Ask Holly: Making an Exotic Bird Costume

BY  |  Monday, Oct 24, 2011 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (8)

If you areĀ  looking at this costume and some of the other projects I have done recently and thinking, “This woman is out of her mind!” There is a good chance you may be right.

After making my own kids costumes, two of the neighbor children’s costumes and planning the BOOO-ristanet Halloween Ball I am officially insane.

My daughter received this funky top and skirt that my best friend picked up at a children’s consignment shop. It is from the rather pricey brand “Kaiya Eve.” This is me, all class, taking a designer dress and making it into a costume. It’s all fancy and frilly and she loved it. So we (we being me, myself and I) made her costume as an exotic bird around the outfit.

Here’s what I used:

  • Felt
  • Wire
  • Elastic
  • A head band
  • Thin floral wire
  • Feathers
  • Hot glue
  • Duct Tape

Last year I made the mistake of making large moth wings that stayed up the whole time. My daughter was bumping into everything, so for this costume I only wired the top of the wings and put Velcro straps for her to insert her hands into so she could pull the wings up. Then the wings came down again for her to move around.

The front of the wings was made with felt pieces and stuck together with hot glue. The back of the wings I painted with fabric paint.

The head piece is where I drew a big creative blank. I knew I needed feathers so I headed over to Rock, Paper, Scissors and explained what I as trying to do to owner and other crafty gal Beth Rowan what I was trying to do. Beth took me to her party craft room and showed me some other things she was creating and talked me through my creative block. So I used a headband, floral wire, felt and feathers and put it together with hot glue.

This costume was very involved and you can check out the slideshow below to see how I put it together with some close ups. If you just want to add a fun homemade detail such as a head piece, collar etc., here are my TIPS:

  • If you have a mental/creative block take to costume to Rock, Paper, Scissors and ask for help. Beth can talk you through all kinds of sewing or non sewing questions she is a creative genius.
  • Go to Parcel and look at the masks and crowns etc. owner Nancy Laboz has some of the most fascinating things you have ever seen. The store is like falling down the rabbit hole, wild and fantastic (sometimes I just leave her website open on my screen because it is so pretty to look at and listen to).
  • Try I’ve Got a Notion for all kinds of funky fabric, feather boas, trim etc.

Or ask me for help by shooting me an email here and maybe we will post your questions!



  1. POSTED BY Jenn  |  October 24, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    Those wings are beautiful! I think that you should let her wear them everywhere, every day. I would!

  2. POSTED BY hollykorus  |  October 24, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    Jenn let’s be real here you want your own set in yellow. Then we will all call you Lola:

    Why oh why does he try to dance?

  3. POSTED BY Jenn  |  October 24, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    I want whatever he’s drinking out of that pineapple. That’s all I have to say about THAT.

  4. POSTED BY Kristin  |  October 24, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    This is gorgeous! I see an etsy shop in your future.

  5. POSTED BY kay  |  October 25, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    oh Holly…. you’re the envy of bumbling moms everywhere (like me)…

    simply beautiful!!

  6. POSTED BY lisadavies  |  October 25, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    Holly – please can you make my Halloween costume for the Boo-rista party? I will pay you in cookies/ brownies/ cake/ bread/ soup/ soup/ anything you name it….

  7. POSTED BY walleroo  |  October 26, 2011 @ 12:50 am

    Too cute!

  8. POSTED BY beth  |  October 27, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    Holly, The costume came out fantastic!! Love how you did the wings. LOVE it!

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