Here are some ideas on how to make wings using various materials. The wire form is a good starting point and then a variety of materials can be used over this. Some examples of the materials you can use are pantyhose, tissue paper, paper towels and packing tape.
Making a quick and easy pair of small dragonfly wings can be done by looping wire into an oval shape and then covering it with wide packing tape. Use a pair of scissors to trim around the outside edge. Add some color with glass paint and they are done. Larger ones can also be made but the seams of the tape will have to be placed in a pattern to make them look like they should be there.
Want to know how to make wings for a tinkerbell costume? I made them with coat hangers shaped and covered with pantyhose. They were then colored with fabric paint and glitter.
Paper mache can be used to make the ribbing on wings and then they can be covered with tissue paper. The tissue paper is applied by decoupaging on, using watered down white glue.
If you use the color of tissue paper you want your wings to be, it saves on painting. Do a couple layers, let dry and then add more until you have a tough covering. This will actually take close to seven layers or so to make them strong enough.
By doing a blackwash you bring out the wrinkles and dimension and the wings take on an almost leathery appearance.
I really like the texture of these. This is actually my favorite technique on how to make wings. I made a large set of dragon wings this way.
I have also used paper towel dipped in paper mache paste and applied it over a wire form. If you want fancy wings you could even try paper towel that has a flowery design. I didn't want flowers on mine, so I used plain paper towel. the cheaper, stiff stuff actually works best.
Wire can be covered with sheer material and painted with watered down craft paint. The wire can then be covered with glitter glue. You can add glue from a hot glue gun to make ridges in the wings.
I have made wings by placing a wire form down on plastic wrap and filling it with white glue and letting it dry. This is then decorated with glitter glue. The wire and plastic wrap don't stay attached to this and will come right off after the glue has dried. This makes a light weight, delicate wing and is best for small projects.
Here are some things that won't require a wire form:
Pop cans can be cut into the proper shape and then a pattern embossed with an embossing tool.
Cardboard is another material that can be used to make wings when you don't have to have something lightweight. It can be painted over easily and also decorated with all sorts of do dads like beads, buttons or sequins.
Using paper mache over cardboard is how to make wings extra sturdy. Designs can then be added with celluclay, caulking or hot glue. If using caulking or hot glue, paper mache a couple layers over top so it can be painted over easily. Paint won't want to stick well, especially to hot glue.
Now go have fun and build something!
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