Making No-Sew Fairy Wings
Angels, Butterflies & Faeries
Making your own fairy wings can be a fun project to do with kids, or a great way to get the exact look for a costume you are creating. The definition of fairy wings has grown beyond just simple fairies to encompass all sorts of wings with variations existing that are appropriate for angels, butterflies and gothic bat wings.
And they've gone beyond just being a Halloween feature. Fairy wings are good for dance clubs, spring festivals, rainy days and Burning Man. You can't go to a sci-fi or costume convention without seeing dozens of variations. And I've even know of a bride or two who made fairy wings part of their wedding dress.
The biggest fear most people have when it comes to the idea of do-it-yourself wings is having to sew. FEAR NOT!... What you'll find here are some great "no-sew" ways to make your own fairy wings!
Hub Table of Contents - Quick Links to Take You Right Where You Want to Go
- Getting Started
Tips for the design process and getting ready.
- How To Make Wings For A One-Time Event
Needs wings really fast? Here's how to do them when you need something super-quick for a once-off party or occasion.
- Fancy No-Sew Fairy Wings
For when you want some wings and are willing to invest the time and materials, but you still don't want to have to sew them.
- Crafting Fairy Wings
More methods and tutorials
The very first thing you need to do before you start making any wings is to decide what they are going to look like. This lets you plan everything else that comes next and will help you figure out just what you can do with the time you have to make them and what sort of budget you will need. Wings do not have to be expensive unless you aren't willing to settle for something that can only be made expensively.
Sit down with some blank paper, your preferred drawing tools (pens, pencils, crayons) and make a really rough sketch of what you want the wings to look like. Don't worry about exact sizes just yet, but give yourself a good idea of the wing shape, colors and any patterns. You may find you have to spend time online or at the library looking at books full of pictures of butterflies or illustrations of faeries before you can make up your mind.
Once you get done with that part, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many times are these wings going to be worn?
- How sturdy do they need to be?
- Will they be worn inside or outside?
Based on your answers to yourself, it will start to give you an idea for how simply you can make your wings, or not. If you need to be outside and it might rain, you don't want to make wings from tissue paper but cardboard sprayed with a waterproof sealer might get you through a one-day event just fine. If you are going to wear them once and then just get rid of them, making them out of thick paper or tissue glued over thin wire might be the quick-and-cheap option you are looking for.
How To Make Wings For A One-Time Event
There are a couple of ways to make fairy wings for those of you in a hurry or who don't have too much in the way of sewing skills. The basic things to think about are how durable you want your wings to be, how big do you want to make them and how many times are they going to be worn. If you need wings for a one-time-only costume or event, there are a number of ways to make them very quickly and often using materials that you already have on hand.
If you need quickie wings for an event or party, you can make them from paper or cardboard and just decorate the surfaces. Large pieces of oaktag (manila folder paper) can work. You can find rolls of this material at better art stores. You can also use the sides from big cardboard boxes (to get larger, quickie pieces). For good colors that you don't have to paint and something that wears really well in public, try to find large sheets of flexible craft foam.
You can tape the wings together to make the spine (try brightly colored duct tape), and then add some string, elastic or fabric straps to wear them. If you don't want the spine to be completely flexible, a short piece of 1" PVC pipe can be used. Measure from a few inches below your neck to a few inches above your waist to determine length. Cut as needed and sand the edges smooth or tape over them with brightly-colored duct tape. Tape the wings to the spine and then decorate everything to match.
Fairy Wing Video Tutorial
See Fairy Wings Made From Balloons
Fancy No-Sew Fairy Wings
If you'd like to make larger and more elaborate fairy wings, here's a great method for making shiny, iridescent wings using cellophane or even sheet plastic. For these wings you'll be using glue instead of sewing.
Start with some 14g or 16g wire. You can make the outline of your wings, or you can also make some veins and curls for inside the wing. I wait until I've got each wings covered before I attach them to each other as it makes it easier to work on them and lay them flat at this stage when they are unattached to each other.
For glue, I like to use a strong craft glue that dries clear. Other good options are colored glues that match your wings, or glue with glitter in it. Make sure the glue works on plastics and metals so that it will hold the wings together. Do not use hot glue if working with cellophane as the heat of the glue will melt the wing material.
Lay out one wing form and carefully apply a thin amount of glue to the part of the wire that is facing up. Gently lay the cellophane material over the glue so that the wing has a skin on one side of it. Turn the wing over so that the cellophane side is now down and the wire side is up. Again, carefully apply the glue to the wing wire and then lay a second piece of cellophane over that. You have now sandwiched the wire forms in between two layers of cellophane. When the glue is dry, carefully trim off any extra cellophane so that your wings take shape. If you make your wire forms very elaborately, sometimes you can even trim away interior shapes and spaces to make cut-out in your wings.
Tape or glue the two wings to each other to make a "spine" and add straps for wearing. If the wings are made to be worn with a corset or a tight bodice, you can make the spine part so that it slides into the garment and holds the wings on without shoulder straps.
Now you can add any glitter, feathers or other decorations to your wings if you want.
Faerie Wings for Everyone!
Fantasy Wings with Maribou
Crafting Fairy Wings
- Make Your Own Fairy Wings
The most essential part of any fairy outfit, costume or persona is a pair of wings. Fairy wings are good for costume parties, conventions, gatherings, street fairs, parades, Halloween, May Day festivals, stage plays and rainy days.
- Printable Wing Pattern
Children will love making these wings for their Halloween costumes. Printable PDF with design and instructions.
- Coolest Fairy Costume Ideas
Easy directions to create your own Fairy costume and the biggest selection of Fairy costumes available.
- How to Make Fairy Wings - wikiHow
There are many ways to make fairy wings. This is the affordable version.
- Make your own fairy wings for the May Day Festival!
With a few basic supplies and your own creative spirit, you can make your own fairy wings to wear to the May Day Festival... or just to flit around town! Follow the instructions below, or, just wing it.