Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Homemade Fairy Wing Dog Halloween Costume

Costuming is my favorite part of Halloween, but Lacey? Not so much.  Lacey’s favorite part is earning treats at Halloween pet charity events. I can’t blame her for that.

Husband and I use dog charity events as fun socialization training to help Lacey work on her fear and anxiety issues (Read more about that on this dog training post on Condo Blues.) Unlike her humans, Lacey isn’t into wearing dog Halloween costumes or clothes (unless it is freezing outside.) We don’t push it because the costume thing is really for the humans, not the dogs.

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Our goal is to set Lacey up for success. Instead of wearing a dog Halloween costume, Lacey wears a Thundershirt (learn more about it here)  to help her deal with her anxiety. The Thundershirt is based on Temple Grandin’s research and calms the dog like swaddling calms a fussy baby. Wearing a Thundershirt keeps Lacey from pulling on her leash and vomiting due to stress. This thing works. I can’t recommend it enough.

Going to these events without her Thundershirt is not an option for Lacey. Last year she wore her blue Thundershirt because it coordinated with the Halloween bandanna the groomer gave her.



I tolerate wearing a bandanna because it means we are going someplace  where humans like to give treats to cute dogs. Bandanna = even bigger
 cute factor than I naturally have = MORE TREATS FOR ME!

How to Make Dog Costume Fairy Wings

I saw the cutest set of Chihuahua sized fairy wings at the yuppie puppy pet shop. Dressing Lacey as a fairy for the Halloween Pet Parade means she can still wear her Thundershirt and might work as a Halloween costume for my dog who hates costumes.  The most expensive part of the dog fairy costume was the dog harness which we already had so I decided to make a pair of dog fairy wings myself.
 
I wanted to make Lacey’s fairy wings from scratch. When I went to the store to buy the wire and tights I needed to make her wings, I realized it was cheaper to buy children’s dollar store fairy wings, take them apart and make them smaller than making dog fairy wings from the ground up.

If you already have wire coat hangers and a pair of nylons or tights to sacrifice for a pair of fairy wings, you can still use this tutorial to make fairy wings for your dog, your child, or yourself.

You will need:

Wire coat hangers or heavy wire
Wire cutters
Tights
Scissors
Fabric paint
Soft wire to attach the wings to the dog harness
Coordinating fabric or ribbon
Hot glue
Dog harness 
Dog

Make it:
1. If you are altering ready made fairy wings, carefully take the wings apart and remove the wing covers. Set them aside to use reuse later.



2. From Scratch: bend both ends of a length of wire into two top dog sized wing shapes. Twist the ends of the wire together so the wings hold their shape.

Altering wings: Rebend each wire wing into two dog sized wing shapes. Twist the ends of the wire together so the wings hold their shape.




3. Repeat Step 2 for the bottom wings.

4. From Scratch: Stretch a length of the tights over the top of each fairy wing and trim the excess fabric with the scissors.

Altering wings: Slide the fabric top of each fairy wing into place, pull the fabric/nylon tight to shorten it and either knot to sew with a hand needles and thread the fabric into place(I did both) and cut off the excess fabric with the scissors.


5. Attach the top and bottom section of the wings together along with lengths of soft wire you will use to attach the wings to the dog harness  by either:
  • Twisting the center sections of the top and bottom wings together.
  • Attaching the top and bottom wings together with a length of soft wire.
I had to cut the top wing section in two to make them small enough to fit Lacey. I put hers back together with a combination of the two techniques and Gorilla Tape.


Don't worry about making this connection pretty. We'll do that in Step 6.

6. Decorate the fairy wings as desired or not.

The ready made wings I bought were decorated with glitter and shed like a boss when I handled them. I didn’t want the glitter AKA the Herpes of the Crafting World (so true!) to get all over and possibly inside of Lacey. I sealed the glitter by going over the design with Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint to coordinate with Laceys's black fur and her pink Thundershirt.

Painting the wings makes the design stand out.

7. Hot glue a small strip of fabric or ribbon around the center section of the wings to hide your work.

8. Attach the wings to the dog harness.

 Tinkerdog?

9. Put the harness on your fairy dog and pay her in 10 thousand dog treats so she will let you take her picture.

 Give Lisa some social media and comment love on this post. You have no earthly idea how many treats I made her give me to get the pictures for this post! Heh, heh.

10. Have a Happy Howl-loween!

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