For a unique costume that requires no sewing and can be assembled in a few hours, take a look at this little owl. This costume is made using a zip-up sweatshirt and can be layered over pants and a shirt. The materials used include one yard of felt, one package of Heat N’ Bond, hot glue, about 1/2 a yard of scrap fabric, a few feet of rick-rack, some buttons, an iron and some scissors. For larger owls, use two yards of felt.
To get started, cut out feathers from the scrap fabric. For a child’s small sweatshirt, you will need to cut about 60 feathers. To keep the feathers consistent in size, trace a pattern onto cardboard or a paper plate. Cut the pattern out and then use a white crayon to trace your shape onto the fabric.
Lay the sweatshirt face up with the zipper closed. Cut thin strips from the heat n’ bond and lay them in rows on the sweatshirt, paper side facing up. Do one side at a time and do not cover the zipper. The strips should be parallel to each other and should be close enough to allow the feathers to layer over each other. Once the strips are arranged, iron them down. Now, peel the paper off the bottom strip and arrange the feathers for this row. The feathers should be touching each other but not overlapping. When the feathers are ready, iron them down. Continue doing this, working from the bottom to the top until both sides of the front have been feathered. Add feathers to the front of each arm using the same method.
Next, lay the felt on a flat surface and lay the sweatshirt on top with the arms extended. There should be about a foot of felt that extends past the bottom of the sweatshirt for the tail. Keeping the sweatshirt in place, trace the shape of the tail and wings. When making this, I drew an arc from the wrist to the bottom of the felt and back up to the other wrist and then drew in some scalloped edges to give a feathered shape to the wings. Next, mark a straight line across the felt about six inches above the arms of the sweatshirt and mark where the hood will lay. Now, the sweatshirt can be moved and the shape can be cut out. You should end up with something that looks vaguely like a cape. If you haven’t done so, cut out a small arch where the hood goes.
Lay the felt and the sweatshirt out flat again. Fold the top of the felt down over the sleeves and attach the felt with heat n’ bond or hot glue. If needed, the felt can be creased with the iron to help hold it in place. For extra hold, flip the sweatshirt over and attach the felt to the back of the sweatshirt as well. Now let’s finish up the back side of the cape.
The leftover felt will be used to make feathers for the back. Cut strips of felt for each different width of the cape, making sure to leave a strip long enough to go across the top of the cape. Use hot glue and attach the strips, starting at the bottom and working up. The strips should overlap a bit so the edge of the fabric is hidden. Once the strips are firmly attached, cut a scalloped edge on the bottom of each strip. Use rick-rack to cover up the edge of the top strip.
The last step is the mask and this will use the rest of the scrap and the buttons. Cut out a mask shape and design the eyes. I had an excessive amount of feather shapes, so some of them were then trimmed a little and used to frame each eyeball. For the eyeballs, stack a small button on top of a larger button and attach them to the mask with hot glue. Add more details using the rick-rack and scraps of fabric. Use hot glue to attach the mask to the hood.
A pair of yellow tights or matching leggings completes the look and your little fledgling is ready to take flight. Happy Halloween!