Every year I begin my search at a thrift store searching for one “inspirational piece” to create my costume — a hat, a dress, a wig — anything that will get the gears in my mind cranking. This year I found a black and gold leotard that reminded me of one of my old jazz costumes I wore as a little girl for a dance recital. We wore hot pink leotards with a gold chest and danced to ‘Rockin Robin’ by the Jackson 5 with feathers in our hairs, on our wrists, and around our ankles. I decided to create a bird costume with a small twist…

After listening to the song again to reminisce, I wanted to be able to “rock in the treetops”, so I made a nest! I used an inflatable inner tube for the base because it fit wonderfully without having to hold up a heavy costume all night (added bonus: it was a load of fun squeezing through crowds at the party because I’d bounce away when someone would bump into me! Kind of a pinball feeling! Hmm, there’s an idea for next year…).

I bought 2 yards of inexpensive tan fabric from the craft store and simply wrapped and pinned the fabric around the tube, hiding all the excess fabric in the middle to help it stay up even better. With spray adhesive, I glued dried Spanish moss to the fabric and finished it with an acrylic spray sealer. From the floral section I bought two white doves and dry brushed them with acrylic paint (just adding a little color to the birds’ feathers) and accented with gold glitter. With one feather boa that matched, I cut smaller sections and made accents for the neck of the leotard, my hair, and my wrists and attached them with twist ties.

I needed to disguise my legs to not take away from the nest, so I dyed a pair of white thigh-high tights with brown polyester dye from the craft store and accented those with ivy garland to give the illusion of a nest suspended in the treetops. My beak was simply a small piece of posterboard I covered with golden-yellow felt and then I added some glitter.

Before the party, I picked up some gummy worms which I stashed in a Ziploc baggie inside my nest and would pull one out every now and then to “feed the baby birds” and have a little sugar break!