DIY: Fairy Wings

What You Will Need:

  • Adhesive spray glue
  • Cellophane wrap (can get at dollar store or Walmart. The iridescent one we used was from Michael's)
  • Poster Board (We used black, you can use whatever color you want)
  • An iron
  • An X-Acto knife
  • A lighter
  • A pen

What Could Be Helpful:

  • Sharpies
  • Glitter
  • Any other decorative things you want
  • Glue gun
  • Cutting mat



First, choose a wing shape. You can go about this step a number of ways--by printing one out, or drawing one by hand. I taped computer paper together and made one giant sheet that was the same size of my poster board to get the largest wing out of it that I could. Then I free handed the wing shape. Make sure the top most part of the wing is thick enough to support the whole structure. Varying the widths of the segmented parts makes the wing more realistic.

Once you have the wing shape mapped out on paper, put it on top of the poster board and outline it by pressing firmly down with a pen so that the outline becomes embossed into the poster board.

DIY Fairy Wings Step 1

Next, follow the outline on the poster board with your X-Acto knife. If one of your segments breaks because it is too thin, don’t worry (this happened to me). You can hot glue it back on and once it is sandwiched between the cellophane it will stay in place.

DIY Fairy Wings Step 2

Once you have both outlines cut out for your wings, cut out a sheet of cellophane a bit bigger than your wing and lie it down flat. Spray a layer of adhesive spray on one side of the wing outline and on the cellophane and then put the wing down on the cellophane. If you want glitter sandwiched between, now would be the time to apply it. For the top sheet of cellophane, I recommend spraying the adhesive again. Start at one side and roll the top piece of cellophane out onto the wing. Cut at the end and use your hands to press all the pieces together. (NOTE IF USING COLORED CELLOPHANE: the side with the color must be sandwiched inside otherwise it will melt under the iron. The color is only printed on one side so if you use rubbing alcohol or a sharpie on a small part, it will rub the color off of the cellophane on that side. Again, the side that color comes off of needs to be the part sandwiched inside. This concept can be utilized as a cool effect if you want to etch a pattern into your wing as well.

DIY Fairy Wings Step 3

Next, bring your wing to the iron. Make sure the iron is on the lowest setting and test on a scrap piece of cellophane first. Ironing kind of fuses everything together. I went in to each segment with the tip of the iron to ensure the cellophane was fused together as close to the segments of the wing as possible (this is especially important on the outer most part of the wing.) Also go over the whole structure a few times and make sure to iron on both sides so it doesn’t curl.

DIY Fairy Wings Step 4

When this is done, cut the excess cellophane around the poster board structure, leaving about a 1/4" and then light so that it melts flush to the structure. If you don't want to use a lighter you can also fold the cellophane back and hot glue it. Next, cut a rough estimate of the shape you want as the outer wing and then take your lighter to the edges for a natural edge. (BE CAREFUL OF MELTED CELLOPHANE DRIPPING OR FALLING ON YOU, I got a nasty burn!)

DIY Fairy Wings Step 5

Now your wing is done! Decorate and mount how you wish. I hot glued mine to a decorated base with elastic straps. This worked alright, but definitely was not good for prolonged or outdoor wear. There are many mounting techniques depending on your outfit and need on online forums. If you want to add color or patterns to your wings, Sharpies are the only marker that have translucent ink (so you can still see through the wings). You can use different blending techniques as you can see in my example. Get creative!

DIY Fairy Wings Step 6

I LOVE how realistic these wings are. They are lightweight and actually catch the wind (which is why hot glue alone did not hold them to the base). It is so beautiful to see all the different ways the light hits them! You can use this technique for other things too, for instance we made a matching headband. We would love to see what variations you guys come up with :)

DIY Fairy Wings Example 1

DIY Fairy Wings Example 2