Woodland Fairy and Sprite Costumes

These bright fairies have nature-based motifs (left to right): One wears a butterfly crown, another dons a bouquet of flowers, and a third, a lily pad topper complete with a frog. Their ethereal skirts are a cinch -- literally -- to put together; just punch a series of holes in layers of tulle, thread cord through, and pull. Leotards and leggings complete the costumes. Nets can be used to capture woodland creatures -- or collect Halloween candy.

Photography: Anna Williams

Source: Martha Stewart


  • Tulle

  • Basic sewing supplies

  • Screw punch

  • Waxed twine

  • Embroidery needle

  • Millinery butterflies on wires

  • Hot-glue gun

  • Ribbons, 3/4- and 3/8-inch width

  • Headbands

  • Wool felt

  • Fabric flowers

  • Green tarp

  • Plastic frog

  • 9-inch wooden embroidery hoop (exterior ring only)

  • Drill

  • Piece of wood, 16 by 1/2 inch


  1. For the skirt, cut tulle 60 inches wide and twice as long as you want the skirt to be; for our sprites, the tulle was 12, 26, and 40 inches long, for skirts 6, 13, and 20 inches long. For each skirt, cut 5 to 8 pieces, depending on desired fullness. Stack layers and pin to secure; use screw punch to make holes 1 inch apart lengthwise along center. Using waxed twine and embroidery needle, stitch through holes, leaving thread ends long. Fold tulle along seam, and cinch thread for waist of skirt. Trim layers of tulle as desired for a cascading effect.

  2. For the butterfly headpieces, cut 4 pieces of tulle 5 by 30 inches; stack them. Use screw punch to make holes 1 inch apart down the center. Using waxed twine and embroidery needle, stitch through holes; then cinch thread ends and knot. Wire butterflies into tulle, and hot-glue to headband. For butterfly necklace, remove 3 butterflies from wires; hot-glue them together at the tips of their wings. Glue outer wings to 3/8-inch ribbons. 

  3. For flower headpieces, use template to cut a felt oval; hot-glue fabric flowers and 3/4-inch ribbon ties to it. For frog headpieces, use template to cut a lily pad shape from green tarp. Hot-glue a plastic frog to lily pad, and glue to headband.

  4. For nets, cut a piece of tulle 31 by 18 inches; fold it in half, and stitch it into 18-inch-long tube. Cinch and stitch one end closed. Stitch the open end around hoop. Drill a hole in wood piece, 1/2 inch from end; unscrew hoop, insert wood piece, and use hoop's screw to secure. Reinforce with hot-glue gun.


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