Project step photo 2
Project step photo 2


With the wire cutters, clip the hooks off all found hangers and discard. Straighten out each metal rod (use pliers on the corners), and then shape each of your four wing sections the way you want them to look. (Ours look a bit like squished raindrops, but yours can be rounder or flatter––whatever works best for you!)

Project step photo 2


Wrap the ends of each hanger with duct tape so they don’t pop apart while you’re shaping the wire wings. You should have four separate wing pieces. Set them aside.

Project step photo 2


With wire strippers, trim the leads on the battery holder to about 3″ long. Then, holding the leads with pliers, strip about 1″ off the ends to expose the wire inside. Set the battery holder aside.

Project step photo 2


With black marker, darken the positive (+) legs of all eight LEDs, and then bend the legs out to the sides in opposite directions, as shown. Set aside.


Using scissors, cut the legs off both pairs of black tights. Discard the cut-off briefs (or save for another project), and put the four loose legs aside.

Project step photo 2


Using wire strippers, cut two pieces of hookup wire, about 12″ each, and strip the ends to expose about 1″ of wire. These will be the main positive (+) and negative (-) leads for one of your wing shapes. Take the first piece of wire and, using the soldering iron, solder the negative (-) leg of one LED to the other end. Do the same thing with the second piece of hookup wire.

Project step photo 2


Using wire strippers, cut four lengths of hookup wire about 18″ to 24″ long and strip the ends. Using the soldering iron, solder one of these to each of the four unsoldered LED legs on the wire-and-LED assemblies you created in step 6. Use the third-hand tool to help hold the wire while you solder. This will make two assemblies, each with two LEDs and three lengths of wire, as shown. On each, tape a big paper clip to the positive (+) end, so you can keep track of the polarity.

Project step photo 2


Using one of the top wing shapes, wrap one of the long wire assemblies around it, so that the two LEDs appear in the middle of the shape, positioned as shown on page 82. Using electrical tape, tape the wires to the metal hanger to hold them in place as you work.

Project step photo 2
Project step photo 2


Add a second long wire to the wing you’ve been working on (the top wing from step 8). Position the LEDs so that they appear at different places within the wing shape, wrapping and taping as you go. Make sure both positive (+) ends of each wire wrap around the same side of the wing, and the negative (-) ends wrap around the other side. Using a taped-on paper clip, hold the two positive (+) wires together, and set this wing section aside.

Project step photo 2


To assemble the second top wing, repeat steps 6 through 9.

Project step photo 2


Take one of the cut-off legs from the black tights and pull it gently over one of the top wing assemblies. (Be careful––the LEDs can snag and rip the material!) Knot, trim, and tape the tights in place with black duct tape at the bottom of the wing, as shown. Then do the same with the other top wing assembly, covering it with another leg from the cut-off tights.

Project step photo 2


When both top wings are covered in the tights, use black duct tape to tape both top wing segments together, as shown. If necessary, reshape the hanger wire so the winds look the way you want them to.

Project step photo 2


Gather the four positive wires on one side of your assembly (the ones marked with paper clips) and twist the exposed wire ends together. Then do the same thing with the four negative wires.

Project step photo 2


When everything is working, use the soldering iron to solder each twist of exposed wire together. Work from one side, then flip and work from the other side to be sure each thick bundle of wire is secure.

Project step photo 2


Using wire strippers, cut two 4″ pieces of hookup wire, strip the ends, and then solder one wire to each of the two leads on the battery holder.

Project step photo 2
Project step photo 2


When everything is working, solder the battery holder’s leads to the wing assembly’s wiring by connecting the positive (+) lead to the positive (+) wires and the negative (-) lead to the negative (-) wires.

Project step photo 2
Project step photo 2


Make the bottom wings by pulling the last two cut legs from the black tights over the two remaining wire hanger assemblies. Knot, trim, and tape the tights to the ends of the wing frames, as shown, and then shape these new wing sections however you’d like them.

Project step photo 2
Project step photo 2


Using black duct tape, tape the bottom and top wing assemblies together. When everything is in place, gather up the wires and tape in a neat bundle in the center of the wings. If you want to you can cover the battery assembly with a scrap of felt, using either glue or black duct tape.

Project step photo 2
Project step photo 2


Make two shoulder straps by looping lengths of elastic around your shoulders. Using scissors, cut the elastic where the fit is comfortable. Using the hot-glue gun, glue the ends of each length together. Then use hot glue to connect the two loops in the middle.

Project step photo 2
Project step photo 2


When your shoulder straps are done, tape them to the center of the wings, adjust fit, and switch everything on.

Please Note

Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.

Fairy Wings

Project hero image
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Transform a few wire hangers and some black tights into a magical set of glimmering wings.


  • Four bendable wire hangers
  • Black duct tape
  • One 2-cell battery holder with leads and on/off switch
  • Two pairs of adult (women's) sheer black tights
  • Hookup wire
  • Eight 5mm diffused candle flicker or flash RGB LEDs (or your choice)
  • Large paper clip
  • Electrical tape
  • Two 3V coin-cell batteries (CR2032)
  • A 3' length of black elastic, 1" wide
  • Optional: Scraps of coordinating felt
  • Wire cutters (to cut the hangers)
  • Pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Black marker
  • Scissors
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Third-hand tool
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks