Do It Yourself Costumes: How To Make Fairy Wings With Real Flowers

Want to stand out at the costume party? Learn to make your own original, beautiful fairy wings using real flowers.

Sure you can buy fairy wings just about anywhere, but why buy fake ones when you can make your own fantastical creation out of real flowers? Whether for Halloween, a Renaissance Faire, a costume party, or any other fantasy event, flower fairy wings are sure to stand out in a sea of gauze and glitter.

To avoid wilted flowers, it is best to make your wings no earlier than the night before you plan to wear them out. If you prepare the basic form of the wings ahead of time, it shouldn't take you more than an hour or two to decorate the wings with flowers, so you might even have time to finish them the morning or afternoon of the occasion.

First, gather the following supplies. You can find most of these in your local florist shop, or look in craft stores or online.



-Floral foam shapes

-Styrofoam glue

-16-inch galvanized steel wire (3-4 feet, depending on the size of your wings)

-Wire cutters

-Scissors

-Duct tape

-Spray bottle filled with water and plant food mixture

-Flowers (you'll need approximately 30 flowers per square foot of wing)

-Additional decorations (like ribbons or lace)

The floral foam will serve as the base for your wings, so keep this in mind when you select the shapes. Most floral foam shapes are rectangular, but remember that you will be rounding out the shapes with flowers. You can also find floral foam shapes in circles, cones, and triangles. If your foam seems too thick, you can easily trim it with scissors or a knife---it is also easy to cut the foam into any shape imaginable.

Arrange the floral foam pieces into the basic shape of your wings. Then, glue the pieces together (with the Styrofoam glue). Different brands of glue take longer to dry, so follow the directions on the bottle and allow it to dry completely. Now, cut the steel wire in half so that you have two long pieces. Work these pieces into the floral foam diagonally, so that the two lengths of wire connect the wings together and crisscross in the middle. Leave approximately 4 to 6 inches between the wings. Cover the areas where the wire enters the foam with duct tape so that it stays put. You might also need to wrap the crisscrossed wire with duct tape if it seems flimsy. The center section will hold the wings to your body, so it needs to be secure.

Before you begin covering the wings with flowers, figure out how you will attach the wings to your body. You can make a harness by sewing together two long pieces of fabric or ribbon: sew them together to make a cross shape, then wrap around and under the wings and around the body, crossing over the chest. You could also cover the center section of the wings in fabric and sew or pin directly to your costume.

Now plan your flower design. Make sketches on paper and color them in. Look at pictures of real butterfly and bird wings for ideas, or look through fairy illustrations. With flowers, you can create a detailed display of spirals and lines, or you can simply mix different flowers for a colorful, wild effect. When you've decided on your arrangement, take one flower out of water at a time. Cut the stalk at an angle approximately two inches below the flower. Push each flower into the floral foam so that it is secure. Make sure to cover the sides of the foam shapes, as well. Spritz the flowers frequently with the water and plant food mixture, and be sure to spray close to the foam to keep the stalks hydrated. Finally, put on your best fairy clothes, attach your wings, tuck a flower or two behind your ear, and it's fairy time!

© High Speed Ventures 2011