Ask Holly: A No Sew Bald Eagle Costume

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

From owl to shark and now bald eagle—luckily again this year, my son has picked a costume that I can create with a warm, comfortable hoodie. Easy on and easy off, NO SEW—just cut, cut ,cut and glue. The problem? After cutting out loads of eagle feathers  I can’t get this song out of my head. Please make it stop!

Back to the No Sew Bald Eagle Costume….

Here is what you will need to make a No Sew Bald Eagle Costume:

  • A brown or black hoodie
  • Brown sweatpants rolled to the knee
  • A hot glue gun
  • 10 sticks of glue
  • White felt 1/2 yard
  • Yellow Felt 1/4 of a yard or 4 squares
  • Dark brown felt about 1.5 yards
  • Fabric scissors
  • Acrylic paint in yellow, brown, white and orange (optional)
  • A paint brush
  • Yellow or white knee socks
  • Yellow Rit dye (if using white knee socks)

Step One: Cut out feathers. You will need about 100 small 2″ x 4″ brown feathers, 70 large 3″x6 and 80-100 small 2″x 4″ white feathers. TIP – To help speed up your cutting double up the fabric so you are cutting two at a time.

Step Two: Measure your child’s arm from the top of his shoulder to the end of his wrist. Cut two wings out to that length.

Step Three: Cut out beak by doubling up felt to create two sides. Cut out two large brown circles, two white circles and two small brown circles for the eyes. Trace the caps of spices for circles.

Step Four: Glue feathers onto hoodie. Lay the sweatshirt flat and start gluing at the bottom working your way up and then flip and glue the feathers on the back and sides. Be sure to leave room for the zipper to go up and down.  Now glue the white feathers onto the hood. TIP – Use a ball to support the hood while you work. I glued white feathers on the inside rim of the hood as well to cover up the brown.

Step Five: Glue the feathers on the wings, again starting at the bottom working to the top.

Step Six: Glue both sides of the beak together at the front leaving the back open and add details by
painting one side at a time. When paint is dry glue onto the eagle head making sure that your child can see when they have the hood on.
Step Seven: Glue the eyes together and then onto the head. Add details with white paint.

Step Eight: Glue the wings onto arms. Do this while your child is wearing the costume and wearing a long sleeved shirt under as to protect them from the heat of the glue. Glue the shoulder first and then have them stretch their arm out. Glue the wrist first and then the elbow.

Step Nine: If you have while knee socks follow the direction on the dye to dye them yellow.

Step Ten: For the feet cut out two talons making sure they are not so big that your child will trip on them. I cut my talons so they could slip over my son’s feet before we put his shoes on. Paint claws on the feet and add lines with a black Sharpie. To keep the feet in place you can either loop duct tape to the back or cut small holes in the top for and string the shoes laces through.

Check out the slide show for step by step images:


This costume does take a lot of cutting. I suggest laying out your felt and scissors and do your cutting while catching up on your favorite new TV shows. You will be done before you know it!

Felt, hot glue, and Rit dye  all available at I’ve Got a Notion or Jo-Ann Fabrics

Costume or Ashcroft questions?  Just Ask Holly in comments.



  1. POSTED BY stayzee  |  September 02, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

    Is there a template for the 3 different feather sizes? Thank you.

  2. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  September 05, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

    There is no template but here are the measurements:
    Small feathers for the back, the head and top of the tail
    3″w x7″l

    Medium feathers for the wings
    1 3/4″w x 4″l

    Large feathers for the front and bottom of the tail
    3 3/4″w x 8″l

    The large feather on the bottom of the tail have a rounded cut.

    I hope this helps.

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