Halloween 2019: DIY Very Hungry Caterpillar + Butterfly Costume

This year is Noa’s first Halloween and Adina is still young enough to go along with a coordinating costume, so I knew the girls would be matching for the holiday…I just didn’t know what their costumes would be! If you’ve been following me for a little while, you know I love creating all kinds of costumes and when possible, having a matching theme. Check out my DIY costume posts here - Unicorn, Rosie the Riveter Costume, Lady Bug and Bee, Baby Shark Family. Adina has been talking about being a rainbow butterfly for Halloween for months so that was my starting point. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of our family’s favorite books so one night when we were reading it before bedtime, the costume idea just clicked! Noa is the perfect size and actually reminds me of the Very Hungry Caterpillar ;) and Adina would get to be her beloved rainbow butterfly! Keep reading to see how I the girls’ matching caterpillar and butterfly costumes came to life:



  1. Cardboard

  2. Poster board

  3. Paint (I used acrylic red, blue, purple, green, and yellow)

  4. Paint brushes

  5. Clear Duct Tape

  6. Red Beanies

  7. Pipe Cleaners

  8. Felt (I used different shades of green) or craft foam (I used yellow)

  9. Fabric glue

  10. Scissors

  11. Pencil/pen/marker


  1. I started with the butterfly wings. Using a pencil, draw the outline of the wings on your cardboard and lightly label the color of each wing on your drawing. I loosely copied the design from the last page of the book. (The size of your wings will depend upon the size of the person wearing them. Make sure you have a sense of how big they need to be or measure in advance to be sure.)

  2. Begin by going over your outline with a thin line of paint and continue by filling in the lines with each color.

  3. Allow the paint to dry. Using a strong pair of scissors, cut out your wings.

  4. You can paint the other side of your wings if you used plain cardboard. In my case, there was writing on the cardboard from the mail (I used an old Amazon package) so I traced the wings on white poster board and used duct tape to attach them. Then I painted the poster board side of the wings.

  5. The last step of the wings is creating straps so they can be worn easily. You can use string or another material to to wrap two loops on each side of the wings. In my case, I happened to have a small yellow fabric backpack. I inserted the wings through the backpack loops and secured them with clear duct tape.

  6. For the caterpillar costume, you’ll need a green t-shirt. First, cut off the sleeves. Next, line up strips of green felt in your desired size and pattern. Attach the felt strips to the shirt using fabric glue and let it dry. Once it is dried, flip the t-shirt over and repeat on the back side. If your t-shirt is too big (mine was an “adult small” meant to fit a one-year-old so it was too big), you can make it smaller by using safety pins or sewing over the extra fabric.

  7. The eyes and antennae will bring the whole costume together! Using a pen or a marker, trace ovals in your yellow craft foam and cut them out using your scissors. Next, trace slightly smaller ovals with the green felt and glue them on top of the yellow felt with your fabric glue. Once the oval eyes are dried, glue them to your red beanie.

  8. Cut out a small circle in your green felt to create the nose and glue it slightly below the eyes right in the middle of the hat.

  9. Using your scissors, cut four small slits in the top of the beanie (lined up with the center of your eyes.) Take a green pipe cleaner and loop it through the holes. Then twist the two ends of the pipe cleaner together to create the antennae. I originally thought I would attach pom poms to the top of the antennae, but I decided to bend the top slightly instead.

  10. Finally, put on your green attire if you are the caterpillar or yellow and purple attire if you are the butterfly and voila - you are the beloved characters from The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

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I am so happy with how these costumes turned out! And I loved that I was able to mostly use items that I already owned! The girls looked adorable in their respective costumes and hats kept their heads warm on a chilly October day. Adina absolutely loved being a butterfly and Noa nailed it as the cutest Very Hungry Caterpillar! We had so much fun with the girls’ first coordinating costumes and I can’t wait to make more memories in the many matching costumes to come!