How to make Fabric Fairy Wings

Materials Needed:

12 gauge wire
organza fabric (color of your choice)
wire cutters (with needle nose pliers)
hot glue gun
hot glue sticks
one yard of half inch wide braided elastic
spray paint (color of your choice)
glitter (optional)
tulips fabric paint (optional)
fake flowers (optional)
22 caliber wire a.k.a florial wire (optional)
feathers (optional)

Step A: Designing Your Wings
First, sketch out the general shape you want you wings to look like. Think about the size, shape and color scheme. You can take inspiration from several different creatures like dragonflies, butterflies, fish tails, bat wings, anything!

Step B: Bending Out the Wire
First cut two pieces of wire equal in size. Bend out one wire in the shape of your design using the needle nose pliers. Its best to lay the wire on the ground and shape it from there. This way your frame will lie flat, making it easier to attach the fabric later on. Be sure to leave an length of 7 inches of wire on both ends to make the two wings connect. Bring the ends together and wrap the wires around each other to close the wing. There should still be enough wire to make the harness. Once you are finished shaping one side, use that as a template for your other wing. This way both wings will match up.

(Optional) To add extra stability cut two pieces of wire for each wing. Using 22 caliber wire, twine the extra bars of wire to the base of the harness and tips of the wings. This will separate each wing into three sections.

Step C: Attaching the Fabric
The fabric you use on the wings is a transparent organza. The stiffer the organza the tighter it will look on the frame.

1. First you will want to spray paint your wire to match the color of the organza you will be covering it with.
2. Start by ironing your organza, make sure there are no creases in your fabric. Then lay the organza down and place the wire wing frame on top. Cut around the shape leaving one to two inches of excess fabric around the outside edges of the frame.
3. Next cut slits into the excess fabric horizontally towards the wire. Repeat around the entire frame.
4. Squeeze out a short line of hot glue on to the wire at the base of one of the flaps you cut. Immediately fold over the flap before the glue drys. Make sure the crease connects to the wire. Repeat this connecting all flaps to the wire. (while gluing the flaps be sure that all the fabric stays taught on the frame)
5. Now that your fabric is attached to the frame you can cut off the extra fabric from the flaps.

(Optional) If you added the extra stability bars to the frame, cut the fabric for each panel of the wing and glue each one on separately. After you have glued down the top and bottom panels add glue to the support bars to attached the middle panel, your not going to be able to roll it under the wire as much as the other panels. Pull the fabric underneath the frame towards the outside edges of the wings and continue gluing/trimming.

Step D: Attaching the Two Wings Together
Twine the lengths of excess wire together to form the square shaped harness. After they are connected wrap ribbon around the harness to hide the wire.

Step E: Decorating Your Wings!

This is the fun part! Nows when you give your wings your personal touch. There are several different way you can decorate your wings. Many of which can be found online. Here are a few of my favorites.
1.Spray paint the tips of your wings whatever color you wish. I’ve always like to fade the tips off to a different color.
2. Using tulips fabric paint, paint veins throughout the wing and sprinkle glitter over them. The fabric paint catches the glitter.
3.To give the harness more glamor, hot glue fake leaves and flowers at the base of the wings and on the wire.

Step F: Wearing Your Wings
Tie length of the elastic strip to the top and bottom bars creating a back strap. Repeat on opposite side. The wings are worn like a backpack.

Gwim - August 4, 2010 - 5:51 pm

Can you get that intricate detail by using pantie hose over you wings?

lillyxandra - August 4, 2010 - 6:04 pm

I think so! I personally have never made wings in the pantie hose method but I have seen other artist who have made amazing wings using that method. Check out this tutorial –

Jessica - July 3, 2012 - 12:39 pm

I am going to try this! This is a very good explanation, very clearly discribed. Thanks!

Alise - August 1, 2012 - 4:22 am

Hi I love your website. I was wondering if you could upload any videos on how to make the veins (lines) in the wings. I could never bend the wire that way, do you draw the lines in the wings in or use a special process?

Sam S. - April 19, 2013 - 2:20 am

Sorry to comment on such an old post. I noticed in your deviant-art gallery that you mentioned that you coated your wings with resin. It appears that you are also using a somewhat shiny and translucent material. Is it vinyl, cellophane, or a different material? Also, how much weight does the resin coating add to the wings? Thanks! 🙂

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