Anda Corrie is an American artist, armchair anthropologist, and autodidact living in Berlin, Germany with her young family. She works as a graphic designer for Etsy by day, and also frequently by night. Stalk her thrilling life on Pinterest, Spoonflower, Instagram, or her woefully neglected blog.
As the proud mama of a kindergarten-aged daughter, I operate in a universe of peer-influenced taste that runs the wide, wide spectrum from pink to princess to unicorn to pink. Needless to say, when my kid announced out of nowhere—with a ferocious snarl—that she intended to be a VAMPIRE BAT THAT DRINKS BLOOD for Halloween, I was pretty much thrilled. Bat costumes are on the easy end of the possible DIY costumes your kids could ask for, and look great as they fly around the neighborhood trick-or-treating or munching on Halloween-themed snacks at a Halloween party.
After confirming several times that she didn’t actually mean a pink princess unicorn vampire bat, I got to work making an easy DIY bat costume that will not only see her through this season’s Halloween activities, but dress up time for months to come.
DIY bat costume at a glance
Time: 1.5 hours
- Long-sleeve knit shirt that fits your child
- 1 yard lightweight woven fabric for wings
- Chalk and about 2′ of string or yarn, for marking fabric
- 5-6” diameter saucer
- Scissors, thread, and your sewing machine
How to make a DIY bat costume
Step 1: Prepare the bat wing fabric for cutting
Fold your fabric in half and lay the shirt next to it flat, with the arm slightly raised and extending over the fabric.
Tie one end of the string to your chalk.
Place the chalk at the cuff and pull the string taut to the armpit of the shirt. Hold down that end of the string as you arc the chalk across the fabric from cuff to bottom hem of the shirt, drawing a curved line. Use the chalk to trace the shirt seam and sleeve onto the fabric.
Easy DIY tip: Some moms report that using a soft knit jersey fabric prevents the need for hemming—in this case you would not fold the fabric before cutting. Instead just cut the wings for an even faster bat costume option.
Step 2: Cut bat wing along chalk line and repeat for second wing
Cut out the resulting shape—since the fabric is folded, you’ll have two pieces. Repeat on the opposite side of the shirt to create the second wing. You should now have four total wing shapes, two for each side of the shirt.
Step 3: Trace and cut inverted scallops on the diagonal
Grab a plate and trace half-circles along the curved edge of each pair of bat wing pieces and cut out.
Step 4: Sew scalloped edges of bat wings
With right sides together, sew a straight stitch along the curved edges of each wing.
Notch fabric along this side and clip the corners.
Step 5: Attach bat wings to black shirt
Turn the shirt inside-out. Carefully open up the seams of the shirt along its sides and the underside of the sleeves.
Insert the wings, lining up and pinning the two unsewn sides of each wing along the seams you’ve just opened on the shirt. It will look pretty bunched up, especially in the arms, so pin and then sew one side at time to make it easier to handle.
Sew a straight stitch along where you’ve pinned, essentially re-closing the seams of the shirt. When you turn the shirt right side out again, it will look like the photo. But don’t turn it yet—repeat with the opposite side first.
And then you’re all done! A DIY bat wings costume ideal for a halloween party, or even just for a true bat-lover. Put the shirt on your kid and watch them fly all over the house.
All photographs by Anda Corrie.