Wood Nymph Costume Ideas

Written by kathy bellamy
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Wood Nymph Costume Ideas
Butterfly wings look best on a nymph. (small fairy image by Alexander Potapov from Fotolia.com)

In Greek mythology, wood nymphs were minor goddesses who personified the natural world. They inhabited the mountains, springs, rivers and trees. In literature and film, you have likely seen them portrayed as fairy-like creatures with wings. Sometimes they are part plant and part human. Other times, they are simply depicted as wild and beautiful young girls.


Start with a simple dress or tunic. Choose fabric that looks like it was made by nature. Look for material with the feel and colour of a flower petal or a leaf. You may be able to find material that has a tree-bark pattern.
You can use an old night gown or simply wrap a piece of cloth around your chest and under your arms. Pin it over each shoulder and down the sides. Add leaf or flower pins for the shoulders and add a matching sash from ribbon. Before pinning the garment in place, cut the hemline into pointed leaf shapes or rounded flower shapes. You can also paint flowers and vines onto the cloth using fabric paint or apply glue with a paintbrush and sprinkle with glitter. You can glue or sew silk vines and flowers to your costume for more realistic detail. To create a less detailed costume, drape a gauzy covering over a swimsuit. Decorate the see-through fabric with glitter or vines.

Hair and Accessories

To accessorise your hear, wear a simple floral garland crown or make a wig by attaching artificial vines and flowers to a green knit cap. You can also weave vines through braided hair or use a spiking hair wax to sculpt your hair into branches. On your legs, wear tights and paint vines and flowers up your legs with fabric paint. Or simply go barelegged and apply temporary tattoos with floral patterns.


Create some inexpensive wings from cardboard and paint them in butterfly patterns and colours. You can also make a pair of wings by using four wire hangers. Tape them together in the shape of butterfly wings and stretch pieces of nylon hose over them. Paint patterns onto the wings with glue and sprinkle with glitter. If wire hangers don't give you the creative flexibility you desire, form your wings by using 14- or 16-gauge wire. Cover your finished creation with netting or cellophane. Employ the help of a friend to tie ribbons to the wings and pin them to your shoulders and sash. Premade wings also may be available from a costume shop or online.  

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