From Fantasy Film to Tights: 4 Fairy Wing Tutorials for All Levels

By Ashley Hasna

Tinkerbell, Crysta, Navi, and of course the newly reimagined Maleficent may exist in different realms, but they have one thing in common: fairy blood. Despite their diverse colors, sizes, and wings, each of these characters are considered fairies.

Although small finger-sized creatures immediately come to mind, fairies can be the size of a full-grown human. (Not to be confused with angels—think more of a Fairy Godmother figure.) And like fae folks’ sizes, their mode of transportation is as distinctive as they are.

Just like people, fairy wings are all different. Long and clear, round and red—there are as many cosplay options as there are clouds in the sky. And unlike Trix, these magical costumes aren’t just for kids. Get inspired and create your own wings to match any ensemble for any age.

Not all tutorials are created equal, so we’re sharing thorough and easy to follow tutorials for all skill levels and expenses. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate wings into your next costume, check out the 4 tutorials below:

  1. Wings With Wire Hangers and Tights:
    Your costume is ready, but you can’t find the right wings to match? This mom took matters into her own hands by making something personal for her toddlers.

    This tutorial requires no sewing and minimal effort. Our easiest of the bunch, these wings have a fast turnaround time. Using 4 wire coat hangers, 2 pairs of tights, some Duct Tape, and other decorating materials, this mother creates sets of wings in any color.

    See the full list of materials, step-by-step instructions, and pictures here.

  2. Transparent Wrapping Paper Wings:
    The woodland butterfly look not what you’re going for? This tutorial is very similar to the one above, but gives a very different result. It’s still no sew and plan to twist those hangers, but it incorporates transparent wrapping paper for a completely different feel and association. For a clear look, try these wings out.

    See full tutorial here.

  3. Fantasy Film Fairy Wings:
    Realism rules these next two tutorials. Leave it to deviantArt to pick up the pace and skill level. If you’re looking for a tutorial that gives you more of a realistic Tinkerbell-like look, this one is for you. Still no sew, but plan on making friends with your iron. This requires 2 different gauges of wire (for frame and veins), a special material (large Fantasy Film sheets), and some fleece material (poke protection) to cover the wire connectors. In addition, this one has an option of hiding the attachment to your costume instead of using elastic over the shoulders.

    Head on over to deviantArt to see the full tutorial and Fantasy Film in all its iridescent glory.

  4. No Wire Cellophane Customizable Fairy Wings:
    No wire needed for this next one, but keep those irons out because we saved the most complex for last. These wings look and move naturally, are very light, and despite the description are very sturdy. Not only do these designs allow for more shape customization, but they also don’t pose a risk of poking someone while wandering the comic con venues. On top of this, they only take about an hour to make and cost very little.

    How is this accomplished? Using glue, poster board, and cellophane—not gift basket shrink wrap—that’s an important distinction for this one.

    This video covers everything from a realistic design, to the blades she suggests using, to how to mount wings under your costume instead of using elastic. Watch the tutorial here.

Additional tips:

  1. Find Inspiration: These tutorials are only meant to get the juices flowing. Don’t be intimidated to experiment with color, decorating materials, size, and shape to create what you want. Look beyond well-known characters for inspiration to create your own. Use art, nature, and books to get a design that fits your style. No better inspiration than the creatures that use their wings everyday.
  2. Consider the Venue: While Maleficent’s full-sized wings would certainly command attention, consider how you’ll wear them and get them around. That wingspan is larger than most cars on the road. Consider modifying existing characters if there are conditions that make it too difficult to attempt the full model.

Have you tried your hand at fairy wings? Or do you have a material or tutorial you’d suggest? Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. Salt Lake Comic Con does is not affiliated or endorsing any of the blogs or companies listed. We’re just sharing information to help make the next Comic Con the best it can be.