How Make Indian Coup Stick for Halloween Costume


We always seem to get the right Halloween costume but wish there was more accessories available don‘t we? How about an Indian theme decorated scraggly wood stick for a Native Indian Coup Stick addition to the Old Man Indian Costume? It works great with How to Make Indian Tom Tom for Costume Accessory.

Native Plains Indians often showed their bravery by riding the Spanish Conquistador horses and touching their enemy with their coup stickinstead of trying to kill them. Let’s make a replica of one for our Indian costume.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Crooked big stick, with knurled knot at end about 6 ft long, hand picked from woods
  • Rawhide strips
  • Rabbit or other animal hide fur
  • Feathers, fluffy down-feathers, and long horsehair for tips of feathers
  • Pieces of colorful felt with thread and string to bind around stick
  • Fast drying glue
  • Sharp knife
  • Fake eagle claw or other bird claw
  • Unique decoration for knot top end of stick and rawhide to lash on with glue
  • Paint and brushes if you want to decorate your Native Indian coup stick

Step 1 GET THE THINGS YOU’LL NEED. Sketch out your idea of a coup stick. Many had curved loop at ends and almost all had feathers and rawhide strips or strings to attach feather and animal trophies taken. Tandy Leather Stores and Grey Owl Indian Crafts are great resources for all that you need. Grey Owl has been providing Indian crafts materials to Boy Scouting for years. If you are from a hunting family, you may have several tanned deerskins or animal hides an claws and teeth you can use. Be creative.

Step 2 STRIP BARK OFF OF SCRAGGLY STRAIGHT WOOD STICK FROM WOODS. Use knife to remove bark and scrape in long strokes. Hold stick between your thighs and hold knife blade horizontal and pull knife handle and blade slowly down shaft of stick. Be careful and don’t work too fast. When all bark is removed and you can run your hand around stick and not feel excessive roughness, you are done with this part. Let stick dry completely, overnight is probably ok. Now you are going to decorate the Indian Coup Stick replica.

Step 3 WITH YOUR SKETCH AS YOUR GUIDE START DECORATING YOUR INDIAN COUP STICK REPLICA. If you have decided to paint your Indian Coup Sick, use earth colors and bold brush strokes. Leave areas about half way up coup stick and just beneath the top part for the addition of some animal fur in both locations. Put some special colors on the top portion of stick. Let paint dry overnight.

Step 4 ATTACH SPECIAL FEATURES TO TOP OF COUP STICK. If you were fortunate and found a stick with a good, knurled knot, use the base of the knot at the top of the coup stick to tie on some animal features. Use fake eagle claws, bear claws or pieces of different animal fur, or part of deer horn or something unique from nature’s bounty. Use different lengths of rawhide strips for each animal trophy accouterment.

Step 5 LASH ON STRIPS OF ANIMAL FUR AT POINTS JUST ABOUT HALF WAY AND JUST BELOW TOP OF COUP STICK FEATURES. Glue the fur hide to stick and lash with rawhide strips. Do both locations. You might want to change the type and color of the fur and/or the rawhide lashings. Tie off and place spot of glue on knots. Leave a long piece of the rawhide lashing as excess at the top part of the lashing so you can attach some feathers and claws.

Step 6 MAKE SOME FEATHER DECORATIONS FOR YOUR PLAINS INDIAN COUP STICK. Grey Owl sells some neat imitation painted on Eagle Feathers. They also have an abundance of feather and fluffy down feather materials you can use. Felts in a variety of colors and cloth strips for decoration are also available. Any of these would be good to use. If you have a friend that has a horse, just ask them for a few horse hairs from their next grooming. Long tail or mane hairs are best.

Step 7 USE RAWHIDE STRIPS TO MAKE A LOOP AT QUILL END OF FEATHERS. Cut a piece of rawhide strip about 6 inches long and glue it to the end of quill tip making a loop. Let dry completely. Wrap piece of red felt around quill and rawhide, leave loop open. Place spot of glue on quill and wrap felt around completely covering rawhide strip twice. Glue again, hold for a few seconds, start with white thread or fine string and wrap thread around felt covering glue spots. Let dry. You now have a loop to attach your feather. At the feather tip end, place a glue spot and put on some fluffies and horse hairs. Use several fluffies so you get a good bunch at the tip. Tie a couple of feathers by looping the extra rawhide lash strips through the leather loop you made at the quill end of the feather and tie the strip back to itself, placing a spot of glue on the knot. The feathers should swing freely when you move the Indian Coup Stick.

Step 8 PLAINS INDIANS COUP STICKS OFTEN FEATURED A SINGLE RAWHIDE STRIP FROM TOP TO BOTTOM WITH FEATHERS. This strip had several feathers and other animal trophies attached. You can do this too by just lashing on a long piece of rawhide strip just below the top coup stick knot and then lashing the other end of the strip to the bottom of the Coup Stick. Make feathers with loops and tie on with rawhide as in Step 7. Add strips of colored cloth at rawhide tie points at end of each feather so they move also as feathers do.