There are several varieties of woodpecker that each have a slightly different appearance. The most recognizable woodpecker is the Pileated Woodpecker, which has a black body, black and white wings and a bright red crest on the top of its head. The beak and legs of the bird are black and it has a white face with a black line around the eyes. A woodpecker suit can make a memorable costume for Halloween, a play or dress-up costume. This costume will work for both children and adults. Make the costume at least one day in advance to allow plenty of time for the assembly of the costume and for the glue to dry. 


Measuring tape

Black felt


Measuring tape

Black sweatshirt

Black, red and white faux feathers

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Black baseball hat

Black leggings or pants

Black shoes

White and black face paint



Measure the distance between the elbow and wrist of the person who will wear the costume. Make sure you have all supplies on hand before starting the costume construction.


Cut out two wing shapes from black felt. Make the wings as wide as the measurement between the elbow and wrist. Cut one long edge of the wing shape into a wavy pattern to look like feathers. Glue the felt wings to the sleeves of the sweatshirt. Glue a mixture of black and white feathers to the top of the wing pieces.


Cut a tail piece from black felt. Make the tail piece about 24 inches long and 12 inches wide. Cut one short end into a wavy feather pattern like you did for the wings. Glue black feathers to the tail piece. Glue the tail piece to the back hem of the sweatshirt, wavy side down.


Glue red feathers in an upright position similar to a mohawk to the top of the baseball cap. This will represent the red crown on the woodpecker’s head. The bill of the hat will become the woodpecker’s beak.


Put on the black pants and black shoes. Put on the sweatshirt over the pants. Place the hat over your head.


Paint your face with white face paint. Paint a black horizontal line across your face along the eye line from the outside corner of the eye to the temples. The woodpecker has a black stripe like this at the corner of each eye that will really help complete the costume.