Ever want to have a great vampire costume with wings that retract and expand without emptying your bank account? This is the one for you. To do this cool wing effect, you will need the following:
8 eyebolts, lots of washers, short machine screws with nuts, two long threaded bolts without heads, dirt bike vest, black cloth or leather fabric, lightweight thin wood strips, velcro straps, some skinny wood or plastic rods (wings), black paint, glue gun, bandsaw or similar cutting tool, and lots of patience!
Start by cutting out the wood pieces for the wing mechanism. One of them will need to be slotted just wide enough to pass a screw through it in order to slide along it as wings open. make sure you use washers on both sides. Cut centered holes where the pieces hinge together. Make sure the screws and the nuts are only long enough to not protrude and scratch or cut. Otherwise, cut off any part of screw longer than the nut. Cover the nut with hot glue to keep it from backing off. Repeat for other wing. Drill holes through vest for eye bolts and fasten with a nut on inside. Again, make sure the threaded bolt is no longer than the nut so it doesn’t scratch. I used nylon threaded nuts that were rounded.
Now place the long headless bolt through the top eyebolt of vest and top eyebolt on wing with a nut above and below each of those. Same for bottom. Then adjust and tighten as needed. Add some velcro straps to each wing that will attach to your biceps. make them snug. This is how you get the wings to open. Put vest on and test it out and adjust where needed.
Then get your fabric or pleather and glue on some wood dowel or plastic rods like in pic. You can paint them black to blend. They serve to help the wings fold down evenly without getting cluttered up. make sure wing material is 2″ bigger than the wings so you can fold it over and glue in place. Make sure to glue to outside of wings that will face to the back. The rods should be on inside facing forward. Probably doesn’t matter which though. Put on and test again. We cut two horizontal slits on bottom of vest to insert two more velcro straps that we looped through a belt to hold vest in place when working the wings. Enjoy all the attention! It won $600 one night and King of the Vampire Ball on another night!