I gained inspiration from store-bought showgirl and bird costumes and an inner tube in my shed. I thought the bird and showgirl costumes at stores were cute, but just a little too racey to wear to work. Plus, I thrive on being crafty and making whatever I can myself.
It took a couple of hours one day to make the “bird” part, about an hour the next day to make the “nest” part and about an hour the morning after that to do my make-up and get everything on. I got a ton of compliments! Everyone thought it was super-cool and creative and I was really proud of myself!
Items I bought for this Homemade Bluebird of Happiness in a Nest Costume :
-5 feather boas (I chose to be blue for the bluebird of happiness, but you can use any color), craft store
-1 lg bag of spanish moss, craft store
-1 lg bag of pillow stuffing, craft store
spray adhesive, craft store
-1/2 yard of felt (same color as feathers), craft store
-1 yard of cheap brown stretchy fabric that doesn’t fray easily, craft store
-brown spray paint
-face paint, anywhere that has halloween costumes
-chicken beak, halloween store
-spirit gum, halloween store
Items I already owned:
-long sleeved shirt (the same color as feathers)
-lg inner tube
-self adhesive velcro strips
The bird body:
I attached 2 of the boas to the front of the shirt with spray adhesive in a switchback pattern from the bottom of the shirt to the top, leaving the sleeves as is. I let it dry and then did the same on the back side with 1 1/2 boas. I didn’t go all the way to the bottom of the shirt since it was the back and I didn’t know how many feathers the wings would take.
I cut a wing shape out of felt that was roughly 18″ in length or enough to go from the shoulder to below the elbow. I traced the second wing from the 1st and cut it out to match. Then I pulled the feathers off of 1 boa so that they were loose and attached them to the felt wings with spray adhesive. After it dried I attached one side of a strip of velcro to the top of each wing and put the mating sides at the top of each shoulder on the shirt.
I went back and added a few more feathers to the shirt at the shoulder, above the Velcro strips, and some loose feathers in bare spots on the back.
I used a triangle of left-over felt that I attached a 6″ to 8″ inch piece of boa to with spray adhesive and then attached the felt to a hair clip with more spray adhesive.
You might be lucky enough to find a regular bird beak or know how to make one. I found a plastic chicken beak so I cut the bottom half off and removed the string. I attached it directly on my face (right over my nose) with spirit gum.
I used an old inner tube that was fairly big, too big to fit snuggly around my waist. You could use a pool float or smaller inner tube, but I thought the size I used made the costume look proportional. First I tied 4 pieces of rope around it (2 on either side of where my back would be and 2 on either side of where my front would be) then I took a piece of rope to connect each back piece to the front piece to make handles. You could also make straps and actually wear the “nest” but I liked the handle idea since I was going to work. After the handles were made I attached an entire bag of pillow stuffing to the tube with…you guessed it…spray adhesive! Then I sprayed it brown with the spray paint. I then attached an entire bag of spanish moss to it with spray adhesive, using it to fill in holes, go around the bottom of the outside, and sprinkled on top. It made an awesome, authentic looking nest!
Since I wasn’t going to have my nest around me all day, I wore tan leggings with a piece of brown material tied around my waist sarong-style. I thought it blended in with the nest well and resembled the trunk of a tree. The face paint is open to artistic interpretation. Just go with it! I’m not an artist and I feel I did a decent job of creating a bird-like design. A feathered mardi gras mask would look good, too.
Hope this will help someone out there create an awesome bird/nest costume! Happy Halloween ya’ll!