My friends and I decided to ride in a costumed bike ride and we chose The Wizard of Oz as our theme. Instantly I realized I wanted to be a flying monkey. I haven't ever made feather like wings so this was new to me. A friend enlightened my to the use of thin packing foam as a realistic and durable alternative to feather (and cheaper aka free).
Step 1: Monkey Wings Construction
The basis for my wings is the description of them from the book, so more bird like than bat.
Supplies: Chicken Wire
Metal coat hangers (2)
Hot glue gun and glue, Spay adhesive
Thin packing foam
Make a cardboard template of your wing to design the actual wing off of. This will help as a reference once you start applying the foam feathers. Once you figure out the shape and size of your wings using the wire, cardboard and chicken wire. Cut feathers out of foam. My wings are double sided foam so when I was cutting out each feather I cut out 4 at a time, 2 for each wing and numbered them so I knew where to put them. The main body of the wing is a few larger pieces cut out and overlapped to make it look like smaller feathers. I used hot glue for most of this but it can melt the foam if too hot so spray adhesive can help where glue can't be used. Start with the larger, lower feathers and work your way up so the layering is right. It also covers up the base of the larger feathers.
Step 2: Monkey Wing Painting
Once wings are done paint them as you like. I used crafting acrylic because it's cheap and comes in so many different colors. I was going off of the picture above for my color scheme. Once the painting was done I spayed with at least 5 layers of clear spray paint. I used a few straps to make a harness and then covered it with grey fake fur.
Step 3: Monkey Tail
The tail was pretty easy.
Supplies: Wire hanger
Sew a tube of fur with wrong sides of fabric facing out then flip the fabric right side out. Wrap foam around the hanger to give it a little volume for a more realistic tail and push that up in the fur tube until it gets to the end. I simply bent the wire to wrap in a circle around the belt.
Step 4: Mask and Hat
The mask is paper mache and the hat is made on a hat form with the bill added also using paper mache.
I used aluminum foil to make a form of my face, then duck taped it to make it stronger, then applied the paper mache, then I painted it and sprayed it with clear spray paint. My ears fit through the ear holes so it mostly stays on without a string but I added one anyway just to make it more secure. I hot glued fur to the sides and ears so it would match the wing harness and tail better.
The hat was a basic small circle frame so I added the bill out of cardboard and paper mached it to the frame. After that I cut out the fabric and used spray adhesive to stick it to the hat base. The jewels broken apart pieces of a bracelet I found at a thrift store, then hot glued on.
Step 5: Bonus: Extra Flying Monkeys
I made a few pair of smaller wing sets for my accompaniment monkeys. These are just the basic foam cut out in full single pieces then painted and attached using elastic string.