Make Your Own Faery Wings!
With a few basic supplies and your own creative spirit, you can make your own faery wings just to flit around town! Follow the instructions below, or…just wing it! Remember: keep your wings on the small side to avoid snagging yourself on thistles (and other faeries) and make them nice & light so you don’t get a wingache. Take it easy on the faery dust. And be careful if you fly by night!
Supplies You’ll Need:
- 16-gauge galvanized steel wire (14 gauge for ‘high-tension’ wings)
between 6 – 9 feet, for two wings, depending on size of faery
- duct tape
- 1 pair queen-size pantyhose in any color (sheer and/or iridescent look really cool)
Note: Make sure the hose you are using are very stretchy. Don’t use support hose!
- Safety pins
- Needle and thread to match pantyhose
- Scissors (sharp enough to cut pantyhose)
- Magic markers in fairylike colors
- Things to decorate your wings! Glitter, feathers, flowers, fluff, lace, foil,
beads, fringe, pipe cleaners, small animals…
1. Make an armature for your wings.
Shape the length of wire into a figure 8, checking as you go to make sure the wings are the size you want and that both sides of the figure 8 are equal in size. Wrap a short (3") length of duct tape around the center join of the figure 8 to fix it firmly in place. If any wire ends are sticking out, trim them with the wire clippers, and cover the ends of the wire with duct tape so they don’t poke you in the back. Test the armature by tugging on it firmly; add more duct tape if needed.
2. Stretch the pantyhose over the armature and shape your wings.
Take the scissors and cut the pantyhose into three pieces: two legs and one "panty." Set the panty aside; it will become your wing halter. Now stretch one pantyhose leg over each side of your figure-8 armature. Pull it taut, but not so tight that it distorts the wings. Use safety pins to hold the pantyhose legs in place at the base of the wings, and shape your wings by bending the wire. Adjust the tension of the pantyhose as needed. When you’ve got the shape you want, sew the pantyhose in place at the base of the wings, and then trim off the excess hose (you can use it for additional decoration or to extend your halter ties, if needed).
3. Decorate your wings!
Using magic markers, draw in the basic lines of your wing design. Color your wings according to your fancy, or if you want, you can look through field guides of moths and butterflies to find a pattern you like. Embellish your wings with glitter, feathers, beads… whatever you desire!
4. Create a wing "halter" or ties.
Take the leftover panty, and cut out the crotch area (this will become the neck hole). You now have what looks like a very small tank top (A). For small children, this halter can simply be pulled over the head; larger folks will need to enlarge the holes and/or cut open the front of the halter (B). Some faeries prefer to do away with the halter altogether and instead use long ties that they wrap around their shoulders and torso (C). You can also use a double loop of elastic, one loop per shoulder.
5. Attach your wings to the halter (or ties).
Using needle and thread, securely attach your wings to the halter or ties. Now for the fun part — try them on! Use a hand mirror in front of a bigger mirror to see if the wings are sitting even on your shoulders (or ask a friend to check for you). If necessary, use needle & thread to adjust the wing placement, or adjust the ties until the wings are as straight as you want them.
6. Wear your wings to the May Day Festival!
You may, of course, want to wear them at other times: to parties, friends’ houses, job interviews, even the supermarket. You can also make faery antennae to complement your wings–why not!
(Sad-but-true disclaimer: faery wings do not enable the wearer to actually fly, at least as such action is defined within the realm of Newtonian physics. Flights of fancy are excepted from this disclaimer whether they adhere to Newtonian or quantum physics but we eschew any and all responsibility for any physical consequences of such flights — or physick required to remedy said consequences.)
Wing design ©1997 by Amy Grisham. Used with permission!
Thank you Amy!
Drawings © Amanda Sanow.