How to Make a Colorful Butterfly Costume for Halloween

Cause a flutter this Halloween with this simple DIY costume for your little one.

This enchanting, magical butterfly will be the star of the show with pretty wings fluttering among the festivities. Cut the wings from cardboard, then add the painted details and ribbon straps to make an easy slip-on embellishment for any ensemble. If you're expecting cool Halloween weather, this handmade costume easily slips over a coat or sweatshirt. Accessorize the outfit with a wired twine-ball antennae headband and a handmade wand. You should be able to make this kid's Halloween costume for under $10 including the painted wings! Skip the store-bought outfit and make your own in an afternoon.

young girl orange butterfly costume front
Nicole Gerulat

How to Make a Kid's Butterfly Costume for Halloween

Supplies Needed

  • Printable butterfly patterns
  • Cardboard
  • Utility Knife
  • Acrylic Paint in two complementary tones (like light salmon and orange-red)
  • Paintbrushes
  • 2 1/3 yards of 2-inch-wide ribbon (straps)
  • Glitter glue
  • 12 inches of 1/4-inch-diameter dowel
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • 30 inches of 2-inch-wide ribbon (wand)
  • Crafts wire
  • Headband
  • Two small twine décor balls or plastic foam balls

Step-by-Step Directions

Simple and low cost, this butterfly costume is the perfect do-it-yourself project. Swap out the pink and orange for your child's favorite color to make this creation extra special.

DIY butterfly costume labels illustration
Illustration by Merrilee Liddiard

Step 1: Make the Wings

Enlarge and trace the wings pattern onto folded cardboard; cut out. Paint both sides of wings the lighter paint color; let dry. Paint the wing outline, segments, and spots using the darker paint color; let dry. Cut two horizontal slits in the center of wings (slits should be parallel and a few inches apart). Thread ribbon for straps through the top slit from back then through the bottom slit from the front, making an arm loop; continue threading ribbon for second arm loop. Tie ribbon into a bow on the back.

Step 2: Make the Wand

Trace the star pattern onto cardboard; cut out. Paint star with lighter color; let dry. Brush glitter glue onto star; let dry. Hot-glue the star to the end of the dowel. Tie wand ribbon to dowel at base of the star.

young girl orange butterfly costume back
Nicole Gerulat

Step 3: Make the Antennae

Cut two 7-inch-long pieces of crafts wire. Wrap an end of each wire piece around the headband ($5 for 8, Target) until secure. Hot-glue twine balls to loose wire ends and you're ready to go trick-or-treating!

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