Please note: This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase from a partnership site, I may earn a commission.

DIY Butterfly Costume

Written by: | Published: October 18, 2017 | Updated: October 18, 2023

It’s Boxtume time! Use a cardboard box and paint to make a pretty DIY butterfly costume for Halloween! With all the Amazon Smile boxes that come into my house, we can DIY cute costumes for everyone in the family. Re-use one big box or combine a whole bunch of little boxes to make all kinds of fun Halloween costumes.

Today I’ve partnered with Amazon to share ideas and show you how to make cardboard box costumes. I’ll show you how to make your own Butterfly Halloween costume that you can customize with your favorite designs and colors.

DIY Butterfly costume #Boxtume designed by Jen Goode
DIY Butterfly costume #Boxtume designed by Jen Goode

DIY Butterfly Costume #Boxtumes

Don’t throw out those boxes you get from all your fabulous Amazon orders! Instead, make a costume or two… aka #boxtumes!

Pretty hand-painted butterfly costume is easier to make then you think
Pretty hand-painted butterfly costume is easier to make then you thinks

I’ve created these hand-painted butterfly wings with some of my favorite paints. However, you can use your own preferred paints and colors to customize the look of this as you’d like.

Materials

  • Empty Amazon Smile cardboard Box
  • Paint – I used both blue and green spray paint and white craft paint with a paint brush
  • Small paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Tulle or 2-3″ wide ribbon
  • Duct tape

Cardboard Box tip: I used one big box, but you can also piece together smaller boxes if that’s what you have on hand. Use duct tape to attach the pieces together and let the seams and folds of the box dictate how and where the butterfly wings fold.

Spray paint tip: I like to use two different types of spray paint because when painted together, a chemical reaction causes a cool color effect and fun blend designs. Make sure to apply one coat of paint and then immediately spray the second color on top before allowing the first to dry. It’s almost a marbling effect that is created.

I used: Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover Blue spray paint & Rust-Oleum Green Protective Enamel spray paint. I like using a spray paint comfort grip too.

Instructions

  1. Cut wing shapes from the cardboard. I used Fiskars mixed media scissors to cut the cardboard. You can also use a craft knife if you prefer.
  2. Prep your work space. Cover a work surface outside or other wellventilated area.
  3. Add base color to the wings. Spray paint one side of the wings blue. Then immediately spray paint the lower half of each wing green, covering lightly and allowing the two paints to mix a bit before drying. Let wings dry. Repeat the painting process on the second side of each wing and allow to dry thoroughly.
  4. Attach the wings together. Once the spray paint is dry, tape the two wings together down the center using duct tape. I taped both the front and back of the wings to ensure a good bond.
  5. Add art designs to the wings. Use your paint brush and white craft paint to paint designs on one side of the wings. Allow to dry. Repeat design painting on the second side of the wings, again dry thoroughly.
  6. Add straps to wear the wings. Cut a slit near the top and middle of each wing – toward the center seam of the two wings. You should end up with 4 slits. My box had some gaps where the box flaps were separated, so I hot glued the flaps together, leaving a slit in the middle of each wing and then I cut the slits at the top of each wing. Run tulle or ribbon through the slits cross in the middle of the outer side – these will be the straps for the wings so they can be worn. It’s important to ensure the cross is away from the body, so the straps fit over the shoulders of the person wearing the wings. See below for a diagram for these strap instructions.
Cut butterfly wing shapes from Amazon cardboard box
Cut butterfly wing shapes from Amazon cardboard box
Cut butterfly wing shapes from Amazon cardboard box
Add base color to the wings.
Add green spray paint on top of wet blue paint
Add green spray paint on top of wet blue paint – cool blend effect with different wet paints.
Repeat the spray paint on the second side of the wings
Repeat the spray paint on the second side of the wings.
Use white craft paint and a paint brush to add pretty painted designs on the butterfly wings
Use white craft paint and a paint brush to add pretty painted designs on the butterfly wings.

Let’s paint some art designs to decor our DIY  butterfly wings.

Here are my suggested steps to create this hand-painted design on our Butterfly Wings Costume (#Boxtume). I’ve already completed the right side to show you a completed design. I’ll show you the steps on the left side that coordinate.

Step 1 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Step 1 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Step 2 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Step 2 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Step 3 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Step 3 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Step 4 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Step 4 to create this butterfly wing design by Jen Goode
Close up of hand-painted design on Cardboard box butterfly wing costume
Close up of hand-painted design on Cardboard box butterfly wing costume
Hand-painted butterfly wing art - one side of this DIY costume.
Hand-painted butterfly wing art – one side of this DIY costume.

Add straps to the butterfly wings costume

To make the straps, I used a single piece of black tulle ribbon. Start at hole #1 in the front of the wings leaving extra ribbon to tie later. You won’t be pulling the ribbon through hole number 1 until the end. Pull the ribbon through hole #2 from the front to the back. Then pull the ribbon diagonally across to hole #3 and pull through the hole to the front. Pull up the front of the wings to hole #4 and through to the back. Finally, pull through #1 on the back to the front and tie together in a knot with the start of the ribbon. I found it best to test and adjust the lengths of the straps by having your child wear the wings before tying the final knot in place.

How to add straps to a butterfly wing costume

Customize the butterfly wing design

You can change up the colors, get more fancy or create something simple. These butterfly wings are completely customizable! I used white paint on a dark background so the white would glow with black lights for Halloween. You can add glitter or gems or even a glow paint if you’d like.

DIY Butterfly costume with art designs in blacklights
DIY Butterfly costume with art designs in blacklight

Add more art designs to the butterfly costume

Get creative and paint a different design on the front of the wings vs the back of the wings. Also, keep in mind, if you don’t want to paint the design with a paint brush, you can always use a paint marker or pen and draw your design.

Different hand-painted design by Jen Goode on front of butterfly wing costume
Different hand-painted design by Jen Goode on front of butterfly wing costume
DIY Butterfly costume - make wings with cardboard boxes and hand-painted designs
DIY Butterfly costume – make wings with cardboard boxes and hand-painted designs

Don’t forget the butterfly headband!

Here’s an easy way to DIY a butterfly headband to go wth your pretty butterfly wings. I used chenille stems (pipe cleaners) and just twisted them together to make a cute little antenna headband.

DIY Butterfly antenna headband
DIY Butterfly antenna headband
DIY butterfly costume - handpainted art by Jen Goode recycling a box from Amazon. #Boxtume
DIY butterfly costume – hand-painted art by Jen Goode recycling a box from Amazon. #Boxtume

Finish the butterfly costume with black leggings or pants with a black shirt. That’s it! You can add other accessories or accents if you’d like. Decorate a candy bucket or make a pretty mask, or just go with beautiful hand-painted wings and a headband. You decide!

If you make this project I’d LOVE to see how it turns out! Share your own DIY #Boxtumes on social media by either tagging me and using the hashtag #Boxtumes or posting to the 100Directions Facebook page.

« previous post

next post »

Jen Goode Headshot

Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

Facebook iconTwitter iconPinterest IconInstagram IconFeed Icon
Join the FREE Creative Club!

Get tutorials, free file downloads and project ideas right in your email.

5 thoughts on “DIY Butterfly Costume”

  1. Can you share a bit more about how you made and attached the straps? I read the directions but am still a bit confused! Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Carrie, thank you for the note. I’ve updated the instructions to include more details for adding the straps. I’ve also added a graphic that demonstrates how where to put the holes and how to thread the ribbon through. I hope this clarifies a bit more. Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Featured on:
Brands Jen at 100 Directions has partnered with.
100 Directions is full of tutorials and project ideas to inpsire trying something new and sharing creativity in every direction.
I work with a variety of companies to share ideas and insight about products, services and all kinds of fun, creative things to do.
I stand behind my recommendations and hope you love the things I share as much as I love sharing them with you!

 

Privacy Policy and Disclosures | Work with me

 

100 Directions is a JGoode Designs property. Copyright © 2011-2024 Jen Goode. All Rights Reserved.

100directions.com is a JGoode Designs property. Owned and operated by Jen Goode.