how to make a bird headpiece

Products you’ll need (2)

Spread your wings and DIY.

  • Has instructions
  • No-sew
  • Video

Introduction: Phoenix Costume Headpiece

how to make a bird headpiece

how to make a bird headpiece

how to make a bird headpiece

how to make a bird headpiece

For years, I’ve wanted to create a magnificent phoenix costume. It’s a great costume idea to rise from the ashes in a fiery explosion. This is the first of two instructables that covers the headpiece, which is the most intricate part of the costume, and it was started two years ago. Here’s the link to the second, which features the wings and bodysuit. Special thanks go out to mikeasaurus and davekaplan for the incredible pictures!

Why a phoenix? I adore the symbols it stands for—rebirth and renewal. Known as Bennu in Egyptian mythology, it stood for the life force and creativity, and for immortality and resurrection in Greek mythology. Although its meaning is entirely different in Chinese mythology, I find it appealing that it is the female equivalent of the dragon—after all, who doesn’t love dragons?—and, speaking of dragons, let’s not forget about our beloved phoenix Fawkes from Harry Potter.

Enough about mythology, lets get started!

how to make a bird headpiece

how to make a bird headpiece

The first step in any creative process is research. I looked at feather headpieces for hours to get an idea of the general shape and style I wanted. What I discovered fell into one of two broad categories: mohawk or valkyrie, with wings on either side. Even though I like the valkyrie style, it didn’t seem to fit with my conception of what a phoenix’s head should look like, so I continued to design something more akin to a mohawk (center sketch).

Regarding electronics, I was certain that I wanted the feathers to create a diffused fiery effect, and an LED strip was the obvious choice for lighting.

That general design was sufficient for me to move forward and place my material order.

Step 8: Diffuse the Eyes

how to make a bird headpiece

how to make a bird headpiece

In order to diffuse the light that would be coming through the bird eyes, I added a layer of worbla. When heated, the incredible thermoplastic Worbla is easily moldable. It stuck to the leather with ease and gives the light a lovely, textured, warm diffusion.

In the event that you don’t have worbla, parchment paper can substitute for it.