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Purim DIY Book Fairy Costume: It’s Awesome To Be A Book

This time last year I sat at my laptop pondering my costume options. But what to wear? I love books. I love writing. And it had to be work-appropriate. Who better to be than a BOOK FAIRY? I imagined myself fluttering between the stacks sprinkling fairy dust, bestowing books upon grateful patrons. (Okay, so maybe I snorted some of that fairy dust by accident.)

A Book Fairy I’d be. But How?

I scanned Pinterest and found a few examples Book Fairies, Library Fairies, and a cute Diction-fairy. Perfect. Now how to make the wings?

I rang a bell, but nothing happened. (Oh wait, that’s an angel gets her wings…) No magic would help me. I had to murder a book. Mea culpa.

 

How Will You Design your diction fairy costume?

 

How to Make Book Fairy Wings

Supplies:

  • large hardback book (I used a 9×9 book, but any size larger than a paperback should work)
  • 2 sheets poster board
  • 3 to 4 yards sturdy ribbon
  • glue (Elmer’s or craft glue)
  • clear packing tape
  • scissors
  • Foam Paint Brush
  • hole punch (optional:Self-Adhesive Reinforcement Labels)
  • small screwdriver (to make hole in book cover)
  • optional:  spray glitter, regular glitter, or any other extra decorating elements

Instructions:

1.  Carefully rip the pages from the book binding. (Mutter apologies and try not to cry.) Set aside.

2. Draw wing template. I freehand drew mine—it doesn’t have to be perfect!  Start by placing the book on one sheet of poster board. Decide what wing shape you want (I went for butterfly) and in pencil, draw an outline of the wing. Make it as tall as the poster board, so you have plenty of wingspan, and make sure the inside edges are smaller than the height of the book.

Good Job! We have managed half a wing outline!

3. Like your wing design? Good. Cut it out. Use it as a template to cut out your other wing.

4. Rip or cut up your book pages. Creativity level is up to you. If you’re using a special book, maybe you’ll want to have favorite paragraphs or lines highlighted on your wings. If you’re using a book with small print, it might not make a difference. You can have rough edges, cut pages into scale or feather shapes—go crazy. If you’re in a rush—who cares—just get those pages ready to glue.  (Since I had a large print book of fairy tales and I am a total dork, I artfully tore favorite passages from stories such as The Velveteen Rabbit, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, etc. You don’t have to go through nearly as much trouble.)

In a small bowl, pour glue. Add a tiny bit of water to make it easier to spread. (No more than 3 parts glue to 1 part water). Now, using the sponge brush, coat each book page and glue it to the wings–front and back. It’s like decoupage. You can be as creative as you’d like.  Once both sides are covered, let your wings dry for several hours or overnight. (They’ll harden, yet still remain slightly flexible when dry).

6. Meanwhile… Using something sharp and pointy, punch four holes in the back of your book cover. Make sure holes go all the way through the back cover only.

Here's what you need

7. Have dry wings? Good. Hold them up to the holes you made in the book cover, mark the holes, then punch holes in your wings about 1 inch from the inner edge. (Hole punch does this nicely.) Strengthen the wing holes using reinforcement labels and/or tape.

8. Cut about 1.5 yards of ribbon for each wing. (My wing holes were 7 inches apart. If you have a taller book, you’ll need more.)  NOW PAY ATTENTION: the tricky part is coming up! With the inside of the book cover facing you (wings outside), thread about 1 foot of ribbon through the top hole, leaving it dangling outside. (This will be one of your adjustable ties.) Thread the rest through the inside bottom hole. Make a large loop on the outside of your wings (I used 2 feet) and thread it into the top (outside) hole (where you have that 1 foot of ribbon dangling). This will be your arm strap. Still with me? Pull ribbon somewhat snugly inside (but leaving that 2 foot loop outside) and thread end again through bottom hole.

It should now look like this:

Yes We Had To Ruin The Book :(

Got that? The purpose of all these loops is to make the shoulder straps adjustable. We’re all different sizes, and if you’re like me and wearing these babies all day, you want to be comfortable.

Now, Tie the strings in a pretty bow (yes, it can be ugly or pathetic—it won’t really show) and test out your wing sizing. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just close.

{NOTE: If your craft-cussing, spatially-challenged hands are a-flapping right now because this seems WAY too complicated, relax. You can always pick your strap size, thread each end into a hole, then tie a nice granny knot and be done with it.}

Attach Our Book Wings To your favorite book

Yes, the book cover will be flapping open. We’ll take care of that next.

9. GLUE. Glue the covers together. Use good craft glue if you have it. Depending on the inside cover paper type, hot glue may or may not work. (My paper was glossy, so the hot glue didn’t hold.) Make sure no glue goes near your ribbon straps–we want this part to remain adjustable, remember, so limit your glue to around the edges. Now is also a great time to glue your wings to the cover of the book. I used heavy duty craft glue and clear packing tape to secure them.

Let it all dry.

10. Do a final wing sizing. Figure out the rest of your costume. Literary-themed dress or skirt? Fairy-like gossamer gown? Vintage dress?  (I found the dress I’m wearing at a Salvation Army back in college. Think it was a homemade 1970s bridesmaid dress!)  Funky steampunk leather and tights? The options and themes are endless!!!!

You can dress up your wings with glitter or rhinestones, as well. I had bought some metallic gold hairspray, but after reading the warning labels, decided it would destroy/incinerate/permanently discolor my hair. So I sprayed it on my wings, adding a delightful golden patina to the pages. It doesn’t show well in photos, but the subtle sparkle is absolutely perfect!

The extra's make all the magic happen

Have fun! Make it magical! And spread your joy of books on Purim!

If you like DIY crafts check out some of our other ideas:

Delightful DIY Tu’Beshvat Chocolate Lollipops

Israel’s Answer To Hot Chocolate–“Sachlav”

Are You Becoming Israeli: The Israeli Style of Communication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Zuckerman
Beth Zuckerman
Beth is a former Upper Westsider, who made aliyah 8 years ago. She is a coffee addict and a lover of classical rock. Beth is the content and marketing manager at talknsave, in that order.

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