I had an idea for an owl costume (Pinterest inspired here and here) using a peanut costume we made 4 years ago, and I'm not the only one thrilled with how it turned out for Trick-or-Treating:
Here is the "Wee R Nuts" peanut costumes made for a Muddy Buddy race in 2007 using burlap (lined, of course, because burlap is really itchy) and felt for the details. I think felt is the greatest costume material ever. I kept one of the "Wee nuts" in case I could talk one of the kids into using the costume again for Halloween or something else.
Supplies: the lined burlap peanut costume, purple/hotpink/orange/brown felt, scissors, hot glue gun & glue sticks, paper plate, embroidery floss & needle, bias tape and elastic.
First, we cut out the feathers- totaling 53. You can get 6 rectangles out of each sheet of felt if you cut the sheet in thirds and then in half. Snip the sides of the individual rectangle to a point at the top and repeat on the other side.
Next, we heated the glue gun and started gluing the bottom row first by applying a strip of hot glue across the top backside of the feather. I didn't like the overly diagonal look above, so we spaced the feathers a little tighter as we glued and ended up adding an additional row by the time we got to the top. You could stitch the feathers or even staple them, but trust me, a $6 glue gun is worth it for the how quickly this costume went together. Then, trim the outside pieces to the shape of the burlap. My mom added a little strip of bias tape around the collar so the burlap would not rub on her neckline.
Now the mask. I cut a template using a paper plate, lined the paper plate up to my daughter's face to eyeball where her eyeballs needed to be cut out of the felt. Then, I cut the paper plate template in half and folded two pieces of brown felt in half and cut around the template so both sides would be symmetrical. Then, I realized I meant to use the paper plate for reinforcement inside the mask, so I used the half template to make another paper plate template, but trimmed the new template about 1/4" smaller. The felt is flimsy so the stiffness of the paper plate really added to mask. I glued the plate to the back side of the mask and then glued around the outside edge, so you have 3 layers- the top, paper plate template, and back.
I hot glued the rest of the details on the top of the mask- eye sockets, eye lashes, small strip of white to highlight the dark eye and a little floral detail on the ears. Then we measured a piece of elastic around her head and stitched the elastic to the backside (stitch is hidden under the hot pink eye socket). To finish, I stitched the edge with hot pink embroidery floss...still working on completing the stitching.
We paired the feathers with a chocolate brown/flower long sleeve t-shirt and pair of argyle tights she has from Gymboree. Done! I spent a whoppin' $6 on the felt. I love DIY costumes because I just can't bear buying a $20 flimsy piece of polyester costume from a retailer that 1 out of 5 kids will be wearing and that they'll wear one time. It's even better when you can re-purpose an old costume in the process!