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How to make a pair of Angel Wings

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In this Instructable I will explain how to make a pair of wings which could be used to dress up as an angel, bird, or anything else with feathered wings (for example certain species of dragon). 

The motivation for this outfit was 1) I like to make a spectacle of myself, 2) I was going to the local Surfers Against Sewage fancy dress ball, the theme being recycling. I decided to go as a recycled human being. This evolved into 'Recycled Elvis', although I actually looked more like 'Recycled Morrissey'.

I am somewhat of a perfectionist and wanted to make the wings the best that they could be, hence I spent around 70 hours on them. There are many shortcuts you could take to do it in much less time.

It's rather difficult to rate the expense and difficulty of this project; I spent about 200 pounds on the wings and another 200 pounds on the rest of the angel outfit, although you could do it for next to nothing with a bit of effort. I will explain as we go through. As for difficulty, it is not technically complicated but it does require a lot of patience. In this Instructable I have described most of the simple practical and mathematical techniques used to make the wings; I have assumed very little previous knowledge and ability. Please be patient with these passages if they do not apply to you.

If you do decide to make wings from this Instructable please make sure that you read all of it carefully first, then read well ahead of the point you are working from in order that you pick up all the relevant points before you go ahead.

You will find out later how I attached the wings, but I can say that I danced the night away and a particularly irritating man tried to pull the wings off but they stayed on. I fell over he pulled so hard.

I love inventing things in my spare time; I've invented a new way of making molded ear plugs from a kit; .my moulded earplug company website is here. I've developed a new technique for making moulded swimming earplugs, sleeping earplugs and snoring earplugs which you might find interesting, I've got two patents pending on them.
 
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TGeF16 days ago
O wow! This is amazing!
I think I'm gona make them too!
What is the thing on wall in last pic???
realife115 months ago
Looks fantastic!
The glowing orb balls around you in the finished photo pics
look like the tibetan mandala patterns, especially the large one on your chest.
It actually adds to the 'angel' effect, LOL.
lpitcher6 months ago
Excellent Instructable - I'll be following this for an upcoming photo-shoot with a pair of black and a pari of white wings.
Thanks!
rboggess12 years ago
i would like to know if it would be possible to change the feathers into a more bat like appearance or even a shredded fabric?
try crin (crinoline), used to make hats and cyberlocks , available in tubes, flat ribbon, and by themeter, its tough and comes in a vast array of colors http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Crafts-/14339/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=crin
Animatrixx6 months ago
why not a clip in additional end that you could pop off to go sit and to get on the bus etc then take them off and put them on to get around the usual obstacles. Ideally this should be made to be popped into a box of some sort to transport so you don't need to hassle with the issue at all. As for sources of feathers, try eBay and try the woods and the edge of corn and wheat fields i got masses of crow feathers by finding the trees where they roost at night, they shed flight and tail feathers.. eBay was a great resource. I managed to get everything from crow feet and skulls to whole wings on the cheap, you can really save if you get the raw (uncured) wings from fishing supply shops frozen then you can keep them in the fridge til you need hem and pull the feathers yourself or mount them on a board in the position you want them and slowly dry cure them it works a treat or smaller wing adornments... And these are from legal culls btw pest birds harassing crops etc. But for cruelty free try the roosting spots method and time and you will get a lot of them or eBay craft supply. Chinese craft supply have amazing deals on things like feather rope edge which is pre mounted feathers of about 6 to 8 inches length at roughly a fiver per meter saving you a lot of mounting time.
Steamfunk7 months ago
Wow! The craftsmanship is remarkable. Awesome job.
charmens8 months ago
Wouldn't it be cool if you added hooks along the top of the wood, then run a string from the tip to the back, that way you could pull on the string and open them discreetly without touching them. or maybe a spring and latch that allows the wings to open and close. i used to do that trick when creating toys in class.
I love maximum ride, and these wings are kind of what i'd imagine the kids' wings to be like. cool instructable!
same
Gnara your dog3 years ago
agreed
except, bigger than these, right? not to dis the wings, they're great. i just always imagined the wings in maximum ride to be huge (which would be much more realistic if one wished to give man flight, bird bones or no)
yeah, much bigger, but it's how i imagine the basic structure.
T0BY (author)  VampireFrancesca10 months ago
Problem is, any bigger and you can't sit on a chair, or in a car. You have to stand up the whole time when you are wearing them.
I used to love maximum ride, then it died and I pretend that saved the world and other extreme sports is the last one...


AWESOME wings though.
I so agree! the first three are the best. from there it goes down hill.
Did you read the original two?
When the wind blows and The lake house?
Dirzdra Gnara1 year ago
When the Wind Blows and The Lake House were so good! I remember reading the first in 2001 and the latter in 2004. I honestly haven't read the Maximum Ride series, but I did flip through the first book. It seemed more like a rewrite with different details rather than an altogether part of a series.
Gnara Dirzdra1 year ago
Yeah, pretty much. The series turn into a teen relationship drama. lol
yeh the books really arent very good now but they started out as one of my favourite series
ikr? I'm gonna be maximum ride for Halloween, cause I'm just obsessed like that.
jwhite581 year ago
hey man would you know where else to get feathers? i prefer raven/crow/black feathers. I checked Ostrich.com and they went out of business.
T0BY (author)  jwhite5810 months ago
Very bad news! They were the only suppliers I could find at the time! Anyone else come across a supplier?
also for cheap please
How much would this all cost?
T0BY (author)  iggy-da-bird-kid10 months ago
Hello!

I spent about £400 on materials, including trousers, Converse and a new haircut.
kitkatscat1 year ago
Can you tell me where to get the feathers? Ostrich.com closed its doors a while back, so i cant do it until i get feathers, and i need to make these before oct. 23!!!! also, could you make a video cause im not very good at making things if its just instructions.

Fly on,
Hazel.
katheriine1 year ago
Hey Toby,
Thanks for the tutorial, it was a great help and motivation for me to make my own wings for my end of year assignment.
Your instructions were a bit hard to follow, so I sometimes found myself changing or 'winging' (hehe) parts of the project, however, it all turned out good in the end.

I attached a few images of what your production has inspired.
Keep up the great work~

- Kathie
photo (7).JPGphoto (9).JPGphoto (10).JPG
Nyanman3 years ago
hmmm...
want to make now.
wonder if I could get away with this for prom...
and thinking out loud...

can they be scaled up?
IMHO, i'd want to add just a little extra length to them. maybe no more than a foot.
would el wire work or those fiber optic things instead of that many feathers?
T0BY (author)  Nyanman2 years ago
I'd have made them longer but I wouldn't be able to sit down. I had to travel by car with them on.
bfaygo T0BY1 year ago
im 6' 4 3/4 without the gothic 3inch platformboots that go with my costume, so im gonna try and add at least a foot and a half mabe 2
bfaygo1 year ago
hey dr. toby, im a HUGE fan and i hav some half demon half angel wings im makin with a wing span of 6-8 ft, im basein them on ur entir designe but i hav encountered a slight problem, im usin realistic synthetic leather for the demon side, but i cnt find the right feathjers for the angel wing, ostrich.com went outta buisness a lil while bak and i cnt find the right type of feather online if u hav any sugestions at all, pplleeaassee let me no. u can contact me on face book at, bridget faygo, its my fiancee's page, pls help me with this im not sure if i can complete these wings in time for mtac with out ur help, thnk u for ur time and i deeply deeply appreciate any and all help u may be able to provide
How long did you complete it?
janderson642 years ago
your house has ghost orbs in it freaky lol !!!!!!!!
his house is just dusty kid :D
Asm0deus2 years ago
Would I be able to move my arms forward when wearing these?
I intend to use them during my final assessment task in Theatre Studies at school and will be needing full movement of my arms for that
janderson642 years ago
your house has ghost orbs in it freakyyy!!!!!!!!!!!
FrozenIce2 years ago
i really like it :) i might even take ur concept idea and make wings for an action figure to use in a stopmotion short :)
acoleman82 years ago
If i wanted to could i change certain parts to make them into demon/angel wings? You know like one wing is like a red bat the other your angel wing design.
monkeys982 years ago
these are so awesome and detailed
i could never build this
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