How to Make a Bat Wings Costume for a Dog

Wings image by Makhnach from

Include the dog in Halloween festivities with a homemade bat wing costume. Save money by making the costume at home instead of buying a premade costume for the dog. Bat wing costumes consist of two bat wings, slightly stiffened with felt or craft foam, stitched to a piece of cloth for support, then attached to a harness, allowing the dog to wear the costume while on a leash as well as at home.

Sketch the desired bat wing design on the paper using the pencil. If desired, use a template or trace the design from a picture. It is only necessary to draw one bat wing on the paper, since the pattern will be used for all other pieces to make the two wings symmetrical. Be sure to size the bat wing appropriately to fit the dog it is for. Cut out the pattern.

Fold the shiny black fabric in half with the shiny side on the inside (shiny sides touching) and the dull side facing out. Lay the pattern for the bat wing on top of the folded fabric and pin in place. Be sure to pin the pattern through both layers of the folded fabric, and leave room to repeat this process for the other wing.

Cut out the first bat wing -- two pieces of shiny fabric to form one wing -- leaving a half-inch of extra fabric around the entire edge of the pattern piece. Remove the pins and set those two pieces of fabric aside. Repeat for the second wing, still allowing a half-inch of extra fabric around the edge of the bat wing pattern.

Lay the pattern piece on top of the felt or foam and trace the pattern of the bat wing onto the felt or foam. On foam, pen or pencil should work fine, but fabric chalk may be needed to trace the pattern onto felt. Do this twice, one for each wing, then cut out each piece. There is no need to leave extra room on the felt or foam as this will be on the inside of the wings.

Sketch a rectangle onto paper, big enough to lay over the dog's shoulders but not so big that it covers the dog's back. If desired, use the dog harness to sketch a rectangle that will line up with the straps of the harness that go over the dog's back and shoulders. Cut out this pattern piece.

Lay the rectangle pattern over the shiny black fabric, folded with the shiny sides in, and pin the pattern piece in place. Cut out the rectangles (two) leaving a half-inch of extra fabric around the four edges as seam allowance.

Trace the rectangle pattern onto the foam or felt as was done for the bat wings. Cut out one rectangle, without the 1/2-inch seam allowance, and set aside.

Pin the shiny fabric bat wing pieces together, forming two bat wings (four pieces of fabric) with the shiny sides touching. Also pin the two shiny rectangle pieces together, with shiny sides touching.

Stitch one bat wing 1/2 inch from the cut edges, around three sides but leaving one short side of the bat wings open so they can be turned right-side-out. Repeat for the other wing, leaving the same side unstitched for the same reason. Stitch three sides of the rectangle, also 1/2 inch from the cut edges. Turn all three pieces (two wings and one rectangle) right-side-out. If necessary, press with an iron to form the proper shape.

Slide the foam or felt pieces inside each wing; one piece per wing. Match the shape of the wing with the foam or felt piece so it fits inside neatly. If the stitching was more than 1/2 inch from the edge, the foam or felt pieces may need to be trimmed slightly along an edge or at corners. Do the same for the rectangle piece, fitting it neatly inside the rectangle stitched of shiny material.

Fold and tuck inside the raw edge on the rectangle piece. Stitch on the outside of the rectangle (on the shiny material) a quarter-inch from the edges. Stitching will go through the felt or foam piece, and also close the edge that was left unstitched the first time.

Stitch 1/4 inch from the edges of the bat wings, stitching through the foam or felt, all the way around the bat wings. Do not tuck the raw edges inside for the wings -- simply stitch 1/4 inch in from the edge of the foam inside the bat wing.

Pin the raw edges of the bat wings to the rectangle in the desired locations so they are in the right places when placed on the dog. Be sure to pin the wings in the right position, with the bottoms facing the same way. Stitch along the raw edges, through the rectangle back piece.

Hand-stitch the rectangle piece, with the bat wings sewn on to it, to the dog harness at the corners and in a few spots along the edges, if possible. Use a black thread, or a thread to match the harness so it blends in well.

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