Building Feathered Wings

Thursday, 6 October 2011, 8:00 | Author : Janet
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I often attribute the success of my most popular costume to its hand-made feathered wings.

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The “winged ones” are members of an exclusive social order, revered as if they were royalty.  The presence of their feathery wings evokes images of mythological creatures who are unnaturally powerful and graceful.  These connotations are why the anime industry continues to bestow their characters with feathered wings.  Since these characters are typically human in appearance, the only challenging part for the cosplayer is to build the feathered wings.  The wonderful part is that, overall, it is simple and affordable to make your own wings at home.

Although it may be quite tempting, I strongly advice against purchasing one of the hundreds of pre-made wings currently available on the internet; hand-made wings are always more visually appealing and accurate to the character when used for cosplay costumes.  I’ve found that the best feathered wing tutorial is offered by Paper Wings.  When I used this tutorial, it took between 6-8 hours to complete my wings (a significant amount of time, no doubt) but the compliments and praise I received were well worth the effort.

As Paper Wings explains in their tutorial, the secret to making exceptional feathered wings hinges upon the variety and shape of your feathers.  You must take the additional time to cut each feather into a rounded or pointed shape to better simulate the feathers on your own character’s wings.  Then, after gluing the feathers onto your base structure, you must be certain to cover the roots of the feathers with Marabou flats.  As you can see in the picture above, these wings look enchanting through the glow of the sunlight.

I’d  also like to point out that these wings hold up amazing well throughout the convention.  The metal piping is malleable, to a degree, which means you can slant your wings to make it easier to walk through narrow doors and hallways.  If you plan your costume carefully, you can also hide the U-shaped pipe that holds the wings on your back.  I tucked mine behind a strapless bra and it held up surprisingly well.  For the best results, take some time to plan your costume in detail before you start sewing and find a way to strap the metal piping near your body and hide it beneath the fabric of your costume.

In summary, the Paper Wing’s tutorial receives high marks because it allows cosplayers to create dazzling wings with excellent structural integrity.  These wings will impress even the most advanced cosplayers and will make you stand out in any cosplay competition.

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