DIY Easy Owl Costume

You know how I mentioned I made a ghost costume for my daughter?  That was for a pumpkin festival with my husband.  Well, the weekend before that one I wanted to go to a different pumpkin festival with my good friend.  The problem was, I decided we couldn’t wear the ghost costume to this pumpkin festival, because 1. the temperature was going to be in the 90s and there was no way I wanted that much tulle on me, 2. we would be walking miles (so see #1), 3. I would need my stroller and didn’t want to force my friend to push it (even though there were times when she did, bless her heart), and 4. a child can never have enough costumes, darn it!  And most importantly, you have to wear a costume to a pumpkin patch.  I will settle for a Halloween themed outfit, but that is as low as I will go!

So 48 hours before the big event, my friend and I decided we were going to be owls/birds.  Now I needed to make our costumes on the cheap and on the fast.  I googled “DIY bird costumes” and found a ton of different versions of cutting “feathers” out of fabric and gluing/sewing them on.  I thought they were super cute, but there was no way I could do 3 pieces in 2 days.  I needed to make something that looked like feathers but took much less time.  And then it hit me: fabric paint.  So this is what I did:


  • Onesie for baby and shirts for us, in colors of our choosing
  • Fabric paint, at least 2 different colors per person (I did 3)
  • Optional head pieces: owl beenie for baby and a black boa for the adults.
  • Cardboard or thick paper


  1. Get your supplies.  I already had a onesie that matched her beenie.  I got two shirts, 7 bottles of fabric paint, and one black boa for all less than $20 at Michael’s.  I also got the owl beenie for baby at Target.
  2.   Cut cardboard or thick paper to fit inside your onesie/shirts.  This is so the fabric paint does not bleed through.
  3. For the onesie, I measured 3 inches from the top collar of the shirt and laid a long strip of blue tape across.  Then I freehand drew “feathers” in the three colors I chose in random order across the top.  I started each feather at the top of the collar and then made the lowest point almost touching the blue tape.  This kept my feathers in a fairly straight line.  For the adult shirt, I measured 6 inches below the collar.
  4. I then carefully took the blue tape off, measured another 3 inches (or 6) from the bottom of the first row of feathers, taped it off, and painted new feathers in a random pattern.  I continued this until I got to the bottom of the onesie/shirt.                                                       Phototastic-10_26_2015_eb3bf098-126e-4ccf-bbdd-ea2f386bfe0f
  5. I then left the onesie/shirt out to dry overnight.
  6. To make feather crowns, get a feather boa (one normal boa will make 3 crowns) that compliments your shirts (we stuck with black crowns and black shorts), and cut it into three equal pieces.  Sew/glue the two ends together, making a crown.
  7. Have fun being birds!

***HINT: To make you look more like birds and less like fish, make sure the feathers are long, thin, and fairly large and not round and small.  Also, it helps to add feathers somewhere on you.


We finished the look with sparkly shoes because why not!

I don’t think we would have won any costume contests, but it was cheap, easy, and fast, plus we looked adorable and had a great time (oh, and stayed cool, that was important)!


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