Who hasn’t wished they could feel like a Victoria’s Secret model at least once? It’s your time to shine with your own very sexy angel wings! Whether for photoshoots or cosplay, this method of making feathery wings can be changed according to your costume’s needs. Create your own with the following list of items:
For the feathers, I used ostrich feathers. They’re perfect for a really fluffy, angelic look. They can be pretty pricey, so feel free to substitute with other types. The feathers, felt, duct tape, and fabric should all match the color scheme of the wings you’re making. For mine, I just made everything white.
Start by getting your wire and shaping it into the general shape of your desired wings. This will be the main frame that holds everything together. Keep in mind that while using long feathers like ostrich feathers, the final shape and size of your wings will be a good bit larger than the wire frame since the feathers will be sticking out a few inches off the edges.
See the little triangle-shaped bit in the middle connecting the two wing shapes? To make sure your wings don’t flop around or pivot while you’re wearing them, it’s necessary to have a back brace that’s more than just a simple bar going across.
Next, you’ll be covering the frame with the chicken wire. Cut it out around the shape of the wire and then down and outwards in the shape of the wings you want. Make sure to fold the edges of the chicken wire around your main wire frame a few times so it’s really sturdy. Try not to leave any pointy bits – they could poke through later and cause problems.
Time to add your support bar. This is just another piece of the 12 gauge wire. Cut off a piece that’s a little too long, then fold the extra length around the main wire frame so it stays in place really well. Use some of your duct tape to wrap around it several times so it’s extra strong.
Now glue on your felt. Cut out the correct shape around each wing, but be sure to have an extra inch or two of fabric around the edges. You will need two pieces per wing, with four in total. Get the two felt pieces so they’re covering all the chicken wire, and glue the overlapped edges together. Hot glue works well for this.
It’s time for the fun part – the feathers! Start off by laying them out in the pattern you want before committing to gluing them down. It looks best to have one central point that all the feathers point to; in this case, it’s the inner corner of each wing. You’ll want to be sure you can’t see any of the felt through your feathers by laying them in an overlapping pattern.
When you’re ready to glue them down, start with the feathers on the outermost edges. The ostrich feathers I used were 10-12″, and I had the longest ones on the edges to make the wings look even fluffier. Most natural feathers have a slight curve. When choosing how to place your feathers, pay attention to the curve of each feather. To best cover the felt, I placed them so they curved downwards. I would glue a few here and there with the curve going upwards, to add to the fluffy effect.
Now it’s time to move on to the straps. Measure and cut a piece of thin elastic. Make sure it’s tight enough to hold your wings on. For the fabric, I used a satin-esque kind with a subtle shine, but feel free to use whatever you think will complement your wings best. Simply cut a rectangular piece about twice as long as your elastic, and sew the edges together inside out. Leave the two ends open so you can thread your elastic through later. Next, flip it inside out, thread your elastic through, loop it around the frame of your wings, and sew the ends together. To give a more finished edge, I hot glued the ends of the straps inside the felt so they wouldn’t be seen.
*Note: If you’re going to strapless wings, you will need to make the frame of your wings so that it can be stuck inside of a corset or whatever article of clothing you’d be using to hold them up.
You’ve probably noticed that the edges of the wings have some major felt showing through. Not cool. Cover it up by lining the visible edges with either more feathers, or feather boas. I recommend the maribou feather boas because they blend in well.
Last, you’ll want to do something about that ugly support bar. You can either add more chicken wire and felt, and glue some feathers on to hide it. Or do something creative with it. For mine, I got some holographic vinyl and hot glued the pieces together along with some rhinestones.