I can't remember why, but having a Halloween party coming up I decided to dress as a monstrous-Crow / Raven (big black bird)
The best thing about a self-made costume is you can be fairly certain no one else is going to look the same...
It's made from / with:
Needles and thread
A pair of gasses
(and a few other things)
Step 1: The "hat"
The head starts with a close-fitting "hat", it doesn't move and keeps everything firmly attached to a head.
I wrapped myself in cling-film then applied paper and PVA glue, waited for it to dry. The paper and glue were then built up in stages.
PVA and paper is quite flexible, this did not turn out hard.
Step 2: The beak
A good beak is essential and I spent a fair amount of time on this.
First make a basic pattern, here it's expanded polystyrene foam. Like the "hat" I wrapped in cling-film then applied layers of PVA and paper, in stages with drying in between.
After I'd made the top-half the foam was trimmed smaller and the process repeated for the bottom half.
Notice how the end is rough and splayed-out, this helped with joining to the head-piece
Some bits of metal were added to form a hinge (cheap Meccano-a-like kit)
Step 3: Beak meets "hat" to make bird-face
To join the paper and PVA I built more paper, card and PVA but used some polystyrene as lightweight-filler.
For the eyes, cut holes in thin card and test position while wearing the thing, then glue.
The visibility in this is upper sideways and narrow, with downwards-straight-forward with the beak open...
Step 4: Beak-function
The lower beak is only held on by the hinge. I thought about a string-pull but decided to make a magnetic-catch. A bit of steel and a tiny magnet achieved this.
Having the beak open provides some ventilation and forward visibility.
Step 5: Paint it black
I sprayed the paper with two coats of cheap multi-surface black "satin" paint.