How to Make Cellophane Wings

Written by b.t. alo
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Fairy or insect costume wings are a popular accessory in any dress up box, but not only for children. While the most basic of wings are usually made with stockings over a wire frame, another way to achieve an even more authentic wing look is to use cellophane to cover the wire frame. There are many different colours of cellophane available and even iridescent varieties, which work really well on a pair of dress up wings.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 wire coat hangers
  • Pliers
  • Florists tape
  • Towel
  • Cellophane
  • Scissors
  • Spray glue
  • Iron
  • Muslin/cheesecloth
  • Elastic

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  1. 1

    Shape the coat hangers into the desired wing shape, making sure the two coat hangers are roughly the same shape. Use the pliers to help bend the wire into the wing shape.

  2. 2

    Straighten the coat hanger hooks, then wind the wire pieces of the two coat hanger hooks together, so that the two wing sides are joined---make the wire join around two inches long.

  3. 3

    Cover the entire wing frame in florists tape, winding it around the wire, so that no wire is left exposed---make sure that you buy florists tape in a colour to suit your wing design. Make a double covering on the wing join, to increase strength.

  4. 4

    Lay the towel down on a flat, clean surface. Cut two pieces of cellophane that are around one inch wider than the side of one wing.

  5. 5

    Lay one piece of cellophane down on the towel, then spray it evenly with the spray glue, making sure to shake the glue can before use.

  6. 6

    Place the wire frame of one wing over the top of the sprayed cellophane, then spray the wire with glue, and lay the second piece of cellophane on top, pressing it down so that it bonds with the first piece of cellophane.

  7. 7

    Place the muslin or cheesecloth over the cellophane, then turn the iron onto its lowest setting.

  8. 8

    Iron the entire cellophane surface carefully. Do not let the iron sit on one spot for more than a second. Make sure you get as close to the wire frame as possible, and into any corners. The iron will cause the cellophane to bond and crinkle, giving a veined wing look. Trim off the excess cellophane from around the wire, leaving around 1/8 inch border.

  9. 9

    Repeat with the other side of the wing frame.

  10. 10

    Cut two lengths of elastic that fit comfortably around your shoulders and into the centre of your back. Tie the ends of the elastic around the centre of the wing join. Your wings are now ready to use.

Tips and warnings

  • Decorate wings with stick-on jewels, glitter glue or paint.
  • Add smaller pieces of cellophane over the base layer, to graduate the colour, or even use different coloured cellophane pieces on top, for a multi-colour wing.
  • Children should not be allowed to do the ironing part of the wing construction---always make sure an adult performs this task.

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