The Seahawk logo is EVERYWHERE in Seattle. I really like it. As NFL logos go, I think we have one of the best. It's based on Pacific Northwest native hand-carved and painted totems and masks. I've seen lots of this native art in local museums and always pay special attention to the engineering behind these objects. How do they get them to protrude so far out without falling over? How do they make these big heavy headpieces comfortable?
So, inspired by Pacific Northwest native art I've encountered since moving here in 2010, oh yeah, and also inspired by the Seahhawks first-ever SUPER BOWL WIN this year, I decided to make myself a Seahawk this Halloween. Hopefully it will come in handy when we celebrate more wins in the future.
This tutorial will show you how to turn your favorite team logo into your own giant mascot head and make you instantly popular among your fellow fans.
Step 1: Enlarge Your Logo.
First, (fingers crossed the NFL doesn't sue me) I took the logo into Photoshop, made it grayscale and brightened it (so I wouldn't waste ink when I printed it), and enlarged it 725%.
Then I printed it out section by section, pieced it together like a puzzle, and pasted the pages together to be my pattern.
Step 2: Attach Adhesive Paper and Cut Out Details.
Next, I put my pattern on top of 2 layers of dark blue fleece and cut out the shape of the head and beak and cut out 2 layers of grey fleece for the neck. Later I cut out 2 green eyes.
Then I ironed HeatnBond Lite to the backs of each piece. DO NOT iron fleece directly. To prevent burning and melting the fleece always cover your fleece with thin cotton fabric before ironing. You can also iron the paper side of the HeatnBond.
It is much easier to cut out the details of your logo when the HeatnBond paper is adhered to your fleece.
Next, I pinned the pattern to both layers of fleece and cut out the details. I suppose an Exacto knife or rotary cutter would come in handy here but I didn't have one available so I just used scissors. Actually, simply painting the logo would be easier, but applique makes it way more awesome.
Step 3: Applique Your Giant Logo.
After I cut out all the parts, I ironed them onto a white background (again using a thin sheet of cotton fabric between my iron and the fleece).
Next, I machine-embroidered the edges of my appliqued fabric using a zig-zag stitch (width 5, length 1).
I ended up with two 4-feet long mirror image logos. I put the two pieces atop one another, outsides facing in, lined up
their beaks and back, and straight-stitched around the outside edge leaving the neck-area open. THAT was the easy part.
Step 4: Foam and Bones.
Here is the part where I start to wing it.
When I cut my inch-thick foam in the shape of a hawk head and placed it atop my head it was all floppy.
I had to give it bones. I needed something strong and lightweight and found an old political yard sign in our garage. I cut it into strips and hot-glued them together on both sides and then hot-glued them onto my foam. My hawk-head is now reinforced with the bones of our governor's yard signs.
Next, so there wouldn't be any sharp parts poking through and to reinforce it even more, I hot glued a layer of batting over top.
Then I cut out 2 semi-circle shapes of foam and hand-stitched them to the space I cut out for my head to go.
Step 5: Make a Harness.
After trying it on, I realized there was no way it could simply be a hat. I needed some sort of harness to counter-weigh the heaviness of the protruding beak. After much trial and error, I decided to hand-stitch a rectangle of foam to the back of the head and machine-stitch some green fleece to the bottom of my appliqued Seahawk to cover up the foam.
It's harnessed through slots in the back with a karate belt I got a garage sale years ago (thinking I'd use it for tote bag straps someday). It just so happened to be green and blue and wrap around my waist 3 times perfectly, so I stitched on a strip of velcro at the ends to secure it and viola! I finally achieved a comfortable fit!
I also inserted a few handfuls of Polyfil to the sides of the Hawk-head between the fleece and foam to give it a smooth rounded shape.
Step 6: Adjust the Headhole.
The head-hole proved too deep though - it pressed down on my glasses and ears when I tried to wear it - so I filled it with more Polyfil and hand-stitched a piece of fleece to cover it. Now it sits comfortably atop my noggin.
Step 7: Build a Body.
I didn't plan on doing a body as well, but I found this fringed poncho sweater that looked like wings and I added this see-through sparkly fabric. I folded the sparkly fabric over once at the edge and straight-stitched a channel, inserted some skinny elastic and put both ends of the elastic through a button. This way, I can pull the elastic through the button and gather the fabric atop my head, or loosen the elastic and let the fabric drape down in front and show my face.
I wore it downtown to go trick or treating with my kids (wearing their last year's Spy vs. Spy costumes) and got lots of honks, SEA-HAWK! cheers, and people wanting to get their picture taken with me. I'm not saying it's magic but since I made this, the Seahawks have won the last 3 games they played. Coincidence?