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Colorful Cardboard Bird Costume DIY for Halloween

by on Oct 14, 2015

A woman in a DIY costume with wings.
Photo: Brittni Mehlhoff

Using some leftover cardboard from yesterday’s DIY popsicle costume, I made a super colorful bird costume that both adults and kids can enjoy. You may need your sunglasses for this one though because it’s pretty bright. Want to see how it turned out so you can make your own? Click through for the full DIY bird costume tutorial.

Craft tools are sitting on a cardboard sheet.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall


  • cardboard
  • colorful paper
  • scissors
  • hot glue
  • ribbon
  • boxcutter
  • marker
  • paint and paint brush (for mask)

How To:

1. To create the wings, first draw out a scalloped shape wing onto cardboard. I used the straight edge of the cardboard for the top of the wing and then drew a descending scallop shape for the bottom of the wing. Measurements for the wings will vary based on the height of the person, but my measurements for someone who is 5’6 were as follows: 32 inches wide at the top and 15 inches tall (at its tallest part).

A hand drawing with a black pen on a large piece of cardboard.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall
A piece of cardboard has been cut in half in a scallop shape, the blade still sitting on the bottom piece.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall

2. Next, cut out the wing shape with a boxcutter. Then trace the wing that has been cut out onto cardboard and cut out the second wing.

A right hand holding a black marker that has drawn a couple of troughs and a left hand holding down the cardboard.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall

3. Next, draw and cut a feather template to use for the wing feathers. I created a basic leaf shape in two sizes to make it look like the feathers were slightly more natural.

4. Then, cut out feathers in various colors from paper. You’ll be covering the front and back of each wing, so you’ll need a lot of paper feathers for this part.

Various colour cardboard leaves with a Caesar lying on the floor
Photo: Amelia Tatnall

5. Glue the paper feathers onto the back part of each wing, starting at the bottom of each wing and working your way up. Once you get to the top, fold the feathers over and glue the tops down on the other side. 

A person is using cutout papers to make designs.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall

6. Once dry, flip the wings over and repeat this process on the other side. Once you get to the top, cut off the excess paper flaps for this side.

7. Add ribbon loops for the arms to go through, but cutting a length of ribbon and glueing to the inside of each wing, as shown. Cover ends with more paper feathers if necessary. I also attached a ribbon strip to the back to connect the feathers to one another. This isn’t required, but it does help to keep the wings from slipping off.

A pink, purple, fuschia, and yellow piece of crafting.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall

8. Set the wings aside. To create a bird mask, draw a template onto paper to work out the proper shape. Then, trace that onto cardboard and cut out. 

I cut a separate triangle for the beak and scored it down the middle so that it would be more three dimensional.

A person traces the outline of a mask on cardboard.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall
A person assembles a mask out of cardboard.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall

9. Paint the mask and beak. Wait for the paint to dry. Then add a ribbon strip to the back of the mask. And add extra paper feathers if desired.

A colorful bird costume made of cardboard.
Photo: Amelia Tatnall

Add a colorful outfit and you’re all set. 

What do you think? Is this DIY bird costume something your might try for Halloween this year?

A woman in a red bird costume with her arm held out.
Photo: Brittni Mehlhoff
A woman wears a homemade bird mask.
Photo: Brittni Mehlhoff
The back of a woman with orange,pink, purple and yellow wings spread and an orange skirt standing in front of a white stone wall.
Photo: Brittni Mehlhoff
A woman in a pink dress is jumping off the ground.
Photo: Brittni Mehlhoff

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