Wings and Things

I focused on the wings of my winter fairy costume this week.  I am not done, but figured I would post something about my progress.

If you remember my first musings on the costume, I had two ideas for my wings:

1)  Making wings out of a bunch of small snowflakes sewn together using some interfacing and bias tape.

2)  Making organic, tree like wings that I would “ice” over with clear glue from a glue gun or some similar effect.

I recently had a brainstorm on a slightly different version of the second option, and decided to go that route.  Remember when I was doing all that Christmas crafting at the end of last year?

I decided that the branch wings I would craft would become “icy” with crystals, much like the iced branches that I put in my Christmas planters.

Materials for the Wings

  1. Solid 12 gauge wire
  2. Tissue paper
  3. Clear crystals
  4. Tacky glue
  5. Glue gun
  6. White branches (or other color, spray painted white)
  7. Small piece of cheap cotton fabric, similar in color to your corset color
  8. Two small sets of LED lighted branches

I began by cutting a fairly large piece of tissue paper and pinning it to Deirdre, who is still happily sporting my completed corset for this costume.  My plan to wear the wings with the costume involves making a u-shaped bend in the center of the wings with wire, and placing this u-shape inside the corset before it is tied shut.  Once on Deirdre, I drew markings on the tissue paper so that I could properly size and place the u-bend (it totally makes me think of Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter every time I say that …) in the center of my wings.


From here, I took some measurements of  my shoulder to shoulder width so as not to make my wings so wide I will not easily be able to get through doorways with them.  Then I got down to sketching my wing design.  I also included a small fabric stabilizing pocket, that would fit within the u-bend and also hold the battery packs for the two led branches I intended to use as part of the wings.


I discovered after I spent the time bending wires to match this template, that I was unhappy with this wing design.  In trying to meet my goal of not making the wings too large, I made them too small, and was afraid you’d barely see them from the front. I opted to draw a second sketch and increase the height of the wings.  An important note – as horribly annoying as it is to bend the wire into wings while the wire is still wound around its spool, it is much, much worse to get nearly done with the wire bending and discover that you do not have enough wire to finish the design.  Do NOT cut the wire before bending!  After hating the first set of wings and the awesome wire mishap, I completely emptied my spool of wire making my third pair … I was really glad I bought such a large spool of wire!

At this point, I attached the fabric to the u-bend.  Sewing the pocket on was not a problem.  I did use a bit of a fold on the sides of the pocket to give it a little bit of depth for the battery packs.  I folded the fabric around the u-bend, and stitched one side very awkwardly along its curved wire.  I couldn’t get the wire frame to appropriately fit in the machine to stitch the other side.  I tried so hard I broke a needle even.  Then i gave up and stitched that side closed by hand.  Not pretty, but worked okay.

Next, I cut up all the white branches I had so that I could glue them onto the wire frame for the wings.  Though I tried both super glue and tacky glue first, I have no idea why I didn’t assume I would need hot glue first; the simple fact that it dries so quickly made it the right choice.  After gluing quite a few branches onto the wire frame, the wings stabilized well (they were pretty flimsy before the branches were added).  I tried the whole wing getup on Deirdre, making sure it would fit beneath my corset.


I am pretty happy with how these look here, and how well the lights are incorporating into the design.  After being certain that the plan would work, I got to work beginning to add crystals to the branches.


I finished the back side of the wings last night, and will glue down crystals to the front side next.  I might decide to add a bit more decoration afterwards, but I am going so see how they look first.  What do you think?  Will the crystals be enough  to decorate the wings or should I take things another step further?  🙂  I might try to seal the crystals on the wings with some acrylic sealer that Elizabeth is suggesting to me, as I am afraid I will leave a trail of crystals wherever I walk while wearing this costume .


2 comments for “Wings and Things

  1. May 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I guess there are worse things than leaving a trail of sparkles in your wake, but I suppose you also can’t risk naked wings by the end of a long day at DragonCon. I’m so impressed with your wings thus far! I vote for adding as many crystals as possible and then sealing the shit out of it.

    • Tyraenna
      May 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Yeah I like your sealing idea. Naked wings would be sad 🙁


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