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How to Make Diablo-Style Angel Wings: An Ethereal Tutorial

This tutorial will talk about how I made the wings for my Malthael, Archangel of Wisdom cosplay:

Here’s a 360 degree view of the cosplay.

Source Material

Let’s talk about inspiration first. I have long pondered about how to create the ethereal tentacle-like wings of the angels from Diablo. I first started theorycrafting Malthael about 3 years ago when I saw his sketch in the Book the Cain, and then later in Diablo: Wrath.

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I went through a lot of very complicated iterations and ideas, until I saw Tyrael’s Secret by Apotheosis Cosplay.


I combined my previous ideas with her general design to get the much simpler and more streamlined final result.

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  • 1/16″ PETG plastic. This is the most tricky and expensive part of the cosplay to get. I went to a plastic supplier in person and bought an ENORMOUS sheet (like 4′ x 8′) for much cheaper than they list online. Thinner plastic might work, though it won’t be as stiff.
  • Something to cut the plastic. I used 3′-long lawn shears. A dremel also works, but it’s slower.
  • A roll of paper.
  • Sandpaper
  • Worbla, craftfoam
  • 4 Nuts, 4 bolts, 8 washers.
  • Zip ties
  • An electric drill & drill bits
  • Clamps
  • Clear packing tape

How to do it.

The Harness

The most important part of this cosplay is the part you don’t see- the harness!

  1. Take a shirt you don’t mind sacrificing and cut out the pattern of a vest from it.
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  3. Transfer that pattern onto craft foam and your worbla.
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  5. Heat and shape it to your body.
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  7. Now you have a sturdy harness that can be used for many different sets of wings and to hang armor off of. It’s incredibly convenient!

The Wings

  1. Make a mockup of the design you want on your roll of paper.
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  3. Trace your design onto the plastic, and then flip over your mockups and trace it on again. Be sure to label each wing. When cut it out with your shears or dremel. If you used a thinner plastic, you can use scissors.
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  5. Refer to this picture for the following steps. Look closely.
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  7. Take off the plastic coating and use the sandpaper to score a texture lengthwise on the plastic
  8. Tentacles that are longer or are horizontal will bend from gravity and their own weight. You can stop this by clamping the plastic in between your legs so the plastic bends for the length of the tentacle, and wrap with the clear packing tape to keep it bent. For redundancy, you can drill holes through the top and bottom and put zip ties through it to help keep it bent.
  9. Arrange both wings how you want them to be shaped in the end, then clamp them in place.
  10. Drill 6 small holes through all the tentacles at once, 2 at a time in a triangle, and bind them with zip ties.
  11. Drill 4 larger holes through the tentacles and the worbla harness in a square.
  12. Thread your nuts and bolts through the holes with the washers in between.
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  14. Now you have wings!

Of course, for the final cosplay you’ll need to cut holes in your jacket or whatever is going over your harness for the bolts to go through. And then pin a flap of cloth over the connections to hide the back. You can see this if you pause on the back here.


If I had more time, I would illuminate the wings from the base using small flashlights. That would be pretty awesome.

Happy wing-making!

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