You can make angel wings in a lot of ways and this is how I made a pair out of felt for my latest cosplay. This technique is fairly simple but takes a lot of time.
I started by drawing the shape of one wing on a piece of paper (One wing was for me around 33x26 cm). It is a good idea to also draw out how you want the feathers to be on the paper wing so you can get a hint on how big they should be.
For the feathers I used white hobby felt that I cut out in to six different sizes. This step is by far the most time consuming (it take a lot of time!) and I highly recommend making a pattern of the feathers in cardboard to make the process easier. I made around 600 feathers in total to cover back and front on both wings.
To make the feathers more stiff it is a good idea to coat them with mod podge. Just one coat makes a lot of difference and help the wings keep its shape. (I did not do this step with the smallest feathers since they did not need to be stiff).
To see how I wanted the formation of the feathers I placed them out on the paper wing and took a photo so I could check it later on.
For the base of the wings I cut out the shape of the wing in craft foam. Since I wanted the small feathers on the upper part of the wings to be a bit higher up I glued on some extra craft foam there.
To hold the base up I used some black worbla that I twisted the lower part of to give them some angle so they didn’t lay flat. To make sure no color show between the feathers everything was painted white and a stripe of felt was glued over the worbla.
Next I started to glue the first row of feathers to each other. Since I did not want to glue them direcly on the foam wing yet I used needles to help mark the placement of the feathers on the next couple of layers.
When I was done gluing the bigger feathers together I took the foam base away and used some transparent paper to draw out the shape of all the feathers except the first row.
I then placed the paper over the foam base and made dots where the inner corners where the feathers on the lower row met. I then draw a line above it and cut along it. This was made because I realised that the felt feathers where a bit see through and the shape of the foam base could be seen. Higher up it were more feathers and harder to see it.
The base was glued to the feathers and was then flipped over and feathers where glued to that side as well.
For my cosplay I needed red stones on the wings. I used two glass prism, black worbla and some red and gold paint to make them. However this made the wings heavier then they needed to be so if you are making something like this, try to use a lighter material for this part.
And they are done! Time consuming but really light (even with the stones) and easy to make.
So many awesome cosplays at Sakura Con this year. You all are amazing! Here’s just a few from the very many photos I took. It was super fun being at the con with everyone. Looking forward to next year!
Most of the time wings that are a bit heavy needs the support of straps that goes around the shoulders and under the chest to stay up against your back.
Harnesses works very good but if the dress etc have bare shoulders however the straps are going to show.
This is how I normally do wings in a way to avoid having a harness for those character designs.
First of all this method will not work if the top/dress is loose fitted. The wings will require some support to hold them in place on your back. I find that corsets are the best for this especially if the wings are a bit heavy but I have also used it in tops without boning.
Start of making your wings seperated on two bars. Make sure the bars are made out of a stiff material since they are going to support the weight of the wings. If they end up being too weak and bend the wings will slope and gap away from your back.
For my angel wings in felt I used 3 mm thick aluminum bars to hold up my, a bit more heavy, wings. I then covered them in worbla and connecting them using some more worbla, This creates a good wing base and makes them stay with a good distance from each other.
In a similar way I attached an other pair of wings made out of worbla to a base, but since these wings are quite light a few layers of worbla was enough to keep them stiff and not bend.
Make sure not to make the base too short since you will stick it into your back lining and don’t want it to fall out.
One of the most important steps when doing these kinds of wings is to bend the base a bit. Most backs are not 100% flat so put the wing base against you back and mark where on the base where a gap between the base and your back starts to show. If the base is made of a thermoplastic you can just heat it up and bend it at the marking into the right angle. Otherwise, like for the base with aluminum, you can saw it of and reattach them again to create the right angle. You can of course make the angling of the base before attaching the wings but I find it easier to do it after.
When the base is done you can just stick it in to the top. I find that sticking it into the bra strap also helps the wings stay in place a bit better.
I personally love this method since you super easily can take the wings of and back on if you want to sit down or walk in a crowded hallway without worrying about people bumping into you wings.
~Bubblefish (Photo at the top was taken by
My wings are articulated and they’re not attached to my hands in any ways (Though I’m planning to change that by adding a string connected to my hand because my original way of pulling them up didn’t work, they’re too heavy with the feathers).
Here are some pictures of the base:
The idea of articulated wings is that the whole structure moves when you lift/move one part.
As you can see from the picture there are 3 longer and 2 shorter pieces. They’re made out of plywood but I’ve heard that balsa wood is a better option.
There are a total of 7 (14) joints at the points where the pieces of wood overlap. Each wing is attached to the back with a hinge so that I can fold them behind me (Useful in crowds and when walking through doors).
Then there are the feathers, aka the reason I never want to touch scissors again
I used 7m (23 feet) of white felt. I soaked the whole amount of fabric (in pieces) in a mixture made out of glue and water to harden them. It takes at least one or two days for them to dry completely. I forgot to flip some of them around at least once so they got stuck on the floor, dont do that. Cover your floors! I used some big trash bags I found lying around.
I also glued some sticks to the longest feathers after cutting them out to give them more support and to make them look more feathery–like. I made probably 400–500 feathers. I recommend getting your friends to help cutting them if you don’t want to lose your mind :’D
Getting the feathers attached was a tricky part. You can’t just glue them to the base or they’ll be sticking into odd directions when opening/closing the wings.
They need to move around freely so basically I just sticked a loop of wire to each feather. Then I put another piece of wire through it and secured it into place by twisting the two ends together. After that I glued the thing to the frames.
So beautiful! But hey, they aren’t supposed to show. Hot glue is gonna be your best friend at this point.
The biggest feathers are all attached to one big ”ring” made out of thicker wire. Big mess and the backside of the wings.
The feathers are in 3 layers, each layer overlapping the previous feathers:
The primaries and secondaries (1st layer) are painted from both front- and backside. The 2nd and 3rd layers cover the framework so you’re gonna need a lot of feathers over them. Note that wings don’t look the same from both sides!
I used the same technique for attaching the 2nd layer as for the 1st (wire-thingy) but I glued 3 feathers into each other to save time.
The 3rd layer is just glued to the top because will face the right way even if you do so.
When I had attached the feathers they were just hanging straight down (gotta love gravity). I had to do something to get them to lift up when I open the wings so I sewed them together. There goes a thread in the middle of each feather giving the wings also a maximum opening point (which is pretty big). I made some knots that the thread doesn’t slip away.
You won’t be able to do anything with these if you can’t get them on. I made a harness that you put on like a backbag through a hole in the shirt.
And woop, there it is! A pair of hella big articulated wings.
A picture of them closed
– This is kind of obvious but making wings like this is expensive and time consuming. I used probably around 100€ for the materials and the hours I’ve spent on this project are also close to a hundred (2 weeks of working from 10AM to 8PM or more, ugh)
– If you decide to do something like this please be careful not to strain yourself too much! I was crouching on the floor for many days in a row and my back and knees hurt like hell in the evenings. Also my right hand still hurts from bending all the wire although it’s been a week already.
– You’re gonna need space. No, not a small corner with a little table, I mean a huge amount of space. For the most of the time you need to work with the wings open (on a floor unless you have an enormous table), and mine are twice the size of me! tho I’m a 16–year–old short girlThe wingspan is around 4+ meters, so, yeah. Of course you could always make smaller ones which I really do recommend.
– Surprise, this is also really messy! Especially the feathers make a big mess and you’re gonna get little pieces of felt stuck everywhere.
– This requires some sort of knowledge of using different tools. And skill. Feel free to challenge yourself but this isn’t the easiest sort of thing to do. It was hard even for me although I’ve made a pair of (still) wings before.
– These were surprisingly easy to wear around the convention even though the place was small. They are pretty heavy but not too much to not be able to wear them for 2 days straight.
– I bet that there are a lot better ways to do some parts and I’m fixing them & updating this tutorial when I can figure out better alternatives. (Also if you can think of something before me, send me a message!)
I hope that this was at least somewhat useful although it’s not really detailed. If you do make something inspired by this I’d love to see the results. Also it would be great to put a link to this so that other people can also get help making a pair uvu
Edit: Check out also my “davesprite cosplay” tag at my blog for more information!