These DIY monarch butterfly wings made of felt are super easy to create and make a great Halloween costume or a cute addition to dress-up play. Just pair the homemade butterfly wings with some black leggings and a black top, you’ve got the perfect monarch butterfly costume! (We actually will be wearing ours to our upcoming local butterfly festival and parade.)
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*This post was originally published on September 18, 2013 and has since been updated.
Aren’t these felt butterfly wings absolutely adorable? They really are super easy to make (basically no-sew), and can be done with just a few materials. There are so many ways to change up these wings and make them your own. I’ve had readers share some gorgeous pictures of their handmade butterfly wings with all kinds of colors and designs!
Some Butterfly Books to Check Out:
Felt Monarch Butterfly Wings Tutorial
Materials for Felt Butterfly Wings
- Black felt (36 inches x 36 inches- similar to this)
- 1 Sheet of white posterboard
- Orange felt and white felt
- Glue (I used Aleenes All Purpose Tacky Adhesive Spray and Fabri-Tac for any little areas I missed.)
- Black elastic- 3/8 inches wide (Cut into: 2 pieces 15 1/2 inches long, 2 pieces 4 inches long)
- Black sewing thread
- Sewing needle or sewing machine
Directions for Felt Butterfly Wings
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.)
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.
3. Cut the black felt around the template. Unpin the cardboard and unfold the black felt to reveal your butterfly wings.
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.)
5. With your leftover black felt, cut our a center body for the butterfly.
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.
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.
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.
11. Sew the loops in place.
This is how the back of the monarch butterfly wings will look.
And here’s the front of the monarch butterfly wings!
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!