastic were tied into loops and knotted (so a thumb could be inserted in each side.) On the actual night of Halloween, I used safety pins in a few places to pin the wings to the shirt Kenna wore underneath the leotard.
The next step is simply gluing with the hot glue gun. We took an inexpensive foam visor and reversed how it would be worn. Instead of wearing it with the brim over the eyes – the plan was to have the brim sticking up like a crown. I took some craft foam and cut out two larger circles in brown, two smaller circles in white, one medium triangle in orange, and one large triangle in brown. Taking the large brown circles – I hot-glued feathers all over them.
Next I glued the white circles on top of the feathers and on top of that the googly eyes. I glued both eyes to the visor and the small orange triangle underneath them as the beak. The large brown triangle I used to glue in between the two eyes.
Here’s the finished product up close. The great part about this headpiece is that it’s very lightweight and easy to wear for young kids.
And the final look!