This one was a challenge. I asked Owen what he wanted to be for Halloween. His typical kid response was a vampire. I told him, why don’t you pick something a bit more original that would be fun to make. We decided to look through the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for inspiration. Moral to the story, be careful what you wish for! He picked a Hippogriff, a half eagle half horse magical creature.
- 2 large pieces and 2 slightly smaller pieces of cardboard (we’ll use this to make the wings so make sure it’s large enough for your desired wing size)
- White felt fabric (large enough to cover both sides of the 2 large cardboard which will be the upper wing)
- Brown felt fabric (enough to cover both sides of the smaller cardboard pieces which will become the lower wing)
- White and brown feathers
- Elastic bands
- 2 brass paper fasteners (the kind that look like a button top with two fold down flaps)
- Hot glue
- White shirt (we used little Hanes/bonds white sleeveless undershirts due to a warmer climate)
- Black leggings/tights
- Long black socks and black duck tape
- Two small pieces of fur fabric large enough to go around and cover the ankles.
- Black and yellow acrylic paint (optional)
I’m not going to provide measurements, since I actually didn’t measure, and the size of your wings should depend on the size of the person. The main point here is to keep proportions in mind. First you’ll make the larger upper wings. Trace and cut out a two large tear drops from the large pieces of cardboard. These will be the upper wing. They should be about as wide as the persons body and reach from the shoulder blades to about half way down the forearm. Large. Next, do the same for the lower wing segment. This time using the smaller carboard pieces making sure the wing reaches a few inches above your elbow down to your finger tips. This tear drop needs to be more narrow, about half the width of the first one.
Now cover each piece of cardboard (back and front) with felt fabric using hot glue. I used white for the large upper sections an brown for the lower section. The white section I had enough fabric to make a fringe, while the brown I barely had enough to cover the wings so I skipped trying to make a fringe.
Next, flip the wings on their back, laying them out as how you would eventually wear them. Over lap the top and bottom portion and using scissors poke a hole through both wings. You will use this hole to pull through the brass fastener and make a pivot point for the two wing segments. Secure the wings to one another with a fastener and hot glue a small piece of matching fabric to hide the fastener flaps/clips. Attach elastic straps for shoulders and the wrist.
Flip the wings over and start from the bottom and work your way up, over lapping and hot glueing your desired feather pattern. The bottom wing section only needs feathers to to where it over laps with the top section. The upper wing segment needs to be completely covered. That was the hard part! Attach the two parts with a brass fastener. If you don’t have a brass fastener you can always use two buttons to create a pivot point.
For the mask I had two carboard cut out pieces, the eye-mask and the nose. I shaped the nose and attached it to the eye mask first. Then I covered the nose portion with left over white felt fabric scraps and the eye portion with the brown. I also painted the beak yellow with some streaks of black paint mixed in. This gave a very nice effect. I also painted black on the perimeter of the eye holes using acrylic paint. I really liked this as it actually helped keep the fuzz of the fabric out of the eyes as well as providing a little extra detail to the entire mask.
Hooves and Tail
Lastly I made the horse tail and hoofs. The tail was simple, I took variegated brown/grey/black yarn, cut about 2.5ft segments and separated the strands. Then simply tie them in in a knot around a elastic waist band or belt. I used a thin white elastic I had on hand that would be easy to hide/blend in with the white shirt. For the hoofs I needed help from the boys. They, put on long black socks and I proceeded to duck tape around there foot and toes to make it look like a hoof. Then I took the two pieces of fur fabric and sewed it around the ankle essentially hiding the heel of the foot. With the fur and only the “toes” now covered in duck tape visible it relaly did look like they were wearing hooves.
With these four accessories (wings, mask, tail and hooves) over a white shirt and long black tights made the perfect Hippogriff!