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Realistic Wing Tutorial - P.0 by Sunnybrook1 Realistic Wing Tutorial - P.0 by Sunnybrook1
Some of you asked for it, so here it is - a list of the materials needed to follow my tutorial and make a full set of realistic costume wings.

Click here for a transcription/text version of this list~

Part 0 - MATERIALS :pointl: YOU ARE HERE
Part 0.5 - TOOLS
Part 1 - CONCEPT
Part 2 - FEATHERS
Part 3 - HARNESS
Part 4 - ASSEMBLY
Part 5 - COVERTS
Part 6 - ARM-COVER WIP
EXTRA -  RESULTS: See what OTHER people have made following this tutorial~ :la:

Still working on the last part - post questions, suggestions, and encouragement below~ :D

EDIT 05/19/2014: Made sure to add that 12 gauge wire is equivalent to hanger wire, as the latter is becoming harder to find in some areas.
EDIT 05/16/2017: Hot tip from TatianaDragonWhisper, if you find dog collars at your local dollar store you can harvest parachute buckles & D-rings from them for cheap!

Already finished your wings? Please fill out this questionnaire, I'd love to hear about it!


Wing Design/Tutorial © Sunnybrook1
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwinterschlaeferchen:
Winterschlaeferchen Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2018
I'm sooooo absolutly gratefull for this tutorial! totally try to get all stuff or trying some different stuff. So THANK YOU!
Reply
:iconstarlagirl:
starlagirl Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2017
wowie....so much supplies but  its going to be so hard to find what I need o-o
not to mention expensive to get all that wire and fabric

but I am not giving up XD
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It's worth it, I think, and I've tried to mention alternatives to having to buy expensive new materials, when I can. Wire hangers, cheap dog collars, bed sheets, & so on. I wish you luck~ :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconstarlagirl:
starlagirl Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2017
oh my god- I already have 14 yards of white cotton fabric QuQ
I shoulda looked here at the time but my mom bought the fabric without me lol
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Well, you have it now I guess? ^^; Use what you got~
Reply
:iconstarlagirl:
starlagirl Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2017
*nods, determined* I shall complete this XD I even found 100ft copper 12 gauge wire....which took longer than expected
Reply
:iconfennekinthefabulous:
FennekinTheFabulous Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Oh, golly. I'm going to attempt to make the wings today,
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh boy, if you do post pictures, as always I'd love to see~ 
Reply
:iconshadkill:
Shadkill Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't have a glue gun, mine blew up today hah XD
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh dear! :O_o: That sounds exciting, though not in the good way - hope you're able to replace it.
Reply
:iconshadkill:
Shadkill Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
yea we are ok xD I'm looking for an replacement now XD
Reply
:icontgreyhawk:
TGreyhawk Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, I've had this lurking in my favorites for some time, while I gathered together the materials and worked on the rest of my costume. I can't WAIT to finally get started, and want to thank you BUNCHES for this awesome tutorial!!!

My question is this: what is the benefit of the 12gauge wire and alligator clips? I saw mention that someone, somewhere had used straws??? I'm looking to try and keep the weight on mine down, and interested in alternate options as opposed to all that metal? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Good luck with your build!

The 12 gauge wire is strong & can hold up thicker fabrics like broadcloth & felt, if you go the straw route you'll need to use thin/light fabric & spreadable glue (wall-paint-as-glue doesn't work as well unless the fabric is thick enough to absorb it) as well as dowels to mount the feathers on, like so:
animatronic wing frame 04 by Bushitaka

Alligator clips: they're a bit pricey, but they allow you to adjust the secondary feathers more easily, HOWEVER I found that bending the end-bit of wire around the elastic & clamping it down tight enough to stay still allows you to tug it into a new position if needed:
Feather Names Labeled 2 by Sunnybrook1
Reply
:icontgreyhawk:
TGreyhawk Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooh gotcha. Im looking at using either a cotton/poly blend or repurposed jersey knit (tshirt material) bedsheets so I might  need the heavier wire as opposed to the dowel rods I was eyeballing. I didn't realize the clips made the feathers adjustable, but that makes perfect sense. I'll experiment a bit and see what suits. Thanks so much for the reply!
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Clips are more easily adjustable & removeable, but honestly crimping a bit of the wire around the elastic just as well, it's just harder to unbend & remove if the feather needs replacing.

But BOY is it a time-saver when making the wings, no need to glue & wait & hope they don't come undone in the future.
Reply
:icontgreyhawk:
TGreyhawk Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It has been DONE! Or something like it, lol. Lot of tweaks, mods, and touch-ups still to go, but....

Meet Greyhawk... WiP by TGreyhawk
Reply
:iconspinejackel:
Spinejackel Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(forgot to add to original comment) I see you recommend broadfabric, but are there other kinds you would recommend? What would you recommend NOT using?
Reply
:iconspinejackel:
Spinejackel Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what kind of fabric did you use or what would you recommend using? 

And with the painting part.. does it have to be paint? I feel like paint won't hold as well as fabric glue or contact adhesive would.
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I recommend NOT using: anything that's super heavy or expensive or rare, since they take lots of materials & if you ever want to repair them in the future not being able to find the right fabric would make it difficult.

And nope, doesn't have to be paint, I used what was cheapest & what worked - people have made it work with everything from spray adhesive, wallpaper glue, elmers glue (the strong gallon-sized stuff), hot glue, etc. There are pros/cons to each kind, could probably make an entire chapter in a wing-making books on types of glue & their effects. ^^;

I personally have liked the paint because despite the (cons) use too much & the paint color bleeds through the fabric a bit & may need to be color-corrected afterwards, and slides around more easily before it's dried, meaning I have to handle it more carefully, it has some unique (pros) once it has dried & you find something is off slightly/needs corrected, it can be peeled apart fairly easily & repainted, BUT it still keeps the fabric layers together quite reliably (up to a certain size) and the paint I used had a flexibility to it that allowed the resulting feathers to be flexible as well.

Some glues dry so stiff that the feathers make clacking sounds when they hit each other, unlike the soft rustling of soft fabric against fabric, or the thwack of a suddenly open wingspan~

Could kinda go all day about this, but really just wish I had tons of materials & some time, would love to do a weekly livestream where w just test out materials & see what the results are. :aww:
Reply
:iconspinejackel:
Spinejackel Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like making my cosplays a little stronger than clothes you buy at the store (especially the bigger some part of a cosplay gets) because in crowded places like cons, parts can get accidentally kicked/stepped on and could break or rip. And it's never fun when you have a part of your cosplay breaking at a con and you can't fix it, hints the original plan to use stronger/heavier fabric and asking about paint vs. glue to avoid such accident from happening.

This is very helpful. Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconcentaurieth:
centaurieth Featured By Owner Edited Dec 23, 2016  Student General Artist
heyo! I really love these wings, and thank you so much for making this tutorial! I'm going to try making a pair for my decidueye cosplay. I have plenty of time for trial and error and plenty of material at home already so hopefully it will work out fine, i'm pretty excited to try it out!
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yeah, bird pokemon have been some of my most favorite costumes made using this style, I'd love to see your results, I love the look of that ghosty-birb! :la:
Reply
:icontheraven-1845:
TheRaven-1845 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016
This tutorial is awesome!  Thank you for sharing it.  I will be make a set of these for next years Halloween with a couple tweaks.  Instead of a harness I'm going to make a corset with the buckles sewn into it so I don't have to layer over the harness.  I'm super excited to get started on it in the next couple months.
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Glad you like it, and a corset sounds like it'll work fine, would love to see your results! :thumbsup::D
Reply
:iconanimelover7032:
animelover7032 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Can the fabric be broadcloth? And do you know if the paint used to "glue" the feathers together would soak through the broadcloth? I'm making house sparrow wings and since the feathers are a different color on the top than the bottom, I want to make sure that the paint doesn't soak through the fabric and make the wings a different color than they are.
I just want to make sure it'll be fine before I buy any fabric Sweating a little... 
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes, and yes it does a bit, which is why I choose a similarly colored paint to match the fabric (OR you can paint the wings to your desired color afterwards).

In your case, with the feathers being two-colored, I'd use paint that matches the lighter color, since in my opinion it's easier to darken something to match rather than lighten it. Then you just brush or spray-paint the darker sides of the wings (warning with spray paint though, the cheap stuff can smell awful, do it WAY in advance so it has time to wear off - or use acrylic paint, though it'll make them a bit heavier overall).

OR use Elmers glue instead of paint, it's a bit pricier and stickier (unless you water it down a bit) but it should dry clear. :) I found a gallon-sized version of it at my local hardware store for about $20.

No matter what you do, make a test feather first to determine the results and method you like best, THEN buy the materials in bulk. ^^;
Reply
:iconanimelover7032:
animelover7032 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay thank you! If the paint happens to seep throught the fabric then I'll just paint over it (I have to paint some of it a different color anyways). Huh I didn't know that about the spray paint, if I happen to get the cheaper stuff then I'll be sure to give it enough time for the smell to wear off.
Thanks for the help! :D
Reply
:iconabicat3043:
AbiCat3043 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 15, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is there any other way I can make the feathers by using poster board rather than gluing fabric together? I'd Like to find a way to decrease the time and the cost to make these wings. I thought I had a great idea on how to make wings until I saw these and then I fell in love with them but for a cost of around $200...
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yup: Rito Mother - ECCC 2011 by Sunnybrook1
Reply
:iconghoulbanshee:
GhoulBanshee Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Student General Artist
I have a question about the wire used for the feathers: 
From what i see, i have some 12 gauge wire, and it's very flexible, and won't work for this project. 
Is there anything else i might be able to use? I've tried searching myself but can't seem to come up with anything other than a maybe thicker wire or bbq skewers ..

-thank you!
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Well, I use thicker 10 gauge wire for the feathers, it can be bought in 100 yd rolls in most US hardware stores. Also online via amazon. ^^; But if that doesn't work, the bendable wire in hangers can work, but takes effort to straighten.

Does that help?
Reply
:iconghoulbanshee:
GhoulBanshee Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2016  Student General Artist
thank you! i will try again with 10 gauge wire :) 
Reply
:iconrayray2413:
rayray2413 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm going to make these wings hopefully soon and I was wandering if it's be fine to substitute the latex tubbing for elastic? :)
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yup that's fine~ :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconteppitgirl:
TeppitGirl Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2016
How much did all of the supplies cost altogether? Or a rough estimate? Just curious if I could actually afford this, I was doing your sketches when I decided I should probably figure out how much this process cost. I really love your work and your tutorials are amazing!
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks, glad to hear! :D The biggest expense is fabric, but if you buy all the materials new it's around $200 (that's for cheap fabric, $10/yd or less) and for wings the size of my raven set. Bigger or smaller wings will use more or less fabric, so the cost will be different, etc. Tools can be an extra $25-$35 too, if you don't have linemans pliers or a good pair of scissors & such, but you can usually find someone willing to let you borrow stuff like that. ^^;

If you make something let me know, I'd love to see it! :la:
Reply
:iconteppitgirl:
TeppitGirl Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2016
Thank you so much! Very helpful, and I sure will!
Reply
:iconnightthunder40:
Nightthunder40 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016
Hi! I'm going to try to make a pair of peacock wings for a Halloween costume for later this year. Do you think it would be possible to make them look like a realistic peacock, or would be be more feasible to just do a very dark blue? This will really be my first large craft project, and even though I have a lot of time, I'm worried I don't have to know-how or the skills needed to make realistic ones. 
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hello! :D

:bulletblack: First off, way to go! Getting started now on a Halloween costume, you're already ahead of the game.

:bulletblack: Secondly, if its your first big project I think you'd have the most success with single-colored wings. They'll already be a lot of work to make, so make it easier by only having to buy one color of fabric and paint (or glue). Plus, unless you are attending a bird-watching party, I don't think many people will notice the discrepancy, and you can always chalk it up to "artistic license". :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconnightthunder40:
Nightthunder40 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2016
Alright, Thank you!
Reply
:iconarmoredwings:
ArmoredWings Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!! I might modify this, the wings I want to make are back wings fixed into a folded position. This is the first set of helpful tutorials that I've found so far!
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Glad to hear it, I'd love to see what you come up with. :la: be sure to share!
Reply
:iconarmoredwings:
ArmoredWings Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I will! Thank you!!
Reply
:iconmichi18sh:
michi18sh Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Jacksepticeye happy face Big Hero 6 Baymax (Photobomb) Whoosh Shake Things Up Oooh! you. are. my. heroooooooooo! thak you ilove so muuuuch!
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Lol, thanks. ^^; One day I will finish watching Big Hero 6 and fully enjoy the gifs you've shared~
Reply
:iconshadowgamergirl:
ShadowGamerGirl Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey quick question! So about the feathers and the cardboard, from what ive seen, it looks lie you don't have any cardboard with the final product, like its see through ( at least for me) are we going to be putting the cut out cardboard in? Or do we not have to (sorry if this is a dumb question) ^^;
Reply
:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The cut out cardboard in my design is only to test out he shape of the feathers & overall silhouette of a single wing quickly & easily (cheaper/faster than fabric).

Once the cardboard patterns are finished & to your liking, you use them to trace out & cut the feather shapes out of fabric (or felt, or silk, or paper, etc). :nod: Make sense?
Reply
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