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Are you looking for a homemade costume idea that’s not only spooky, but also versatile enough to be used for different Halloween or cosplay creatures? Well, look no further because I’ve got the ultimate solution for you! These easy DIY bat wings for Halloween are really simple to make with my free sewing pattern and you can even use them for other characters, such as dragons, vampires, demons, monsters and even superheroes!
Because this project uses non-fray fabric, there’s no need to finish off the edges, making it really quick to sew up!
Just slip your arms into the sleeve tubes and stretch out your wings! This is a really comfortable costume because you just wear it over your regular clothes. If you live in a cold climate, you could also make the sleeves extra wide in order to wear the wings over a jacket!
My easy DIY bat wings for Halloween have an extra detail that just makes it so much cooler: lines of ribbing fanning out towards the tips of the wings to resemble the bones in real bat wings! I came up with two different ways to create this effect, both of which are super simple.
How much fun is it to flap your wings and pretend that you are some other creature? This tutorial also explains how to draft your own wing pattern based on your personal measurements, so you can make your own wings that are longer or shorter, too.
You can also add some super quick and easy no-sew bat ears to complete the look! Check out my tutorial on YouTube here!
So, are you ready to whip up your own easy DIY bat wings for Halloween? Great! You can either watch the following video or continue reading below!
(Don’t get scared off by the length of the tutorial! It’s actually a really easy project, but the tutorial is long because I give a lot of detail so it’ll come out perfectly!)
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- Large piece of black non-fray fabric, such as spandex*, with 4-way stretch. This means that it can stretch both horizontally and vertically. You’ll need width at least the measurement from wrist to wrist and the length needs to be about the distance from your ear down to where you want the bottom tip of the wings to fall. For my sewing pattern, you need a piece that is at least 155 x 100 cm (61 x 40″)
- My FREE pattern for easy bat wings, but ONLY if your measurements fit mine. See the “Preparing the pattern” section further down for more information about that. (My free patterns are available to all Cucicucicoo Newsletter subscribers. The Newsletter is sent out every two weeks and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Sign up for the Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! If you are already subscribed, just look at the bottom of the last Newsletter you received for the link and password.)
- Large piece of paper or newspaper (only if you are drafting your own pattern according to your measurements. More info in the “Preparing the pattern” section.)
- Measuring tape* for taking your measurements
- Ballpoint pins* (for stretch fabric)
- Fabric shears*
- Yardstick* or quilter’s ruler*
- Tailor’s chalk*
- Black polyester thread*
- Size 90 stretch machine sewing needle*
- double needle* for stretch fabric (optional – only for 2nd ribbing technique)
(If you’d prefer receiving the free pattern and newsletter in Italian, just sign up here instead!)
Preparing the easy DIY bat wings pattern
Now that you have all your sewing materials ready, let get the pattern ready. First you need to take 5 body measurements with the measuring tape*. Write them down as you go along in either centimeters or inches.
Take your measurements
- Measurement A: Center back of the neck to the wrist (or wrist to wrist, divided by 2)
- Measurement B: shoulder down to where you want the tip of the wings to fall. I suggest using the same measurement as A, but you can make the wings longer or shorter as you wish.
- Measurement C: circumference of the wrist, divided by 2 (Don’t make it too tight. Leave a little extra space!)
- Measurement D: armpit to the wrist, minus 5 cm (or 2″)
- Measurement E: circumference of the widest part of the arm, divided by 2, and then plus 5 cm or 2″ (Again, leave some extra space.)
See if your measurements fit the free pattern
These are my personal measurements which I used to draft the free pattern:
- Measurement A: 77 cm (30¼”)
- Measurement B: 77 cm (30¼”)
- Measurement C: 9.5 cm (3¾”)
- Measurement D: 48 cm (19″)
- Measurement E: 21 cm (8¼”)
If your measurements are pretty much the same as mine, great! That means you can use my free pattern without any problems! See the “Materials” section to find out where to download it. Then you can skip this next section on drafting a pattern and proceed directly to cutting and marking the fabric.
If your measurements are different from mine, you’ll have to draft your own bat wings pattern. But don’t worry– it isn’t difficult!
Draft a custom-fit wings pattern
- Draw a horizontal line near the top of the paper the length of Measurement A.
- Draw a vertical line the length of Measurement B going down from the left end of Line A.
- Draw a vertical line the length of Measurement C going up from the right end of Line A, then another in the same way, but going down from the right end of Line A. This way there’s one line twice the length of Measurement C at the right end of Line A.
- Draw a horizontal line the length of Measurement D to the left of Line C. It doesn’t matter exactly where you make it because you will erase it later.
5. Draw a vertical line the length of Measurement E going up from Line A so that it touches the left edge of Line D.
6. Erase Line D and draw a straight line joining the tops of Lines E and C.
7. Draw a curved line joining the bottoms of Lines B and C.
8. Mark two points along this curve more or less equidistant from the bottoms of Lines B and C and from each other, thus forming three curved segments.
9. Draw upwards curves in each of the three segments, leaving the two marked points in place.
10. Make two marks along the left part of Line A, more or less equidistant from each other and from Lines B and E.
11. Draw straight lines from these two marks to the corresponding wing tips. (This is optional, but I like to do it because it really makes the pattern look like bat wings!)
12. Erase the right part of Line A and write “Fold” along the left side of the pattern.
Now cut out along the outside edge, and your self-drafted DIY bat wing pattern is all ready!
Sew easy DIY bat wings for Halloween
Cut and mark the fabric
1. Fold the black fabric in half, with the fold at the left side. Pin (with ballpoint pins*) the pattern on the fabric with the edge marked “Fold” along the fabric fold. (You can see that my pattern just barely fits horizontally onto this particular cut of fabric!)
2. Cut out the fabric around the pattern.
3. At the top of the pattern, stick a pin in the fabric fold and one in each of the two marks on the pattern.
4. Unpin and remove the pattern. Separate the two layers of fabric at the top and reposition the pins at the two marks so that there’s one pin in the top layer and another in the bottom layer, for a total of 5 pins at the top.
5. Unfold the fabric and lay it out with the right side up (if there is one). Make chalk markings at each of the five pins.
6. Draw a straight line with chalk from the center pin/marking down to the bottom center wing tip, along where the fabric had been folded.
7. Continue drawing straight lines with chalk from the other four pins/markings to their corresponding wing tips.
Sew the bone ribbing on the bat wings (two methods)
I just love the textured effect that the ribbing along the lines makes. The bat wings are much more realistic that way!
There are two ways in which you can sew these raised lines: with a zig zag stitch or with a double needle.
The double needle version is easier to sew and I personally prefer the look because it is raised enough to give that textured look without sticking out too much. If you’ve never used one, you can see my tutorial on how to sew knits with a double needle.
However, if you don’t have a double needle or don’t want to figure out how to use one, you can just use the zig-zag method. I suggest practicing first on a scrap of the black fabric you’re using before going for it on the actual wings.
Now I’ll show you (on scrap fabric, just as I suggested you do!) how to do each method.
Zig-zag stitch ribbing
Fold the fabric along the chalk line and pin in place with the fold towards the right. (If using a scrap piece of fabric, first draw a straight chalk line running down it.)
Set your machine to a zig zag stitch with stitch width 3 and stitch length 3. Position the top of the fabric under the presser foot so that the left part of the zig zag stitch is on the fabric and the right part goes just over the edge, off the fabric.
Sew down the whole line, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end. I suggest not starting right at the very edge of the fabric, or it could get jammed up in the machine.
Double needle ribbing
When you sew with a double needle, the bobbin thread creates a zig zag between the two top threads, which is useful in sewing knit fabrics because it gives a straight stitch a bit of stretch that it wouldn’t normally have.
It’s generally a good idea to raise the top thread tension to give more stretch. However, the more you raise the tension, the tighter the bobbin thread gets pulled (see the bottom picture below), which creates a raised tunnel effect on the top of the fabric. Typically we want to avoid this effect in garment sewing, but we’re actually going to accentuate it in order to make visible bone ribbing on our wings! I love how this looks!
I definitely suggest you use a scrap piece of fabric to practice on first. Draw a straight chalk line running down it, then head to your sewing machine.
Set up your machine to use a double needle. (You can look at this post of mine to see how to do this.) Use a straight stitch with length 3 and tension 9. (This is much higher tension than you’d normally use, but it will create more accentuated ribbing!)
Position the top of the chalk line between the two needles. Sew down the whole line, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end. I suggest not starting right at the very edge of the fabric, or it could get jammed up in the machine.
When you’re done sewing the five lines, remember to put the thread tension back to the usual 4-5.
Above you can see my wings before and after sewing the ribs with the double needle. I love using this chalk roller* because it creates a line that is dark enough to be visible, but light enough that it just flakes off as you sew over it.
Sew the sleeves on DIY bat wings
Now let’s add a sleeve casing so you can wear your easy DIY bat wings for Halloween!
Lay the fabric flat, wrong side up.
If you drafted your own pattern, remember that part of the very first horizontal line that you drew that you then erased? If you imagine it still being there, it would be were you can see the dashed red line in the picture below.
Fold the top of the fabric down along that imaginary line, wrong sides facing, matching the top and bottom of the very edge, so that the fold creates a straight line at the top of the fabric.
Pin along the long fabric edge as you can see above and repeat on the other side to form the second sleeve.
Set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch with stitch width 3.5 and stitch length 3. Sew down the fabric edge, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end.
Repeat on the other side, and your sleeve casings are ready!
In this picture of me wearing the wings, you can see how the zig zag creates a tube to slip your arm through. You can’t really notice it during normal use, only if you stretch out your arm so that the fabric falls perfectly straight.
Trim uneven edges
One last step! When cutting two layers of fabric, it can happen that the fabric shears don’t cut both layers evenly, leading to little bits of uneven, jagged fabric. The red arrows in the picture below show a few of the ones on my wings.
You can just leave them as they are if they don’t bother you. Otherwise, use fabric shears (the longer the better) to trim off the uneven bits.
Wear your easy DIY bat wings for Halloween
And now you are ready to put on your handmade bat costume!
Put on some black clothing and slip your arms through the sleeve openings. The stretchy fabric should go snugly around your arm, but not too tight or you might accidentally rip the seams when pulling it on. (This is why I said to leave some extra space when measuring your arms!)
And how much fun are these easy DIY bat wings for Halloween?! Remember that you don’t have to stick to just bats. This shape of wings is perfect for a fun DIY dragon costume, or perhaps a vampire or demon or other spooky monsters! But there are also superheroes and manga characters with this style of wings, like Batman! There are so many possibilities, especially because this design is so easy to modify according to what costume you want to create!
And don’t forget to add the cherry on top of your handmade bat costume with these fabulously simple DIY bat ears! You don’t even need to sew to make them and, thanks to a hidden trick, you can bend them into the position that you like the most! These can also be easily modified to create other ear shapes, too. You can find the free pattern in the same place as this wings pattern (see the “Materials” section above) and watch the following video to learn how!
Want to make some other awesome handmade costumes for Halloween or cosplay? These are two of my most popular ones which you can design according to your personal body measurements:
Do you want all the new sewing techniques and cool modern sewing projects, in addition to the FREE pattern for these easy DIY bat wings for Halloween? Then sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter here for access to dozens of free printables!
And if you want to remember this project for the future, click here to save it on Pinterest!