Paper Bats

When it comes to Halloween decor, I like it fun + cute, rather than spooky + creepy. And living in Austin, TX (which is home to millions of bats under the Congress Bridge) we’ve gone bat crazy! We love hanging our 88 bats up each year.
They’re easy to make! You’ll love them too.


I love looking at these pics over the years to see where we’ve hung them, in the old house and new one.
They’re always flying in a steady stream:

I was inspired by this idea on Country living.  I tried it out and loved it so much, I’m sharing the steps with you!

It’s very easy to do:

• First download my free template HEREThen print the page from your home computer, cut it out, and now you have a pattern piece.

• Use  black cardstock or construction paper. This package of all-black cardstock is perfect. (affiliate link)

• Fold the cardstock/paper in half and lay the bat template “on the fold” as indicated on the template.
• Cut out your bats! Don’t bother with tracing–that takes way too long. Just hold the pattern on there as you cut. Doesn’t need to be exact.
When you’re done you have these cool little guys!  I cut out about 100 bats (we must have lost some over the years since I only have 88 now!).

When you’re done cutting, hang them up by applying a small piece of scotch tape or double-stick tape on the back. If you’re hanging them outside, use duct tape.
Arrange them in any fashion you like. Bats usually fly in a stream, following each other.
And if you ever come to Austin, you must witness those  famous bats.
A year ago before we moved here, Casey and I were downtown hanging out on a dock by the river and just happened to glance up to this amazing sight:
Every night around dusk, millions of bats emerge from under the Congress Bridge (where they’ve been chirping and hiding all day) and they fly off to find food. They follow each other in a stream like this for an hour! It’s truly an amazing sight; I’ve never seen anything like it.
What I’d like to know is, which bat is the first one to yell out “go time!” I’m sure the hundreds of spectators waiting for them to fly out would like to know so we can plan our evening a little better.
Who knew bats could look so pretty?
Especially at night, by candlelight.
Enjoy your bat sightings!
Check out all of our Halloween house decor HERE, use these 5 tutorials:

  1. I just wanted to thank you for posting this! I actually made the bats for last Halloween and they were a HUGE hit. I liked them so much I’ve decided to just keep them up permanently. I gave them Christmas hats for the month of December and I am planning on making them hearts for Valentines Day.
    This is how they turned out: and this is what they look like with hats:

    Anyways, thanks again!

    • 2) Phoebe

      Sooo cute.!
      I’m also going to try making a mobile: With thin needle and black thread make handing loops at slightly different lengths, putting the thread in different places on the bat, head, wings, back so they hang differently Use thin silver wire that can be twisted a little. Hang the bats at different heights on a wire and hang it up. Usually the air will be enough so the mobile slowly moves. Creepy!

  2. 3) Rebecca Miller

    I love this so much, I’m working on it now! I was also wondering where you got the template for the smaller bat? Thanks!

    • 4) Carrie

      Just print it smaller.

  3. We’re doing this this year. The kids wanted to put them outside too…but it gets SUPER windy where we live. Not an option. 🙂 Thanks for the idea.

  4. I just love this post! It is all over pinterest, by the way! Anyway, I linked to you on my blog because this is such a cute, fun project! Like you, I don’t go in for the creepy, gross decorations so prevalent at Halloween, but this is different! And it looks like real bats! Thanks for posting!


  5. Doing these with the girls this morning. I love how simple they look both to make and on the wall. Thanks for sharing.


  6. 10) melody

    perhaps if you spray your bats with cheap dollar store hairspray the Texas humidity won’t affect them as much,( like water proofing).
    I think I’ll try making a wire circle and hang some as a mobile on strings that get longer as they go around, so they look like they are following each other in flight. I’ll probably glue 2 together with the string sandwiched between to give them more body. Tie 3or4 strings into a split ring attached to the circle to suspend it. Thanks for the cute idea

    • 11) melody

      Also thought of foam core board you can get at the Dollar stores .its usually 24×36 they would probably last well outside

    • 12) Leroll

      If you’re making these for outside, consider using thin foam craft sheets and dab a little glue where u want the wings to bend

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  8. Thanks for posting these! I tried your paper bats and they turned out great. Love your site!

  9. 15) Grace

    Just a thought – because it’s what I’m doing – make your outdoor bats out of black felt. It’s not quite as cheap as card stock, but it holds up really well in the elements.

    LOVE your bats!! They will be flying all over my house this Halloween. 🙂

  10. I love the way you decorated and took photos of the bats on the wall! Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!

  11. I love this idea & thanks for the template. 🙂 When I saw them outside, I was thinking, “She must not live in the eastern part of Texas with all our humidity!” I’m in Houston. 😉 I’d love to put these on my porch, but it looks like I’d have to do it Saturday morning before the kids get here for our Halloween party 🙂

  12. 19) Jessica Vang

    Hi, I would love to feature this fun craft in our bi-monthly newsletter for our fall edition! I work in a little dental office and have a fun newsletter we send out to our patients. If it is ok I am going to have this be a part of it! all credit and links will be given of course! if you have questions of comments please send me an email!

    -Jessica RDA

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  18. 20) sara

    I printed the template, cut it out and it is bigger than my black stock paper folded in half. Is there a way to print it just a bit smaller?

    • 21) Dana

      Just change the settings on your printer to a small percentage, if you’d like to print it smaller.

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  20. 22) Eri

    thanks for the great template! I’d like to try these this year.

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  28. 23) Andrea Andrews

    Thank you for posting this, it’s such a cute idea and I can’t wait to get started, on a side note, I couldn’t help but notice you said “Yuck” to all the bats who live in Austin with you, so I’d just like to say that bats are actually very interesting little mammals who are surprisingly good mothers. They give birth to live young and nurse them just like we do. Mind you. we don’t have to do this all while hanging upside down. Bats have very sweet little faces and if you’d look closely you’d see they have a striking resemblance to foxes, which may be why they’ve sometimes been referred to as flying foxes. Anyway, they do an amazing job of controlling the insect population and without them, we’d be overrun with gnats, mosquitos, and moths in no time. Thanks again for your post but please remember that bats are our friends, and not something to be feared. Happy Halloween.

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  31. 24) Mary Rex

    Thank you for posting this cool DIY. I am going to do it right now!

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  41. 25) Zee Zee

    I Love this idea do you mind me sharing this on my blog for extreme budgets.

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  45. 26) Helen

    Thanks for sharing this great idea, my granddaughter wants to have a Holloween / Fairy party for her birthday in November, these are going to be perfect decorations for the garden in the trees.
    With love from Sunny Cape Town South Africa

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  63. 27) Lisa // Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing and Crafting

    Those are wonderful! At first I thought that they were all strung together and hanging and I was thinking how hard it must’ve been to hang them like that. But duh! Scotch tape! Such a simple idea, but makes such a great effect! 🙂 Lisa

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  81. 28) Rain San Martin

    Such a simple and effective bat decoration tutorial! I’m going to get started on this with our son.

    • 29) Dana

      Thanks Rain, I hope your family loves them as much as ours does!

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  87. 30) estelle Howell

    Thank you for the great tutorial. is wonderful. The children will be doing this project in school!!!

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  93. 32) Michele

    I don’t live to far from where you are, I get to enjoy all the bats(largest bat colony ever) that venture out at dusk from the Bat cave in the garden ridge hill country area, they fly over my house, I love sitting out on my patio with a glass of wine and watching them with their acrobatic maneuvers. I will enjoy having my bats also flying around my house from your pattern! Thanks!

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  95. 33) monika

    this looks almost like a picture perfect and I never knew bats could look os pretty!

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