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Parrot Headpiece

Crafter Kristin St. Clair took inspiration from her pet bird, Pico, to develop this gorgeous Halloween headpiece.

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October 2009


Resources: All tools and materials available at most crafts stores. Go behind-the-scenes with crafter Kristin St. Clair at


  • Roll of plastic wrap

  • Masking tape

  • Scissors

  • Aluminum foil

  • Head form (or cantaloupe/cabbage steadied in bowl)

  • Rigid Wrap plaster wrap

  • Polyester batting

  • Creative Paperclay

  • Craft knife

  • Light-grit (300) sandpaper

  • Ping-pong ball

  • Steel wool

  • Acrylic paint in a variety of colors

  • Paintbrush

  • Polyester organza in chosen color for feathers

  • Fabri-Tac fabric glue


  1. Wrap plastic wrap around the top of your head to create a custom-fit cap. Wrap masking tape around the edge of the cap to secure and make snug to your head. Continue applying strips of masking tape to plastic until you have formed the shape of the skullcap. Add two to three more layers to make a firm base.

  2. Label the front center of the skullcap base. Remove cap from head and trim off excess plastic around cap. For extra support, place a few strips of masking tape along the inside of the skull cap.

  3. Shape a parrot beak out of aluminum foil. Tape beak to skullcap at the front center mark. Place the cap with beak on a head form and gently cover with a piece of plastic wrap.

  4. Cover entire head form with 2-inch-wide plaster wrap strips. Repeat until there are about 3 layers.

  5. To create the parrot's crown, use a handful of polyester batting. Place directly above beak and cover with rigid wrap. Repeat with three more layers. With thin strips of Rigid Wrap, form parrot nostrils between the beak and the forehead. Allow entire form to dry.

  6. Roll out paper clay to about a 1/8-inch thick sheet, large enough to cover parrot beak. Gently smooth paper clay sheet over beak and nostrils. Trim excess paper clay with a craft knife. Allow clay to dry, and sand with a light-grit sandpaper.

  7. Cut a ping-pong ball in half. Roll out another two sheets of paper clay, each large enough to cover each half ping-pong ball. Mold clay around the two halves. Allow to dry and buff with steel wool.

  8. Trim off excess clay with a craft knife and remove clay shapes from ping-pong balls. Attach eyes to parrot head with paper clay. Create eye sockets around the eyes with more paper clay. Let dry.

  9. Paint the form with acrylic paint, allowing each section to dry before painting the next. Paint beak and nostrils with a peachy color. Paint eyeballs brown, pupils black, and sockets a shade lighter than the beak. Paint the rest of the parrot head approximately the same color as the organza feather fabric.

  10. Print and cut out feather template. Staple 6 layers of polyester organza together and tape template to top. Cut out feathers, repeating so you have enough to completely cover parrot head. Cut single feathers to fit in small areas, such as around the eye socket.

  11. Fold fabric feathers lengthwise, shifting slightly so that feather tips are not aligned. Starting at back center of parrot headpiece, attach the folded feathers with a couple dabs of fabric glue. Repeat, overlapping feathers, until you reach the parrot's beak.

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