Make a set of DIY angel wings using recycled cardboard and feathers. The finished set of wings are perfect for Christmas nativity costumes and they are super easy to make!
You might also like our printable paper angels
A year or two ago my girls made their own pair of rainbow angel wings. They looked adorably kid-made, and I remember at the time having to restrain myself from getting in there and doing it all for them.
Essentially they did as much of the craft as they were capable of with their own brand of creative flair and only needed a little bit of help. They thought their finished product looked fantastic and played with their wings often, long after Christmas had passed, until they fell apart. From memory I think that they lasted a whole year in our dress-up box, which is not too bad for a piece of cardboard!
I finally had the chance to make a pair myself when miss 7 needed some for her school play last week. Seriously, they are SO quick and easy to make and far cuter than the factory-made dollar store versions if I do say so myself.
So as you can see, angel wings are a great craft for both Mum and the kids.
You will need
- Recycled scrap cardboard (like you get from a cardboard carton)
- white feathers
- duct tape
- white paint
- hat elastic
- this angel wing template
To create your wings cut out two wing shapes from the recycled cardboard using the template to get the shape. Alternatively sketch a shape that you like yourself, cut that one out and use it to trace a matching second wing of the same shape. Duct tape securely together over the join both front and back. Paint one side white and allow to dry, then paint the other side.
For mums and dads: as a general tip with recycled cardboard crafting a good quality acrylic paint is far better for getting an opaque coating over the cardboard without having to paint on a second coat once the first one dries. Typical kids’ acrylics (like what most parents would have at home) are usually a bit more washable and therefore don’t give good coverage, especially with the lighter colours.
For kids: The above paint is also a good choice because it is non-toxic, but be aware that it is not very washable and can stain. If you get it on clothes or furniture wipe it off straight away while still wet. For my kids I buy a good quality washable paint instead, they are usually not fussed about the opaqueness of the colour.
You can see through the paint a little bit on the reverse side of the wings I made as you will be able to see in the images (although with the kids’ paint it would have been twice as bad), but I didn’t think it was obvious enough to worry about seeing that that side of the wings would be facing her back anyway.
Once the paint has dried use a paintbrush to paint on some glue and layer the feathers starting from the bottom and working your way up so the top layers of feathers overlap the lower layers. Add more glue as you need to until both wings are completed.
If you wish to you can feather the back as well, but I thought one side was enough. After the glued-on feathers have dried, poke two holes on the inside of each wing over the duct tape with a kitchen skewer and use them to thread the hat elastic through as shown in the image below.
Miss R wore a white dress with her favourite sparkly shoes and I made a quick halo from a starry gold tinsel, and that is the costume complete.
…and the school play was as cute as ever!
More Angel Craft Ideas
- Make a cute classic toilet roll angel decoration
- Use our printable template to create these colourful mini paper angels for tree ornaments
- Put together some bottles of mini angel dust as a gift idea for the kids’ school friends
- We also have a paper angel template that can be coloured in and folded together
- See the adorable kid-made angel wings my girls made as preschoolers