Danielle Falk from Little Ginger Studio shares how to make easy DIY paper wings for kids. These are great for use as part of a handmade kids costume idea or as a fun & imaginative creative play idea for kids!
Costume-making is something we love doing at our children’s art studio here in Sydney, Australia.
These DIY paper wings were a big hit during our Winter vacation programs. And with the tutorial I’ll share today, you can create dragon wings, angel wings, fairy or butterfly wings!
I think this makes a lovely project to create together with your child. The process is easy & fun so this project is suitable for 5 year olds to adults.
The construction is actually quite simple aside from attaching the elastic. (Kids will need adult help with this). And once the main wing structure is complete, kids will spend a long time working on these!
How to Make DIY Paper Wings
- plastic rod or very thin dowel (even a straight stick about 20in long will do, just make sure it’s light)
- brown craft paper roll of any thickness
- clear gum water-based glue (eg. Elmer’s) or Mod-Podge
- large paintbrush + small paintbrush
- selection of colored papers, painted papers, patterned papers, recycled wrapping paper, tissue paper, shiny foil papers, any sort of pretty paper you have
- 1/2 inch elastic
- strong duct tape
- strong hot glue gun + hot glue
DIY PAPER WING INSTRUCTIONS
- Prep materials.
The brown craft paper roll we have at the studio is quite thin (around 80gsm). So we decided to fold our paper in half and glue it to strengthen it. If you have craft paper of a decent thickness, you can probably get away with single thickness as adding the feathers and scales will strengthen too.
- Create the wing shapes.
First cut a piece of craft paper (around 20 in x 20 in) and then fold it in half. Then carefully draw a wing shape (bat wing-style for dragons, bird-wings, or even butterfly wings) using pencil.
Next, open the paper back up and place the plastic rod or dowel along the fold. Then carefully brush a light layer of gum glue over the paper. Fold it and smooth it shut.
Finally cut along the pencil lines and glue together any parts that are not already joined properly.
- Add scales or feathers to decorate.
Next is the fun bit!
First show kids how to cut a dragon scale or a bird feather shape. Then let the kids cut their own feathers or scales out of a variety of papers in different colors.
It’s important to model how to glue the scales/ feathers on as there are a few tricks:
– Begin gluing from the BOTTOM of your wings, this way you can achieve a nice overlap (like roof tiles).
– Start with larger scales or feathers at the bottom and work towards smaller ones at the top. This looks more natural!
– Try to avoid placing the same color / pattern scales / feathers next to each other which results in a more harmonious result.
– Try not to leave any gaps!
Younger kids tend to add larger “feathers” or “dragon scales” while more mature kids can get lost in creating intricate patterns. Either way the results are sure to impress.
- Attach straps to the wings.
Now for the tricky bit which really needs to be done by an adult.
First, lay down a “T” shape of duct tape along the top middle part of the wings. This adds extra strength and a workable surface. Then measure out a length of elastic against your child to form two loose arm loops. Remember looser is better to keep the wings fitting comfortably.
Attach the length of elastic (approximately 30 inches) exactly in the middle of your “T” shape (lying horizontally) with hot glue. Then fold in the ends and secure with more hot glue.
Tape some duct tape (8 inches long) directly over the middle of the elastic loops to secure and press down.
- Fly away with those fabulous wings.
Take off with your amazing new wings!
These are perfect for imaginative creative play for kids or to add a handmade touch to a handmade kids costume. We’re really looking forward to creating some super-creepy versions for Halloween!
MORE HANDMADE COSTUME IDEAS FOR KIDS (INCLUDING DIY CARDBOARD WINGS)
- How to Make DIY Kids Costumes from Recycled Materials
- How to Make Cardboard Masks for Kids
- A Costume Making Party – DIY Costumes Made With Kids Clothing
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