Introduction: Flying Wings

About: My name is Sabina Stan. I am a visual artist based in Romania. I work with rope, paper and recycled aluminium cans and I can do just about anything (figurative or abstract) in the technique I use, which is an …

As part of my new project, I must make kinetic objects that react to the environment.
Before I make them react to the environment, I must figure out how to make them move as desired.
This is a tutorial about how to make wings flap.
My first kinetic object involves a dove that might not have to flap her wings in the end, but this mechanism seemed interesting and since I have to start somewhere, so I just did it.


  • Rope 0.5 cm
  • Wires of 0.75 and 1 mm
  • 1 m craft wood stick of 1 x 1 cm
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutter
  • Paper cutter
  • Ruler
  • Glue gun
  • Multifunctional hand tool

Step 1:

  • cut a 14 cm wood stick
  • 2 cm from each edge cut into the stick a 1 x 0.5 cm space to fit the sticks that you placed the wire through
  • use the glue gun to fix the pieces together
  • cut to 6 cm wood sticks
  • cut in the middle a 1 x 0.5 cm space
  • place them at the edges of the 14 cm piece of wood

Step 2:

  • cut a 25 cm piece of the 0.75 mm wire
  • measure 3 cm and bend it downwards
  • measure another 3 cm and bend it to the right
  • measure 5 cm and bend it downwards
  • 1.5 cm to the right
  • 3 cm upwards
  • 1.5 cm to the right
  • 3 cm downwards
  • 1.5 cm to the right
  • 3 cm upwards
  • bend the rest of the wire to the right

Step 3:

  • cut two 12 cm wood sticks
  • measure 7 cm from one end (it is going to be the down side of the stick) and make a hole in the middle of the stick
  • do it for the two if them
  • take the wire you bended previously and place it through the holes
  • bend the 2 cm end of the wire downwards do it won't come out of the hole

Step 4:

  • cut two 7 cm pieces of the 0.75 mm wire
  • cut two 9 cm pieces of the same wire
  • pair one of 7 cm with one of 9 cm
  • bend one edge of the 7 cm pieces and the two ends of the 9 cm pieces until the form a loop almost closed
  • place the loops of two different pieces one through the other and close them
  • bend the wires to get the shape of wings flying
  • as usually, I use netted wire to make the final object

See here how I do the netting:

Step 5:

  • cut a 10-12 cm wood stick
  • drill three holes that coincide with the middle of the loops from the wire that was placed through the vertical wood sticks earlier
  • glue it in top of the wood structure made earlier
  • place through each of the three holes a 20 cm piece of 0.75 wire
  • secure one end end of each wire piece to the middle of each loop
  • make sure that the wire does not slide from its place
  • if necessary secure it with rope and glue
  • tie the other end of each 20 cm wire piece to the wings as follows:
    • the middle one to the middle of the wings
    • the ones on the sides to the middle of each wing

Step 6: Final Result :) Enjoy!