Tuesday, October 23, 2007


So you're going to a pirate themed party and you just don't feel like being one of the 30 some odd Jack Sparrows in the room. When faced with a similar problem I decided to become the favorite accessory of every pirate and piratess. ess. After all, how can you be a real pirate without a parrot on your shoulder? And Jimmy Buffet fans take note: this would probably make a swell parrothead get up for you too.

My skills at the time were pretty basic, so the materials are too:

  • a green baseball cap
  • 2 styrofoam balls (1 1/2" - 2" dia)
  • 1 bag of green feathers
  • 1 bag of assorted feathers
  • yellow crafter's foam
  • green red and yellow felt
As you can see, the construction is pretty basic too. I cut the upper half of the beak out of the yellow craft foam with a split down the middle on the front so I could create the curve. I wrapped the foam sides underneath the hat brim and stapled and hot glued it in place. I then cut a piece of red felt to go behind the eyes to make him a little less monochromatic.

The styrofoam balls were wired in place and I carefully drew the eyeballs in with a sharpie pen. I actually used construction paper circles to figure out the best placement for the pupils; I learned from a Jim Henson interview that if you make them ever so slightly crossed then it looks like they are focused on something and that can be the key to making your creation come alive.

After that it was a matter of layering and gluing the feathers in place. I added longer yellow feathers on the sides as pseudo eyebrows.

The body was just a series of simple tubes made in felt and stuffed with feathers glued to the wings. The lower beak was made similarly to the upper and then attached to the hat with elastic while the body hung around my neck like a necktie.

A black turtleneck and a see-through hood and I was ready to sit atop friends' shoulders for the perfect piratey photo opportunity.

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