After seeing the Halloween episode of “How I Met Your Mother” where Lily wears a parrot costume, I quickly decided I wanted to make my own, because who doesn’t like feathers? (I’m pretty sure I may have been a drag queen in a past life …) Speaking of, one of my drag queen friends was part of the reason I went through with making the costume: she challenged me to a “costume off.”

First, I sketched out a design that looked like a Macaw parrot (because let’s face it, those are the best kind). Then I bought every craft and costume store out of all the feather boas they had, and hand-sewed each boa to a bodice and skirt. I attached another two boas to some hairclips for the headpiece (which was tricky to wear while driving to the party). It took 12 boas in all. Trying to sew boas is tricky (especially by hand). I literally bled to make this costume (I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’d poke myself with a needle because I couldn’t see it through all the feathers!)

I did my best to replicate the makeup from the “How I Met Your Mother” episode, using copious amounts of eye and lip liner and eye shadow. To top it off, I stitched two pieces of foam board together with an elastic string for a beak (not pictured — that part got tough to wear after a while).

Everyone really loved the costume — except maybe for my friends who hosted the party. They’re still finding feathers that I molted throughout the night in their house, but they’re being good sports about it. Plus, I won two categories in their costume contest: “Best Costume” and “Most Creative Costume.”

A tricky costume to make, but if you’re willing to put some work into it, it’s worth it. And besides, it can always be reused as a “Vegas showgirl” costume the next year!