Iridescent Fairy Wings Tutorial

At long last, the materials list and tutorial for how to make your own iridescent fairy wings!

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*Below are affiliate links for the products I've used. I am not being paid or sponsored to use these products and you pay the same price you would if you did not use these links. I get a small commission if you buy something, which helps support me making more tutorials for you.
The best commission comes direct from the manufacturer, such as Therm-O-Web, DickBlick or Cricut, please go through them if you can <3.

What you'll need

Wing Design
You can create your own fairy wing design if you know how, but if not you can purchase the SVG file HERE

Materials
My ‘Secret Sauce’ and the key to smooth film application!
Iron On Vinyl- gloss vinyl 24in x 2 yards:
Directly from Thermoweb: http://shrsl.com/1m8e3

Iridescent Film: https://amzn.to/2J0QJ8M • UK link: https://amzn.to/2TGPAqz • Canada: https://amzn.to/2KEFvYn España: https://amzn.to/2Mo6HfO
*^^Closest to the clear one I got wholesale*
Other colors: https://amzn.to/2JejPAs • UK link: https://amzn.to/2TCJM1l
#400 Series Bristol Board: http://shrsl.com/1ok65
Copper, Steel, or Silver Wire, 14 - 16 gauge thickness *Not what I used in the video because these will work better
From DickBlick: Galvanized - http://shrsl.com/1ok6b
From Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LuLbVJ * https://amzn.to/2J0kEOf * https://amzn.to/2IXR0sS • UK link: https://amzn.to/31Lx7vW
Floral Tape: https://amzn.to/2IXR4ZE
Electrical Tape: https://amzn.to/2J01oAg

Tools - Essentials
Heat Tool (best one for this!): From DickBlick Art: http://shrsl.com/1rd10
From Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XjqJ0R • UK link: https://amzn.to/2Mn6f1n • Canada: https://amzn.to/2HbtI1l • France: https://amzn.to/2YVZFFL
Heat Gun: https://amzn.to/2XA0xyD • Canada link: https://amzn.to/2H7XtAc
Kevlar Glove / Ove Glove: https://amzn.to/320smiT
Cutting Glass: https://amzn.to/2LsV46c • UK link: https://amzn.to/2Z4i1Qg • Canada: https://amzn.to/31LD5gi • Deutschland: https://amzn.to/2KDu1UP
Tin Snips: https://amzn.to/2Xf0WqR • UK link: https://amzn.to/2KDNW6k
Scissors: https://amzn.to/2XluuTB

Optional Tools:
Cricut Easy Press: http://shrsl.com/1ok91
Larger Easy Press: http://shrsl.com/1ok94
Press Pad: http://shrsl.com/1ok99
Silicone Mat: https://amzn.to/2FIWdmz • UK link: https://amzn.to/2NbmdLV

If cutting with a Cricut Maker:
Cricut Maker Machine: http://shrsl.com/1ok8e
Deep-Point Blade: http://shrsl.com/1ok7z
Standard Grip Mat: http://shrsl.com/1ok7v
Painter's Tape: https://amzn.to/2LnVdI6
Brayer: http://shrsl.com/1ok8s

If Cutting the Bristol Board by Hand:
X-Acto Knife: http://shrsl.com/1ok75
Self Healing Mat: http://shrsl.com/1ok7c
From Amazon: https://amzn.to/304HlXp *The one I actually have but you might not need one this big
Wide format printer and paper to print the SVG file onto
*Obviously you can go to Staples or something to get a couple prints but if you're looking for your own printer this is what I use
Epson XP 15000 printer: https://amzn.to/2J1OoKO
13" x 19" paper: https://amzn.to/2Lqa6cZ
Transfer paper to copy the design to the Bristol Board: http://shrsl.com/1ok7p

You can use the Piera Clearwing Satyr SVG file I've made for your use, or you can create your own design.

If you need instruction on the basics of using a Cricut Maker, please refer directly to their help files.

If creating your own design, PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHT. Not just mine but everyone's - Google is not a royalty free image bank, so try looking to Mother Nature first. Hers really are all royalty free and public domain ;) Be original, and you'll stand out from the crowd.
Tweaking the veins of a real existing insect’s wings is a good way to do it - add some veins, or move some around, etc so you have something that is more uniquely yours.

The condensed version of the tutorial is below

If you don’t have a Cricut or other cutting machine capable of cutting bristol or poster board, first transfer design to the final vein surface, by drawing directly on it, or printing the file and then transfer it to the Bristol board using Transfer paper.

Cut out the vein design from the bristol or poster board with either the X-acto knife, or a Cricut Maker if you have one (other machines may work too, just verify the settings you need to use)

Cut lengths of wire to fit along the top and bottom edges of the newly cut wing vein panels.

Wrap wires with matching floral tape where it will be showing on the wing panel but leave the part that will be part of the brace bare.

Wrap the 'Legs" of the separate wing panels in electrical or vinyl tape.

Cut Iron-On vinyl big enough for the wing panel, remove liner and lay the panel onto the vinyl sticky side up.

Place the wire supports onto the vinyl too to fit around the bristol board veins.

Roll iridescent film smoothly over the veins and vinyl, cut from roll, smooth and press all the bubbles out. The thinner your wire the easier this part will be, steel or brass wire is usually stiffer than the copper so you can get away with a thinner gauge with those.

Heat Press @ 310 degrees, place wing panel on press pad.

Place silicone mat over the wing, then press firmly for about 10-12 seconds with the heat press

Press and smooth with gloved hand for final smoothing

Turn knob on Heat tool to red

Put flattest side down onto glass surface, then press and drag the tip of the heat tool to cut out the shape.

Cut length of wire with tin snips, shape into a 'U' that fits just below the base of the wing panels and tape it to the 'legs' of the wire supports with the matching electrical tape, wrapping all the way around.

That's it!

It can be worn by slipping the brace into the back of a corset, or tying elastic onto the four corners to be worn like a backpack.

If you want to get fancier, you can glue fabric to the top and bottom edges to hide the wire, you can paint the vein frames, or glue rhinestones onto it. I highly suggest SuperGold+ glue for that!

I've wanted to do this for some time, but loved ones often brought up the concern that maybe if I taught everyone how to make wings like mine I might lose business.

My thoughts on that are, if my success depends solely on the materials and technique I'm using rather than the quality of my work, originality or how I treat my customers, then I'd be on shaky ground indeed. I can’t currently meet demand and I’ve learned that thankfully, there is enough need for wings that many wing makers can prosper!

This tutorial doesn't teach you how to cut the frames out of waterjet the way that mine are because it's not as accessible to everyone as the materials used here, but if you know what you're doing there's no real secret to waterjet cutting aluminum in your desired shapes.

I would like to see everyone who wants iridescent wings to have a set of their own, but I can't do it by myself so I hope this helps you get your wings <3

*Here’s some useful links for more information about copyright and IP law that explain things plainly and 2 have copyright application tutorials as well:

https://theartistsjd.com/
https://copyrightalliance.org/ca_post/five-things-about-copyright/
https://creativelawcenter.com/