Make an owl costume

This year for Halloween, The Bean went as an owl.  We have always made it a tradition to make the Halloween costumes and The Bean comes up with some good ones! Even growing up, my own mom made a lot of the costumes that we wore for Halloween night and that tradition seeped over into my adulthood.  Each year, since he was a baby, I have made, sewn, stitched, glued, and sweat over his costume. He has been everything from a jalapeno pepper (when he was a month old), to a cloud (when he was six).  It's sort of "our thing," So this year he decided he wanted to be an owl.

He told me about his costume idea in late August and my mind went to work on how to make it.  I started with an old shawl and worked from there.  From using scrap material that I had on hand, to buying random pieces of material to bring it all together.  The owl transformed slowly and made another Halloween costume go down in our memory books.  Here is a quick, step-by-step on how I created the Halloween owl.

I started the project with two-yards of fabric in a brown, tan-splatter pattern, white fleece from the Max costume last year, black, and a puppy print that had several earth-tone colors in it.

I started cutting 20 long oval pieces from each piece of material.

I tried to use as much as the fabric as I could.

I ended up with a total of 2,500 oval pieces when the cutting ended.

I cut in large, medium, and small pieces to make sure I had enough "feathers" to cover different areas of the costume.

Take about three or four ovals, depending on the thickness of the fabric and fold in half length-wise.

Next, cut diagonal lines through both sides of the fold.

Keep moving up the fold until you reach the top of the material.

Your cuts should look similar to the ones shown.

Unfold the material and you've made a fabric feather.

Your "feathers" should look like this.

Fluff the material to give the "feathers" more fullness.

For the body, I gathered some cotton cloth in white.  I used two-yards of the material and cut a head hole in the top and just plopped it over my son's head.  I left it loose so that way it would blend with the "wings" of the cape.

I hand stitched the neck to make it a bit more gathered around the neck and made it more comfortable to wear.

With the white feathers, I started button stitching each one onto the body.  This is the part that took a bit of time.

Working from the bottom up gave me a chance to use the large feathers and tapper up with the medium and finally the smallest ones.

I started in on the cape once the body was almost finished.

On the cape I used the colored material instead of the white.

I straight stitched one white feather in the middle to mark the spot to stop with one side and start with the other.  I made sure I had the same amount of feathers on each side.

For the mask, I bought a small package of white feather and a small package of brown feathers. 

I used brown foam sheets for the beak.

The feathers can be found in the craft sections of most places.

I used a small plastic Mardi Gras mask for the structure and coated it in Elmer's glue. Then, taking my time, I placed one feather at a time down where I wanted it to go.  I worked across the top, and then around the beak and the sides.  

I left a few feathers going in odd directions.

For the ears, I used a cloth headband, foam sheeting and the white feathers.

I cut a small triangle out of the foam sheet and brought it together and glued it. I then used white glue and placed the feathers around the foam to hide it.

Once everything was dry I cut two small holes on either side of the foam and slide it onto the cloth headband.

The finished owl ears.

I think the mask and the ears came together nicely!

And the Halloween owl is born.  

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