This is a simple translucent insect-like wing set for a fairy costume using wire coat hangers, glitter, and sheet plastic. I added some extra unnecessary soldering for veins in the wings. If you're in a hurry to make wings, leave that part out.
Thanks to Instructables member Griffin Street Productions with her Cellophane Fairy Wings for the inspiration for this project.
Use caution while using hot iron tools, etc; melting plastic can cause burns so be smart and careful. Ventilate the work space when soldering and when welding plastics.
Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials
I happened to buy a mattress the week of this project; it was wrapped in clear plastic wrap which worked well for the plastic welding here. Otherwise plastic drop "cloth" in the hardware store paint area is a good choice.
Sheet plastic, drop "cloth"
6 wire coat hangers
Section of rubber hose
Non-stick oven paper
(solder and flux, if adding veins)
Clothing hot iron
Heavy wire cutter pliers
(100 watt soldering iron, if adding veins)
Step 2: Wing Frames
Take four wire hangers and bend them into elongated almond shapes. Keep the twisted part and straighten the hook.
Step 3: Soldering in Veins
I soldered in short clips of wire hanger to make veins in the wings. This was tricky because to get a nice solder joint you have to use a lot of heat and flux, otherwise the solder just pools up and doesn't "stick" to the metal. I held the 100 watt soldering iron on each joint for at least a minute and then added the solder.
This whole step can be skipped and the veins could be added with puffy paint.
Step 4: Layer the Plastic and "weld"
Cut a sheet of plastic for each wing section, enough to fold it over like a taco. Sandwich the wing frame and plastic between two sheets of oven paper. Then with a clothing iron set to high or cotton, iron the wing starting with the edges and then moving toward the center. Keep the iron moving and check to see if the plastic is melting together.
At this point add glitter and layer on another sheet of plastic to seal it in. Iron it into place remembering to use the oven paper.
Use scissors to trim excess plastic around the edges and use a heat gun to shrink everything tightly into place.
Step 5: Wing Attachment
I used a 5 inch piece of 1/2 inch rubber automotive hose as a stiff yet flexible mount for the wing sections. I bent the wing wires to 90 degrees, added some bends into the wires and inserted as shown in the photos. A piece of garden hose might work for this step.
Then I folded more sheet plastic and ironed it over the hose using the oven paper and the iron. I layered it four sheets thick while adding a sprinkle of glitter before the last layer. Then using the heat gun I melted it more which tightened up the wing base.
Using rubber with the plastic keeps the assembly strong yet flexible.
Step 6: Shoulder Straps
I used more clear sheet plastic to make the shoulder straps. I layered two sheets and ironed them together, then cut two 1/2 inch wide, 3 foot long straps out of it.
Then I used the pliers to make 4 D-rings to adjust strap tension. I added these to the end of each strap by looping the strap though and iron welding it to itself.
I used the iron and oven paper to attach the straps to the wing base.
That's it; it took about 3 hours but could be done under two if the soldering is avoided.