DIY : Bjork’s White Swan Halloween Costume

by Cristina Muñoz Brown on October 25, 2011


While trolling around on the internet for clever DIY Halloween Costumes with Feather embellishments, I found this wonderful “White Swan” tutorial. Check out the detailed instructions plus photos of how to make your very own Bjork Swan Dress, similar to the one she wore at the 2001 Oscars.


Bjork Swan Dress

Who doesn’t love the infamous Bjork Swan Dress? You can also view the photos and instructions on THIS  Flickr page.

So here we go…

Bjork Swan DIY

Thrifted white skirt
Thrifted sheer curtains or light cotton
White Chandelle Feather Boa x 2 or 3
White cotton fabric
Needle + White thread
Sewing machine (optional)
Polyester filling
Hot glue gun
Two black buttons
Black felt
Orange felt/fabric
Glue gun
Safety pins
Skin-coloured bodysuit

Bjork Swan DIY STEP 1

Bjork Swan DIY STEP 2

1. The skirt/bottom: Take your thrifted white skirt and cut away any excess fabric so that it ends above the knee.
2. Cut long strips of sheer curtain material and sew it in layers horizontally on to the back fo your skirt. (I handsewed mine but you can also machine sew it.)
3. Cut the strips vertically to create small squares and to create a “feathered” or tiered effect. Sew on more small squares if you want to add more volume.

Bjork Swan DIY STEP 3

4. On the front of your skirt, handsew one end of the feather boa to bottom of your skirt.
5. Place your boa horizontally and wind it up the skirt, handsewing it in place to your skirt. Use a second boa if you need to.

Bjork Swan DIY STEP 4

6. The swan neck/head: Cut a 8″ x 35″ piece of white cotton fabric.
7. Line up the fabric so the long edges meet. Leave one end open and start sewing up the fabric. Round off the other end for the head.
8. If you have any sheer fabric left, cut up some squares and sew up the neck in a tiered effect.

Bjork Swan DIY STEP 5

9. Cut two black triangles from the black felt for the shadows around the eyes. Hot glue gun each piece on either side of the head. Attach the button eyes by hot glue gun or handsewing.
10. Create a cone out of the orange fabric. Hot glue gun or sew it to the tip of the head for the beak.
11. Stuff the neck/head area with polyester filling. Leave about 6″ from the bottom unstuffed. Sew across at this point. (You will tuck the remaining 6″ into your skirt later).

When you are ready to put wear your costume:
1. Put on your skin-coloured bodysuit.
2. Then put your skirt on: feathers in the front, sheer curtain material in the back. (There are no feathers in the back in case you want to sit down – the sheer curtain material won’t get crushed).
3. Wrap the swan neck around your neck and tuck in the unstuffed end of the neck into your skirt. With safety pins, secure the neck to the top of your skirt and to your jumpsuit. If you have the end of your feather boa still hanging, wrap it around and up the neck of your swan neck.
4. Put on your white (or in my case, black and comfortable) shoes.

You’re done and ready to go out in style!


Previous post:

Next post: