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How to make costume bird wings

Updated February 21, 2017

Constructing costume bird wings can take some patience but will be less expensive than purchasing them. Wings will complete your costume, decorations and stage set-ups, and you can use this procedure to make not only bird wings, but angel wings as well.

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  1. Pick the type of feathers you are going to use. You can choose large, colourful feathers with boa trim to create fanciful wings or naturally coloured feathers to create realistic-looking wings.

  2. Start with two wire hangers that will be the basic structure of the wings. Remove any cardboard or plastic from the hangers and cut off the top hooks. Unbend each hanger at the spiral and shape it to make an oval. If you want to make extra-large wings, use two hangers for each side to create a larger oval.

  3. Use duct tape to attach the hanger edges together. Then attach the two ovals together tightly with duct tape to make a pair of wings. Shape the wings as desired.

  4. Cut off the top of each pantyhose leg. Stretch one leg over the wire structure of the right wing and make sure the cut-off part ends at the base between the wings. Repeat on the left wing. Secure the cut-off ends on the wire hangers with duct tape or glue. This provides a surface netting over each wing so you can attach the feathers.

  5. Attach the arm bands before adding the wings. You can use elastic headbands or just plain white, black or beige elastic. If you're using elastic, tie the ends in a knot to create a loop. Place the loop over the wing and settle it in between the wings on the duct tape, and repeat with the other piece of elastic on the other wing. Secure these to the duct tape with hot glue. These loops of elastic will go over the shoulders and hold the wings in place.

  6. Wrap a piece of thick velvet or satin fabric between the middle of the wings in order to cover up the duct tape and elastic bands. Use any colour you desire. This creates a secure and attractive attachment between the two wings.

  7. Cover the wings in double-sided tape. Stick the feathers on one by one, starting from the outside lower corner and working your way inward, until you have one row of feathers. Add another row of feathers above and overlapping the first row. This creates the overlapping appearance that bird wings have. Make sure the feathers are attached with the quill pointing up. Do this carefully and with precision. If needed, you can attach the feather part to the tape and slightly push the feather's quill into the pantyhose to anchor it.

  8. Tip

    If you're inserting the feather quills into the pantyhose, be careful not poke too many holes. This may cause the wing to collapse. Make sure the feathers' quills are covered up

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Things You'll Need

  • Feathers of desired colour and size, multiple bags
  • Two to four wire hangers
  • Duct tape
  • One pair of nude, white or black pantyhose
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Two elastic headbands or pieces of elastic
  • Satin or velvet ribbon or fabric
  • Double-sided tape

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