How to make bird costumes

Written by deborah h. schreiben
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How to make bird costumes
Wing and foot shapes. Wing is shown smaller than actual size.

If you want to make a "flap" at a costume party, dress as a bird. The outstanding feature of this costume is its large, feathered wings. They are made of cardboard covered with glued-on craft feathers and they attach to your forearms with pieces of elastic. Even though the wings are large--because they are attached only above your elbows--you still have the freedom to bend and use your limbs. Every movement of your arms will make you appear to be ready for flight.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Yellow or orange construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Plastic headband
  • Craft feathers
  • Cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • 1/2-inch wide elastic
  • Craft paint (optional)
  • Shoes with laces
  • Tights
  • Shirt and shorts or leotard

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  1. 1

    Twist an 8.5 by 11 inch piece of construction paper into a narrow cone shape to make a beak that fits over your nose. Glue edges of paper to hold cone in place. Trim excess paper off wide edge. Poke a hole on each side of the wide end. Through each hole, thread a piece of string long enough to tie at the back of your head.

  2. 2

    Glue craft feathers onto a headband so that the feathers overlap, lie flat and point toward the back of your head.

  3. 3

    Cut two pieces of cardboard in narrow half-moon shapes that extend from your shoulders to 1 foot beyond the tips of your fingers. Glue feathers all over one side. Make the feathers lie flat, overlap and point downward.

  4. 4

    Cut four pieces of elastic long enough to snugly fit around your forearms. Glue two pieces of elastic to the plain side of each piece of cardboard wing, positioning the elastic so one piece is near your armpit and one piece is just above your elbow.

  5. 5

    Cut two three-toed feet from cardboard. (See picture.) The flat edge of each foot should be as wide as the top of your foot and extend from the point where your leg and the top of your foot meet your toes. Paint the cardboard yellow or orange if desired. Put on the lace-up shoes you plan to wear with the costume. Poke two holes on the top of each cardboard foot, aligned so the laces of your shoe will go through the holes and the cardboard foot is centred on the top of your shoe. When ready to wear the costume, put the laces through the holes and tie the cardboard feet to the top of your shoes.

    How to make bird costumes
    Wing and foot shapes. Wing is shown smaller than actual size.
  6. 6

    Complete the costume by wearing tights in a colour to match your cardboard feet. Wear a leotard or shorts and a T-shirt in a colour that matches your wing feathers.

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