If you’ve ever found a dead cicada on a nature walk, and wondered what to do with it, I’ve got the answer for you. Make fairy wings of course! (I have a feeling you knew I was going to say that). But you don’t need a dead insect. For those who are squeamish, or if you just don’t have a dead cicada or dragonfly, use transparency print out of insect wings.
Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links. I use Amazon links for two reasons. 1. I get free reference photos, which, I feel, is valuable content for you. 2. I love the convenience Amazon offers and I personally buy the bulk of my art supplies there. I only list it if I like it, and I let you know if I haven’t tried something first myself.
- Real Insect Wings or Insect Wing Transparency Sheet
I used cicada wings from a dead cicada that my kids found in our back yard. Please don’t kill a bug just for it’s wings. If the bug dies and happens to leave wings behind, it’s lovely, but unnecessary because you can get transparency sheets of wings over at OOAK Artist Emporium. If your printer is finicky, like mine, you’re going to love these sheets as much as I do. They’ve got a wide assortment of insect wings including butterfly wings. I plan to make a tutorial on butterfly wings in the future. Here’s a quick tip if you end up being lured into going with butterfly wings; use cornstarch with matte glaze as a final step so you can get that fuzzy wing loo
You’ll want 20 gauge for fairy dolls that will be about 3 to 6 inches tall (1:12 scale), or go with 18 gauge for fairy dolls meant to be bigger than that.
You can get this cheaper at your locally at a hobby store. Another option is Liquid Fimo. I used Sculpey because I like the feel of it. Liquid Fimo feels kind of rubbery, though it is more translucent than the Sculpey. Since we’re only applying a thin layer, the Sculpey works just fine and we’re left with a more realistic feel (at least that was what I was going for).
I got mine at my local dollar store, but they might not carry the same kind any more. Amazon has metal scrap booking photo corners that will probably work just the same. Or, look in the jewelry section at your local hobby store. Decorative jewelry findings are great for fairy wing making. The swirlier the better. Look for something that is easy to cut and bend.
- Pixie Dust (and lots of it, of course)
I got my Pixie Dust from Never Neverland. I’m afraid you can only get there if a boy who was raised by fairies shows up at your bedroom window. This may be a little inconvenient for some of you, so you might just settle for glitter instead. Any extra fine silver glitter should do.
- Mica Powder for color (totally optional)
- Microbeads (optional)
- Triple Thick Brush On Gloss (optional)
I want you to be aware that this stuff is addictive (no I’m not worried about you sniffing things you shouldn’t). I mean addictive in a sense only artsy craftsy people understand. Once you use it, you might want to use it again and again on other crafty things, and if you’re not careful, there will be no end to it. Really. I think this happens because this gloss dries to a super hard finish that feels expensive and high quality. But it’s so shiny glossy, that it looks wet even when it’s dry. This stuff is great for keeping your microbeads in place, you might want two coats over microbeads though.
- Needle Nose Pliers, Paint Brushes, Scissors, and a Vacuum Cleaner to clean up all the glitter that will be all over your floor. 🙂
Time Stamped Instructions
0:50 Remove cicada wings with pliers or cut out transparency wings
1:02 Work on each of the four wings separately
1:07 Form wire to shape of wing & add super glue
1:18 Tip: use wax paper as your work surface
1:34 Brush on a light coat of liquid polymer clay to both sides of wing
1:49 Make a boat of tin foil
1:53 Bake according to your clay’s instructions
1:59 Form the end of your wire to desired shape
2:17 Brush on a bit of liquid polymer clay where you want glitter
2:22 Be deliberate about where you want glitter, don’t hide veins
2:34 Bake again, same instructions
2:37 Use decorative metal (tin) photo corners
2:42 Cut them to the desired shape
2:48 Clamp onto wing & add more liquid polymer clay to secure
3:02 Bake again
3:03 More liquid polymer clay in nooks & crannies of metal piece
3:10 Douse with glitter
3:15 Add mica powder if desired
3:20 Bake again (last time, I promise)
3:27 Add Triple Thick Brush On Glaze for extra shine
3:31 Apply microbeads with a brush & secure with the Triple Thick