How to make large wings wearable?
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  1. Default How to make large wings wearable?

    Hey everyone, Lhallow got some wings for her costume this year, they are pretty substantial but they came with only two little strands of ribbon to put them on with. Needless to say it doesn't work, it's in the wrong area and the wings just hang down when using these.

    Anyone have a good method of creating something to wear the wings? Something that will hold up, keep the wings in place and support them properly? I'm thinking some kindof harness almost...but don't even know where to begin with that.

    Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
    "There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief"

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Formerly The North Woods Darkness...


    can the wings attach directly to the outfit? if so them attach them directly to the costume adding support straps (like short suspenders) to it to keep them up.

    if not you can make a slim vest and attach the wings to it in the placement you want.
    close the vest with a zipper, button snaps or velcro.
    if a vest design doesn't work for the outfit, try a pseudo corset/waist cincher style.
    have the costume modified to go over the wings, like a flap the opens and snaps down in the back.

    harnesses can be a pain to make and wear
    ...somewhere in the north-woods darkness, a creature walks upright.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Houston, Texas, USA


    I made some wings back in college theater for a dragonfly costume that moved with the actress' arms (using pivots and all sorts of doohickies)... but the thing that really helped was getting two lengths of elastic (like what you'd use for a waistband) and attaching the wings to those with a SHORT length of fishing line.

    You can make a skin colored cover for the elastic that would also be more comfortable too - if you just make a fabric cylinder to enclose the elastic, then sew them closed. Make sure they fit snuggly but not so much that they cut off circulation!

    The actress wore the bands right above the elbow bend. The wings were supported at the pivot on the back center of her costume, with the arm bands also providing support, but allowed her to move her wings as well. The pivot was actually an old thread spool, sewn onto the costume with quilting thread, and then the wings were created out of coat hanger wire and painted gauze, with the wire twisted into a circle at the bottoms (carefully to make sure that the end didn't gap and catch) that looped the spool, and staggered the left and right upper wings, and the bottom right and left (so that was four wings on one spool/pivot! I'm amazed that actually worked and lasted the entire run of the play!)

    The actress was a dancer, and she gave those wings a workout, and they looked amazing on stage! (sorry about blathering on, I hadn't thought of that in years... nice memory)

    If you can attach the wings to the costume at the back, then you may be able to provide additional support at the arms and get an added bonus of wing movement.

    Second best suggestion - attach the wings at the back and the shoulders. Sew them on with matching thread to the costume. No movement, but they should stay up well enough. The more places you have the wings secured, the more stable they will be.
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  6. #4


    How to make large wings wearable?
    If you want to go with a harness of some sort I would recommend using nylon strapping (also called webbing), the kind you see on backpack straps. You can get it by the yard in most fabric stores. To accompany it you can buy the two part fasteners that click together. That will also allow the harness to be adjustable to tighten and loosen as needed. Is the frame for the wings hard plastic or something similarly strong? If so, I would pop-rivet the frame to the harness.

    Here's the buckle I'm talking about:

    I bought some of these buckles at my local Wal-Mart for a military style tactical vest I put together for my nephew's Halloween costume this year.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    I am thinking a waterskiing vest, the type with the foam front and back, just removed the front foam and insert a hanger/rod/thingamajig into the back foam to support the wings.

    I did something like this for a "Devil/Pregnant angel" costume I made for a girlfriend way way back back. I used backpack straps and a block of foam to anchor the wings and battery pack.
    There are two kinds of people in this world, those that think there are two kinds of people and those that know better.

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