how to make an owl costume from a pillowcase

Araina decided that she wanted to be an owl for Halloween this year. I made this costume in an afternoon, took me about 5 hours to cut out the feathers, place them and sew, plus make the mask.  The most challenging part for me was figuring out how to make that “darn” pillowcase into a dress-like form (probably took me at least 1 hour to figure it out). I am a beginner with the sewing machine, so keep this in mind; if I can do it YOU can do it. ;) My print out pattern 1 includes a sketch on how I cut the pillowcase to fit Araina. I must mention that Araina and I were inspired by these two owl costumes here and here.

You need:

7 inch plastic mask
fabric scraps of various color, texture, and pattern
3 colors of felt for the mask, yellow felt for the beak
glue gun
pattern 1  (feather and pillowcase sketch)
pattern 2 (owl mask, beak, eyes)


1. Cut your pillowcase to form. I cut 3 inches off the bottom of a large pillowcase, took in the side seams, cut the head and arm holes. Araina is 7 but wears a size 5; I included the cut marks on the pattern page so you can see exactly how I made it to fit her.
2. Cut 50-70 feathers from different color, texture, and patterned fabrics. Mine came from wool coats and pants.

3. Lay out the first row of feathers on the bottom of the case, pin, then sew with a zigzag or straight stitch.
4. Continue to pin then sew for the next layer and the next until you reach the top.

5. For the mask- cut out pattern pieces. Pin the small circle onto the big circle, pin the pair of circles onto the felt face; sew around the inside of the small circle.
6. Sew the beak on and add eyelashes if you want.
7. Hot glue the felt face onto the plastic mask and then cut holes for the eyes.

Then off to the Halloween fun with friends!

Fauna is a dark fairy this year. My sister and mom helped her with her costume (it’s a little beyond my sewing skill). I will put pictures up of her when I can catch her to take photos! Hopefully, she won’t be making sassy faces at the camera, which she does a lot these days.

“That’s all.”


  • November 11, 2010 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    This is totally adorable! I will have to keep this in mind for next year. My little guy was a turtle this year and wanted to be a ghost. I have a small Etsy business and I make costumes year round so I really wanted to make him something a little more original that a ghost costume. Maybe next year I can suggest being an owl. He is only two, so that just might work. I feel a little guilty for making what I wanted though. My eldest is 9 and she draws up detailed instructions for me to follow for her costumes. It won’t be long before my little guy does the same.

  • November 10, 2010 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    This costume is awesome! Nice going, Lisa. It’s been a while since I’ve stopped by your blog–I’ve been too bust chit chatting with you Fb instead ;)

  • November 2, 2010 - 1:41 pm | Permalink


    luuuuuv the owl
    its brilliant!

  • November 1, 2010 - 10:56 pm | Permalink

    well done ariana and how many times do i have to say i love this?! let’s begin: i love this i love this i love this……

  • October 30, 2010 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Love this Lisa! I might have to make one for everyday use. Leif would love that!

  • October 29, 2010 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Amazing! I adore it! I also love the link showing a grown lady wearing it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • October 28, 2010 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I did this for one of my daughters last Halloween – yours is definitely a few steps ahead:)
    Looks great.

  • Robin
    October 26, 2010 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

    You Fauna got her sassy spirt from you!

  • October 26, 2010 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    seriously, i think you can do anything now too. this is incredible!!!! : )

  • October 26, 2010 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Such a cute costume!

  • October 26, 2010 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

    super cute- we are WordGirl and Captain Huggy Face. Thanks for sharing! Karen
    Sippy Cup Central Mom

  • October 26, 2010 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the positive comments ladies!

  • October 26, 2010 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

    What an awesome costume! I love it!

  • October 26, 2010 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Oh, that costume looks so lovely and beautiful! You did such a great job!!

  • October 26, 2010 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I didn’t get around to costumes this year. I know that the Elf is a bit upset about this (the other two boys are too young to care). In my defense, he didn’t realize it was near Halloween until a few days ago. And also – two babies in the house seriously limit my desire to get out the sewing machine. *falls over* I do miss putting together outfits for him, though.

    • October 26, 2010 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      I don’t blame you Melissa. My girls are now getting to the age where they think I can create anything they have sketched in their minds. Araina is already telling me that next year she wants to go as a fox, gasp, a fox?!?! Oh the pressure.

  • October 26, 2010 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    ADORABLE! I love it :)

  • Brittany
    October 26, 2010 - 7:20 am | Permalink

    Your owl costume looks amazing! Love it!

  • October 26, 2010 - 7:05 am | Permalink

    That is so cute! You are so creative!

  • October 26, 2010 - 3:38 am | Permalink

    Are you kidding me!? That is absolutely ADORABLE!!!! Oh so clever!

  • October 26, 2010 - 2:32 am | Permalink

    Now that’s a darling owl… I love it!!!

  • October 26, 2010 - 1:41 am | Permalink

    Fantastical! Though my little man is already well into the creepy costumes (I thought for sure I’d get a couple more years of cute), I am so going as an owl next year!

    • October 26, 2010 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      I think I have at least one more year of cute with Araina; Fauna is already going creepy, which kills me. I remember the days of Fauna in her pink “ballerina princess bunny” costume and it melts my heart.

  • October 26, 2010 - 1:14 am | Permalink

    This is such a cool costume! Wow:)

  • October 26, 2010 - 12:23 am | Permalink

    So glad you shared this. It reallly is the cutest costume ever. xoxo

  • October 25, 2010 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

    you are so RAD!!

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