How-To Make a Unikitty Hat: Adventures in Unikitty Cosplay

This is a pretty involved DIY project that takes at least 2-3 days to complete  mostly because you have to let papier-mâché dry- ugh!!). I suggest setting aside a weekend to tackle it depending on how quickly you paint. So strap in and be ready to get messy.

On top of that, I also had to go back to my original design and make some major changes to improve stability!

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard and/or poster board to construct the shape of the ears and head and horn.  Shoe box cardboard is ideal.
  • Craft foam- 1 sheet
  • Masking tape
  • Hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
  • Pencil & black Sharpie marker
  • Craft Paint for your Unikitty palette (see below)
  • Clear acrylic spay paint- I recommend Rustoleaum  Crystal Clear Acrylic
  • White primer spray paint
  • A variety of paint brushes. This multi pack of paintbrushes worked for me. Most important is the angled brush for all the hard lines and a half inch wide flat brush. You may want to invest in extra angled brushes to clean up edges without having to rinse out your brush.
  • 100% acetone nail polish remover
  • A plastic cup you don’t mind destroying
  • Papier-mâché supplies:
    • Newspapers (or an old phonebook!)
    • Flour
    • School glue
    • Water
    • Whisk
    • Large mixing bowl
    • Trash bags
    • Masking tape
    • Optional:  latex/vinyl gloves

Unikitty-Palettes

I have made waaaaay too many papier-mâché projects in the last year. Believe me, if you don’t think it through, it can be a bitch- if you’ll pardon my French. 🙂 My Papier-Mâché Tutorial  will help you avoid some large messes and mistakes I made along the way.  ❤

Fabricating Your Shapes:

 

pieces

I used cardboard to build the shapes for the head and ears, poster board for the horn, and craft foam to build the round lego gasket piece that attaches the horn to the head.

To make the horn, I rolled up poster board until I got the cone shape I wanted.

If I could start over and do things differently,  I would make sure that the width of the face block (from front to back) was as wide as my head so I could just cut a hole in the bottom, stick it straight on my head and be done…

…but I didn’t think of that until it was too late so here are the actual dimensions of the hat I made:

Round lego gasket: diameter 3.25″ – Horn height: 9″

IMG_4799

IMG_4802

Cover Your Shapes in Papier-Mâché

Cover each INDIVIDUAL SHAPE in papier-mâché except for the foam gasket piece.

Check out this article for detailed papier-mâché instructions.

papier-unkiitty
These are just stacked up- not glued together yet.

 

After my  papier-mâché horn was dry I wrapped it in masking tape to give it spiral ridges:

IMG_4804

 

Prime Your Pieces

Once your individual papier-mâché pieces are totally dry, cover them evenly with 2-3 coats of white spray primer. (Whatever it takes so no newsprint shows through.)

When using spray paint it’s best to apply one light coat at a time, letting them dry to the touch in between.

Sketch the Unikitty Face

This is where things start to get tricky. You will need to be able to sketch out your Unikitty face on your headpiece so you can paint it.

I sketched my face by hand, but you could also find an image online and then blow it up to the size of your hat.

When I was happy with the face, I folded it in half and chose the best side to be my template for tracing.

unikitty-2

unikitty-3

Paint, Paint and More Paint!

Paint all your shapes the appropriate colors, and then fill in your face sketch.

Sounds pretty simple, but I have a few tips for you:

  • Apply colors from lightest to darkest.
  • Let each color dry to the touch before the next color
  • Use the acetone to completely clean your brushes when you switch colors
  • I like angled brushes best for getting clean edges (or touching up edges) on my shapes.

Seal and Gloss

When your paint is totally dry, apply 4-5 coats of Rustoleum Crystal Clear Acrylic to really make your hat look like a plastic lego piece.

REMEMBER: When using spray paint it’s best to apply one light coat at a time, letting them dry to the touch in between.

Congratulations! You have a giant Unikitty head…but not yet a hat. Let everything dry and cure for 24 hours before moving moving on to the next step.

sanity

 Now it’s Time to Build Your Hat

As previously mentioned, if I could start over and do things differently,  I would make sure that the width of the face block (from front to back) was as wide as my head so I could just cut a hole in the bottom, stick it straight on my head and be done…

… but that is not what happened.

When I debuted my Punk Princess Unikitty cosplay at Wondercon 2014, I did cut a hole in the bottom so the block was somewhat contoured to my head.

IMG_4042

I ended up attaching the Unikitty head to a thin little headband because my hair wouldn’t have covered much more and I wanted the illusion of the block just poised on my head.

It worked JUST OKAY.

I had to stand perfectly straight and not turn my head too fast or it would fall off… just how you want to be at a con all day, right? o_O

Luckily I used to train in ballet, so that was helpful but a few hours into Wondercon and my neck was killing me!

Here is what the janky headband rig looked like:

IMG_4044

Seriously it was so bad, lol!

How I Stabilized My Hat

First, I made a curved piece out of worbla thermoplastic with elastic straps and attached it to my hat with super glue:
 IMG_4808
 To wear the hat I pull the elastic through my wig. (This wig is from the Rhapsody Collection from http://www.dolluxe.com/ <—-srsly great wigs!!!)
I also bought a pink wig for a super kawaii version of Unikitty…but for now I’m enjoying the platinum. 🙂
You can see from the pics below how you could easily get through the wig between the wefts:
 wigwig_inside
wig_inside2poke_through2
 I just pull the elastic snug and secure behind my head with a safety pin. Between the snug elastic and snug wig, my hat is perfectly stable all night long! Even dancing all night at Club Cosplay with Jack of All Nerds!
unikitty-final

Some Special Recognition ❤ ❤ ❤

When I made the Unikitty hat, I never intended to write a tutorial… hence the extreme lack of step by step photos (sorry).

A special thank you goes out to Cindy A. for inspiring this tutorial. As the first person to ask for details, my emails to her forced helped me to organize my thoughts. 🙂 Then Cindy and Katherine made AMAZING Unikitty and Angry Unikitty hats of their own!

Using the  wig for a snug fit has worked like a charm. ❤

Cindy-&-Katherine

3 thoughts on “How-To Make a Unikitty Hat: Adventures in Unikitty Cosplay

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