Easy Ways To Make Your Own Fairy Wings And Accessories For Halloween
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Elizabeth Miller. Find them on Instagram at @Lizzy_7979. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
Halloween is around the corner, and, as a crafter, I love to make as much of my costumes as possible. I thrift a lot of the pieces and materials that go into my costumes and I use my skills to alter, customize, and create different elements. Over the years I’ve made jewelry and staple clothing pieces of some of my favorite characters, like Howl Pendragon’s jewelry from the Studio Ghibli movie Howl’s Moving Castle. Especially around this time of year, I like to look at a bunch of tutorials to see what I want to make for Halloween. Again and again, I’ve seen Halloween and Renaissance fair costumes with such cute fairy wings! They are always super popular, and I’ve been dying to make some for a long time. If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to make some fairy wings and other fairy accessories for Halloween, this article has all you need!
How To Make Fairy Wings
Most homemade fairy wings use wire as a frame to hold the desired shape. Filling in the spaces between is optional, but there are a bunch of different materials to personalize your wings. My favorite is the iridescent look of cellophane, but I’ve seen people use paper mache, thin fabrics, yarn that has been knitted or crocheted into the shapes, and macrame cord knotted to make even smaller shapes like on butterfly wings.
There are also two main types of wings, ones that use over-the-shoulder straps to stay on, and ones that have a U shape between the wings. Over-the-shoulder straps can be made with elastic or ribbon, but sometimes this gets in the way of sleeves. Wings that have the U of wire between them slip under a corset, vest, harness, or other tight top to stay affixed to your back.
The materials you need include:
- Paper, preferably a big roll, but if not tape together a bunch of pieces
- Marker, pen, or pencil
- Stiff wire, such as galvanized steel, gauge recommended between 9 and 12
- Electrical tape to buffer sharp edges and hold the frame together
- Wire cutter
- Jewelry pliers (highly recommended)
- Elastic or ribbon if using the over-the-shoulder strap method
To make the frame:
- Lay out a big sheet of paper and design a wing. You will only need the one side, this will act as a template for both wings so they are even. Get the overall outline and any connecting pieces drawn out onto the paper.
- Take the wire and bend it into the shapes using the template. Try to make the outline of one wing starting and returning to where the wing connects to the back, but do not cut the wire yet! If you are using the over-the-shoulder strap method, leave about 4 inches of wire, flip it over, and make your second outline so that both wings are connected. If using the U shape method, shape the wire into a squared U shape, flip it over, and make the outline for the second wing so both are connected. Wrap aby wire ends to the frame to create any inner shapes part of the design, following the drawn lines on the template. Use wire cutters and jewelry pliers for any hard shapes and edges. Test to see if it’s bent in the way you want it to.
- Wrap the frame in electrical tape, covering any sharp ends. Focus mainly on the wire in between the wings and any heavy parts of the wings, because the wire will have the most stress in those locations so it will need extra support!
- Figure out which material you’d like to fill in the gaps with! For yarns and macrame, those will be highly dependent on your skill level, and will not be the most weather resistant. Paper mache is also not very weather-resistant without a special coating. For cellophane and fabric, sandwiching the frame with spray adhesive is the most recommended method. Set cellophane with a hair dryer or heat gun.
- Gently bend the wings so they are not flat against your back. For straps, glue or loop the elastic to the center bar between the wings.
Pointed Fairy Ears
Silicone pointed ears are also super popular accessories for fairy outfits. While plain ones can be nice, the skin tone often does not match very well, and they would look even nicer with some jewelry. Luckily, this is an easy fix!
To get the color to look more natural, brush it with blush! Use a powder blush and a thick, fluffy brush, focusing mainly on any folds, shadows, and the tip of the ear. Set with hairspray or a matte clear coat of spray paint.
To give the ear some earrings, poke holes in the ear with a heated sewing needle. Heat a metal sewing needle very carefully for a few seconds, and you should be able to pierce the ear easily. Just in case, do this in a well-ventilated area. You can decorate the ears with any earrings, but you can also use jewelry-making jump rings as easy hoops. Just open the ring, slide it in, and hide the gap in the hole.
When I think of fairy jewelry, I think of trinket charm bracelets, layered necklaces, and dangly earrings with nature themes. Check out your local craft store for their selection of beads and charms. I would look for beads that have an iridescent coating and lots of facets, both colored and clear. Some shapes of clear beads look like raindrops, especially when dancing on delicate chains on earrings. Leaf-shaped beads, especially in autumnal colors, can look like falling leaves when they dangle too. Other fun beads and charms you could use are butterflies, bugs, mushrooms, flowers, and natural rocks and gemstones. Beads that are chip shards can be organized to make fun ombres and gradients when stacked on wire. The jewelry you make is personal and depends on the type of fairy costume you’re looking to make. Hopefully, these suggestions gave you some inspiration!
What type of fairy are you going to be this Halloween? Tell us in the comments below!