A few years ago my family went to the Renaissance Faire, and I was really taken with some of the pricey iridescent Fairy Wings I saw merchants selling. They were beautiful in the sunlight, and had intricate designs inside. I wanted to buy a pair for my daughter – but the price was more than I was willing to spend. It was also clear to me that cellophane Fairy wings were something I could make myself anyway – and I thought it would be a lot of fun to customize a pair of fairy wings with my daughter. A project was born – and I am happy to report that cellophane Fairy wings are really very doable once you know the steps! And they are also really cheap and fun to make yourself!
I hope this post will inspire you to make your own Cellophane Fairy Wings soon!
For Cellophane Fairy Wings You Need:
- Two Wire Hangars. (Four, if you want upper and lower wings.)
- Pliers & Scissors
- Craft Wire (16 or 18 gauge works best)
- Large Poster board or cardboard (to draw your template on)
- Cellophane (enough to cover your wings on both sides)
- Spray adhesive
- An iron
Directions for Making Cellophane Fairy Wings:
1. Start with two hangars facing each other. The cheaper the hangars the better! Think of the flimsy ones from the dollar store, or the thin ones you often get from the dry cleaners!
2. Straighten out both hooks, making them straight.
3. Gently pull your hangars body, stretching it out into a wider circle.
4. Now You will want to draw the shape you want your wings to take on a piece of poster board or cardboard. It may help to have the person wearing the wings lay down on the poster board so you can sketch the shape you want to see coming from behind their back! Use a pair of pliers to work your round hangar into that shape!
Adding Details inside Your Wings:
5. Next, you will want to use Craft Wire to make shapes, and veining inside of your wings. First sketch the shapes you’d like inside your wing drawing, so you know you have a shape that will fit your wings.
Use your pliers to cut the craft wire into the correct length. I recommend 16 or 18 gauge wire, since it’s easily bendable using your hand. Use the pattern you drew on the poster board as a template, and shape your wire on top of that, as a guide. You will want to use the pattern twice, so that you have a symmetrical pattern on both sides!
6. After you have shaped your wire decoration for the insides of the wings, you can use tape to secure it to your outer hangar wing. I used floral tape. No matter what kind of tape you choose to use, make sure to secure it neatly, since the wings are see through! You will also want to think about putting tape on any sharp ends. That will help your wire not poke holes through your cellophane in the next step! You will also twist your two hangars together now to connect them. Cover the twist with more tape.
7. You will need two large pieces of Cellophane now, to cover your wings. You can typically find cellophane rolls at a craft store or online. They are generally in the gift wrap section. For the wings we made in our example photos, we chose two colors, so the wings would look different colors depending on the angle you are looking at them in. We put fuchsia cellophane on one side, and an iridescent clear on the other side. That said – you could just as easily use one color on your wings.
*Tip* Have fun! Darker colors will show less of your wings “veins” and look more opaque. Lighter or clear colored cellophane will show more detail inside the wings and catch more light. Choose the colors that appeal to you! The photo below shows all the color choices I found at my local craft shop.
Putting your Cellophane and Wire Together:
8. Once you have two large pieces of cellophane that are bigger than your wings, you will want to create a sandwich with them on the outside, and your wire on the inside! Lay the first piece of cellophane on the floor and lightly spray it with spray adhesive. Lay your wire wings in the center. Lightly spray adhesive over the wings now, and carefully place your second piece of cellophane on top. In order to help press the cellophane together and encourage your wings to lay flat – you may want to let the wings and cellophane dry over night with some heavy books on top.
9. Once your wings and cellophane are dry and stuck together, you can roughly cut some of the excess cellophane off the outside of your wings. Leave a couple of inches border around the wire. You can trim it more later, but you want to be sure you have enough – because the heat in the next step, makes the cellophane shrink slightly.
Using an Iron to Finish off your Wings:
10. Using an iron on a very low heat setting, you are going to gently iron your wings. Important – You will want a thin towel or paper between the iron and your wings. Too much heat can melt your cellophane. So start at a lower heat than you think you need. Keep your iron moving and use it’s tip to iron in small detail areas.
Once you see that you cellophane has bonded to itself in all the areas without metal in between, you are ready to trim any extra cellophane off the edges.
(This is the same pair of wings that you see in all the other photos. Wonder why it looks like a totally different color? That is the fun of using iridescent cellophane. It will show different colors in different lights!)
Now you are ready to enjoy your wings! It’s that easy.
Need an idea for how to attach upper and lower wings? Or want help seeing how to attach the wings to your child?
Just check out the video below…
Pin This Tutorial:
PS. Several people have asked about the elf/fairy ears in the photos. They are from Ardani Ears. They only come in adult sizes, but even a touch big – they work great!