Introduction: Made With Magic Fiber Optic Wings
These wings are a mix of a two instructables with a dash of 3D printing.
While the wings are very cool by themselves, the real magic is wearing them at the Disney Parks (during holidays that allow adults to wear costumes, of course). The wings are made from vinyl, iridescent wrap, wire, and sparkle fiber optic wire. The harness is 3D printed, with the Made with Magic Minnie bows and AAA battery pack.
I've added a YouTube video of the wings in action!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- 12 gauge wire
- 20 gauge vinyl
- E6000 Glue (Really clear glue)
- Masking Tape
- Iridescent Wrap (NOT shrink wrap)
- Krylon Spray Glue (Really clear glue)
- Sparkle Fiber Optics (3 Strand, 0.75mm)
- Black Thread
- Instamorph Plastic (You don't need a whole lot)
- AAA Battery Pack with Switch
- Made with Magic Minnie Bow (Can be purchased at Disney parks)
- Aluminum Foil (optional)
- 3D Printer (or find a print service online)
- Soldering Iron
- Needle Nose pliers
- Hot Glue
- Hot Knife (or attachment to soldering iron like this)
Step 2: Sizing Wings
In order to decide what's an appropriate sized wing for you:
- Find a wing design online or draw one
- Upload to Rasterbator.net
- I would start at trying 2 pages wide
- Be sure to check what size paper it's using - default is A4
Step 3: Cut Out Wings
Use your template to cut out your wings
- Place the template under the vinyl
- Trace with a sharpie or other marker
- Cut out
- Repeat for the other wing
Step 4: Straighten Wire
Cut a piece of wire that goes from where the top of the wing and the bottom of the wing meet about 3/4 of the way up plus a few inches.
How I straighten wire:
- Take a small piece of 2 x 2 ( enough to fit in a vise)
- Drill a hole a little bigger than the wire gauge
- Place in vise
- Stick the wire in to your drill chuck
- Stick the wire through the hole
- Slowly turn the drill on and slowly pull it through the hole
Step 5: Add Iridescent Wrap
You'll need to keep an eye on which side is which for this step.
- Unroll the iridescent wrap on to a flat clean table
- Tape the sides of the iridescent wrap to the table (a few pieces will do to keep it taut)
- Spray one vinyl wing (not near the wrap please!)
- Slowly roll the vinyl wing glue side down on to the iridescent wrap
- I found using a roll of wrapping pair to press it down gave the best result
- Cut the wing out of the iridescent wrap
- It's OK to cut a little bit of the vinyl off as well to give it a clean edge
Repeat the above steps, but make sure you spray the OTHER side of the vinyl. When you lay the wings down as if you were wearing them, you want the iridescent wrap to be on the same side.
Step 6: Attach Wire to Wing
Hot Glue and Iridescent Wrap are not good friends
- Take a craft knife and carefully cut a 1/4" piece of the iridescent wrap off of the side where the wire will go
- Be sure to only cut from where the top and bottom of the wing meet to the about 3/4 of the way up - the length of the wire to attach
- Use masking tape to keep the wire in place along the wing
- Hot glue sections of the wire
- I found pressing the wire down with the roll of masking tape helped it adhere
- Once those sections cool, take the pieces of tape off and glue the rest of the wire
Step 7: Separating the Fiber Optics
The sparkle fiber optics come 3 strands in a vinyl sleeve.
- Use a craft knife to carefully slice open the vinyl sleeve
- Pull out the three individual strands
- I found it easiest to cut off large-ish sections and work with that
Step 8: Creating the Design
Now for the fun part
- Place the template under the wing
- Make sure the vinyl side is facing up and not the iridescent wrap
- Start taking your fiber optics and placing them to the corresponding lines on your design
- Use masking tape to keep the strands in place
- Gather the ends where the top and bottom of the wings meet
- Keep at least 3 inches extra
- Use foil to keep them all together neatly
Step 9: Glue It Down
Once you've laid all the fiber optics over the design, it's time to glue it all down
- Squeeze some E6000 glue out
- Use a toothpick to grab a glob of glue
- Start by putting dots of glue on all of the ends of the fiber optics to keep them down
- The ends on the vinyl, not the ones in the foil
- Continue dotting the fiber optics with glue until they will not fall off
- See picture - not everywhere has glue. Just where it's needed
- DO NOT glue right next the bundle of fiber optics in the foil. We'll do this in a bit
Step 10: Bundle It Together
Now that the design is permanently stuck, you need to create a bundle
- Tie a constrictor knot around the fiber optics close to the wire where the top and bottom of the wing meet
- Wrap the fiber optics bundle together until you have approx 2 -2.5 inches wrapped
- Tie a constrictor knot to keep the bundle from unraveling
- Use your hot knife to cut off all of the ends of the fiber optics
- Try your best to make this a parallel cut
- Do not cut the thread
Step 11: Repeat With a Twist
For the second wing, you're going to use the first wing as a template
- Place the first wing fiber optic side down
- Place the second (blank wing) on top, vinyl side up
- Repeat steps 8-10 for this wing
Step 12: Create the Harness
First you need to disassemble the Made with Magic Minnie Bow. This is pretty straightforward - cut the bow off, take the plastic thing out, unscrew anything that has a screw, cut the wires.
- Print the harness
- Desolder the switch from the Bow board and toss
- Solder the ground of the battery pack to the ground of the Bow board
- Solder the power to the connection shown above
- Heat the Instamorph according to instructions
- Place the Bow board on to the printed harness as shown above
- Use the instamorph plastic to attach the board
- Use zip ties to keep the battery pack on the board
Step 13: Attach Stoppers
I found that the fiber optics tend to pull the wings together, to combat this, we add "stoppers" to keep them from moving so much.
- Print two stoppers
- Slide the stopper up the wire to sit next to the fiber optic bundle
- Place the wing and bundle in to the harness
- Adjust the stopper so the wings sit at a desirable angle
- You may need to sand the stopper down a bit
- Mark where the stopper should go with a sharpie on the wire
- Use JB Weld to keep the stopper from moving
Step 14: Go Forth!
And that's it!
The harness works by weaving a bra band over the wires and under the battery pack to keep it close to the back. The IR sensors in the Made with Magic Minnie Bows are able to receive signals through fabric and will interact with the shows and rides in the parks!
Please let me know if you have any questions!
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.