No-Sew Infant Parrot Costume Tutorial

My years are numbered. I won’t be able to dictate what Kendall is for Halloween much longer, and I won’t be able to coordinate him and Leyna in costumes for more than a year or two if I’m lucky. My top two choices this year were either a magician and his white rabbit or a pirate and a parrot. I let Kendall think he had some say in the whole thing and asked if he’d rather be a magician or a pirate.

“I wanna be Jake the Nevuhland Piwate!” he declared, and so we went with that.

Honestly, I have no clue what I’m going to do for his costume yet, but I thought all summer how I would put Leyna’s parrot costume together. I decided I would finish it today so I could forget that it’s ONE HUNDRED AND SIX DEGREES (stab, stab, stab TX summers)and pretend fall is here.

Believe it or not, this is the first Halloween costume I’ve ever made. ZOMG. I die from the cute.

What you’ll need:

Not a sewing machine!! Or a thread or needle of any sort. Don’t you just love me right now?!

A onesie you’ll use for the body-Leyna’s is a boys red turtleneck onesie from Carters. Bought it yesterday for $8. It is important to note that at Carters (and maybe elsewhere) the snaps for the girls turtlenecks are down the back and the boys are on the side. Do not get one with snaps down the back.

3 colors of felt- I used about 1/4 yard of each color for Leyna’s wings, but I’d suggest getting at least a 1/2 a yard so you have extra to work with, unless your wing span is going to be really tiny (more if your wings are much bigger).

2 feather boas- These are of the craft variety, with very fine feathers. I got them at Hancock Fabrics yesterday for about $5 each.

Scissors, hot glue gun + glue sticks, measuring tape, pen

Put the onesie on your baby and use a pen to mark where the top of the feathers on their butt should go and where they should end. I started Leyna’s just above the top of her diaper.

Measure the wingspan, from the seam of one wrist cuff to the next. Since the sleeves will naturally point down a bit, place your measuring tape across the back at the neck and measure a little above each sleeve if you need to.

Then measure from the top of the shirt (below the neck if it’s a turtleneck) down the middle of the back to determine how long you want the wings to be. I made Leyna’s stop 2 inches above where I wanted to start the feathers on her butt.

I determined Leyna’s wings would be 29″ by 9″ on her 24 month onesie. (Yes, she will only be 10 months at Halloween.)

Cut the first color of felt, the color you want at the bottom of the wings, the width of the wingspan you’ve determined. Then fold that in half and mark the length on the fold.

Starting at that point on the fold, cut up to the top corner, rounding it as you go.

Notch the edges to create “feathers.”

Do the same thing for the other 2 colors, but subtract 10″ from the width for the 2nd color and 20″ from the width for the 3rd color. Also, subtract 2″ from the length for the 2nd color and 4″ from the length for the 3rd color. For example:

Leyna’s final wing measurements
Blue- 29″ by 9″
Green- 19″ by 7″
Red- 9″ by 5″

If you’re making wings that are much bigger or much smaller, you might need to tweak these measurements. Do what you think will look best. This is why I suggest having extra felt. 

Laid out on top of each other, they should look like this:

Hot glue the top edges together by flipping each one up and running a bead of hot glue between the 2 layers.

I made sure they were really secure by applying another row of hot glue just below the first, but I didn’t glue the entirety of each layer of felt to the next so that it would look more like feathers and move better with her.

Place the wings, top (layered side… the one you want showing from the back) down, then place your onesie, belly side up, on top of it. Take a look at what the wings will look like from the front. I wanted there to be a little color peeking through from that view, too, so I cut a layer for each side that was about 10″ by 8″.

Again, I just hot glued under the straight edges and let the “feathers” be free. It looks like this from the front. (Keep in mind, at this point, you still haven’t glued the wings onto the shirt.)

To glue the wings onto the onesie, you may want to start by putting a piece of cardboard inside. I didn’t have any issues with the hot glue seeping through, but I’d hate for that to happen to anyone. This will be pretty important to do if you’re using fabric glue instead of hot glue.

Flip everything back over, make sure the back of your onesie is facing up, then line up the center of the wings and run a bead of hot glue from right below the neck to about an inch above where your wings will stop.

To attach the top of the wings, start at the middle and work out toward each end, a few inches at a time, one side at a time. Stretch the arms to meet the top of the wings until you get toward the end.

It will start to get difficult to get everything to line up around this point, so just go ahead and glue the sleeve down to the wings and trim the excess off the top.

Now you’re ready for the feathers on the butt. You may need to trim a string off the end of your feather boa. If you do this, put a dot of hot glue on the raw edge to keep it from… molting.

Start at the mark you made at the top of the butt. Glue your first color boa across the top of the butt, then back the other way. Again, when you cut it off, add another big dot of hot glue to the raw edge.

 Do the same thing for the second color feather boa right below that. You’ll end up with something that looks like this from the back:

And if you put it on a chubby baby, you’ll end up with something that looks like this:

Now, I can’t take credit for this next part, but the cherry on top of this whole getup is this FABULOUS feather headband made custom by Bella’s Bowtique. 

This photo shoot wouldn’t have happened without Aunt Kelly’s watch. I tried like hell to get a picture of her without that freaking watch in her mouth. This was the result.

She literally screamed, “DADA!”  as I shot this, as if she was telling on me and Aunt Kelly for torturing her and not even letting her chew on a little ol’ watch while we did so.

So she won. The watch was promptly returned to her chubby hands.

  • Mae - That last picture says “Arrrr” like NOTHING ELSE.

    You really are Supermom, you know.ReplyCancel

  • Greta - Oh my word. Those legs!! She is adorable and so is that costume!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Chickabug - Cutest costume EVER. I love it! And not having to sew makes it even better, in my book. ; )ReplyCancel

  • Abigail @ Skywaitress - Wow, you are so freaking awesome. That costume is beyond adorable. And the fact that she screamed Dada to tell on you? Completely priceless.ReplyCancel

  • Grandpa - Where’s the beak?ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Ha! It will be challenging enough to keep those feathers on her head.ReplyCancel

  • Janine @ Alternative Housewife - I love the picture without the watch – She looks like she’s squawking!ReplyCancel

  • Denae @ New Mom Adventure - OMZ! Jill I just die of cuteness overload. I must say I was skeptical when you first said she was going to be a parrot but it came out really good.ReplyCancel

  • Tottums - You are KILLING me. Where in the world did you come up with this idea??? PLEASE tell me it was Pinterest, and that you’re not THAT much awesomer than me that you sit around you house all day and come up with this stuff by yourself???

    PLEASE.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - I was semi-inspired by Pinterest this summer, and then my sister and I brainstormed together this week to come up with the rest.ReplyCancel

  • molly - You are SO crafty Jill! I am going to be a PTA failure :/

    I usually go to one of those craptastic halloween stores the day before halloween and buy my boys something. But this year we’re supposed to do a super hero theme with my sister and her son. We’ll see how it goes . . .ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Have you seen that super easy cape from an old t-shirt tutorial? You’ve totally got this.ReplyCancel

  • Vi Nguyen - AWWWWWWW, I love Leyna’s face in that last picture, too cute! And that headband is gorgeous!!! Love it.

    My daughter had this thing for her giraffes which are apart of her walker, always pulling it down to nom on it, but she only like the right one, not the left one so much?!?! Guess it saves me from giving in and buying Sophie the Giraffe, haha.

    You did a great job with her costume, I can’t wait to see both kids dressed up and looking super adorable! Are you and the hubbi dressing up too? (maybe as Capt. Hook & Smee?!?!) hahaReplyCancel

    • Jill - Thanks!

      I may try to do a couple less fancy pirate outfits for us. It’s easy to break the bank when dressing the whole family as pirates!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Thanks everyone! This came together so quickly. I’m glad it turned out so well.ReplyCancel

  • BigMamaCass - Lord have mercy that is the cutest thing ever!!!! Great idea!! My 3 year old is going to be a pirate this year too :) ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Have any tips for me on how to make that costume? Or are you buying his? And where from?ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Amazing costume! I can’t believe it didn’t require a sewing machine. If only I were so crafty – I think we will be going store-bought this year!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen M. - This is adorable. I may have just decided how to dress my 6mo old this Halloween.ReplyCancel

  • Becky B. - This is helping my baby fever NOT AT ALL. So adorable.ReplyCancel

  • sarah/ disenchantedsl - omg!!! so adoarable!!! I, me, myself wants a parrot costume now and shes gorgeous !!!ReplyCancel

  • sarah/ disenchantedsl - i blatantly cant typeReplyCancel

  • DIY Casual pirate costume | Baby Rabies - [...] Leyna rocked her No-Sew Parrot costume and Kendall’s pirate costume was thrown together with the help of his closet, the consignment store, and just a couple party store additions. [...]ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - I am doing this for my son for Halloween!! My oldest is going to be Jake, my middle son will be Cubby, and the baby will be Skully- I am doing a skull bandana :) ReplyCancel

  • Easy DIY Halloween Costumes: LEGO & Ladybug - [...] And here’s a link to a more detailed tutorial for Leyna’s costume last year- a Parrot. [...]ReplyCancel

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