Introduction: Parrot Mask and Wings


Industrial felt for wing base: 4 m^2

Cover fabric for wings (I used a black silky polyester): 4 m^2

Red sparkly sheet foam: 3 pieces (~1.5 m^2)

Green sparkly sheet foam: 3 pieces

Red sparkly sheet foam: 3 pieces

Thick (~1/2 inch) industrial sheet foam: 3 pieces




Hot glue


Sewing machine (optional, but very useful)

Pliers (optional, for pulling needle through the thick wing base with foam)

Step 1: Print and Assemble Patterns for Mask and Wings

Step 2: Trace and Cut Out Mask Pattern Pieces

Trace mask pattern pieces on thick foam (I accidentallly bought sticky foam, which is why mine has a yellow backing). You will need two mirror image copies of each piece to form each side of the mask. Cut out using scissors or a utility knife.

Step 3: Stitch Together Mask Using Fishing Wire

Using a sturdy needle and .4mm fishing wire, stitch together the pieces of the mask. I assembled it in the following order:

1. Assemble top and bottom beaks

2. Assemble left and right sides of the face

3. Assemble top of head

4. Attach top of head to left and right sides of face

5. Attach upper and lower beak to main headpiece assembled in step 4

6. Attach back of head and front neck pieces to main headpiece assembled in step 5

Step 4: Cut Out Colorful Patterns for Mask

Cut out a second set of all the pattern pieces, but this time in thin sparkly foam. Hot glue each piece onto the associated piece on the base. (Note: in past designs I have hot glued the colorful patterns onto the base pieces prior to stitching the base together, and I would probably recommend that method as it results in the colorful top patterns fitting more exactly onto the base pieces.)

With this the mask portion of the costume is complete!

Step 5: Trace and Cut Out Wing Base Pattern Pieces

Trace 4 copies of wing pattern onto thick industrial felt, and cut out. (Note: may result in your dog deciding this a great new bed).

(Optional) If you want to cover your industrial felt with a prettier fabric, cut out 4 copies of the pattern from your fabric of choice. If your pretty fabric has a "front" and "back", make sure to flip the pattern and cut out 2 sets of mirror images so when you sew it together, the front of the fabric is on the outside. Pin each piece of the pretty fabric to a piece of the industrial felt, and sew a narrow seam around the entire border of the fabric to attach them together.

Step 6: Sew Wing Base Pieces

Pin mirror image wing pattern pieces together, with the pretty fabric facing inward for both pieces. Sew a seam all around the border except the upper third of the inner side (the straight line edge). Trim the seam at the corners, especially at the pointed end of the wing where you may have a lot of bulky fabric. Turn the wings right-side out.

Step 7: Cut Out and Stitch in Foam Inserts

(Optional) Foam inserts will give the wings more structure. If desired, cut out foam inserts, one mirror image copy for each wing. Insert them inside the wing and stitch them into place.

Step 8: Create Feathers

Trace and cut out feathers (some patterns need multiple copies, which is noted on each pattern piece). For each feather, fold in half lengthwise with the sparkly side of the foam on the outside. Stitch a very narrow seam up the center, leaving an inch or two unstitched at each end, to give the feathers dimension.

Step 9: Pin Feathers in Place

Begin with the bottom layer of blue feathers. Pin them in place as shown. When you are satisfied with their placement, stitch through the wing across the top edges of the feathers to hold them in place; I used a sewing machine for the blue and green layers, and hand-stitched the red layer as it is on top of the foam, and my sewing machine didn't fit over it.

Step 10: Hand-stitch Feathers in Place

Hand-stitch the bottom of each feather onto the base so the feathers spread out and cover the base.

Left photo shows right wing stitched except red layer, and right wing only has top of blue feathers stitched. Middle photo shows close up of wing with blue and green layers fully stitched, and red layer partially stitched. Right photo shows feathers fully stitched but not reinforced (next step).

Step 11: Stitch Together Wings; Reinforce Feathers and Add Straps

Whip-stitch wings together. Reinforce at the top and bottom.

I cut out extra pieces of sheet foam and reinforced all my feathers where they stick out. This made them less floppy and thus more beautiful, and also sturdier.

I also made straps; I didn't take any photos of this step but I just cut out two thin rectangles of felt, slightly longer than the body of the wings. Then for each felt strap, I doubled the width of these and added a half inch for the seam, and cut this shape out of the black cover fabric. I sewed the black fabric together, right-side-in, turned it right-side out, and inserted the felt piece. I sewed this completed strap at each end, and down the center to secure the felt to the cover fabric; then I sewed each strap to the body. I was planning to attach these straps to the top and bottom of the body like a backpack, but found that it worked well to tie the straps around my neck instead (and only attach them to the top of the wings); I may experiment with the strap placement in the future.

I also sewed a piece of rope at the center waist to secure the wings, and one piece of rope at each wrist to control the wings.

In the photo you can see how the straps are attached, as well as the rope pieces at the waist and wrists. You can also see the pieces of foam I used to reinforce the feathers; I ran out of black foam and had to use blue foam for the last few feathers.