• Valerie Simpson

Angel Wings | Client Closet Feature

I LOVE my big, fluffy, pink Angel wings. Bet you didn't know I made those bad boys! Yep. And we have more in the works. But I wanted to share with you how I did it, because it's cool, and quite a few of you have asked.

First, I spent A LOT of time on Pinterest. There actually aren't a lot of good tutorials out there, and I knew I'd be doing a lot of my own thing, anyway. But I saved what I could find and took it into consideration. Most tutorials had people using 500-600 feathers. Now, even pricing around, the cheapest I could find was $1 per feather, and I don't know about you but I wasn't really into investing $500 into something I wasn't even sure I could pull off.

I started designing originally planning on doing just one sided wings, and putting on a harness system with a clip that I could just turn the wings around to face either the front of back depending on which way I was shooting the client. While I ultimately didn't end up going with this idea, it could 100% be done, as now that I've shot with them a few times I have had only one pose where you could possibly see the front of one wing and the back of the other. So if you really wanted to save time, effort, and money you could absolutely make wings with feathers on only one side.

So planning the way I did (one sided) I cut all those tutorial estimates in half (actually by more, but I knew I didn't want my wings to drag the floor, so I nixed about 100 feathers that way as well.) I ended up getting two different lengths of feather, 100 pink 12-14 inch feathers, and 100 pink 10-12 inch feathers. I actually also ordered 100 12-14 inch black rooster tail feathers, planning on interspersing them into the pink just to give it an edgier look, but I ended up not liking it and I'll be using them for a different project.

I bought a lingerie cage to accompany my wings, and ALMOST rigged it up to where the wings connected directly to the harness. I only didn't do this because I felt maybe not all my clients would want to wear the harness. And they don't, so it's a good thing I nixed that idea. Instead I bought a roll of velvet pink ribbon and two buckles, and I just hook the ribbons beneath the arm.

I got wire from Home depot, in the home wiring department - I think it was 14g solid. I wanted it bendable but to be able to hold it's shape. I 3 yards of pink tulle from Hobby Lobby - I wanted lace but they didn't have any. The tulle worked just fine, the only downside is the hot glue can go through one side and onto the other, but this wasn't really an issue. I bought two clips and two buckles from HobLob - I only used the buckles. I also had hot glue gun and glue, electrical tape, cardboard, and foamboard (I only used the foam board.)

Total cost:

200 Ostrich feathers: $250

Wire: $12

Buckles: $5

3 Yards of Tulle: $3 (on sale!)

Hot glue gun/glue/tape/foamboard: already had on hand

Time: About 15 hours

I laid my feathers out so I could see about how many I needed per side, and how large I needed the wings to be. I started with my 'bones' and molded my wire to the size I wanted. I used a mannequin so I could see exactly how high up they would sit and how low I wanted them to hit.

I needed the bones to be a little more sturdy, so I cut up some carboard and used it to strengthen them, but it didn't work, so I used some foam board I had laying around. This did work, and while it's fine, if your wings are backlit in just the right direction you'll see that piece of foamboard in shadow, so if I were to do it again I'd actually reinforce the entire wing with a piece of board instead of just one strip.

I hot glued my fabric straps directly to the foamboard, and then because it felt like it could come off with a good pull I reinforced it with electrical tape. I used enough ribbon so that you could use it either under-arm or cross-chested.

I cut the tulle roughly to the size of the wing and hot glued it all around the edges. I pulled it taught but not tight, and each side of the wing has it's own panel of tulle, rather than try and drape one piece over both sides. To reinforce the glue and make sure it stayed where I wanted it I threaded some sewing thread all the way around the bones. This also gave me an opportunity to pull the tulle a little but tighter in places I needed it.

Then I glued the wings! I put the long ones on the bottom and the smaller ones on top. I started with the top on one of the wings but by the time I'd finished them I learned to start at the very bottom and move up. I don't know that it's necessarily easier but it is less messy with the glue. I also put feathers around the top edge, starting from the outside and moving in. I had literally a handful of feathers left so I just stuck them anywhere that felt thin.

This was a super cool project and I'll definitely be making another set!

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