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Dragon wings costume diy tutorial

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Dragon wings costume diy tutorial

How cute is this comfy, dragon wings costume diy! If I’m going to take the time to sew something, I want it to be comfy, so I picked a stretchy “scale” fabric that is easy to wear and fun to watch shimmer. I’m excited to share that I’m collaborating with JOANN, who sells the amazing fabric, to share this project! That means they compensated me for my materials and my time, but of course I only share products & stores that I already use and love, and all opinions are my own.

This is a hoodie “hack” costume which means I didn’t sew the base (check out more hoodie Halloween costume ideas here!). This is a really practical way to make costumes, I think, and will now be comfy and high enough quality to keep wearing it over and over again.

I added a little tail; it would be super fun to let kids decorate the base of their tale however they’d like, too! A kam snap holds this one on so it is easy to take off for washing, but you could hand sew it in really quickly if you’d prefer.

If you like this post, check out these other posts while you’re here!

The spikes feel so cool! You could put a line of them down the top of the sleeve if you were feeling really motivated, as well.

Isn’t she cute? We went out to dinner that night and she heard all about it. A renaissance festival is in our future so I’m hoping she wants to wear this to that event too!

Pin this dragon wings costume diy for later using this link or this photo:

Sew up a diy dragon costume with this easy tutorial! Pretty 'scale' fabric makes it easy and your kids will be able to wear this way after Halloween is over. See how to sew dragon wings fast in this diy hoodie costume idea. #ad #handmadewithjoann #halloween #sewing

Dragon wings costume diy

If you’d rather buy a cheap PDF of the tutorial and spike pattern piece, you can buy one here and skip the ads and newsletter signup!




  • I broke these into 3 different parts; wings, spikes, and tail!
  • I used microtex needles for this thin, stretchy fabric
  • A walking foot makes it much easier to sew this project, which feeds the top and the bottom, keeping it all even, and a serger makes the construction faster but is not necessary.
  • Use a 1/2″ seam allowance unless advised otherwise
  • If you are using a sewing machine be sure to use a stretch stitch! The one that looks like a zig zag or a triple straight stitch.


create a dragon wing pattern

Step 1-Create a wing pattern! I marked where the cuffs met on the body and the sleeves, then free-handed in between those. You’ll then want to draw a seam allowance (the area you’ll be sewing and then trimming) around the shape you want for your wing. I went with a rough 1/2″ seam allowance. Lay it on the fashion fabric (this is NOT felt, it is just the wrong side of the scale fabric) and cut two, mirrored.

sewing dragon wings

Step 2- Trim the seam allowances closer. Layer the pattern pieces right sides together and pin, you will sew with 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around leaving a 4″ open gap at the short, straight end.

how to sew scale wings

Step 3- Trim down the seam allowance and cut off the corner tips outside the stitching line. Pull the wings right side out, poking out the points, and pin all the way around. Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance, which will help define the wings and close the gap.

bejeweled dragon wings diy

Step 4- Sew on some gems! I bought these in store at JOANN but couldn’t find the exact ones online. My kids are so thrilled!

iridescent dragon fabric

Step 5- Sew the wing on! I used a simple slip stitch and attached it to the seam allowance of the arm & bodice. Just match it up with the edges of their hoodie.

Repeat steps 1-4 for a second wing. Pay attention the direction of the scales if you care that they look the same!

Spikes & pants

Step 1– Cut! Cut & sew leggings according to the pattern. Cut 2 scale fabric pieces, from the large spike pattern, for each spike you want to use (my 4t hoodie used 7 spikes) and then 2 felt pieces, from the small spike pattern, to correlate with each spike. Cut 2 more for the tail.

Step 2– Use your scissors to trim down the seam allowance and cut small notches to make the curve super smooth.

how to make fabric spikes

Step 3– Turn the spike right side out, poke the top out gently, and slide a stack of 2 felt smaller spikes inside. Use a long basting stitch to secure the bottom and keep it all even.

Step 4- Place your spikes along the hood to determine placing and then use your seam ripper to rip out the center seam far enough so the main scale can slide in. Repeat for the rest of them.

This shows about how far to slide it in, roughly 2″ deep.

Step 5: Sew the openings back together! Just like a sandwich with the spikes in the middle, sew along the edges. Make sure the edges haven’t curled up so it’s a clean seam. I wish I’d used my walking foot for this, but it was fine with several pauses to readjust. I sewed with approximately 1/4″ seam allowance so you catch all the layers. I had to seam rip mine back open a few times as I played with scale, leaving the hood a little stretched out. Subsequently, I chose to hand baste them in place before machine sewing, it makes it easier to catch all the layers.

Note: the spikes seam allowance will be jutting into the hood portion. You can trim this flush with the original seam; this particular hoodie I’m using has a lined hood so you can’t see them at all.

iridescent dragon fabric

Step 6: Hand sew the remaining scales down the spin, just at the top or all the way around if desired. I used a slip stitch here as well. [2020 update – I’ve had a few folks asking for clarification on how these are sewn on, so see the below photos for clarification!]


Step 1- Cut the tail; roughly 4″ wide by 11″ long. Pin the long sides and sew everything except the one top end together.

sewing easy dragon tail

Step 2- Pull the tail right side out and stuff carefully. Use your accent felt spikes and sew them together, leaving a gap at the top. Slide the tail through the gap, make sure it is straight, and sew the top shut. Then sew or attach your tail to the hoodie! I opted for a KAM snap, so it is easy to take on and off for long car rides, etc.

If you try this dragon wings costume diy idea, or sew anything else with this fun fabric from JOANN I’d love to see it!

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Sunday 10th of March 2024

Thank you for sharing such an amazing dragon, Stephanie. I'm using upcycled sweatshirts to make matching dragon family hoodies for my kids and grandkids and great niece and her daughter. Hopefully I'll be able to get the kids together to get pictures. 😉 I don't know if you know but the links to JoAnn's don't work. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 12th of March 2024

Hi Billi! That sounds so so fun and I would LOVE to see pictures when you're done, what a great project. I'm super sorry about the JOANN links, they changed their program for affiliate links without any notice and I'm having to hunt them down and update them manually. I just fixed the ones in this post -- I can't believe it but even 6 years later they still have the same scale fabric :) Hope the sewing goes well, thank you for notifying me about those links!!

Beth Onstad

Friday 13th of October 2023

I love the patterns you should see my daughters sewing she is incredible! This is her instagram “Anabell Blossom” so go check it out.

Sheila Hornyak

Sunday 9th of October 2022

My granddaughter is excited to have this for Halloween, so I got the exact fabric and new microtex needles, but my machine will not sew it without skipping most of the stitching. Is there a trick I don't know about how to sew this fabric? I am def not a hand sewer. Ugh!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 9th of October 2022

Hi Sheila! Ack!! I'm assuming your machine it sewing fine on other types of fabric (but maybe double check if you're not sure!). I would probably try some stretch needles if shopping is easy, sometimes machines work better with those -- and/or slide some tissue paper underneath as you stitch? Definitely a pain :/ I usually use a walking foot on top with stretch fabrics, too.

Mary Ann

Friday 7th of October 2022

I love this pattern! I’m making this for my DIL so converting to an adult. Where can I get a printable PDF of your instructions of the dragon costume without all the ads? Thank you & I look forward to more of you DIY’s

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 7th of October 2022

I've experimented with offering cheap PDFs of free patterns - here is the listing for that particular tutorial. Ads are a pain, I know, but they're how I pay my bills thus far! Let me know if you have any questions! Stephanie


Monday 26th of September 2022

I made this for my great niece last year and it was amazing, and a lot of fun to make, thanks so much for the pattern.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 7th of October 2022

I love to hear that Deborah, thanks for taking the time to come back and comment :)

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