Sorry...I haven't checked this thread in awhile... I didn't realize there were updated responses and questions!
Gosh, I'm not sure I can give much as far as detailed instruction as to how I made the wings.... They really were a figure-it-out-and-tweak-it-as-I-go kind of project. Honestly, this was not an easy project, but once I committed myself and started, I just had to keep going and make it work
. I did search for other butterfly wings how-tos, and they all sounded rather simple.... But mine had to be a very specific shape, and covered in tissue paper on top of the standard nylon covering, so I really had to come up with my own technique.
The wire is just from standard coathangers. I tried other types, but none were as solid and stiff as coathanger wire.... I'm not sure what gauge it's considered? A coathanger is only so long, so I made 4 different sections, and joined them with electrical tape. I also needed to add circles of wire inbetween the sections to reinforce them.... otherwise they wanted to twist and bend under the pressure of the nylons. After I was happy with the framing, I stretched standard queen-sized white pantyhose/nylons over the wire frame. I now had 2 separate wings, each made of 2 wire quadrants.
The design was made by cutting shapes out of colored tissue paper, coordinating with the picture from the book, and attaching them to the nylons using lots and lots of Mod Podge
As I added more and more pieces to the design, the Mod Podge hardened and really created an outer shell that fortunately was strong but still not too heavy. I had to do the same design basically 4 different times: back, front, left, right. And then the whole thing was covered with a final coat of Mod Podge. It's really just a huge decoupage project. It should also be noted that this project was done little by little over the span of a month....
I honestly can't remember how I ended up attaching the left wing to the right wing..... I think I just used a needle and thick embroidery thread.... I also somehow attached fat yellow ribbon shoulder straps and crossed my fingers that the whole thing would hold up to the activity of a 4-year old
I'm sorry I can't be of more help.... I'm often this kind of a crafter: To heck with directions, I'll figure it out myself.... ha! It was a great costume and I loved how it turned out, but I'm really trying to make this year easier on myself as far as costumes go....