Part 2 – final assembly of the wings 

My wings are starting to come together!

Sorry it’s been a little while between posts, but I’m working on other costumey stuff in between, plus there’s that ‘life’ whatsit getting in the way too. 

In the previous post on making these bee wings, I mentioned that I had a double-thickness sheet of Contact, and I’d be gluing on another double-thickness. Well, I did that, then changed my mind as it was increasing the weight, and more than was necessary anyway. 

But here are some photos. 

To attach the wire to my double-thickness Contact, I just cut small pieces of Contact to use as tape. I kept everything weighed down with jars, and this actually worked well. 

It’s hard to see, but if you look closely you’ll see the bits of Contact tape. I also lightly covered these strips in Copydex glue, just to help adhesion. I’m having a difficult relationship with Copydex. On the pro side, the included brush makes it very easy to apply, and it dries clear. On the con side, it usually dries clear. If you accidentally apply it a bit too thickly, it will dry white. Plus, it’s not a great adhesive for plastic. The label explains usage for plastic, but it’s not great. It peels off very easily, and stretches, and the stretched edges after you peel some off will turn yellowy, and visible. I’ve had to trim a few bits!

Anyway, after taping I did glue on the other Contact sheets. Then changed my mind! And thanks to Copydex being a poor glue for plastic, I could peel it off. But I took some photos because the dried and stretched glue looked just like Shelob’s web! (That’s the huge spider in The Lord Of The Rings, by the way.)

Note that it had looked clear to begin with! This only looks a mess because I’d pulled off the upper plastic. 

Right, so once that was all off, time for Plan B. I’d just use one single sheet of Contact, as a double-thickness was unneccesary. The wire frame was holding its shape well, so a single layer to seal it in would be fine. I cut pieces of Contact roughly to shape, carefully stuck them on then trimmed them. Once again the glass jars proved excellent weights. 

Finally it’s time for fabric!!

This is what I’m using. It’s a very open sort of tulle, with gold metallic threads through it. Being so diaphanous it’s difficult to photograph, but I hope you get the idea. 

Through experimenting, I’ve decided to use two layers of the brown with one layer of green on top. The brown gives a touch of ‘Steampunkiness’ for my Tinkerbell outfit (for the upcoming LFCC), and a bit more of a woodsy touch for my autumn sprite outfit for Venice. That’s the plan!

I’d thought of various ways to attach the material but in the end glue seemed the easiest, and possibly most reliable. Starting with the brown, I cut pieces very roughly to shape, with a fold along the top edge of each wing section to help keep the fabric manageable. I then applied glue lightly to one side of the plastic and pressed down the fabric. Lots of gripes with the glue here, as it sticks to my fingers (or whatever I use to press on the fabric) then pulls bits off the wing, leaving white or yellowy clumps. I like my work to be neat, so this has been maddening! But I think letting the glue begin to dry first might be more effective. I like to be neat, but I’m impatient…

The material is quite stretchy, so it’s easy to work with. Again, it’s hard to photograph but I hope you get the idea. 

I trimmed off the excess, and folded over a little hem around the bottom to help ensure the whole surface was properly covered. 

I’m now beginning to add the second layer of brown. 

I would advise keeping a window open during this process. Copydex doesn’t have a strong smell but I have found myself getting a headache from the fumes if I’m using it for a long period, especially as I tend to look at what I’m doing very closely. So in addition to drying time this will take me days to finish. 

In this photo I’ve already glued on the under side of my second brown layer, about to fold it over and glue the top. 
Part 3 will be some photos of the completion! Oooh, I’m getting excited about finishing them!


~ L.Q. ~


2 thoughts on “Part 2 – final assembly of the wings 

  1. Grateful Geek says:

    Looks like they are going to be awesome! Can’t wait to see them when they are finished!

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