Introduction: Peacock Princess Costume (fully Articulated Tail)

Picture of Peacock Princess Costume (fully Articulated Tail)

This is a tutorial on how to make a fully articulated peacock tail. Please leave comments below to let me know what you think or if you have any questions. Thanks!

Child size - 150 feathers eyes and spears
Adult - 200+ feathers

Heavy gauge wire
1 - Chicago Screw
1 - Arizona Ice tea Bottle
8 - washers
8 - screws
Elastic band 3"
Wooden board (if you desire the harness we created)

Harness of your choice (able to have something screwed into it

Step 1: Layout

Picture of Layout

Layout your feathers to create different layers of lengths. Each length becomes one layer.

Step 2: Netting Base

Picture of Netting Base

Cut different sizes of netting to form the base of the layers.

Step 3: Weaving Quills

Picture of Weaving Quills

Weave the quills into the netting to help secure them in. Then trim all excess length on the quills.

Tip: if they won't weave easily then add some tape to the end to make a point.

Step 4: Securing Quills

Hot glue each feather in two or three places along the quill  with the netting. This held up very well trick or treating, even with people stepping on it. Yet please be careful and try to avoid that it will bend or break the feathers.

Step 5: Wire Supports

Picture of Wire Supports

Cut wire and bend a circle around your pin so the wire will rotate freely around.
Trim off excess wires at the circle on the end or it will catch in the netting.

Step 6: Wire Supports #2

Picture of Wire Supports #2

Layout your largest layer of feathers first. Add two wires about  2"-3" apart from each other equal distant from the center. Trim the wires down so they are just long enough to be ran from the bottom center of the layer, weaving in and out of the netting till it reaches the quill of the feather you are wanting to hide it in. Then slowly insert the wire into the quill shaft until it cant go any more. This masks the wires and supports the height of the tail

Repeat this for every layer... altering from two wires to one in the center back to two wires. Until all layers are done. (smaller layers only need one)

Step 7: Making Brackets

Picture of Making Brackets

Take the Arizona Tea Gallon jug and cut out brackets. Use hole punch to make your hole. I cut these symmetrical and used a heat gun at the center to fold them over, letting the plastic cool in the folded position.

In this picture there are only two pieces of the jug, one for each bracket. I have folded it three times once to the left once in the center and once to the right.

Step 8: Securing Brackets to Harness Base

Picture of Securing Brackets to Harness Base

Take a drill and pre-drill holes in the upper and lower left and right corners for each bracket and over the brace too. Then screw in a washer and screw.

Step 9: Connetting Tail to Harness

Picture of Connetting Tail to Harness

Run our Chicago Screw through one bracket then add all the wire loops from your tail layers and through the next bracket. Screw in the end to complete the mechanism.

Step 10: Decorating/disguising Harness

Decorate harness with tulle, feathers and anything else you with or hide it under a shirt to hide the brace.

Step 11: Waist Band/Harness Sizing

Picture of Waist Band/Harness Sizing

Trim and secure the elastic band to the size you need. Decorate it if necessary. We added a tutu over it.

Step 12:

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Take any other gallon jug  containers and cut out the flat sides glue them to clear plastic (sold by the yard at some walmarts and Joann fabrics or use a large bag from a bedding set) so they fold symmetrically down the center. Cover with extra spear feathers and smaller eyes. Sew and glue to the very back layer of feathers in the center bottom to cover all the netting you can see. Punch a small hole in the upper left and right corners of the hard jug plastic. Run your fishing line through hole and secure. Feed the fishing line through the feathers when tail is in upright position.   Make the fishing line long enough to run to the waist and around the front of the tummy when tail is laying down, cut. Add beads at the end of the line to create handles.

Step 13: Other Accessories

Picture of Other Accessories

ENJOY trick or treating and getting lots of candy for the best costume of the night!

Other accessories we made:
Crown with real peacock head feathers and tulle glued into a plastic toy crown
Trick or Treat bag - was decorated with a tutu and puffy paint
Choker Necklace - Stretchy sequin band with Velcro and a large gem
Gloves - $1 store gloves with tulle, gems and trim glued to them with Helmar 450 quick dry (best glue around IMO)
Shawl - Knitted to be in shape of  basic "wings" by my sister.


fishhead455 (author)2012-11-04

In my yard are more than twenty Peafowl...your rendition of the males is perfect, even to the 'tail down' effect mentioned by RRKROSE...just delightful.
But what drove this comment is the accuracy of the little head top feathers and your model and her perfect poses; (if I did not know that she is a human I would think that she is a Peacock).

LittleGrace (author)fishhead4552012-11-06

Oh thanks so much Fishhead455, that means a great deal since I didn't have much of live models to pull the design from... got to love the internet for info like that though. My daughter just loved your comment. Thanks again.

yiyi1975 (author)2017-03-02

Buenos dias:

Le hablo desde España.Sé que el tutorial hace mucho tiempo que lo hizo y por el idioma la traduccion de es muy complicado entenderlo.Habría otra pagina donde me pueda orientar mejor? tengo dudas con el anclaje para el movimiento.

Gracias y precioso el traje

ElenaCrafts (author)2016-09-25

this is such an awesome costume

InfinityP1 (author)2016-03-15

There are several parts of this I'm just not getting! I will order the pdf instructions. I may have a question or 2.

Meme48 (author)InfinityP12016-07-10

Yes these instruction left out a lot of parts used and lacked detail in actuator construction. Leaves one to guess how it was put together in the final steps. She did a great job making it for her child. It's pretty awesome.

Lady Judy (author)2016-03-29

Love thisss... <3 The costume is beautiful... But i can't find 150 feathers eyes and spears in my country. unfortunately

InfinityP1 (author)2016-03-15

There are several parts of this I'm just not getting! I will order the pdf instructions. I may have a question or 2.

LOVEP1 (author)2015-10-20

I had a peacock but it flew away for mating season :(

shotts421 (author)2015-07-02


ZiggzaggZebra (author)2014-12-05

Awesome costume!!!!!!!!!!

counterillusion (author)2014-11-13

I've been working on a peacock inspired costume on and off for a convention in the spring, and I've been going nuts trying to figure out a good way to have a moveable, foldable tail. This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for sharing your design! You rock, and your peacock princess looks like she's having a blast. :)

sadiesweety (author)2014-10-29

I've pinned this and I've pondered it so long... I have peacock feathers but probably not enough. I absolutely love this! The most amazing thing I've ever seen! I just can't figure out how to accomplish this like you have. I wish you could come over and help me with it. :(

alexis.romain3 (author)2014-10-03

This is an absolutely beautiful tail and I would just love to make one like this for a salsa social/costume party my cousin and I are attending for Halloween. I know it's been a year since you've done this, so I do understand if you don't remember, but would you happen to remember what size washers, screws, and the Chicago screw were or does that not matter?

4J (author)2014-09-24

Beautiful. I want to make like this for my baby girl.

ilovesequins (author)2013-10-16

the costume is beautiful

ilovesequins (author)2013-10-16

how did you get the tail to pop up

sarahquyen (author)2013-10-16

Hi there,

Its truly amazing that you figured this out. I am in the middle of putting one together and wanted stuck on the harness part as I can't tell if you have two wooden boards or one? You mentioned that 8 washers are needed but only see four, are the other four for the other wooden board? Or is there just one wooden board? Thank you so much!

donkeyknee (author)2013-07-18


sarahannharper (author)2013-01-06

how much do you think you spent on this costume?

Sarahannharper I spend about $85 - $100 I say that range because I had excess feathers and I used a lot of scraps I had around the house. If you were making it for an adult with all new materials it should be $100- $125 (depending on where you get your feathers ebay is the cheapest but plan on 6 week shipping from china)

thank you!

KatrinaB188 (author)2013-02-21

Another question. How long are the feathers? Should I buy 2 or 3 different lengths? I'm 5'2" and I don't want them dragging because I will be in a bar and as the night goes on, there will be wet floors and I don't want it ruined.

LittleGrace (author)KatrinaB1882013-02-21

This one is the child's size and It fits me perfect and I am 5'1". The longer the feathers the more expensive. I believe the largest I ordered for this child costume was 30-35 inches. However I would measure in the shoes you will be wearing from the floor to about your hip joint. Make sure your longest feathers will fit in that dimension. Also this tutorial has about 160-175 feathers in the tail when I made the adult version of this I made it fuller with about 260 ish feathers.

LittleGrace (author)LittleGrace2013-02-21

You will only need to order 40-50 of the longest feathers then you can save some $$$ and move down to the next shorter size and don't be afraid to cut them if you have to... just make sure you weave them into the netting first.

KatrinaB188 (author)2013-02-21

I want to make this for myself for this year. I'm a little confused on some of the directions. Like in step 9, you say run the screw through the plastic brackets, but it looks like you have a wire running through the screw instead. I will be barraging you with questions in the future! This is epic!

LittleGrace (author)KatrinaB1882013-02-21

Yes I have a wire in this photo. I did not have the screw at this time and the Chicago screw works so much better then the wire. It only costs under $2 and well worth it to make sure nothing catches on the excess wire. I didn't have a photo of it but here is a link to one...

Treasure Tabby (author)2012-11-11

Oh neat. It reminds me of that Barbie that came out a number of years ago. There's even a children's video to uh get the little girl revved up for mom and dad to get the toy for her. ;)

Thanks Treasure Tabby, now that you mention it ... it does look kinda like that toy. Thanks!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-11-05

That is amazing and so, so beautiful!

Thank you Penolopy!

scoochmaroo (author)2012-11-03

I love that it's a tail that actually pops up! Where did you get all of your peacock feathers?

LittleGrace (author)scoochmaroo2012-11-03

I got them on Ebay. That is where I found the best prices. Retail outlets would have cost a fortune. :) Thanks for asking.

rrkrose (author)2012-11-03

The picture of the back of the costume with the wings down is beautiful!

LittleGrace (author)rrkrose2012-11-03

Thank you rrkrose! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an artist who enjoys many things. I enjoy paper crafting custom invitations for weddings, parties and special events. I enjoy making customized costumes ... More »
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