I live for making Halloween costumes for my kids - it's the highlight of my crafting year! So while they're still young and actually continue to let me do this, I will do my best to give them what they want - within reason. It can't be all blood and guts, and it has to be something I can make.
Last year my daughter wanted to be an angel. I try not to "steer" them too much but coach them to come up with something imaginative. Not that angels are bad, but I figured there'd be a million of them, and how would we make ours stand out? (Because I am just anal that way, obviously...)
Although there are commercial patterns available, we found a first communion gown that was perfect - easy peasy! So it was time to make the wings. They had to be glittery, feathery, everything an angel's wings should be, you know.
I started with a template, made out of a large sheet of paper (or sheets taped together) and folded in half. Once you figure out how large they should be, open your sheet and trace the cut out onto a piece of foamcore posterboard. You might want to score the outline first with an Exacto knife and then cut, smoothing any rough edges down with some fine sandpaper.
To make straps, cut slits in the middle part of the wings and thread a long piece of half-inch elastic through them. Don't forget to try them on at this point to make sure they fit and hold up the wings - obviously if they're too long your wings will sag! Mine were long enough that I could still machine sew the ends together.
Now comes the fun part - decorating! I used a combination of glitter, feathers and silver bugle beads, but you could probably use just about anything, really. For mine, I started on the outside edge first, and ran a bead of Elmer's glue all the way around. Use a paintbrush or your fingers to smooth it out.
I bought my feathers from AC Moore, a craft store in my area, pretty inexpensively. According to my (now expired) receipt, I bought 10 bags of feathers (4-6 inch size) at $1.59 a piece, and have six bigs left. I kind of layered the feathers so as to cover up the stubby ends, and this is what I came up with:
The finished product! They looked awesome.
Now, time for the halo. I used wire (sorry, I have no idea what the gauge is, but something that can be bent easily enough with tools but not too easily). I think I bought it at Lowe's. Start by forming the circle first, wrapping the wire around sort of in a knot and then down to make the "stem," making a rounded hook at the bottom. Put hot glue (you're going to need a lot) on the pipe cleaners and wrap them tightly around the wire as you go, so no wire is showing underneath. In hindsight, I think gold Christmas tree garland would probably stand out and pop more, but could be very frustrating to glue on, especially if you're in a hurry!
I just used duct tape (as you can see in the photo above) to affix the wire to the inside of the wings, making sure the wire was long enough so the halo would clear my daughter's head. Of course, it hung crookedly as she walked, which is more than appropriate!