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Picture of Phoenix Costume Headpiece
phoenix-fire2.gif
Phoenix-Hero1.jpg
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Phoenix-Hero5.jpg

I have been wanting to make an epic phoenix costume for years. The idea of rising from the ashes in a burst of fire is amazing costume inspiration. I started this costume two years ago, and it's finally done! This is the first of two instructables and covers the headpiece, as it is the most complicated piece of the outfit. The second covers the wings and bodysuit, and you can check it out here! Also a big thank you to mikeasaurus and davekaplan for the amazing photos.

Why a phoenix? I love what a phoenix represents: rebirth, renewal. In Egyptian mythology it was knows as Bennu and represented creativity and the life force, in Greek mythology immortality and resurrection. In Chinese mythology the symbolism is completely different, but on a superficial level I like that it is the female counterpart to the dragon, since who doesn't like dragons?! And speaking of dragons, of course let's not forget about our favorite phoenix Fawkes from Harry Potter :)

Enough about mythology, let's get started!

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
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The first step in any creative process is research. I spent hours looking at feather headpieces to get a sense of what I wanted for the general shape and style. What I found landed in two general styles, either a mohawk style or a valkyrie style with wings on either side. While I like the valkyrie look, it seemed inconsistent with what I imagined the head of a phoenix to look like, and went forward with designing something more like a mohawk (center sketch).

As for electronics, I knew I wanted there to be a fiery effect diffused by the feathers, and an LED strip was the obvious choice for illumination.

That was enough of a general design for me to go forward and order my materials.

JamesA411 year ago

Awesome and really creative. Great blend for wearable electronic devices. Makes me think about the produceconsumerobot.com website project though more artistic enjoyable.

Check this out his site if you haven't and this is my favorite page: http://produceconsumerobot.com/biosensing/ (probably more boring for some if not many). Not me though as I want to incorporate bio-sensing and radio direction finding into stealthy designs so can log and correlate directed energy weapons or electromagnetic pollution and even chemical events.


You have really great leather sewing skills to as well as blending materials.

Natalina (author)  JamesA411 year ago

Thanks! There isn't anything interactive in this piece, but I'm glad it made you think of interactive applications. This link packs a lot of information in and has some cool projects.

Yeah... a lot of information for sure.

You reminded me of some tips for sewing leather in this design too. Last winter I started working on leather seat covers with space foam inner padding.

I picked up a Singer 44S from Walmart and returned since I found out the way the hides I purchased were tanned in a way I didn't really want on my skin since I have XLHED and sensitive skin. I later found that I can used brain tanned hides that are better when getting wet also as they stay soft when dried. The person I inquired to on Etsy never responded. So I never invested. The brain tanned hides are expensive... though seem best.

Do you have any advice or tips on sewing leather?

I bought a gamma seal lid for a free 5 gallon bucket to store the leather sewing stuff in. I did pick up some poly lycra for window treatments that I made and I still use in the car. I was going to sew a sleeping bag cocoon also with the remainder of the material. Also, with the SPF50+ light weight materials, I wasn't sure about details for sewing. I still have to research sewing the clima-lite, coolmax and polylycra materials.

Any suggestions for the two extremes, i.e. leather and poly-lycra?
kezraela1 year ago

How much time did this take you to complete?

Natalina (author)  kezraela1 year ago

A really long time! But a lot of it was trial and error along the way for the structure, and figuring out the electronics and code as I'm a novice in that area. If I were to make it again now that the design is worked out, probably 20 hours? Most of the steps are pretty simple, but there are a lot of them and many involve waiting for things to dry, etc.

Frivolica2 years ago

This is stunning, I'm lost for words. You are an amazing artist!

Fantastic work.

I'm a man, and I want to make this. Just to fact check you, phoenix can be male or female. This is going to be used in my flame warrior costume. Thanks so much.

Natalina (author)  crazycraftpro882 years ago

Of course this can be a male costume! My understanding of the phoenix in chinese mythology is that it generally considered the female counterpart to the male dragon, while the western phoenix (what this is based on) is genderless. I'm no mythology expert so feel free to share more on that, I love that stuff.

I can't wait to see it! Be sure to post a photo when you're done :)

The dude is gay.
Neepha2 years ago

Wowsa. What was the reaction when you wore it out at night?

Natalina (author)  Neepha2 years ago

So far I've only worn it out to a light festival so while some people noticed it, I blended in with the setting. I'm excited to wear it for halloween :)

bekathwia2 years ago

D O P E

Love it, awesome job!!!

Natalina (author)  bekathwia2 years ago

Thanks for your help making it happen :)

wold6302 years ago

I can't wait to see the whole costume come together in part two. The headpiece is amazing!!

Natalina (author)  wold6302 years ago

Thanks, feels good to have both pieces finally published!

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You are such a talent Natalina!! This is an incredibly beautiful project.

Natalina (author)  Paige Russell2 years ago

Thanks Paige!

ana.gopic2 years ago

nice

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asergeeva2 years ago

Ah! This is just too good. You're a rock star!!

This is so fancy!

amazing!!!