Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gossamer Wing Tutorial

Gossamer Winged Dragonfly

Supplies & Tools Used:

  • Wood Stick for Spreading
  • Acetate or plastic bag
  • Scissors
  • Wire Cutters
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • *Sprayable water Colors,  or Re inkers
(Pictures may be clicked on to enlarge them)
Step 1.Step 1
Cut 4 pieces of the copper wire to the size you desire for your wings. I cut 2 approx. 8 in. and  2 approx. 6 in.

Step 2.
Bend your cut wire in half.
Step 3.
Twist the ends together using your chain nose pliers about 1/8 to 1/4 ins up from the ends.
Step 4.
Here I've show various pieces of scrap deli paper  I've saved from previous projects. I use deli paper because its semi translucent like tissue paper, yet has a wet strength to it, so it doesn't tear easily.
Click HERE to view
my deli paper slide show of how I create my colored deli paper.

Step 5.
Choose a piece of colored deli paper and lay your wire onto the deli paper and apply your 3D Crystal Lacquer around entire wire shape and fill  the center.
Step 6.
Fold over your deli paper and smooth out
any air pockets with your finger (some wrinkles and edges left in the deli  paper is quite alright).
Allow the sandwiched wire and deli paper to dry slightly.
Step 7.
Closely cut around the deli paper covered wire leaving about 1/16 of an edge that you can fold over the wire edge.

Step 8.
Set aside to further dry and repeat the above process on all 4 wings.
Step 9.
Next lightly coat the the front and the back side of your wings with 3D Crystal Lacquer.
Step 10.
While the 3D Crystal Lacquer is still wet sprinkle the extra fine glitter dust over the wings both front and back side.
Step 11.
Cut a foam ball in half and use it to poke your wings into to dry.
Step 12.
Once dry take your gold or silver leafing pen and piece of acetate or plastic bag and lightly pump some of the leafing paint out onto the acetate.

Step 13.
Slide your wing across the leaving paint. This is where the any wrinkles, bumps or ridges come in great!

Step 14.
 The wrinkles and ridges will pick up the leafing paint and give
the wings a sort of veiny look that some bug wings have. 
Step 15.
Use the leafing pen to lightly outline the entire wire edge of your wing.
Step 16.
Next apply another coat of 3D Crystal Lacquer to your wing over the leafing paint.
Step 17.
Using your wood stick smooth out your 3D Crystal Lacquer evenly.  
Step 18.
Sprinkle again with
the extra fine glitter dust.

Finished Gossamer Wings are ready for you to use in your next project!

Glass Wings
*Optional Variation

Step 1.
Take your previously made gossamer wings and spray with    Sprayable watercolors-I used 2 different color Color Mists
Step 2.
Allow the wings to dry slightly before you dry them completely with the craft heat gun (Make sure you keep the heat gun moving) Also, Be careful not to touch the wings until they have cooled off.
Step 3.
Once dry apply an additional light coat of 3D Crystal Lacquer and allow to     dry once again.

Here I've used both the gossamer wings and 
the stained glass wings on a pair of 
paperclay dragonflies I created.

Stained Glass Dragonfly

Click HERE to view my 
Faux Enamel Technique, also 
using 3D Crystal Lacquer


  1. I love wings and this is a very useful tutorial on making beautiful wings.

  2. love these ideas... thank for your submission for the Sakura DT...

  3. Those are AWESOME wings!!!!! The dragonflies look So adorable!!!!

  4. I love these, Aileen, the wings are so beautiful. I've never used the Crystal Lacquer before but I will be giving it a try!

  5. Wonderful Aileen! I like these much more than the REAL bugs, which are cool, but kinda creepy up close! It looks like its just magic all the time at your house! I do this sort of wing treatment for my clay fairys as well- yours are so much prettier! I stamp on my deli wrap first:)

  6. These are so cool, Aileen! Thanks for sharing the technique.

  7. How adorable is this!It is a pleasure to see your lovely creation! {{{hugs}}}