Angel feather wings are a popular addition to standard dolls because they turn a regular doll into a fairy or an angel. These wings can be designed to look realistic or whimsical. They also can be open or folded, depending on the appearance the doll owner is looking for. The wings are usually designed like temporary accessories. Attaching them does require making two small holes in the back of the doll.
Remove your doll’s clothing and turn the doll face down. For a Barbie size doll measure one inch from the top of the shoulders and 3/4 inch in from the joint where the arm attaches on each side. This will create two marks at least one inch apart about where shoulder blades would be. Use the utility knife to make a hole that is 1/32-inch wide by 1/4-inch deep at each of these points. You will end up with two holes.
Look at reference images. Decide if you want extended wings or closed wings. Keep the location of your mounting holes in mind as you use floral wire and shape your wings. The ends of your floral wire will twist together and be used to mount the wing on the doll, so position the ends carefully. Cut your floral wire with wire cutters.
Pre-fit your wire to the back of the doll to make sure it fits well. You may need to trim the ends of the wire.
Place waxed paper on your work surface. Apply a bead of fabric glue around the wire. Place the wire on top of No. 10 clear mesh. Clear mesh is used for needlework and will provide a sturdy backing for the feathers. Place a second piece of waxed paper over the wire. Put some heavy books on top of it to keep the wire flat and in good contact with the mesh. Allow four hours to dry.
Trim the mesh along the wire. If the mesh pulls away from the wire, sew jewellery wire along the edges to keep the mesh and wire together.
Cut white boa to fit along the top edge of each wing. Apply fabric glue to the boa and press it into position. Fit your larger straight feathers along the top edges first. Keep in mind you can make feathers smaller by trimming with scissors. The tips of the feathers should extend well beyond the wire and should be applied to both sides of the mesh evenly.
Feather along the outside edges of the wings. This creates your true feather wing shape. The ends of the feathers can be tucked into the mesh, glued and wired. Once your outer edges are complete, use somewhat smaller feathers for the next inner layer. Make sure they overlap the bottoms of your edge feathers so the feather bottoms are covered.
Continue feathering until your feathers appear to radiate from one small area. Cut the boa and glue it over the ends of the feathers in this area.
Add the wings to the doll after the clothing has been put on the doll. You may need to make two small holes through the clothing for the wire ends of the wings.
Tips and warnings
- Add the wings to the doll after the clothing has been put on the doll. You may need to make two small holes through the clothing for the wire ends of the wings.