Introduction: DIY No-Sew $3 Owl Costume

Low on time and budget? You can make this super frugal no-sew owl costume for $3 or less and and about 4 hours of time. This Hedwig-inspired snow owl costume was made as part of a Harry Potter themed Halloween Family costume for a 15 month old child in size 18 month clothes, but you can adjust sizes to make this for a larger person or wear wings in a cape-style by using ribbon.

This goes with our $2 Very Harry Halloween Pumpkins!

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Step 1: Gather Your Materials

For this super easy project, you'll need:


  • (1) Old T-shirt (I chose black)
  • (4) Sheets each of three (3) different colors of felt


  • (1) Hot Glue Gun (Low Temp is fine)
  • Hot Glue Sticks (This can vary pending your gun. I used a REALLY cheap $2 gun and it went through about 10 mini sticks)
  • (1) Pair Scissors

Optional, but HIGHLY recommended

  • (1) Rotary Cutting Tool (the one I use has a child safety lock)
  • (1) Self Healing Craft Mat (Definitely saves a TON of time and hassle)
  • Needle and thread (only if you want to add sewing)
  • Sewing Chalk
  • Piece of white paper
  • Popsicle Stick
  • Scotch Tape

Step 2: Measure

If you're making this for a small child, this can prove impossible- don't beat yourself up! Rather than try to wrestle my little human-shaped octopus, I used the size 18 month onesie to determine sizes. I found that from shoulder to just below belly button, she measured about 13" tall. Her "wingspan" (arm to arm) is exactly 24". Be sure to add an extra allowance vertically (length) for up and down motions associated with flying!

In this case, the length of the wing is 14 inches and width is 12 inches.

Feathers were measured at 2.5 inches wide by 3.75 inches tall.

Step 3: Prepare

(Note: In this stage, you may want to heat up your hot glue gun.They can sometimes take a while to heat. Mine takes about 7-10 minutes to really get going. Have plenty of glue sticks on hand to avoid searching for them mid-project. Always be sure to not have children near when using the hot glue gun.)

For feathers:

  • Begin by preparing your stencil. Grab yourself a sturdy piece of paper. Fold your paper in half and cut your feather shape to make it symmetrical.Feathers measured approximately 2.5 inches wide (horizontal) and 3.75 inches long (tall). The bigger your feather, the less you have to cut.
    • The downside to fewer feathers is that they look less "feathery." I opted for more cutting. I cut 96 pieces total and ended up needing only 93. With the rotary tool it only takes about 15 minutes.You can skip marking the feathers or pinning. The rotary tool lets you just slice around your stencil quickly. It could have likely only taken 10 minutes. 8 wings fit per sheet. If you find your rotary tool misses a bit of the felt, trim carefully with your scissors.
  • Use stencil to cut feathers out of felt with rotary tool.
    • Simply cut around stencil- no need to mark or pin!

For Wings

Grab yourself your old t-shirt (or fabric) and measure out a quarter circle shape

  • Use your width (i.e. length of the arm) and height (measurement of naval to shoulder) to sketch out your wing and draw a circular arc to connect them.
    • Tip: On a dark color material, use sewing chalk.
  • Cut out wings by using rotary tool to carefully cut along chalk line.

Step 4: Assemble!

For Wings:

  • Begin by hot gluing feathers to the bottom of one of your quarter circles (i.e. wings).
    • Go along edge, moving along horizontally by adding two to three (2-3) drops of hot glue per wing to secure felt feathers. As you fill in space, work in rows, horizontally for consistency.I chose to use a pattern of filling in another feather between two feathers in the preceding row. This creates a fuller look and layered appearance.To avoid waste and save resources, I used every scrap of material between where I cut out feathers.

For chest plate:

  • Use a long, thin strip of felt (scrap) to glue a first row of feathers.
  • Working in a downward direction, continue gluing feathers to one another to create rows, horizontally.
    • Note: Follow the same method as the wings placing a feather between the proceeding rows' feathers to ensure a full look

Step 5: Attach!

  • Though you don't have to sew, you may choose to at this point to add extra strength to a toddler's costume.
    • Hot glue will still hold up but will be stiff.
    • Hot glue may also not stand up to a cycle in a washing machine.
      • If hot gluing, please hand wash/clean costume.


Chest Plate

Either hot glue or sew chest plate to front of costume, attaching at collarbone/shoulders.

  • Use the outline formed by material for the neck/shoulders on the onesie.
    • You can use a back stitch to secure by sewing


Either hot glue or sew the wings to the back of the costume, attaching at the neck/shoulders.

  • Use the outline formed by material for the neck/shoulders on the onesie.

If sewing:

  • Use a back stitch to attach wings at collar bone and shoulders
    • I used a back stitch to attach a feather to the naval Either hot glue or sew wings to back of costume, attaching at the shoulders and at the wrists .
    • For wrists, use a blanket stitch to secure end of wing

For optional Owl Mask (featured on main image):

  • Take your white paper and draw out an owl face
  • Color
  • Cut out owl face
    • Optionally cut out holes for eyes
  • Attach face to Popsicle stick using scotch tape.

Step 6: Enjoy!

After your costume is fully dry, your little owlet can enjoy a night of trick or treating with a wizard companion or play dress up year round!

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