Create a fun and vibrant DIY phoenix costume for Halloween! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how this costume came together and the tutorials I used to make the light-weight Oly-Fun wings and felt mask.
Hello Crafty Friends! Last Halloween my daughter went as a phoenix and it was such a fun costume to make! I’m here today to share all the crafty details with you including the fabric I chose, the tutorials I used to create the the wings and DIY felt mask, and how the costume all came together.
I love creating handmade costumes for my kids. They come up with such fun and wild ideas and by now they know I’ll attempt to make just about anything. You can take a look at some of the past costumes I’ve made for them over on my Halloween Costume Page.
Making a phoenix costume was intimidating at first but also really exciting. I knew I’d be working with vibrant colors and I’d get the chance to make a mask. I love how this costume turned out and my daughter loved being a phoenix and flying around the neighborhood for trick-or-treating. It has definitely become one of my favorite Halloween costumes to date!
Supplies and Resources
- Oly-Fun in red, orange and yellow for the wings
- 1/4″ elastic for wings and mask
- Sew On Snaps
- Red Dress – Target Cat and Jack Christmas 2022
- Red fleece pants
- Red long sleeve shirt
- Red, yellow and orange stiffened felt by Kunin Brand Felt
- Red, yellow and orange embroidery floss for mask
- Red, yellow and orange gems – optional for mask
- Fabric Scissors
- Clear Ruler
- Straight Pins
- Video Tutorial for wings – Make Your Mark with Mark Montano
- Tutorial for Felt Mask – Crafting Cheerfully
The first thing I did was search the internet for ideas on how to make bird wings. I found so many fun ideas for making owl and bird wings using different materials like fabric and felt. I was worried felt would be too heavy and I didn’t want to deal with raw edges on each feather if they were made out of fabric. Then I discovered a video tutorial by Mark Montano on his blog, Make Your Mark on making bird wings using Oly-Fun.
Oly-Fun is a lightweight fabric from Fairfield World – the company that makes insert pillows and Poly-fil stuffing. Oly-Fun is not only waterproof but it doesn’t tear and doesn’t need to be hemmed. It works indoors and outdoors and is very versatile. The only tricky part is ironing the fabric. I used a press-cloth when ironing but also tried to not iron it. A few of my feathers have crease lines in them but I just let them be.
One of my favorite parts of Oly-Fun, other than it not needing to be hemmed, is it has no grain. So you don’t need to match the grain when cutting your fabric, making it a really nice beginner-friendly material. I like to recommend fleece and felt as great beginner fabrics, especially for Halloween costumes, and this will be joining the list!
I purchased my Oly-Fun from Amazon and at a local craft store in red, orange and yellow. I bought 3 yards of orange and yellow but don’t remember exactly how much I purchased of the red. It was at least double since I used the red as my base to attach the feathers to.
Mark’s video tutorial walks you through exactly how to make the wings. The only big change I made was to cut my base with a tail so the feathers were the longest in the center back. Then I pinned the wings in place and stitched them row by row until the entire base was covered. Once finished I was pretty amazed at how light-weight the finished piece was!
Once the wings were sewn, I added snaps to the shoulder area so they could attach to the dress I purchased. To figure out the placement of the snaps, I had my daughter try everything on and I pinned where they should go. Because the snaps were just stitched on, they were easy to remove and my daughter wore the red sequin dress for Christmas later that year!
The final step for the wings was to add little loops of elastic where the wings could attach to her wrists. The elastic was perfect because she could loop it around her wrists and the wings now moved with her arms. I measured a length of elastic that would fit her wrist for each side, then machine stitched them in place.
The Phoenix Mask
The phoenix mask was created using felt and sequins I had on hand. I whipped this together a couple hours before her Halloween costume party and was definitely cutting it close. I loved how it turned out though so this year I made it again and created a step-by-step picture tutorial so you can make one too. You can even grab the free pattern on my post, DIY Felt Phoenix Mask!
The Red Clothes
With the wings and mask completed, the last thing to do was to finish up the base of the costume. As mentioned above I used a red sparkly dress from Target to attach the wings to. It was so fun and sparkly I knew my daughter would love it. (She also wore it for Christmas later that year, so it got lots of use!) The dress was also a hi-low dress, which meant it was longer in the back which matched the wings perfectly creating a feather tail effect.
Since I wanted the wings to really stand out and pop, I chose a matching red long sleeve shirt and red pants to finish things off. Both I found at Target by Cat & Jack. The pants were fleece which is nice for our climate which can get chilly at Halloween. My kids have trick-or-treated in the snow so it’s nice to plan for warmth.
Overall this Phoenix costume was so fun to make and I love how the final costume turned out. If you are making wings for any sort of bird costume, I recommend watching Mark’s video tutorial on his site, Make Your Mark and using Oly-Fun. It was my first time using it but it turned out to be a great light-weight material. I’ll be keeping it in mind and hope to find a reason to use it again soon!