Tutorial: Create Armor Talons for Costumes (with moveable joints)

how to make talons

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Related Tutorial:

How to Make Claws for Costumes

how to make claws

If you want to create talons that you can wear and move around with your fingers, EVA foam (or craft foam) will be the easiest material to use. You will create three separate pieces and create hinges around your finger joints so that the talons will easily stay on your fingers and you can move them around as you move your hand.

This method of creating claws is ideal for characters who use this type of talon as a weapon in games or for creating humanized versions of a dragon or large bird since these can stylistically represent their talons.

a foam talon with joints

Supplies needed:

the shape of the talon pieces
left: the tip of the talon, upper right: the middle section of the talon, lower right: the lower section of the talon.
measure the width of your finger
The width of your pattern pieces should be the measurement around your finger. It will be slightly longer on the base piece.
make sure the paper fits
The paper pattern should wrap around the bottom while still allowing your finger to bend. The top should extend just slightly past the joint. You can make the back as long and pointed as you want.
cut out on the fold
Cut your pattern pieces on a fold in the paper so that they’ll be symmetrical.
  1. Draw the shape of your talons on paper. Before creating your talons with foam, test them out on a plain piece of paper, so you know they will fit.
    1. Use the basic shape in the image as a guide
    2. Use a measuring tape to measure around your finger. This should be the width of your shapes
    3. You should be able to bend your finger around the bottom side. Cut it out of the paper to test it.
    4. To create symmetrical pieces, cut them out of the paper on the fold.
  2. Test the talon pattern and create similar pieces resized for your other fingers. Cut all the pieces out of paper and make sure they fit around your finger and you can still bend your finger on the joints. Then you want to repeat the process to create the same shapes at slightly different sizes for your other fingers.
  3. Cut the pattern pieces out of EVA or craft foam. When you’re sure your paper pattern fits, trace the pieces onto EVA foam and cut it out.
  4. Glue the bottom edge of each piece. Using hot glue, contact cement, or any other type of adhesive, glue the bottom edge of each of the pieces. For the pointed tip, you may want to taper the end with scissors so you can glue it into a point.
  5. Poke holes along the top edges (as shown). These will be the joints that you use to hold the talon together and make it bend with your finger.
  6. Paint the talon. I forgot to paint it until after I’d constructed the talon in the next step. But it’s a lot easier to paint the pieces before they’re connected to each other. Use whatever kind of acrylic paint you want, but flexible paint often works best with EVA foam since it won’t crack as the foam bends.
  7. Use string or small paper fasteners to connect the pieces. You can use string or thread to tie the hinges together. Tuck the extra length of thread to the inside of the talon. You can also use mini brads (paper fasteners) if you have any on hand.
cut out the EVA foam
Cut all of your pieces out of EVA foam (or craft foam)
glue the pieces
Glue the bottom edge of all your pieces together.
taper the end of the point
Taper the tip of the talon so you can create a cone shape at the point. This means cutting away the thickness so that the tip is paper thin.
add holes
Poke holes as shown so that you can connect the three pieces.
tying the pieces together
Connect the three pieces using the holes you created.
paint the talon
You should really paint the talon before connecting everything, but paint it now if you forgot (like me)

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been cosplaying since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years, I've experimented with all different kinds of cosplay costumes, especially loving the process of creating props and styling wigs. I also delved into cosplay photography, and love exploring how to optimize costumes so they look excellent in photos. Most of the photos you find on this site were taken by me over my years at anime conventions.

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