Being able to make your own butterfly wings can be a great way to save money on a Halloween costume or an extra item for dress-up day. Fairies like Tinkerbell are always popular, and helping your child make such an outfit can be fun for both of you.
Create a figure-8 wing base with the galvanized 16-gauge steel wire that is an appropriate size for the wearer. Wrap duct tape around the area where the two circles meet in the center. Trim any wire that is sticking out with your pliers or wire cutters and cover the ends with duct tape so they don't stick the wearer in the back.
Shape the wire into the shape of a butterfly's wings.
Cut the bottom out of the pantyhose so that you have only two legs with feet.
Pull one pantyhose leg over one side of your butterfly wings. Pin it to the duct tape on the backside so that it stays taut. Trim any excess pantyhose leg.
Repeat this step on the opposite side. Be careful not to cut into the first pantyhose wing when you trim the excess pantyhose from the second wing.
Stitch the areas on both sides of the duct tape where you pinned the pantyhose so they stay in place. Take out the pins when you're done.
Cut 2 feet of ribbon for each side of the butterfly wings. Stitch the ribbon vertically on the back of the wings, one per side side. These will allow you to tie the butterfly wings under your arms and over your shoulders to hold them in place.
Decorate your butterfly wings with beads, flowers, feathers, glitter glue, Magic Markers, or whatever else you might like.
Instead of gluing beads on your butterfly wings, consider sewing them on.
Instead of the 16-gauge galvanized steel wire, you can use coat hangers that you take apart and bend into the shape you want for your butterfly wings.
If you're child is attempting this, make sure you supervise throughout.