Recently I was going through my local thrift stores trying to find a Halloween costume for my 3 month old daughter. I came across an Infant size alligator costume that was cute but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. After looking at it for a while, I realized that all I needed to do was add some simple wings and I could make it into an awesome baby dragon costume. So that is what I did.
Here is a simple guide on how you can add basic foam wings to any Halloween costume.
Step 1: Materials
Here are the materials and tools that you will need to complete this project.
Children's Halloween Costume (an alligator in this case)
Step 2: Sketch the Shape of the Wings
Draw out the basic shape of the wing. This can be whatever you want it to be. If you need help finding inspiration, you can do a quick image search online. For simplicity, I made my wings half the size of my sheet of craft foam. That way, I could make both wings as a single piece.
Step 3: Transfer the Sketch Onto the Craft Foam
Next you need to transfer your drawing onto the foam. There are a lot of ways that you can do this. You can go over the lines with a dark marker so that the ink bleeds through the page onto the foam. You can cut through the paper with a knife. You can use a needle to poke through the paper along the outline. I simply traced over the lines with a pencil pressing hard on the paper so that it left an indention on the foam where the lines were.
Step 4: Cut Out the Wings
Next use a pair of scissors to cut out the wings.
Step 5: Draw the Outline of the Wing Bones
Now you have the rough shape of the wings cut out. To make the cutout look more like actual wings, I used a marker to draw in the outlines of the wing bones. This made my wings look similar to bat wings.
Step 6: Attach the Grommets
Next you need to attach a pair of grommets. This will give you strong mounting holes for sewing the wings onto the costume.
First I used a pencil to mark where the grommets will be mounted. Then I made a hole in the foam by pressing the grommets through the foam at the marked locations. Lastly I crimped the grommets in place with a pair of grommet pliers.
Step 7: Sew the Wings Onto the Costume
The last step is to sew the wings onto the costume. Position the wings where you want them to be attached on the back of the costume. Then using your needle and thread make loops of thread through the grommet and through the fabric. Try to loop the thread through the toughest parts of the material (usually near the seam).
Step 8: Bonus: Make Foam Horns to Go With the Wings
After cutting out the wings, I had a lot of craft foam left over. So I decided to make some simple horns to go with the it.
These are really simple. Start by cutting off a long strip of the craft foam. Then roll it into a cone. Gently bend it into whatever shape that you want. Then put a large drop of hot glue on the end of the strip and roll it up. Press down on the section with the glue until it has fully cured. Make any final adjustments to the shape then put a generous amount of hot glue on the inside of each horn. Lastly cut off any excess foam sticking out around the base of the horn so that they can sit flat.
Step 9: Bonus: Attach the Horns
Put a small bead of hot glue around the base of the horns then stick them onto the head of the costume. Hold them firmly in place until the glue fully hardens. Now your dragon has fun little horns to go with the wings.
Step 10: Try to Take Pictures of a Toddler in Wearing the Costume
No child's Halloween costume is complete without cute staged photos. Start by setting up a backdrop with a bunch of relevant props. In this case, I used a bunch of shiny plastic treasure for a dragon's horde. Then find a baby (preferably one in a good mood). Carefully put the costume onto the baby. Try not to mess up the new wings in the process.
Finally set the baby down among the props and try to take some good pictures. After a few unsuccessful attempts, try to comfort the now screaming baby. If you can manage to get the baby calmed down, you can try again. Repeat this process until you eventually give up and just take pictures with the costume on a manikin. Hopefully your baby will be more agreeable on Halloween. If you are lucky you might get them to wear the costume for at least a few minutes.