Introduction: Wire Skeleton Wings

Picture of Wire Skeleton Wings
I made these wire skeleton wings for a friend's birthday a few years ago. You'll have to forgive me if the steps are a bit hazy.

Materials needed:
  • 1 spool of 9 gauge wire (maybe 20 feet)
(Check the chain link fence dept. of home depot)
  • 1 spool of 12 gauge wire (maybe 10 feet)
(I believe I got it in the department mounting things to the ceiling.)
  • 1 3' 1/8" metal rod
  • JB Weld (maybe 3 tubes)
  • Lots of silver ribbon]
  • 1" black webbing (maybe 5')
  • Buckles

Tools needed:
  • Wire / bolt cutters

Note on wire: In gauges, the smaller the number the thicker the wire. So a 9 gauge wire the thicker, sturdier wire, and the 12 gauge is the thinner stuff.

Step 1: Prep

Picture of Prep

You'll want to cover the surface area with something. I used a piece of fabric, which both kept junk off the carpet, and provided contrast so that pins and other small pieces didn't get lost.

Step 2: Frame

Picture of Frame

Since this was going to be a pretty heavy frame, I needed something that would be strong enough to hold it up. Wire doesn't come much thicker than 9 gauge (or at least I wasn't able to find any) so I opted for a 3' metal rod.

After bending it into shape, I cut lengths out of the 9 gauge wire, bending them and laying them out into the shape I wanted for the frame.

Step 3: Spines

Picture of Spines

Next I laid out the vertical spines on both sides, using 9 gauge wire. Once I was happy that they were mirrored on both sides in terms of length, curve, and spacing, I added the "ribs" also using 9 gauge wire.

The right side of this picture shows how your wings should look at this point, except nothing should be connected yet.

Step 4: Fake Welding

Picture of Fake Welding

To attach the pieces of wire together:

1. Get two (or more) pieces of wire lined up
2. Prepare some JB Weld
3. When it is somewhat hardened, coat the joint in the mixture
4. Wrap the joint in the silver ribbon as smoothly as possible, and tie off the end.

The tips (not pictured here) are the hardest, since you have to get several points together at once. I believe I did one connection at a time. Wrap two wires together, then the two with the next one, and so on Bulkier connection, but less likely to fall apart.

This picture shows a close up of a several connections from later in the project.

Step 5: Small Arcs

Picture of Small Arcs

After connecting the spines, cut out the small for each ridge. Bend them into shape and lay them out for the entire wing before attaching any of the wire.

Once you are happy, start connecting all the pieces. This part takes forever.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

Next I snipped off loose ends of ribbon and trimmed the spines to even them out a bit.

I gently bent the entire structure, to give it a slightly convex shape.

Finally, the webbing was attached to the base.


The Mad Thinker made it! (author)2014-10-26

Thanks for the great instructable. I made a pair for my wife this Halloween. I did weld them (using a MIG), and smoothed out the joints using a grinder and wire brush attachment.

Thanks so much for posting the pictures! It made my day to see that you got use out of my instructable--they look great! It's cool that you could weld them--I always wanted to learn for projects like this.

Hope you guys had a great halloween!

Phsycoduckie (author)2010-10-07

One last question. How would you go about putting it on and wearing it. That seems to be the only thing I missed out of the instructables. Im guessing it has something to do with the buckles.

Phsycoduckie (author)2010-09-30

Could you weld these together and have it still work if you smoothed it out?

ethernight (author)Phsycoduckie2010-10-01

I assume! I didn't know how to weld at the time, and I've still never worked with such thin materials. But I'm sure someone who is skilled at it could easily make it work!

Ms.Stabs (author)2010-03-16

I love those gonna have to do that for Halloween

downgrade (author)2008-11-14

That's pretty cool, too bad I already got mine tattooed on.

mg0930mg (author)2008-11-12

Cool. How long did it take to make.

ethernight (author)mg0930mg2008-11-12

It was awhile ago, so I'm not sure. I would guess I spent several hours per night on it for a week, possibly two.

mg0930mg (author)ethernight2008-11-12

Nice job!

pirateykris (author)2008-11-11

Very cool! I likes it. Now, just need an occasion/excuse to work up a pair... :)

JakeTobak (author)2008-11-11

wow, that's awesome.

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