Maleficent/cosplay horns

There was quite a lot of trial and error involved in making these, I had two versions and one completely failed no matter what I tried, and the second one came out not too shabby. I would suggest having medium to long hair for my version though.

Materials:

  • Crayola air magic foam (one pack per horn)
  • Hot glue + gun
  • Black paint
  • Gold paint
  • Floral wire
  • Skewer
  • Elastic headband

Construction:

  1. !! Use a reference for this!! Taking one pack of foam per horn, mold two horns.  Press the bottom ends onto your head where you will wear the horns so they will take on a diagonal shape and fit more closely on your head. These need to air dry for a few days, and I highly suggest propping them up in a few places. I propped mine up only in the middle and they dried and kind of warped out of shape. Once that happens, you can’t go back and fix it, so take care!
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    This one didn’t warp.

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    I didn’t realize the bagged stuff it was touching warped it. Oops.
  2. Using some hot glue, fill in any cracks that formed while drying. Mine had a lot of cracks. Filling them with hot glue will not only help you create a smooth surface but it will strengthen the horns too.
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  3. Using hot glue, create your horn texture. You can do rings, lines, whatever you want. I decided to do lines to create an almost grainy texture.

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    Vertical-ish lines, on the warped horn.
  4. Paint the horns black, and dry brush gold for accents. I’d suggest spraying a sealant, but I personally did not do that.
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    From flat black to golden accents. I did the gold only until maybe halfway up the horn
  5. Using the floral wire, lay it over your head keeping about 1″-2″ hanging over on each side. Cut two strands and twist them together to create a stronger single strand.
  6. Using the skewer, poke a hole completely through the bottom end of each horn. Thread the floral wire through and check the fit on your head.
  7. Fold the ends that are hanging over into loops. These loops should be hidden behind your ears.
  8. Take the elastic headband, fold it in half and place one end in each loop, creating an elastic band to help keep the horns on your head.

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    The last two steps in action.
  9. Style your hair to hide the fact these horns aren’t actually sprouting from your head and then you’re good to go.

Maleficent staff

Disclaimer: this is not a live-action or animated screen accurate version. I took inspiration from Once Upon a Time, Maleficent, and Sleeping Beauty as well as my own ideas. I got everything from either Home Depot, Joann’s, or amazon.

Materials:

  • 10′ PVC pipe
  • PVC pipe end cap
  • Sandpaper
  • Black paint (spray or liquid. Make sure it’s meant for plastics)
  • Gold paint (same as the black)
  • Sealant (I used outdoor Mod Podge)
  • Thermoplastic pellets (I used Instamorph)
  • Leather lace
  • Hot glue + gun
  • Paintbrushes
  • Magical ball
  • optional (fake crow)

Steps:

  1. Cut the PVC pipe in half so you have two 5′ pipes. One will be used for the staff.
  2. Put the end cap on the bottom end of the pipe
  3. Sand the whole pipe and the end cap. This is important to help the paint stick to the pipe. Make sure to wipe the dust off.

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    I chose a 1″ pipe. This is pre-sanding.
  4. !! Follow the instructions for the thermoplastic pellets and be careful not to burn yourself!! I first made a cup for the ball to sit in on the top.
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    I formed a log first for everything, it was the easiest shape to make the pellets at first.

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    If I needed to soften the plastic after it cooled, I simply reheated it.
  5. Make dragon claws. I didn’t use any references for mine, but I would definitely suggest having an idea of how you want them to look. Then I made dragon claws. I made a thumb, middle, and two claws. I used clay tools to help me add a bit of detail to the plastic before it cooled.

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    This is a claw mid-cooling stage. I added knuckle detail as well as the talon.
  6. As you’re making the claws, be sure to mark where they will go on the staff. This ensure you don’t make giant or tiny claws that don’t fit appropriately. I labeled each mark and the corresponding claw with the same number.

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    This is after I glued the ball down preemptively.
  7. You can curve the claws inward, but make sure to do this with the ball sitting in the cup on top so you don’t curve them too much and are then unable to remove the ball!

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    This is the same claw as the one pictured in 5, reshaped and curved.
  8. Use the hot glue to attach the claws onto the staff (I didn’t realize until after the fact that I placed one higher than it’s “twin” but I used pro strength hot glue and couldn’t be bothered to fix it, it’s fine.)

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    You can use hot glue to fix any spaces or lumps between the claws and create a smooth surface.
  9. Then I used varying thicknesses of plastic ropes and wrapped them around the staff a bit to mimic a kind of root or gnarled branch look. I hot glued portions to the staff to ensure that they would stick. The thermoplastic I used adheres to other plastics, but I wanted to play it safe.

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    I forgot to take a picture mid-process of the branch things.
  10. Paint the whole thing black (I used a thick enamel paint and did 2-3 thin coats). Make sure you remove the ball first to paint the cup and underside of the claws black. I glued the ball into place without thinking and had to painstakingly paint what I could in the space between the ball and the claws with a tiny brush. It was not a good time.
  11. Use the gold paint and dry brush over the “highlight” areas of the claws and the roots/branches. Dry brushing is simply using a dry brush dipped in a small amount of paint to lightly brush over a surface.
  12. Use the sealant and cover everything to make sure the paint doesn’t chip or flake off.
  13. Hot glue the ball to the top of the staff.
  14. Using the leather lace and any knot design you fancy, create a hand grip.

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    I used one lace to wrap horizontally and the other lace created the criss-cross pattern.
  15. If you want to, hot glue the fake crow on top of the ball for an added ~Maleficent~ feel.
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If you stopped at step 14, this is what it looks like.

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~Magical ball~ Tutorial

Have you ever needed a magical glowing orb for a staff or something else? I did, so I looked at a few different tutorials and came up with a fairly inexpensive and easy way to make one.

Materials:

Steps:

  1. Sand the metallic backing off the rhinestones. This is a tedious task, I know. If you bought glass or crystal rhinestones instead of plastic/acrylic, you could use a salt and vinegar soak to loosen the backings (probably) but that did not work on the rhinestones I bought.
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  2. Optional: if you really wanted to, you could also paint a layer of clear nail polish on the backs of the rhinestones to clear up the cloudiness. However, I found this disappears when you glue them on.
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  3. Sand the loop part off of the ball (if you bought the same one I did, which is an ornament). Also lightly sand one half of the ball completely to make sure the hot glue will adhere the rhinestones to the ball. If you follow the exact way I made mine, you don’t have to sand the bottom half.
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  4. Use your hot glue and go crazy with the rhinestones, completely covering one half of the ball. Fill in any gaps with hot glue, it doesn’t matter that the glue dries to a slightly milky color, it’s not noticeable.
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  5. On the bottom half of the ball, use leftover rhinestones and bring the rocky texture down. I only bought one pack of rhinestones so I didn’t have enough to cover the entire ball, but if you have enough, go for it.
  6. Take a small piece of saran wrap and wrap it around one LED to size it. Then glue that piece down into the bottom half of the ball. This will act as a little cradle for the light so you can easily remove it and replace it without having a light bounce around in your ball.
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  7. If you want to, you can use more saran wrap pieces to fill the inside of the sphere halves. This will allow the LED light to diffuse more for a softer glow.
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Undiffused light vs. Diffused light

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Now you have a magical ball! Stick it on a staff or throw it at someone (just kidding, it could actually hurt)!

Update + Haul

I know I keep saying I’ll have posts coming, but this time I’m actually telling the truth. I have some projects (mostly cosplays) nearing completion, and I’ll try my best to get them posted. Until then, however, I have more haul items!

I did not get this materials on the same day, rather I went to my local Joann’s multiple times during different sales. I think I’ve photographed everything, but if there are things I’ve used but not photographed, I’ll talk about them.

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This batch includes some Steampunk octopus buttons, La Mode kind of regal crest buttons, a Simplicity grecian trim, a Simplicity “tribal” trim, and a Burda pattern for historical undergarments.

I have no use for the buttons as of yet, but they’re inspirational and just pretty so I wanted them. The grecian trim is also an inspirational item for a possible future cosplay which I will keep under wraps until I hammer out details. The tribal trim I’m going to use to make a camera strap for my brother (and since there is quite a bit of it, perhaps one for me as well). The pattern is completely useful, especially for when I begin to make my historical costumes (I’ve curated a collection of patterns and construction details for various ones).

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It was early morning so the lighting isn’t optimal, but the La Mode buttons feature a (quite literal) sea horse and that was grounds alone for buying them. The octopus gives me HYDRA and/or S.P.E.C.T.R.E vibes, and I am into steampunk looks, so definitely an inspirational item.

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This batch includes so many fun things! A Dritz Belle Buttons real horn button (to be used in one of the nearly complete cosplays I will post later on), Realeather deerskin lace in dark chocolate (I bought two), a Butterick Making History pattern for belts, bracers, bags, etc. typically leather items (such a useful pattern for MANY of the costumes I want to make), and a Simplicity pattern for Princess Zelda (I honestly bought it because it includes patterns for the armor pieces and the crown and I can use that for basic shapes and alter the patterns for whatever character I need).

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A closeup on the texture of the horn button. I’m not sure how this horn was retrieved, I’m hoping it was ethically but I just don’t know. I didn’t even realize it was real horn until I had already bought it.

I forgot to photograph, but I also went to Home Depot and bought a 10′ PVC pipe that I cut in half and purchased end caps for, which will be used in upcoming/nearly completed projects. (Hint: Think “staffs”)

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I purchased this remnant of vinyl to use in a nearly completed project, so I won’t say much about it, just that it is amazingly the perfect width and length for what I’m using it for.

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This last picture is more patterns, including a Butterick Making History pattern for a Regency era gown, jacket, and purse, a Butterick Making History pattern for various corsets, and the new McCall’s Costumes Yaya Han pattern for this flared jacket.

I forgot to picture the new material I bought and I’ve already used it so it’s a bit too late, but I purchased a linen material in a dark brown, and some yards of white netting (both for a nearly complete project as well as perhaps a petticoat in the future).

Until next time!

Craft Store Sale Haul

I recently went to Joann’s because they were having a sale and I found all kinds of interesting things.

I saw in the coupon book that these alphabet stamps were on sale and I’ve always wanted something like this so I went ahead and got them. They’re the perfect size for little pendants. I tried to make a pendant but methinks my bedroom desk is not meant to be hammered on so I will be trying out various other platforms before I go into more detail about letter stamping.

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Next up, the Simplicity patterns were 5 for $5. I already have many of the patterns that I want, so I didn’t get many. I picked up the Wonder Woman pattern that was out of stock the last time they were on sale and I got this beautiful 1950s dress pattern.

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I found a random box full of things in the bead/jewelry section that were $1.99 each so I got these beautiful oxidized brass goodies.

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Because the yarn was also on sale, I picked up eight skeins of this neutral color to make a throw blanket and one big skein of this rainbow yarn to make a baby blanket.

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For the baby blanket, I cast on 124 stitches using size 8 needles. Then, I knit four rows. The pattern is four knit stitches, then 116 purl stitches, and then four knit stitches. The knit stitches are creating a little border around the blanket. It’s a really simple blanket, I wasn’t going for anything fancy.

I’m not sure what I want to do with the neutral throw, but I might do a knit/purl stripe pattern.

Merida: The Wig

I know it’s been a while, but I’m still in my post-holidays-do-nothing phase. I did this a while ago (read: before Christmas) but I’m just now posting about it.

As we know, Merida has a lot of hair. It’s very curly, very big, and very fiery. So I set out with the idea of buying a base wig and sewing wefts into it. This is the first time I’ve ever, shall we say, customized a wig.

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Wig, long wefts, and short wefts

I bought the base wig (a “Merry” in the color Pumpkin) from Arda Wigs. I also bought short and long wefts in the same color, also from Arda. Because I purchased them as a Black Friday deal I saved quite a bit of money. It took a while for them to arrive, but they arrived in perfect condition and I was ready to start building this wig.

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It didn’t even reach my elbow!

Straight out of the bag, it was obvious I had my work cut out for me. I was up to the challenge though! I watched various YouTube videos about sewing in wefts just to make sure I didn’t mess up anything.

Re-parting the wig

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This is before I added sections to help disguise the part location change
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After adding little wefts. That one front piece is still stubborn and refuses to stay.

First, I figured out where I could re-part the hair and avoid showing wefts*. I sewed in some sections of short wefts and used the heat from my blow dryer (important: the fibers of this wig are heat-resistant which means if you’re going to do any styling you have to heat the hair and let it cool IN POSITION or the style won’t hold!) to flatten the wefts down to a “natural” looking part.

*The part of this wig (and many others) is sewn into a skin coin, which is a pale flesh toned piece of soft plastic (or rubber? I’m not 100% sure). Skin coins vary in size and shape according to the wig you buy. This particular skin coin was quite narrow, thus I could not move the part that much without a lot of visible wefts.

The Sewing of the Wefts

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You can kind of see where I sewed pieces in if you follow the braids closely.

First I sewed in small sections of the short wefts into different locations in the top layer of the hair, not including the bangs, just where I knew I wanted to see some shorter curls. After I braided those sections to keep them separate from the hair of the base wig, it was time to move on.

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This is a shot from during the curling process showing how I sewed in the wefts.

I moved entire weft layers up and then sewed lengths of hair on top of other wefts, braided those, and repeated until I ran out of short wefts. One thing to note is this wig had layers that were actually cut to about an inch long that were meant to help hide your hair I guess, but I tried to make sure I sewed wefts onto those ones.

The long wefts were a pain to work with because they kept tangling, but I managed. In between the short weft layers and the long weft layers, I skipped some layers and left the base wig length to help transition from short to long. Then I braided the hair as I went along until I got to the very last one since it would be the first layer I curled.

The Curling of the Wefts

I took some excess pieces of wefts that I had cut before I started to practice different curling techniques until I found one I liked. I tried wrapping the hair around a metal knitting needle and using a straightener to heat the hair up which gave a nice tight curl, but was too frizzy for my liking. Then I tried rope braiding and heating with a straightener and didn’t like how it just came out as little waves. I also tried using curlers and a blow dryer (which did absolutely nothing), and curling with the straightener (which left lines on the hair and didn’t curl it how I wanted it to). I was feeling kind of defeated at this point until I remembered my sister left her curling wand at my house. EUREKA!

I used the curling wand and took small sections of hair and curled them in different directions on the wand. The tricky part (and the part that made this process span a few days) was letting the curl fall perfectly shaped into the palm of my hand and cool. I unfortunately didn’t have the workspace available to take the curl off the wand and clip/pin it while it cooled. That would have saved so much time.

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This is right after I finished curling the last curl.

After I got all the layers curled, I took some of the base wig curls and separated them with my fingers for added fluff.

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This wig is now definitely the length I was going for (waist length), and it is definitely fiery, curly, and big. But it could be bigger, especially around the crown. I don’t want to tease the wig yet though because I don’t even have my costume started yet, but teasing will be done.

 

Bonus before and after shots:

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Scream Queens Chanel #3 inspired earmuffs

While I made these for Halloween, it is a completely acceptable holiday project!

Materials:

  • Headband
  • Measuring tape
  • White fluffy felt
  • Batting/stuffing
  • Sparkly beads and/or sequins
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Sewing machine

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Instructions:

  1. Measure the length of the headband and add an inch on each side. Mine was 15.” Cut out a rectangular piece of felt to fit over the headband. I cut mine about 2″ wide.
  2. Sew the rectangle piece into a tube and slide it over your headband. To make it more comfortable you can add some stuffing inside this part too.
  3. Cut out four felt circles, of any diameter you want. I made mine 5″ because I used a 3/5″ seam allowance and wanted them big and fluffy.
  4. On two of the circles, you will sew on your beading. Any design you want. I added dangling pieces to mine. It would probably be best if you mapped out a beading pattern before hand, but I just free-handed one circle and replicated it on the other.20151026_14084320151026_160452
  5. Put two circles right sides together and sew almost all the way around. Repeat with the other two circles.20151026_160008
  6. Flip the circles right side out and stuff them. Then using your needle and thread, close the gap.20151026_162351
  7. Hand sew (I used a combination of running stitches and whip stitches) the muffs to the 1″ inch sections on the end of the headband covering. Make sure the muffs are secured nicely.20151026_165151
  8. Then, slap them on your head and you’re done!

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