Taking a break from construction, it was time to get started on the most distinctive feature of the costume– the beetlewings! (a.k.a. elytra)
Most sources online agreed that beetlewings are too brittle to trim without steaming them first to soften them, so I was all set to start the steaming process… But I decided on a whim to skip the steaming and see if a pair of regular nail clippers would do the trick. And hey, they worked!
I found that as long as I didn’t try to clip across the entire curve of the wing at once– instead putting the clipper only halfway across the curve at a time– the wings would clip cleanly the same way fingernails do. Since I was going for a really basic trim, just to remove the pointy end and the gnarly stuff at the wide end of the wing, this process worked perfectly. I think if I’d wanted to shape the wings more I might have needed steaming so I could use scissors, but as it was, I was just happy to avoid one more step.