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How to Make Feathered Angel or Fairy Wings

These feathered wings are perfect for occasions that require a costume, like Halloween or a Christmas nativity play, but are also sturdy enough to be worn for everyday imaginative play.

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Materials Needed:

  • white foam core board
  • 150 6"- 8" coquille goose feathers
  • 2 yards sheer 1" wide white ribbon
  • 1 large package fluffy white craft feathers
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • scissors
  • craft knife
  • cutting board or mat
  • oval platters or small serving bowls to use as templates

Cut Foam Core Ovals

Create a foam core base for wings by tracing around oval platters or small serving bowls to create five ovals in the following approximate sizes: two large ovals that are around 8"x4" and three small ovals that are around 4"x2" (Image 1). Use a craft knife to cut them out (Image 2).

Create Ribbon Straps

Using sharp scissors, cut a 2-yard piece of sheer white ribbon piece in half (Image 1). Use a craft knife to punch four holes, in the shape of a square, in one of the smaller ovals (Image 2). Thread each ribbon through two holes with all ends facing same direction; these ribbons will be the wings' straps (Image 3).

Assemble Wings' Foam Core Base

Place four ovals, large on top, on work surface in a butterfly wing pattern. Place oval with ribbon straps over the center of the other ovals and trace around its location with pencil (Image 1). Remove then apply hot glue inside the traced area (Image 2) and press oval into hot glue with ribbons facing out. Hold in place until glue dries (Image 3).

Begin Adding Feathers

Turn foam core base over so the side with ribbon straps is facing down. Arrange wide coquille goose feathers around the top edge of large ovals to create the outside shape of wings (Image 1). Use a craft knife to cut slits in the foam core board's side where feathers will be inserted (Image 2). Use scissors to clip feather ends to about 1/2" - 3/4" long for a better fit (Image 3). Apply a dab of hot glue to feather end (Image 4) then insert in cut slit. Squeeze sides together with fingers until glue cools (Image 5). Repeat with other feathers until desired wing shape is created.

Fill Out Upper Wing

Apply hot glue directly to foam core board a few inches below the feathers that were inserted in Step 4 and attach more rows of feathers. Continue to layer feathers until wing shape is full and most of large oval foam core pieces are covered (Images 1, 2 and 3).

Add Feathers to Lower Wing and Back Side

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 on lower portion of wings (Image 1). Once completed, flip wings over and add feathers to the outer edges — but not the portion that will touch child's back — of back side, following the wing's outline you created on the front side (Images 2 and 3). Note: At this point, feather tips and some foam core board will still be visible.

Finish Wings

Flip wings back over and, working inward from the outside, apply hot glue to foam core then attach small, fluffy craft feathers to cover larger feather points and add a downy texture (Image 1). Continue applying glue and feathers until all foam core is covered. Clip 2" - 3" off the ends of 8-10 larger coquille goose feathers (Image 2). Apply glue in the wings' center then press clipped feather points into glue, allowing them to fan out toward wings' ends (Images 3 and 4). Finally, flip wings over and cover feather points on back side with any remaining fluffy feathers, adhering them with hot glue. Note: Since this side will not be visible when worn, feathers don't need to cover all of the foam core. Have your child try on their wings and if all visible bits of foam core are covered, you're done.

Tip: Feathered wings aren't just for costumes. They've become a popular decorative item over the past few years. Hang them on chair backs or over a mantel for a fanciful touch.

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