The maker community is full of a stunning variety of individual hobbies and skillsets. Those can be anything from highly-technical work like PCB design, to painting on the artistic side. Somewhere in the middle is cosplay, which requires both technical skill and the creativity to make it come alive. There are many ways to create costumes, and most of them are dependent on the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve—a medieval archer costume will be constructed differently than a futuristic soldier costume. If you want to add engaging lighting effects, Natalina has a great tutorial on how to make beautiful fiber optic wings.
These fiber optic wings could be integrated into a range of costumes if you think outside of the box, and the basic idea can be used in even more. Natalina’s design holds the fiber optic strands in a leather harness, and directs them to hang over the wearer’s shoulders. That gives the impression of folded angel wings. Each fiber is just barely opaque, so that the full length can glow instead of just the ends. The fibers can also be trimmed if you don’t want to utilize the entire length available.
The key to this project is the Ants on a Melon RGB Critter flashlight, which Natalina designed these wings to advertise. That flashlight can be pre-ordered now, costs $88, and was built specifically for applications like light-painting photography and cosplay. It can change colors and go through various effects, and has attachments to take advantage of them. One of those attachments contains 360 fiber optic strands that draw out the light coming from the flashlight.
Most of Natalina’s work went into designing and making the harness that contains the flashlight and fiber optic strands. The harness was made from leather, and Natalina explains how to create the pattern and then sew it together. Rivets were used to secure pieces together and give a nice aesthetic, and EVA foam—common in the cosplay world—was used to lift the leather into the right three-dimensional shape to guide the fiber optic strands into place. The resulting wings look amazing, and are hopefully giving you some great ideas for your next costume.