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Cosplay wing tutorial by etaru Cosplay wing tutorial by etaru
**Photo is large**

Why? Because I need proof that I'm not twindling my thumbs in cosplay! XD So I thought to upload it in a "tutorial" type photo.
Sorry for the aweful quality of the bottom photos, they got resized and went "Blah, Etaru's messing with us again....let's tick her off!!" And so they did... ⌐__⌐
In these photos, only one wing was done (but refer to other photos in my gallery to see the full set^^)

The steps:
1.) Bend copper wire (preferably thicker wire, or hangers if you have none) into the desired shape (think bird-in-the-distance: -v-)

2.) Bend a box-like base at the bottom, where they'll rest against your back when the wings are bent to extend away from your body.

3.) Cut chicken wire (or fence wire, whatever you feel is more structurally sturdy, but light) into either a rectangle or triangle shape. This will be "body" of the wings.

4.) Attach chicken wire to the wire base~~ Keep in mind, make the base at least 3-5 inches smaller than what you want the wings to be, because the length of the feathers should extend beyond it.

5.) Glue (white) batting onto the chicken wire, covering all wire. DO NOT USE FELT. I've seen it done and it's not as attractive when light is passed through the wings, batting helps diffuse the light so there's not a stark contrast between your feathers and the wire. Make as few folds/creases as possible, this will make laying the feathers that much simpler.

6.) Get a feel for how you want the feather to look (aka look into birds' wings, or how the character's wings are drawn) before laying feathers. Lay the feathers out to get an idea of they should look like.

7.) TRIM THE FEATHERS unless the artwork was fraying feathers. Compare picture #1 with #5. See the difference? YOU WILL TRIM. I KNOW you will trim.

8.) Start gluing feathers onto batting, starting at the bottom and working your way up in layers, NOT DOWN.

~~~~~~ 8.5) You can't buy feathers as long as in #4 and #5, probably because there's no birds out there with feathers 3 feet long. Combine several for the longer feathers, cutting off the "stems" where there's the fluff for each except the bottom one. For the one in #5, there's about 4 or 5 combined together. The longer the feathers, the larger your wings will appear to be.

9.) Be sure to cover both sides of each wing with feathers! Photo #6 is the back of the wing, see how it looks identical to the front? So lay feathers in the same direction/pattern.

10.) When you peel the feather layers apart on the bottom and side, you'll be able to see the batting, so "plug" it up with leftover downs, or buy some smaller feathers specifically for that.

11.) Each feather on top the other will cover the stems, but not on the very top. Cover them with the fluffy small feathers called "downs" (not shown).

12.) When both wings are done, cover the center base with more batting and perhaps fluffy downs, so you don't give it away that you're not REALLY an angel ^_~

The feathers are one pound of white turkey hen rounds bought from RainbowFeather Co. [link] who'll treat you real nice. The smaller fluff feathers were purchased from JoAnn's, but I recommend getting 1/2 lb. of downs just so you won't run out for a project. (Half a pound has lasted me over 2 years and through more than 4 pairs of wings lol).

KEEP IN MIND: There are many other ways that work just as well - if not better - so explore the options before starting, and have fun!
Refer here for final result: [link]
In the Alexiel wings [link] , the wire base was substituted with 1/2" PVC pipe, which calls for a different type of harness.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconflashbackingartist00:
FlashbackingArtist00 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool! Very nice tutorial; I shall try to make these!
Reply
:iconmiraigami:
miraigami Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2015  New member Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hi, i was wondering how many feathers are about 1/2 lbs?
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015
Somewhere around 300, last time I ordered.
Reply
:iconitsreah:
ItsReah Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015
Hello, may I use your tutorial in my website? I'll gave you all the credits, of course. 
But, can I translate to my language? 
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
Of course!
Reply
:iconparasitekfb:
parasitekfb Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015  New member Professional Interface Designer
Oh wow, this is perfect. I love your cosplays!

 
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:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2015
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconitalyslasthope:
italyslasthope Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014
How many feathers did you use or I guess pounds sense that's what they're sold in? thanks.
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
For these wings and my latest Alexiel wings etaru.deviantart.com/art/Knock… (mid-sized) I used 1 pound. 
Reply
:iconxoxoadrienne609:
xoxoAdrienne609 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014
This is great! I wonder if the wings are also the method Victoria's Secret fashion show wings are made! 
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
They use similar but differing techniques to make them as light as possible for the models, a friend of mine worked on their runway wings for 2 seasons. 
Reply
:iconhedwiglovesquidditch:
hedwiglovesquidditch Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
added to favs def gonna try this tut thanks!
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
Best of luck! :)
Reply
:iconescapetheworld0:
EscapeTheWorld0 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I'm trying to cosplay Setsuna Mudou from Angel Sanctuary and I really love your cosplay for Alexiel; especially the first set of wings you made for your costume
Can I ask you to list out the items that were needed and how much of each item you used?
I also read your tutorial on Cosplay Gen, where it says 'hot glue, heat gun'; does it mean 'hot glue' and 'heat gun', or just a 'hot gun gun'?
Reply
:iconescapetheworld0:
EscapeTheWorld0 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
When ordering from 'RainbowFeather Co', did you ever contact them by email? or did you only call them to make your orders?
I emailed them a few days ago to ask questions, but they haven't replied.

Also, I'm having trouble finding downs.
Is this the same type of feather? (Link)
If it's the same, the Joann I went to, also it's website, doesn't sell it as a package of feathers; they only have it premade as a boa.
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014
I can't itemize out the materials for you, as you may require different ones from the ones I used, or in varying amounts depending on how large you need your wings to be. 
I used a hot glue gun with glue sticks, the heat gun was for bending the PVC pipe, but I highly recommend you use copper wire as base instead since it can be bent by hand or with pliers. 
Reply
:iconescapetheworld0:
EscapeTheWorld0 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Well I wanted to know what you used and how much so I could compare it and adjust it to how I want it to be... By the way, I'm a beginner crafter
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Also I have more questions
1. If I used wire and made the wings as big as your previous set of wings, would the wire bend just from holding the weight of the wings?
2. On the back, as the wire of the wings come together, does it just end up being like a pole along your spine? Or, with 2-wings, a wide 'U'; with 3-wings, a wide 'U' with the third wing coming from the bottom of the 'U'?
3. From the weight of the wings, at the harness does it slide to an uncomfortable position? Or since you have a corset, the wings are attached and it's not a problem
4. From  above can you explain Step 2, I don't understand what you mean by it
-------------------------------------------------------
I'll probably ask more questions later... Thanks for the help
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
The best I can tell you is, you'll have to just experiment until you find what works best for you. Wings are not a one-technique-fits-all, it's a difficult prop that you have to play around with on the design construction that suits your needs. Even years later, I'm still refining materials and work flows to make them lighter, more flexible, and less expensive, and I've been doing this hobby for many years. Trial and error will be your best bet!
Reply
:iconescapetheworld0:
EscapeTheWorld0 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Student Digital Artist
OK then
Thanks
Reply
:iconescapetheworld0:
EscapeTheWorld0 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Also, with the PVC pipes, can it fold up or bend for storage and when walking in a crowd? or is that only capable with copper wire
Reply
:iconfranci-cornejo:
Franci-Cornejo Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
<font><font>Esta muy bueno tu tutorial!!!</font></font>
Reply
:icontmliza:
TMLiza Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Great tutorial! I have a couple questions though. How big can the wings be using this tutorial before needing to be switched over to PVC pipe? Also I'm guessing they aren't poseable?
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
They are pose-able actually, I used a thicker copper wire for my latest Alexiel/Angel costume  etaru.deviantart.com/art/Knock… and they could be bent in or outward fairly easily. It also just depends on the gauge of the wire base you use that limits the size, and how many feathers/batting you utilize that affects the overall weight.
Reply
:icontmliza:
TMLiza Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's awesome! :D I was thinking about making the wings and then pulling them in around me while walking around the convention hall so I won't bump into anyone or gouge eyes out and spread them out while walking around outside. ^_^
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
That's basically what I had to do as well, large wings look impressive in photographs but tend to be extremely cumbersome and a bother for crowded convention areas. And nobody wants to be THAT JERK with the 10 ft wingspan who blocks foot traffic lol. Natural feathers also have a curve to them, so they'll kind of naturally bend around you as well :)
Reply
:icondemon-roxy:
Demon-Roxy Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Hey, I was wondering if a 10 gauge wire might be too thin or unstable to hold up big wings. It's pretty hard to find any 6 gauge wire where I live.
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
You might want to use 8 or 6 gauge, unless you feel comfortable intertwining several 10 gauge strands together. We can buy it by the meter in most home improvement/hardware stores in the US, but sometimes electrical contractors keep some on hand so you could try that? 
Reply
:icondemon-roxy:
Demon-Roxy Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I found some 7 gauge :D Thanks for the tip! :3
Reply
:iconvaanessawindfall:
VaanessaWindfall Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really great! I'm going to Dragon Con in a few months as an OC of mine, who is an angel. I know a lot of tutorials say using pvc pipe but that looks really heavy and expensive. Overall, how much would you estimate the whole project to cost? I'm trying to find the cheapest yet nicest solution to this. ^^;
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Set aside at least $100-150 for it, the 1 pound of feathers will run you a minimum of $50-60.
Reply
:iconvaanessawindfall:
VaanessaWindfall Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow, okay. Thanks for that! :D I was debating about getting a pair of wings from Amazon, but I gave up after about 20 pairs of wings with bad reviews. xD Keep up the great work; your cosplays are fantastic!
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Thank you!
Yeah it's why I ended up always making my own, store-bought, pre-made ones are always terribly cheesy and thin. Feathers are incredibly durable, you can mess up as many times with them as it takes until you get the perfect pair you're looking for :)
Reply
:iconvaanessawindfall:
VaanessaWindfall Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't get an allowance, so I'll see what I can do to talk my parents into pitching in the money for feathers and fabric ;D Have fun making whatever cosplay you're making now/next! I can't wait to get started on this. My friend is making demon wings, so I'm really excited to see how this all rolls out.
Reply
:iconvaanessawindfall:
VaanessaWindfall Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Also, how did you mount them on?
Reply
:iconlordmuffinx3:
LordMuffinX3 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I shall use this for my England cosplay XDXD
Reply
:iconmyprecioussssss:
myprecioussssss Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Student
Thank you sooo much for this!
Reply
:iconleasilverlight:
LeaSilverLight Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This. Will. Rock.
Thanks so so so much, this is super helpful! I'm planning on cosplaying fem!castiel and the other supernatural characters with a few friends. AWESOMENESS SHALL COMMENCE.
Reply
:iconpikiyo:
Pikiyo Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so useful for my future angel beats cosplay!!!
Reply
:iconjenbracey:
jenbracey Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Great Tutorial
Reply
:iconkigenzen:
Kigenzen Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
Great tutorial! It's the easiest and least materials needed than other tutorials. I'm gonna cosplay Valkyrie Rangdris from Ragnarok
but I have no idea how to attach the wings to my costume since there's still a cape before the wings. Any advice on that?
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
You could sew button holes in the cape if the wings need to go *through* it, otherwise just have the cape resting between the wings and they attach via backpack type straps.
Reply
:iconcrawler312:
crawler312 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am going to give it a go! Thank you so much finding someone to do it for me costs way to much! Thank you
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
Making them yourself is so much cheaper, and gives you the learning experience to be able to perfect them in the future :)
Reply
:iconabralabas:
AbraLabas Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
It's just great! Wings like real
Reply
:iconantilogist:
Antilogist Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student General Artist
I am favoriting this since it may come in handy in the future... This is awesome!!! -excited for project involving wings-
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012
:)
Reply
:iconrioji-chan:
rioji-chan Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Hi! uhmmm.... I don't know much english and I get lost D: please tell me what does it cover the chicken wire? It's felt? no? I don't understand u.u

BUT! your tutorial it's SO amazing! I love it! although I get lost ;m;
Reply
:iconetaru:
etaru Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
You can use felt, but I prefer polyester batting for quilts [link] It's lighter and diffuses light better than felt or fleece.
Reply
:iconrioji-chan:
rioji-chan Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Student General Artist
:OOO

Thanks :33
Reply
:iconsymphonyckuroi:
symphonyckuroi Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
OMG I was searching for a tutorial like this and your wigs are really beautiful! thnks a lot!
Reply
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