How to Make Tinkerbell Wings for Halloween or Costume Parties
My daughter loves Tinkerbell. After she watched the movie Tinkerbell, she went on to watch the other three movies: The Great Fairy Rescue, The Lost Treasure and The Secret of the Wings. Personally, I like watching these, too, because they're beautiful. Watching it in Blu-ray makes me feel like I'm drawn into the world of fantasy.
In 2011, I made these wings for her. She used them in a costume party, then I displayed them in my shop for rent. (The photo above shows my daughter wearing her wings in front of my shop.) Last Halloween, most parents were looking for fairy costumes rather than scary or bloody costumes.
These wings can also be used for other events, like themed birthday or holiday parties. Tinkerbell will always be fashionable.
All photos and illustrations here are mine.
You will need:
- GI wire (about 3 millimeters thickness—like that of a spaghetti noddle. Thinner wire is too weak, and the wings won’t form well)
- Thin wires or floral wires
- Tulle fabric (1 yard)
- Paint brush
- Glitters (silver or rainbow)
- Garter (half yard)
- Glue gun and glue stick (glittered glue sticks are available in craft stores)
Tips for Getting Started
- Before you start, check if you have all materials available. No need to rush to a craft store; you can purchase these materials online.
- Wire thickness is expressed in "gauge". I selected the wires according to the appropriate thickness for this project.
- For the fabric, you need 12" to make sure that you will be cutting a single piece. 6" may not be enough to cover the wing spread.
Step 1: Bend and Secure the Intersections or Joints
The illustration above shows how you will bend the wire. Check the direction as shown by the green thin arrows. It is important to note that you have to leave an overhang (shown by the red arrow). This will be bent (in step 4) to become part of the mid-section of the wings. It will help make the output sturdier.
Using thin wires or floral wires, secure the joints (where the wires intersect in the three points as shown in the illustration).
Step 2: Work on the Other Wing
Now, work on the other wing. It looks easier to perform than step 1, but in reality, it is more difficult. You might need another pair of hands to keep the left wing in place while you are bending the wires to form the right wing. When I was working on this, I placed books on the left wing to keep it steady.
You have to be careful that you are making a symmetrical wing. Before securing the intersections/joints, check and counter-check that the sizes of the wings are the same.
Step 3: Bend the Protruding Wire
This is the easiest part: Bend that wire that is protruding. As mentioned earlier, it will reinforce the wings.
Step 4: Coil the Excess Wire Around the Midsection
Using the excess portion of the wire, wrap the midsection by coiling it around all wires that passed through this section. This step is vital because it will hold both sides of the wings. Using pliers, make sure that the end of the wire is not protruding (it may cause injury to the user).
You're done with the wires. It's time to put on the tulle cloth.
Step 5: Form the Wings and Add the Tulle
With one hand on the section marked with red in the illustration, use the other hand to pull the wire away from the midsection (as shown by the arrows).
For fabric, I used tulle. Simply trace the wings on the tulle fabric (make about 1 cm allowance from the wire), cut and sew it. To hide the stitches, I lined it with a glittered glue stick. This will serve another purpose of securing the tulle fabric on the wires.
Step 6: Use Glue and Glitter to Add the Pixie Dust Effect
With a paint brush, apply white glue on the fabric. Then, sprinkle on the glitter.
The illustration shows how the glue should be applied. Make it heavier near the wires (I used this technique in making butterfly wings). One purpose of that is to make the wires not visible. Since the fabric is tulle, the wires may be obvious.
Step 7: Add the Final Touches (Pad, Rhinestones and Garters)
Prepare a pad around 2 inches by four inches. You can do this by cutting out a piece of cardboard and covering it with foam or soft textile. With a glue gun, paste this on the mid-section of the wings (the inner part—the part that will touch your child's back). This serves two purpose:
- It will prevent the wings from swinging or falling out of position.
- It will prevent discomfort that may be caused by the wires.
I pasted rhinestones on the outer midsection of the wings. This will make it more attractive and will hide the wires beneath.
Use the two inch garter. (If you are wondering what's the use of the garter, it's the part that will allow you to wear the wings.)
My daughter watched me when I was making these wings. She helped, too. Simple tasks like handing the scissors, glitter, etc. were a big help from her tiny hands.
A Good Costume Any Time of the Year
She will be using these wings for a Christmas party. At this time, it still fits her. The wings were a bit big for her then. Themed Christmas parties or themed birthday parties are now common. Thanks God, I do not need to make another costume for her. The "pixie" dust makes it have a "Christmas" touch.
I create headdresses and costumes, too, so don’t forget to drop by when Halloween is near. I’ll be adding more “How To” articles. My next project will be "How to make a fairy's wings" or perhaps "How to make an angel's wings."
I hope you enjoyed this and you can make your own wings at home.
Green Fairy Princess Wings
Make or Buy?
Looking at the wings I made, would you opt to follow the steps I laid here or buy a pair of ready-made wings?
© 2013 Maribel Forayo