Holy cow, have I got a cute project for you today! You’ve probably seen the owl costume floating around on Pinterest. I know that’s where I found it. The problem? No tutorial! So I made sure to take step-by-step pictures for you complete with supply list. This would be a super fun and easy project for any bird costume, like a turkey or eagle or cardinal! Or even a bluejay. Or crow. Or angel. You know, whatever 😉 It only took about 2 hours and $15.
I didn’t make the hat, it was a purchase I made about a year ago. You may remember seeing it in Charlie’s 6 month pictures. You can find cute knit animal caps all over the place, but mine is from here. But don’t worry, I’m planning to do a basket tutorial that can easily be adapted for a cap! I love that it’s a pretty easy costume to put together. A white onesie, some coordinating pink pants and her sparkle Tiny Toms. She wasn’t a huge fan of the wings and hat yet, so I’m going to try and put it on her every couple of days so she gets a bit used to it.
So are you ready to see how it’s done? I promise it’s so easy!
– 12 Sheets of Felt. I chose 4 colors to match her hat – pink, white, orange and grey. I used 3 sheets of each color.
– 1 Yard of Ribbon. We used a 1 1/2″ pink grosgrain.
– Scrap Fabric. I used an old swim coverup, but a tshirt will work or a 1/2 yard of fabric.
– A Jacket. Use a current jacket for your child for measuring purposes. If you don’t have one, a long sleeve shirt should work.
– Needle & Thread. I used a sewing machine, but you could also use hot glue or iron on tape.
Step 1 – Trace your cape pattern
I started with a winter coat that currently fits. With your fabric laid flat, place your coat on top and make sure it’s completely flat. The sleeves should be belled out just a bit. I used a Sharpie to loosely trace the outline of the neck down to the bottom of the sleeves. You don’t want the cape to be too long.
Step 2 – Cut your pattern
If you look closely you can see my orange outline. I cut it out, giving it a rounded trapezoid shape.
Step 3 – Check for fit
Take your fabric and drape it over your child’s shoulders to make sure it fits. Don’t make it too tight, you can use a ribbon to tie it so it can grow as your child grows.
Step 4 – Make your feathers.
Using the flat edges of your felt pieces, I drew 8 total feather shapes. 3 on the longer ends and one on each short end. I wanted to make them all a bit different so they’re more organic looking.
Step 5 – Pin your feathers in a pattern.
Starting at the bottom, pin on your feathers in a pattern. I didn’t want to go in direct order, (white, pink, orange, grey REPEAT!) so I would do one set of 4 and then reverse it. Can you see the pattern? (white, pink, orange, grey – orange, pink, white, grey etc) But you can do any pattern you like! If you’re only doing two colors you can just alternate them, or stripe them in rows. Have fun with it!
Step 6 – Attach your feather rows.
I used a sewing machine to sew a 1/2″ seam across the top of the feathers. You can also hot glue them to the fabric, or use iron-on tape. Or even hand sew it. Lots of options here!
Step 7 – Repeat for each row.
For your second row, stagger the feathers so the point falls in between the two feathers below. You don’t want them exactly lined up on top of each other. I kept up my pattern as best as I could so no two same colors were touching. Keep staggering and you should use about one less feather per row as you reach the top of the cape.
Step 8 – Trim The Top Row.
For your top row, you’ll most likely end up having to sew halfway through the feather instead of at the top. Once it’s attached, flip the cape over and trim the felt so it matches the top of the cape fabric.
Step 9 – Trim the sides.
Some of my side feathers looked a bit odd and too far off the edge of the cape. I trimmed them down with scissors so the borders looked relatively even.
Step 10 – Check it over!
Flip the cape back over and take a look. Are all your feathers in place? Do the sides and top look good? Try another dry-fit and see how it looks. It’s great!
Step 11 – Pin the ribbon.
I added about 8″ to each side of the cape and cut my ribbon. I folded the center over the top of the cape neck to create a clean border. You don’t have to if you’re using thinner ribbon. Just sew or iron/glue it on!
Step 12 – Sew on the ribbon.
I used my machine to sew the ribbon onto the cape. Voila! It’s done!
It’s a fun and durable little costume your kids will enjoy for years to come. And as I said before, you could use it for pretty much any feathered creature! Or you could make the feathers more rounded and say they’re scales.