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DIY OSTRICH JOCKEY COSTUME

Fun kids ostrich jockey costume cardboard box

I've been really inspired by these amazing children's costumes that Mer Mag creates using cardboard boxes and wanted to put my own twist on them. Have you ever watched the movie Swiss Family Robinson? I can't be certain if I ever actually watched the entire movie as a child. I couldn't tell you the story line or how it ends, but I do have a vague memory of people riding ostriches. Recently, I was in that place in between sleep and wake when my mind shifted to Swiss Family Robinson. I had this fantastic dream about a costume of a jockey riding an ostrich...I had to make it!



To make your own ostrich costume, here's what you do:

  1. Find a good sized box for the body of the ostrich and cut a hole large enough for your child to fit through.
  2. Draw the head and neck, two ovals for wings, and a smaller oval for the tail.
  3. Cut out the shapes using a box cutter.
  4. Paint the box, wings, tail, and head and add any desired details. Let dry.
  5. From plain white paper cut out varying sizes of feathers. Attach the feathers to the outward facing sides of the wing pieces, and to both sides of the tail piece using hot glue. Be sure to reserve some feathers for around the neck.
  6. To create reins, loop grosgrain ribbon around the beak of the ostrich. Attach a longer loop to that using brads. 
  7. With the box cutter, carefully make two slits in the front and rear of the box. Insert the neck into the front slit, and the tail into the rear slit. The cardboard should be thick enough and the slit thin enough for the pieces to be stable. If the pieces are loose, reinforce with glue or tape.
  8. Now glue the wings on.
  9. Attach remaining feathers around neck.
  10. Criss cross ribbon or elastic over the hole on the top of the box. These will be the straps that will drape over your child's shoulders to hold the box up.



To make the jockey costume I painted masking tape pink to match the neck of the ostrich. I then placed the strips of tape in a stripe pattern on a white T-shirt we already owned. I cut two black circles and a nose bridge to make goggles and attached them to the jockey hat.



JoJo has loved this costume as well as everyone else who has seen it! While taking pictures she would run around, admire her shadow, and race me. She enjoyed it so much, she didn't want to take it off to get back in the car to go home!


make your own DIY fun kids ostrich jockey costume cardboard box


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