You’ll make a set of wings that raise themselves and become the back of Maleficent’s cape, as well as the other parts of the costume, including bodice, skirt, and headpiece.

Project Steps

Begin with the wings. Here’s the basic idea: Use two pneumatic cabinet hinges to attach the PVC pipe to the pressboard to make the wing structure.

The wings themselves are made of black satin cut in a semi-circle shape with casings at the top, sewn to the PVC frame. I intentionally didn’t give them more significant winglike structure so that they were more “in the transformation” rather than completely transformed state.

Make a simple, deep-V neck top out of a sturdy woven material with a pocket in the back the size of the pressboard piece, which it will be inserted into. Use a size zipper to get in and out.

I pieced together some ancient patterns and made up some of my own for the bodice and the skirt. Feel free to shape it however feels “dragon” to you.

To dragon scale the bodice, cut rows of dragon scale and sew them one line at a time to a base garment. I’ve uploaded the pattern for curved or straight dragon scale here:…

For the skirt, using a swirled pattern will help represent the fire that consumes Maleficent. Here’s just such a pattern!…

Sew green EL wire into the skirt, mainly behind the green panels, with the battery pack clipped to your waistband, and turn it on to make your “flames” flicker.

The rest is details that are up to you. Cut horn shapes and stuff them with polyester filling for your headpiece. The mask is an alligator mask I found at the dollar store and painted. Don’t forget the green makeup!

The finished costume represents Maleficent’s transformation into a dragon. It begins looking like Maleficent, a black cape and her horned headpiece.

The dragon mask is hidden under the cape and held with a snap to the bodice.

The front of the cape is held with magnets to the back neckline of the dragon bodice.

The wings are held down with snaps that have one half on the wing and one half on the bodice.

To make the transformation, pull the front of the cape and drop it, swiftly move the mask to the headpiece, where its magnets grab magnets hidden in the headpiece, and release the snaps for the wings, which will automatically lift thanks to the pneumatic hinges


I have several blog posts about the makeup and mask making as well as some of the other pieces at