How to Make Wings for Dolls

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Dolls are made to be dressed up, designed and transformed as the imagination of the child or older doll lover expands to include new and marvelous ways to change a doll's mundane appearance. One of the more popular ways to transform a doll is with the addition of wings. With wings, a doll becomes the image of a fairy or magical creature.

Things You'll Need

  • Wing patterns
  • Photocopies
  • Wax paper
  • Floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Clear fabric paint
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Heavy books
  • Scissors
  • Old towel
  • Acrylic paints
  • 1/4-inch artist paint brush
  • X-Acto knife
  • Locate wing patterns and designs. Nature provides many examples on butterflies and moths and you can find images to use when drawing designs. Other wing designs are available online through sites like Fairies & Wings. Make photocopies of your wing patterns at the size that will fit your doll.

  • Place wax paper on the work table to protect the surface. Cut floral wire long enough to fit around the perimeter of your wing pattern. Bend the wire with needle-nose pliers to shape the wing and then twist the wire ends together tightly. Keep in mind that the wing will mount in the upper back area of the doll so the twisted wires need to occur at the mounting point for each wing. Make sure the finished wing will lie flat. Make two large wings and two small wings.

  • Lay a thin open-weave transparent fabric over the wax paper. Run a bead of clear fabric paint around the shaped wing wire and place the wire glue-side down onto the fabric. Add a sheet of wax paper over the top and weigh the wires down with heavy books. Allow the wings to dry four hours.

  • Trim the fabric around the wires using scissors. Place an old towel on the work table. Water down the acrylic paints and paint the vein and edge lines first. Butterfly and moth wings have veining that defines the look of the wing. Use artist brushes and allow the towel to draw off excess paint.

  • Twist the point of an X-Acto knife back and forth on the upper back area of a plastic doll (Barbie type). The hole should be just large enough for the two twisted wire wings to fit. Try to make the hole about 1/4-inch deep. Make two holes evenly spaced. On a Barbie type doll, the holes will be 1/2 inch from the center top of the shoulder and 1/2 inch from the arm joint.

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