Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Here be Dragons!



Well, I was going to attempt some fairy wings for the daughter and I to wear to faire in a couple weekends.  But in my first experiments, I somehow managed tiny dragon wings instead...hmmm...it's all good, cuz I'm going to an event this coming weekend where the theme is "Here be Dragons".  Love those "happy accidents"!!  :)



And the coolest part is they GLOW IN THE DARK!  Neat, huh?!



Isn't that cool!!  It will be really great, if there are lots of blacklights around.  Glow-in-the-dark works best under the blacklights.  I also love how the light can pass through the membranes.



I used hangers for the main frame that fits into the back of my bodice/corset and thinner 19 gauge steel wire for the fingers.  The tape extends about a 1/2" past the tips, so I can nudge people with them and not take out an eye.  They're are a small set at about 14" long.  This will be a good size to practice traversing crowds in, if we plan to make larger wings for fairies. 



These were pretty easy to make and feel realy cool.  I started by wrapping masking tape around the wire frame, adding extra tape at the knuckles. I covered the tape in glow-in-the-dark fabric paint, which is rather translucent and gave a nice bone color.  I accented the joints with a brown marker. 

  

Then, I used Mod Podge to make the membranes. Who knew mod podge was so stretchy!  They turned out really flexible.  Won't be easy to tear these.  The trick is to paint the Mod Podge onto paper and when dry, rub off the paper with water.  The brush strokes add a kind of veiny effect close up.
Hope you've enjoyed this post.  I'll be away most of this month having fun.  Until I get back, keep bein' crafty!

39 comments:

Crafty Brook Farms said...

Amazing. That's so cool!!! Thanks for sharing.

Brenda GA, Dome-Dweller said...

Look out!!! You're creativity is seriously showing! Those dragon wings are just too awesome for words!

Leanne E said...

Love them!! Thanks for sharing :)

mieljolie said...

Thanks, guys! Like I said, it was mostly a big "happy accident". :) I got inspired by the experiments I'd made with the pixie wings.

Mieljolie

Lindsey A said...

Thank you so much for this mini tutorial! I have been looking for a bone/bat wing for my costume for days and I haven't been able to find anything remotely close to what I wanted until today! Does the modge podge just peel off? How many layers did you paint? Did you use marker on the wings as well? And how did you attach them to the frame? Sorry for all the questions. I only have a limited time to make these and I'm just curious! Luckily I have most of the materials already :)

mieljolie said...

You're welcome, Lindsey. You can paint the Mod Podge onto a sheet of regular print paper. I used about 5 coats. When dry you can use a little water to rub off the paper. The brown tint on my wings is from coloring the paper with brown colored pencils before applying the Mod Podge. Just be careful not to rub the pencil off. After you remove the paper you can use more Mod Podge to glue the membranes to the frame and cut with scissors. I actually glued the paper carefully to the frame before applying the layers of Mod Podge. But, I'm sure that isn't necessary.

Good luck with your wings! If you have any other questions, I'm happy to answer them. Let us know how they turn out.

Btw, there is one thing I noticed after wearing them last weekend. If your wings get exposed to extreme cold (it got below 40 where we were) the membranes can crack. So, if it's cold, be gentle with them until they thaw out. It seems heat or direct sun is no problem for them.

Mieljolie

Hullabuoy said...

Great wings-can't wait to try them on something!I guess some kind of creepy Christmas thing-since that is the holiday I am supposed to be focusing on-LOL! Great tutorial!

mieljolie said...

LOL! I know what you mean. I'm still not over my Halloween crafting. Not ready for Christmas, yet. :)

Mieljolie

Anonymous said...

when you say 14" - where did you measure from?

mieljolie said...

The wings is 14" long from base to furthest tip of one wing. It's more like 31" total across the back from tip to tip.

Mieljolie

Anonymous said...

What type of glow in the dark paint did you use? I'm going to use your idea to make these wings for my daughter!

mieljolie said...

I used what is referred to as 3D or "dimensional" GITD fabric paint. I believe the brand was Tulip, but I've used others will no real difference. It's the common shiny rubbery kind you find at craft stores in the squeeze bottles.

Mieljolie

Anonymous said...

what did you attach them to to get them to stay on your backside? I'm making these for my daighter and thats where im stuck...

mieljolie said...

Anon, these are mounted on the back with a "U" shaped wire that slips down into the back of the corset. No straps or anything else.

Mieljolie

Anonymous said...

ok thats what I thought when I looked at the picture closely... my daughter is 3 so I'm trying to figure out how to make it comfy for her... it is for a photoshoot she is in :)

Mardiroz said...

Amazing craftsmanship! Lovely.

Jazzie Menagerie said...

In process, as we speak, of attempting your technique as they are the most realistic wings I have found yet on the net. So.. As there are many types of mod podge, what type did you use? Ty so much. I'm nervous. Hope they look as good as yours!

mieljolie said...

Good luck on the wings, Jazzie! :) I used what I had, which was regular gloss mod podge in about 5 coats. The thicker the stronger they will be. I'm pretty sure satin would work, but I haven't tried flat/matte finish.

Jazzie Menagerie said...

Awesome! TY so much for the quick response too. I've got a lot of school glue, but I think I should not alter away from what has already been a good effect. It won't be in cold temps either.

mieljolie said...

I've actually tried PVA or white school glue (Elmer's). It didn't dry as clear and is not as flexible. It could work, but may crack easier. You could try gluing a black tulle net backing to the membranes for more strength.

Sadie M. said...

Ok, so I've been staring at these pictures for hours and I keep re-reading the instructions and comments on how to make these wings, Do you think instead of using regular paper, using wax paper because it would be easier to peel off, I don't trust regular paper it's too flimsy. And do you have a video of you making these wings? Just so I can get a better idea of how this is accomplished because these are the first DIY bat/dragon wings I have found that are so realistic and when I go to make these I don't want to screw it put.

mieljolie said...

Hi Sadie. I'm not sure wax paper would work for this technique because the Mod Podge may bead up and not stick to the wax coating. Once the Mod Podge is completely cured the paper is dampened so it will dissolve and peel away from the thick layers of Mod Podge. If regular paper is too flimsy for you, you can use any thicker non-coated paper, probably even cardstock. Sorry, I don't have any videos, yet. But, youtube.com does have videos for the Mod Podge image transfer technique that is similar. Good luck!

Lynvamp said...

Hello there!,

These wings are MAGNIFICENT! I will be trying to make some for a up and coming event. Thank you so much for telling us how you made them. I was wondering do you have a picture of them from the other side?

Thank you so much,

Lynvamp

mieljolie said...

Lynvamp, I'd love to hear how your wings turn out.

Sorry it's hard to tell, but there are views of both sides of the wings in the post. The first few are from directly in back, while I believe the last two were taken from the other side (or the side you see from the front). You can kinda tell that the front side is slightly less shiny than the back.

Thought the pics do not really show it, the wings are translucent. In other words, light will shine through them.

Kaylyn said...

How did you attach the steel wires to your hanger frame? Did you just twist it on there? I hope to attempt this project in the future!

mieljolie said...

Kaylyn, the wires are just overlapped and taped together really well. If you cut the wires at different length, the base will graduate in thickness more smoothly.

Best of success on your wings! Let us know how it goes!

ifrit said...

I love the wings, and I love the idea of using Mod Podge as membranes. I've been working on my own pair for some time now. I just trashed the first draft, which took a lot of work but was just too heavy. My wings are considerably bigger than yours. How heavy are the Mod Podge membranes?

mieljolie said...

Hi ifrit! I don't have a scale around here, but my wings are pretty light. I'd say the entire wing set is much less than a quarter of a pound judging by a 1 lb bag of beans. :) I imagine the more yours cure the lighter they will become. Mod Podge can retain a little water weight. How big are they?

Clarity said...

Mieljolie, How much time do you think yu waited before adding another layer of Mod Podge? Also, how much time did you wait before dissolving the paper away? I've been experimenting with me mod podge and can't seem to make it work. I think I must be putting on too thin a layer. Also having trouble getting the paper to dissolve away. Should the layer be completely white over your map-pencil colored page? Any tips in general?

mieljolie said...

Hi, Clarity. I waited enough time for the glue to not be wet or tacky. It will get clear and usually slightly duller when dry. I would guess about 30 min to an hour between each of the 5 coats in the right air and temp conditions. I usually like to wait over night to start removing the paper. Be careful when rubbing off the paper that you don't get it so wet it softens or dissolves the glue. It will start to turn white if you are using too much water. You just need to dampen the paper and rub. You can just wet your hand and rub it in small sections. Let it dry and look to see if all the paper is gone. If it is still hazy, repeat the rubbing. Your pencil coloring may be too thick or water soluble for the transfer. I used Prismacolors, but it did smear slightly. The best thing to use in a laser color printout. The ink is heat bonded to the paper and not water soluble.

Stephanie Canady said...

Hi. Im afraid that the mod podge might be too thin even after more than 5 coats. Each wing fits a poster board each. Did i make a mistake?

mieljolie said...

Stephanie, your wings sound really large. For size comparison, my wing membranes would each fit on their own 8.5x11 sheet of paper. Do you have ample frame to hold the wings stiff? You may want to run veins through the wings out of wire or other material. But, 5 thick coats was ample thickness for mine.

Stephanie Canady said...

My wings are pretty stiff. I wish i could show you. Ive thought about putting multiple pieces of paper down to put the paste on. But i had doubts.

Unknown said...

I am so excited to have found this tutorial! I have been looking for how to make wings like this for a while now! My friend and I are making dragon masquerade costumes and are going to experiment with your methods on a small scale and then make much larger scale wing for our costumes. Will let you know how they turn out!

mieljolie said...

That's wonderful! I look forward to hearing about your wing experience. :)

I just started some Dementor hands and faces (Harry Potter) using the masking tape and fabric paint. They are turning out pretty good.

Good luck with the wings!

Sheriagogo said...

Fabulous wings! I am rewriting this comment after a battle with my google account and passwords. Let's see if I can remember. I have been making a pair of wings based on your pattern here. Frame is complete and ready for the membranes - this is where I am stumped. My daughter is currently colouring in the sections on pieces of paper with coloured pencils. I'm just not sure how to proceed with the mod podge. Should I try to glue the paper sections on to the wings (as you did originally I presume); paint on the coats of mod podge directly onto the paper sections separately (flat - remove paper then MP each section to frame? also which side to paint?); put the paper wing sections together to make a large flat template of the whole wing and then paint one large membrane in mod podge (Flat - remove paper and fit to frame)? What do you recommend? Any tips for this part would be very helpful and appreciated! Thanks.
Also, my wings are a tiny bit bigger than the ones here - they are attached across the back - not separate - about 17" each, base to tip. But each section of the wings fits easily onto an 8.5 x 11 page. I think that't it. Hoping to get these done by Saturday night! Yikes.

Cheers, SM

mieljolie said...

Sheriagogo, in hind sight I would follow these steps: Be sure the paper you are using for the membrane fits the frame (or each section of the frame, which I need to do with my tiny wings) and color where needed before applying the 5 or more coats of Mod Podge over the coloring. Let the membrane dry over night. Then, dampen and rub off the paper being creful not to rub too hard that the coloring comes of. (It can take a little practice to get the right amount of pressure and dampness.) Use more Mod Podge to adhere the membrane to the frame. They will be rather stretchy once removed from the paper, so easier to fit. You can apply the glue to both sides to give it more strength. It seems to stick really well to the fabric painted frame. At this point you may once to paint another coat of Mod Podge on what used to be the paper side of the wing. This will give it a uniform texture and shine.

NOTE: You can trim the membrane to fit better once glued to the frame. If all one piece, you could also cut each section apart before gluing to the frame, if that is easier to fit.

Hope that covers everything. I'd love to see how they turn out. :)

Sheriagogo said...

Thank-you so much!! I am in such a time crunch that I went ahead before you replied and I am happy to say that I am basically doing exactly as you have suggested. Whew! I managed 3 coats last night and another this am; I may have to get to the paper removal tonight rather than tomorrow. I'll try for 8 hours of drying time anyhow. Will post pics when complete. :)

mieljolie said...

That's great! I hope you get them done in time, and they are a big success! I just wore mine again to ren faire this Halloween weekend. Was a fun time! :)