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How to Make Life-Size Paper Wings

Updated on December 27, 2009
left wing outstretched
left wing outstretched

People need life-size and wearable wings for strange reasons. For most, it's the finishing touch on a halloween costume. For me, it was just an insatiable urge with no reasonable motive. It took time and patience, but if you have a couple spare hours, it's doable.

What you'll need:

  1. 2 (maybe more) pieces of white poster board (99 cents at office max)
  2. an exacto knife, or scissors
  3. lace, ribbon, yarn, or string
  4. tacky glue (any craft glue is fine)
  5. large workspace
  6. pen (to outline)

First, take a good look at the wing drawing below. You'll be crafting the wing so the shape is complimentary with the natural curve of your arm. Next, without hurting yourself, position your arm against one of the pieces of poster board and indicate where your shoulder, elbow, and wrist are, so you can custom fit the wings to your own arms. Outline two shapes, in accordance with the colored picture to the right, that will act as the bases for your wings. This is where the wings will be attached to your arms. In each and every step, trace and cut out another set of shapes (because you obviously need two wings! :P). With the base of your wings figured out, you'll just need to make feathers. A LOT of them. It helps to go section by section, first with the stubby feathers attached the the bases, followed by the medium feathers in the middle, and then the long ones at the bottom. I positioned then glued each row of feathers together, then glued the whole row to the row that's above them. This keeps the feathers in a desirable shape. Lastly, make the feathers that stretch and angle out. This can be kind of tricky, especially because they overlap at the top, then flare out at the bottom, so cut your shapes wisely! I used normal tacky glue, and the wings stayed together fabulously, even when I wore them for a photoshoot on the top of a windy hill.

After a couple painful and meticulous hours, you'll have two pieces (per wing). Now you need to attach them to each other, and finally, to your arms. Using a pen, poke three holes vertically near where the wings need to be connected together. Use yarn, string, or twine to tie a couple knots to connect the segments. To connect the wings to your arms, cut two parallel slits right at the top of the wings, and then again at the end near the tips. Feed ribbon through the slits so you can tie them to your arms! Also, it helps to tie the wings to your arms again at the elbow. I hope this helps! Also I apologize for the poor quality and lack of instruction the photos provide. I don't have access to my camera so I had to make do with ones on facebook. Good Luck and Thanks!

If you don't mind, comment the reason why you made paper wings!  I just find it extremely odd anyone else but me would feel compelled to make them, so naturally I'm intrigued!

right wing, notice the break in the segments for flexibility
right wing, notice the break in the segments for flexibility


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      R Shores 3 months ago

      Sounds like a fun project to try with my nieces and nephews this summer.

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      band geek 2 years ago

      we might make them for marching band, our song is flight

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      manci 5 years ago

      thanks to you i have wings for my play!

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      Debbie 7 years ago

      Thank you so much! I was trying to find out a way to make wings out of paper since I can't find actual feathers! thank you!

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      lolagirl 7 years ago

      can you achly FLY with them ???

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      Kayla 8 years ago

      this is going to be a load of help! no worries, you're not the only to randomly make life size wings. it was a weird urge for a long time and i finally started

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      asdfchristine 8 years ago

      with time and patience, yes! i did; those are my wings in the pictures.

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      lalaland 8 years ago

      Is that possible