Monday, March 09, 2020

All about bee wings

I've had a few requests for additional information, and questions about attaching the wings when following my Needle Felted Bumblebee video tutorial and working with the Bee Wing Digital Download and Bee Wing Transparency Sheet. 

First, you'll need wings.

The Bee Wing Transparency Sheet is a pre-printed sheet with 32 pairs of bee wings in various sizes. Cut them out as you go along. How you cut them out will depend on which method you want to use to attach the wings. I'll show you two methods below.

To print your own wings you'll need the Bee Wing Digital Download. You will use this file to print onto transparency paper. When buying transparency paper it's important to buy the correct type for your printer. Look for "inkjet" or "laser" on the packaging depending on which type you have. When printing specify that you are printing onto transparency paper by changing the settings. This will give you the best results.

I use two methods to attach the wings.

Method 1
Select the wings you want to use. Leave a little extra tab at the end of the wing when cutting them out.

With a very sharp blade, make an incision into the body of the bee where you want to place the wings.

If you've felted the bee well, this cut should not cause the bee to come apart.

Apply a tiny drop of glue to the end of the wing

Push the wing into the cut, wiggle it into just the right position, and allow to dry.

Method 2
Cut out your preferred wings and make a diagonal cut at the end. The cut should reflect the angle that you want the wings to sit at.

Apply the a small drop of hot glue to the underside and edge of the wing. You may want to practice applying the glue to get used to applying just the right amount.

Press the wing into place. Wiggle slightly so that the glue catches to the wooly surface of the bee. Hold the wing in place as it dries.

While the first method will give you a stronger bond, I actually prefer the second method. Once you get the hang of how much glue to apply it's a much quicker and simpler method.

I've had people ask about adding wire to the wings. When I was planning this project I thought that wire would be needed but at this size the transparency is thick enough that it doesn't need added support. Unless you want to create posable wings, or a super huge bee, wiring the wings is unnecessary.

As always, if you have a technique or method that you prefer, by all means continue doing what you're doing! There's no wrong or right way to do things and experimentation is the key for discovering what works best for you.

Have a great week crafty friends!