October 28, 2015
Welcome to my free fairy wing tutorial. As stated in my previous entry I've started an Etsy store to start selling adult fairy wings and costumes. This entry is really an FYI to those who are thinking of using my tutorial to make either children or adult wings.
I have found in my scale up there are some really important additional things that need to be taken into account to scale wings up for human wear. For example, the fantasy film and cellophane are really too fragile and need to have additional support to give them some tear resistance.
Also you need to add some type of harness in order to wear your wings. Depending on your costume you can either do a harness without straps or one with straps. If you don't want to see the straps you will need to create a U shaped harness that will slip down a corset, tight fitting shirt or bra. If you wear the wings over a costume then you would be using the straps. You can find invisible elastic (the type used in bathing suits by googling for it) if you want the straps to be less noticeable. There are some tutorials on the internet that will show you how to do either of these methods. Hope this additional information helps before you start your wings and realize you need to do things a bit differently for a costume than for an art doll.
Happy wing making,
For any of those interested in purchasing my finished wings, I have recently opened an Esty store. You can find my store under LadyOfTheOneRing. I will also be doing some larger adult costume/cosplay wings along with some clothing. Hope you will stop by and visit. Here are some examples of the wings in my store.
For more wing offerings, click the Etsy store link on my home page.
Fairy Wings from Tissue Paper
This template will give you the general idea for making fairy wings, and then you can make your own templates once you get a feel for making the wings. Just be creative and have fun. I have a tutorial to show you how to take images of wings and make templates out of them, just go to the tutorial page and scroll down to the tutorial. In addition I have several other tutorials for making wings out of fantasy film and transparencies.
Welcome to my basic wing tutorial. This tutorial will show you how to make inexpensive, but very nice, fairy wings for your dolls. All you need are the basic supplies and then let your imagination go.
After trying many ways of making fairy wings that many artists have been so generous to share, I decided I was just too messy to use glue. It just seemed no matter how neat I tried to be I would end up with glue globs all over my wings. Soooooooo, I found a way that worked really great for me and no more glue globs. This technique can also be used with Fantasy Film.
· tissue paper (thin mulberry paper works wonderful for this) but regular tissue paper works great too
· wire cutters
· needle nose pliers
· Fimo Decorating Gel (Sculpy liquid clay will also work, just not as transparent)
· Paint brush
· Painter’s tape or masking tape
· Needle tool
· Embossing gun
· 8 ½ x 11 inch piece of glass (handle the glass carefully if it has unfinished, sharp edges)
· wing pattern
Take the sample pattern and adjust it to whatever size doll you are making. The template provided for this tutorial will easily work for a doll between 7 to approximately 8 ½ inches (8 ½ x 11 inch paper). For reference, the doll in the example is 7 ½ inches tall.
Start by placing the wing template below the piece of glass. In order to fully secure the glass and keep it from moving around as I work on the wings I tape the glass to my work table.
Take the tissue paper and cut pieces just a bit larger then the wing pattern. Tape the pieces of tissue in place over the pattern leaving the area where the base of the wing is without paper.
Take the Fimo Decorating Gel and apply a small bead along the outer edge of the wing and work it into the tissue paper with a paint brush. You will see that the tissue paper will become transparent.
Using the needle tool follow along the edge of the wing and start to gently pull the excess tissue away from the wing edge, slightly fraying the edge as you go. (If you use mulberry paper there may be thick fibers in the paper, hold the paper fiber firmly with the needle tool and use an exacto knife to cut the heavy fiber). Once you have pulled the excess paper away from the wing, just gentle tear the rest off and discard.
Take the wire and place the end at the end of the outer line at the base of the wing and tape this securely in place. Smooth the wire out and lay it over the first outer line and extend the wire about a half to one inch beyond the end of the line. Cut the wire and tape the end of the wire in place, making sure the wire is aligned over the pattern. Repeat this for all of the “main” wing wires.
Apply a small dab of Fimo gel to the loop wire at the end of the loop. Work the Fimo gel gently under the wire with a paint brush being careful to not bend the wire or lift it off the paper. Do not apply too much Fimo gel or the secondary wires will not butt up nicely against the loop wire. (An alternative is to apply a bit of Fimo gel to areas where the secondary wires do not butt up against the loop wire.) Take the embossing gun and hold it approximately 2 - 3 inches above the wing and cure the Fimo gel in just this area. If necessary you can hold the wire loop down with the needle tool to make sure the wire is in good contact with the Fimo gel and tissue paper. This usually takes only about 15 - 25 seconds to set the gel depending on how close you hold the embossing gun. Make sure to slightly move the gun back and forth over the area, or get too close or you could burn the untreated tissue paper. The cured Fimo gel acts like glue to hold the loop wire in place as you add the secondary wires.
Take the wire again and butt the wire end up against the loop wire for the first “secondary” wing wire. Again, extend this wire out beyond the end of the template line, cut and tape in place. Repeat for the other “secondary” wires.
Next apply a thin bead of Fimo gel along the outer wing wires and gently work that under the wire with a paint brush. Take the embossing gun and cure the gel. Again if necessary hold the wire down with the needle tool to get good contact with the tissue paper.
Apply a thin layer of Fimo gel to the entire wing with a paint brush working it into the tissue paper. Use the embossing gun and cure the clay to set all the wire in place. Gently remove the tape from the wires. Using needle nose pliers grip the wing at the base wires and fully fire the Fimo gel. To add a bit of interest, I get the gun close to the edge of the frayed section of the tissue paper and just slightly burn this area. Be careful not to burn it too much or your fairy will look like she escaped from a forest fire. Lol
After the wings cool take the needle nose pliers and grasp the wires right at the base of the wing and then carefully twist the wing wires together. Place the wings over a piece of cardboard and trim off the excess tissue along the outer wing wires with an exacto knife. From the picture you can see the transparency of the wings. They look really nice. The method also work just great for making mermaid/merman fins.
Well there you have it, basic inexpensive wings. Now you can let your imagination run wild and finish them off. Pearl powders look absolutely wonderful and add a nice shimmer. Just take a bit of gloss varnish and dip the brush into the gloss varnish and then dip it into whatever color pearl powder you want the wings to be and starting at the wing base brush the color out over the entire wing, repeat for the other side. You can even blend and fade colors into each other for a really nice look. Apply crystals, beads, filigrees, mircobeads, etc. Be creative and just have fun.
Hint: Sometime the wings will spin or droop when you insert them into the doll. To help eliminate this problem, I apply a very tiny bit of vinyl glue to the end of the wire and insert it into the doll. Lay the doll down to keep the position of the wings or tape them in place until the glue has fully dried. The wings can still be removed by gently twisting them back and forth until they come out.
Well have fun and happy doll making.
For more tutorials on making wings from different media click the image below. Also under making a wing template you will find several free wing patterns.