As a scientist, I wanted something that was a nerdy version of a typical “sexy” costume. Therefore I built the “anatomically correct NOT sexy butterfly”. I wanted something animal based with plenty of jewels and lighting.

Creating the Butterfly Costume

I made a sculpture of the body, transcribed patterns, expanded to human size, cut them out of foam rubber and glued everything back together. The antennae are addressable pixel LED strips, connected to an Arduino microcontroller for computer code controlled patterns.

The wings are aluminum frames with a poly-carbonate plastic surface. I left the protective plastic on each sheet, projected a pattern onto them to be cut out, my husband spray painted the design, and then I applied jewels to hide the mounting holes.

The entire body was upholstered in black fur. The eyes are acrylic domes, painted with frosted spray paint and a tap light was mounted inside. The thorax is mounted with a strap belt. The wings are powered by a portable 12v battery pack attached to the backpack. Last but not least….lots of spray glitter.

There was a constant mob of people wanting to take photos. The inebriated crowd did try to dance on my thorax a lot. The best part was tiny kids wanting to run up and hug me.