Felt Monarch Butterfly Wings (Tutorial)

If you are still searching for costume ideas for your kids now that Halloween is approaching, these felt monarch butterfly wings are very simple to make!  We actually will be using them to wear to our upcoming local butterfly festival and parade, but they may also make an appearance at Halloween. If you pair the wings with some black leggings and a black top, you’ve got the perfect monarch butterfly costume! (This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.)

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Monarch Butterfly Wings Tutorial~ Buggy and Buddy


Monarch Butterfly Wings Tutorial



1. Draw half of a wing shape on the white posterboard using pencil and cut it out. (I measured from the center of Lucy’s back to the edge of one hand. This distance was just under 22 inches.)

Butterfly Wing Template 2. Take your piece of black felt and fold it in half. I had to fold mine in half diagonally for the wing to fit. Place the center edge of the wing template along the folded edge of the black felt. Pin it in place.

folded and pinned

3. Cut the black felt around the template. Unpin the cardboard and unfold the black felt to reveal your butterfly wings.

Black felt cut into wing shape

 4. Now it’s time to add the black and white design. I started with my white felt, cutting various circles and placing them along the edges of the wings. Then I cut teardrop-like shapes from the orange felt and placed them onto the wings. (It helps to always cut two shapes at a time. That way you’re guaranteed to always have two identical shapes~ one for each wing.)

Felt Monarch Butterfly Wings

5. With your leftover black felt, cut our a center body for the butterfly.

close up of center

6. Once you’re happy with how you’ve arranged the felt pieces, glue them in place. I used the spray adhesive to do this. Later when I found corners that I had missed, I used the Fabri Tac to stick them down. Allow the wings to fully dry.

7. Now it’s time to sew on the elastic. We’ll be making two large loops in the center of the wings to place arms through and a small loop for the tip of each wing to place the thumbs through. Turn the wings over so the wrong side is facing up.

8. Take your two long pieces of black elastic (each 15 1/2 inches long) and fold them in half forming a loop with each one. Pin them to the wings with the cut edges in the center top of the butterfly wings. (I’m using white elastic in the photo below so you can see it more clearly.

loops up closePinning large elastic loops to back of wings

9. Cut out a small rectangle from your leftover black fabric. Place it on top of the elastic ends to cover them up. Sew around the entire rectangle, securing both elastic pieces in place.

Back straps sewn 10. Now that the arm loops are sewn in place, it’s time to attach the thumb loops. (Again, I’m using white elastic for you to see it more clearly. The actual wings use black elastic.) Take one of the 4 inch pieces of black elastic and form it into a loop. Pin it at the end of one wing. (You can hold the wings up to your child to estimate about where his/her thumb will be.) Pin the loop in place. Do this for the other loop on the remaining side.

white loop

11. Sew the loops in place.

loop directions

This is how the back of the monarch butterfly wings will look.

completed back

 And here’s the front of the monarch butterfly wings!

Felt Monarch Butterfly Wing Tutorial~ Buggy and Buddy

Once the kids are done wearing these for the butterfly parade (and possibly Halloween), they’ll go right into our dress-up basket in the playroom! I’m sure there’s tons of imaginative play in our future with these adorable butterfly wings!

Felt Monarch Butterfly Wings Tutorial~ Buggy and Buddy


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  1. Love this! They look so beautiful on your little girl. I can’t wait to try and make my girls some butterfly wings! Thanks for sharing.
    Tulip recently posted…Popular Children’s Books and Mom’s Library #61My Profile

  2. I LOVE this! It looks so gorgeous on Lucy, I cant wait till my little girl is older to make such lovely things. Right now, she pulls things to bits. sharing /pinned.
    Nicolette Roux @ Powerful Mothering recently posted…20 Adorable Halloween Decorations Under $20My Profile

  3. Wow – beautiful. You are so creative. These would be great for a dress up bin too.
    Sarah @ How Wee Learn recently posted…‘Just’ a Nature WalkMy Profile

  4. This is so beautiful! If my daughter saw this right now, I bet she would be sold. Then I would ask my mother-in-law to make it :).
    Katie recently posted…Bug GamesMy Profile

  5. These are gorgeous! I’m pinning this and really hoping I get around to giving it a go one day!
    Jody recently posted…DIY Compost: Urban Minimalist Composting – Conservation CornerMy Profile

  6. That is super. I love monarch butterflies. And you could adapt it for other species of butterfly!
    Ginny recently posted…Snowdrop ShoesMy Profile

  7. We don’t do Halloween costumes as much here in the UK but I shall be looking for an opportunity to use this wonderful idea nonetheless!
    Lucinda @ Navigating By Joy recently posted…How to Make a Balloon HovercraftMy Profile

  8. My daughter’s store-bought wings just bit the dust the other day, and she is very sad. I’ll have to try this for her…although I’ll have to find a pink butterfly to use as a model. =)

  9. awesome! My girls would love these. Thanks for posting the tutorial.
    mummyzilla recently posted…Mermaid BarbieMy Profile

  10. Those look amazing and I love no sew costume ideas!
    Lorie recently posted…50+ Fall Activities for Kids: Kid’s Co-opMy Profile

  11. They are stunning. What a fantastic idea for Halloween.
    Julie recently posted…Persia Unit Study – Battle of MarathonMy Profile

  12. Chelsey, you are my felting idol! These wings are fabulous and little Lucy is just as cute as can be. :)
    Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest recently posted…Playdough and Fall WildflowersMy Profile

  13. I can see my girls dancing around the house in these!!! thanks for the instructions!
    Piwimama recently posted…MagicBlox Online Kids library: Read Great Books for Free!My Profile

  14. This outfit is as gorgeous as its model. Too bad my daughter wants to be a ghost for Halloween and not a butterfly :) Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!
    Natalie recently posted…Can You Hear It – Afterschool Blog HopMy Profile

  15. That is simply AWESOME! And you could make any sort of butterfly, bird or fairy wings with this pattern. (Dang, wish I had a girl now.)
    Denise recently posted…PINspiration for Kids: Paper Pumpkin Craft for Fall or HalloweenMy Profile

  16. What beautiful wings!
    Thanks for linking to Tutorial Thursdays on Marigolds’ Loft.
    Your tutorial will be featured tomorrow :)
    Look forward to seeing you again this week.
    Marigolds’ Loft
    Pinned :)
    Natalie recently posted…New Wednesdays ;)My Profile

  17. This is a very cute craft project just in time for Halloween too. The wings turned out just lovely! Thank you for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop :-)
    Jill recently posted…Bear-y Fun Number PackMy Profile

  18. You’re going to have a very happy little girl on Halloween – what a beautiful costume! Thanks so much for sharing at After School.
    Anna@The Measured Mom recently posted…Teach letters and numbers with Hungry Harry, a fabulous e-book for kids!My Profile

  19. Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!
    Carrie recently posted…Flamingo Friday: Ping Pong Ball Flamingos & SpeciesMy Profile

  20. This is such an adorable costume idea. I am featuring on Mom’s Library this week at Pounds4Pennies!
    Amy Greene recently posted…The Best Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Recipe with PastaMy Profile

  21. just gorgeous! My kids will be so pleased I pinned this one day when they need a costume!
    katepickle recently posted…Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.My Profile

  22. Love this SOOO much! I just found out that we have a local monarch butterfly parade on the 19th, so I’m looking at monarch butterfly wings instead of going to bed OR working on my own blog ;) Love, love, LOOOOVE!
    Stephanie @ Twodaloo recently posted…DIY “Quilted” Firefighter HatMy Profile

  23. Hi! Love your idea!! We included your butterfly costume in a round-up we did on no-sew costume ideas! Thank you for sharing!


  24. A search on google to grant my daughter’s wish landed on your wings. Beautiful.. i did a pink version and my girl is in love . It was time well spent for both of us.
    Here’s my version

    You are on my weekly reading list ..Thanks.

    • Those wings turned out absolutely beautiful!! I absolutely adore them and especially love that it provided quality time together! Thank you so much for sharing! I’d love to share your finished photo on the Buggy and Buddy Facebook page if you don’t mind. I think others would love to see your version!

  25. This is beautiful and a very fun project!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Syb recently posted…Baby cocoon and hatMy Profile

  26. This is darling! LOVE the idea and pinning! ;)
    Kim Byers {The Celebration Shoppe} recently posted…FREE Valentine Downloads {Owls, Dinosaurs, Ladybugs and Robots}My Profile

  27. Hi, thanks for the tutorial a blessing to find it as my daughter needs a costume for the school play. I was wondering what does it look like from the front? Thanks for sharing.
    From Oman, Clo

  28. Just made these, fairly true to your original. They turned out PERFECT! Thank you, thank you. Your directions were simple to follow and the whole costume came together in just a couple hours :)

  29. Hello! These r gorgeous!!!! Is there a template to print for the wings?

    • Thank you, Erinn! Sorry, there is no template for the wings, but it’s not too hard to free hand! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  30. How do the wings attach to the dress? Such a cute idea I’m making an adult version for Halloween this year!

    • I love that idea, Cassie! How fun! The wings aren’t attached to any clothing. They’re just held on the body with the two straps at the shoulder and two at the hands. :)

  31. What a beautiful monarch!! Thanks for sharing the directions. I have been looking for a monarch butterfly costume since our move to Northern California has been finalized, and my kids have gotten interested in monarchs and its migration. When I came across your blog,I knew I found the perfect costume. Followed the directions, and it turned out great. Now if only my little one would stand still for a picture….
    From your post, I gather you are around the same area as we would be moving in. I have heard its beautiful!!!
    Tania recently posted…Rustic Log Succulent PlanterMy Profile

  32. I just made these for myself, a 20-year-old, and I loved them! I had to extend the length and width a bit but I am happy with the result. The will surely make a lovely addition to my butterfly Halloween costume! Thank you for the tutorial! :)

  33. I made these for my almost two year old for Halloween this year. What a beautiful idea and it turned out mostly great! I adjusted for her size, which worked out fine. This was my intro to spray adhesive and fabri tac and a couple of the orange and white pieces fell off. (Maybe I didn’t let it dry long enough? not sure what happened there.) Also, she didn’t like having her thumbs stuck in anything, but we were able to have her keep the arms on and so it just hung on her back, which didn’t look too bad :) Thanks for a great and easy butterfly costume overall!

  34. Thanks for the great post!!!!!! Just made my daughter a butterfly this year :) I adjusted the specs a bit to work for a 2 yr old, but the design is the same. I started by making it double sided so I could sew the sides together to keep a hanger inside. Then I attached elastic the armpits so she could wear it backpack style.

    Here is a link to my post, scroll down to check out the picture!

  35. Sindhu Nair says:

    Hey, thanks a lot for this post. My daughter wanted to dress up as a butterfly for her fancy dress function at school. Your post really helped me make the butterfly wings for her and she loved them. She still plays with them @ home. And best part, she could help me with making them too. Thanks again


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