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December 16, 2010
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Edit: Due to the populatiy of these tutorials (who would have guessed?) I've changed the original format of them to a nice, shinier model~! Hope you enjoy the new interface!

It's been a long time coming, I know. Please don't kill me for being slack!

I promised my good friend :iconrinoa-lewis: this tutorial when I first met her earlier on in the year at the AVCon prelim heats for the 2010 Madman Cosplay Competition. I was dressed as Belldandy from 'Ah! My Goddess' (which you can see here: [link]) and I had on a massive-huge pair of wings that effectively knocked people out. I'm sorry!!

Anyway, I thought I'd start making a few cosplay tutorials here and there, just to spread what tips and tricks I've collected in my... *calculates* ... seven or so years of cosplaying.

Seven years... what am I doing with myself?! :iconotlplz:

Anyway. Please look forward to more tutorials in the future! ^_^ If you have any questions, just ask me in the comments section, and I will endeavor to update the FAQ in my Artist's Comments as I go.


Tutorial & Photographs Yiji 2010
Cosplay Photography by ~KateWonder



FAQ's

Where did you buy your feathers from?

I found them online. Depending on where you live, you'll be able to get better prices if you take a bit of time to hunt around. A good starting place would be www.rainbowfeathers.com - they're an American site, and sell feathers by the pound in an assortment of styles, shapes, breeds and colors.

How many feathers did you use in your wings?

Because they were quite large, I ended up ordering the feathers by number, rather than weight. I ordered 400 feathers in total, 200 rights and 200 lefts. In addition, I also bought 2 packets of fluffy turkey rounds from my local craft store.

Did you buy your wings online?

I should think that seeing photos of my wings in progress from start to finish should be more than enough to answer that.

Can you make me a pair of wings?

Unfortunately, no. I'm not planning to take costume or prop commissions for a long time yet.

Can you color feathers?

I haven't tried it yet, but I have heard it can be done. Most places where you order feathers from should be able to supply them in the color you want, though. However, if it's a specific color you need, I've heard you can use Dylon Fabric Dye to hand-dye the feathers yourself. I'm not sure if you can use Copic markers to color them, but my guess is that the color might actually run. That's just a theory though...

How can I attach wings to a trenchcoat?

I'd recommend making these wings with a kind of backpack harness (illustrated in the tutorial quickly) and cutting holes in the back of the trenchcoat to feed the harness through. If you cut small slits in the coat at the back, only big enough for the straps of the harness to go through, it shouldn't be noticeable at all. So sit the main body of the metal against your back, and only poke through the two long bits for the wings.

How long did it take you to make these?

I made these in a bit of a rush, so it took me about two weeks.

What do you recommend I use for making a study base that I can attach around my torso? I'm working on making wings for Dark Pit (from Kid Icarus) but I don't want to use shoulder straps and i don't own a corset.

Looking at Dark Pit's design, I can see why you wouldn't want to use shoulder straps, since the tunic's top part is more halter-style.

I would probably still use shoulder straps in the backpack style (as illustrated in the tutorial) because you'd need the support of the straps to keep the wings up. However, so you don't see the straps under the shirt, perhaps make the front end of the straps detachable (either tie them or use a clip) and criss-cross them over your torso so the straps are closer to your neckline and don't show. That way you'd still get the strength and support needed for the wings.

The costume I'll be doing is a bare back as well but the costume doesn't have enough support like a corset would for the u shaped holster. I know you said to make a base that would wrap around the torso and I was just wondering what kind of materials you would think to use for proper support?

Hmmm, that is a bit of a pickle. For the U bend of the wings, what I'd probably do is make the U a little bit longer (to offer more support) and then attach strong straps (probably flat like backpack straps) along the sides of the U to strap it to your back around your torso. Then, I'd make a tube of strong fabric (maybe cotton) that you can make quite fitted on yourself to put over that to hold it right in place. If the costume was a little bit heavier (i.e. not very fitted and light) I'd also put a zipper into the tube to make it easy to get in and out of.

I hope this helps. This is what I'd do in that situation, I don't know if you could apply that to your costume or not.
Add a Comment:
 
:icontalra-di-deliren:
Talra-Di-Deliren Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
How do I view this tutorial....?
Reply
:iconshikapantera:
Shikapantera Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Wow, thanks for this awesome tutorial.
I searched a good tutorial since 1 year. 
And you made this perfectly :D
(Sorry for my bad english)
Reply
:iconnocturnaliss:
nocturnaliss Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh gosh those are AWESOME!!! Bravo for the wings, and the tutorial!
Reply
:iconshadowleigh:
shadowleigh Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the tutorial! I have a quick question.. my wings need to be red at the tips (the picture shows only the bottom set of wings being red.. but then again it's animated so they have just a small handful of really long wings..) any suggestions on how to do this? (This can go to anyone who has suggestions)
Reply
:iconmiri223:
miri223 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 24, 2014
Hi! I know you posted this a long time ago, but I found your tutorial really helpful! However, I have a problem in applying them to my cosplay. I'm cosplay Morgana from League of Legends -  ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cd… - who only wears a bra (which is not even meant to have a back- ignoring that though^^). How on earth can I support the wings? I'm totally lost on this one. Giving shoulder straps would mess with the design of the character, which I don't want to do, but can't think of any other ways >-< Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconaspiring-awesomness:
Aspiring-Awesomness Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist
What about your foot? Is sticking your foot to the wall wrong? (Ignore that... XD)
Totally useful and helpful and awesome, thanks ^^
Reply
:iconkonakona5553:
konakona5553 Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Student Artist
THX I can now do a Angel Beats! cosplay X3 just for fun o3o
Reply
:iconangelkit14:
angelkit14 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
That was very helpful. Thank you.
Reply
:icon013darkpuppet:
013Darkpuppet Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Student General Artist
Arrrrrggghhhh... these are so amazing! Im making articulated wings (That open and close!) and i seem to have a problem with the feathers rubbing and breaking whenever i close or open the wings wings, cause like your wing illustration, mine is constructed pretty similar to a natural birds wing, so the bottom parts rub! What could i do to make the opening and closing transition smoother, and stop the feathers breaking? 
BUT ARGH. BEST WING CONSTRUCTION TUTORIAL EVER.
THANKYOU. THIS IS THE BESSSSSTTTTTT <3
Reply
:iconnocturnal--artist:
Nocturnal--Artist Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm going to make wings for my Twilight Sparkle cosplay and I have a question, how do I show the wings without showing the harnessed parts? Like get the wings through my shirt. Do I have to cut holes through my shirt and slide the wings through?
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013
You'd have to definitely cut holes in the shirt, yes. 
Reply
:iconnocturnal--artist:
Nocturnal--Artist Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Big enough to slip the wings through? Would they fit though while covering up the holes and not breaking a feather?
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013
Oh no, you'd be slipping the harness bits through! 
Reply
:icongeliqueguerra:
geliqueguerra Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
beautiful!
Reply
:iconsuru92:
Suru92 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a completely insane tutorial! You make it look so easy... and this is what I was looking for, thanks a lot! I will follow your tutorial to make some wings like those ^3^
Reply
:iconshiangli:
ShiangLi Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This looks amazing. Makes me want to redo my Lady Subaru (.hack//sign) wings since I made mine too big. Never thought of using felt. Much lighter then what mine are made out of. Hanger wire attached to cardboard. Will defiantly have to try felt for my next winged project.
Reply
:iconmadrinabastet:
MadrinaBastet Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013
Thank you for this. It's awesome!
Reply
:icongokuschichi4818:
gokuschichi4818 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
They look Amazing!!!! I must do this for a Halloween costume I've been planning. Thank you.
Reply
:icontigerkitten879:
Tigerkitten879 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
My question is how concerned should I be about maneuvering when at a con? I'm worried people will not respect the space needed for a cosplay with wings. Can you share your experience about how you go/went about conventions with your wings?
Reply
:iconatomic-crayon:
Atomic-Crayon Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
This is an amazing tutorial! I have one question, what size feathers did you use? I'm sorry if you've already answered that somewhere, but I didn't see it.
Reply
:iconfujikawaii10346:
fujikawaii10346 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Just wondering, what gauge wire did you use? Would 8 gauge be sturdy enough?
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
Urgh... I completely forgot to check the gauge of my wire >_<

It should be sturdy enough, but it's always better to be safe than sorry!
Reply
:icongodtierporrim:
godtierporrim Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
wow thanks!!! it took me about 4 days to do a small set of wings your so great thank you again
Reply
:iconsakumiyuku:
SakuMiyuku Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
you rock!~ this helped! ALOTTT~~ <3
Reply
:iconxsan-chi:
xSan-chi Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013
woow great tutorial thank you :DD
Reply
:iconinternal-harmony:
Internal-Harmony Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a great tutorial!! Thank you!!
Reply
:iconjigokushoujo729:
jigokushoujo729 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Question! How heavy were the wings? And would they be comfy to wear at a convention all day? :3 They are absolutely gorgeous and I'd love to make some for myself
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
The wings ended up being a little on the heavy side, just because they were so big and I didn't have them secured on me as well as they could have been. But making them a tad smaller and with proper support would decrease the weight and the redistribute the balance of weight on your shoulders and back better.

I wore my wings for a whole day at a convention and I was fine with them. The only downside is that they were so big they became cumbersome, and it was difficult maneuvering in them.
Reply
:iconjigokushoujo729:
jigokushoujo729 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! That will prepare me for future reference :)
Reply
:iconclaranugem:
claranugem Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
OMG! Do you mind if I translate it to portuguese/BR and use this pic and published it on my facebook cosplay page?:D I really love it! I'll give you the credits and put toghether the link for you DA!!
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012
As long as you credit and link, that's totally fine ^_^
Reply
:iconclaranugem:
claranugem Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yaaaay \o/
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012
Oh, please send me a link when it's done! <3
Reply
:iconfijistar06:
fijistar06 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
is that in adelaide? because if i get to make them i will be using it for avcon :)
p.s soooooo pretty :)
Reply
:iconjadeyjadebear:
JadeyJadeBear Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012
Oh, I did have one question going over this though, the costume I'll be doing is a bare back as well but the costume doesn't have enough support like a corset would for the u shaped holster. I know you said to make a base that would wrap around the torso and I was just wondering what kind of materials you would think to use for proper support? Thinking about it, I feel like the bands would just slip down. Thanks so much for your amazing tutorial though!
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
Sorry about the late reply!

Hmmm, that is a bit of a pickle. For the U bend of the wings, what I'd probably do is make the U a little bit longer (to offer more support) and then attach strong straps (probably flat like backpack straps) along the sides of the U to strap it to your back around your torso. Then, I'd make a tube of strong fabric (maybe cotton) that you can make quite fitted on yourself to put over that to hold it right in place. If the costume was a little bit heavier (i.e. not very fitted and light) I'd also put a zipper into the tube to make it easy to get in and out of.

I hope this helps. This is what I'd do in that situation, I don't know if you could apply that to your costume or not. (also, I've added this to the FAQs at the top~)
Reply
:iconjadeyjadebear:
JadeyJadeBear Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
Thanks so much for all the help! I'll definitely give it a try! You are a saint!
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
Good luck with everything! If you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask! And please send me a photo of your finished wings, I'd love to see how they turn out! <3
Reply
:iconjadeyjadebear:
JadeyJadeBear Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Absolutely! Thank you for being such a help! You are seriously the sweetest thing ever! :iconbrohugplz:
Reply
:iconjadeyjadebear:
JadeyJadeBear Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012
This is the best tutorial ever. Thank you, you're a saint!
Reply
:iconchar-min:
char-min Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
dont think ill ever make such epic wings.....but this tutorial was amazing!! XD
Reply
:iconsirfancypantsiv:
SirFancypantsIV Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
How many feathers did you use for your wings? o3o
Or well.. how many feathers did you order? xD
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012
Updated in the FAQ! ^_^
Reply
:iconmintochuu:
mintochuu Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012
Wonderful tutorial! Thank you for sharing, I really appreciate your hard work for compiling this into an interactive interface! :heart:
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012
You're very welcome! Please look forward to the new upcoming ones later this year!
Reply
:iconkazumi218:
kazumi218 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
wow! this is really great :D <3 love love love it!
Reply
:icondreamscape9994:
DrEaMsCaPe9994 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
How many pounds of feathers did u get from rainbowfeather?
Reply
:iconyiji:
Yiji Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
I didn't use the weight method, I ordered 400 by number.
Reply
:iconlerial-shadewing:
Lerial-Shadewing Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OHMAHGAWD BELLDANDY!
Reply
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