How to Make a Bird Cage Veil in 5 Easy Steps

 DIY bird cage veil for a hat or wedding veil comb.

Like for realsies easy. And this is all you need:

  • 9″ wide spool of bird cage netting (also called Russian netting or French netting interchangeably)
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Matching Thread
  • Ruler or measuring tape

STEP 1:  Use your measuring tape/ruler to cut an 18″ piece of netting

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STEP 2:  Count 7 holes down and follow the line of the netting to cut off the upper right corner. Repeat for the other side.

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STEP 3: Thread your needle and knot the end around the lower right corner of your netting.

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STEP  4 : Do a quick running stitch through the netting holes  pulling the thread to gather as you go.Go clockwise from the lower right corner to the lower left corner. Do not go across the bottom.

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STEP 5:  Pull your thread to gather your netting into a caged veil shape. Tie off the end and snip your thread. TIP: Gather the netting loosely if you’re going to attach it to a hat, gather it tightly if you’re going to attach it to a barrette.

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Now you’re ready to attach your veil to a hat, hair comb or clip.

I used this veil for my couture Eternal Love hat:

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DIY Cosplay Gloves for Touch Screen

Until you wear gloves for a cosplay you might not notice how annoying they are! You want your phone out for pictures and connecting with your fellow nerds online, but it sucks having to pull your glove off for every photo op- sometime the crowd on the floor moves to quickly.

I discovered conductive thread about a week before WonderCon 2015 so I whipped up these gloves for the phone-addicted Riddler in our Arkham Starfleet group cosplay. SInce it was in a rush, the stitches are pretty sloppy, but I’m happy to report they worked great!

I found my thread on Amazon.com since I was in a super hurry and needed speedy delivery.

How to Make Touch Screen Cosplay Gloves

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All you really need are gloves, conductive thread, and a needle, but you might find a hair curler useful if you have one on hand.

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You need something to put in the finger of the glove while you stitch. This is where the curler will come in handy. First, take the foam off the roller.

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Insert the frame of the roller into the finger you want to make touch screen friendly.

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Whip stitch rows along the pad of the finger you’re working on. You need at least enough rows to cover the pad of the finger.

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Once you’re done, you’ll be able to text and take pics to your hearts content ❤

Cosplay Prop: How to Make a Harley Quinn Hammer

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For me the most essential part of a DIY Harely Quinn cosplay is an iconic Harley Quinn prop! This is how I made a Harley Quinn hammer (also called a mallet).

MATERIALS I USED

  • 2 Home Depot Buckets
  • Half of an Adjustable Drapery Rod with a Cool Finial
  • Worbla
  • Thick Craft Foam
  •  Sticky Back Craft Foam
  • Masking Tape
  • Various Fabric & Ribbon Trim
  • Drill with  1″ Paddle Bit
  • Epoxy or Super Glue
  • Hot Glue Gun & Sticks
  • Black Spray Paint, Clear Acrylic Spray Paint
  • Red & White Craft Paint

STEP ONE: BUILD OUT YOUR HAMMER HEAD

I cut the top off of two Home Depot buckets and stuck ’em together. Then I smoothed out the seams with a combination of masking tape and craft foam.

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 STEP TWO: COVER IN WORBLA AND EMBELLISH WITH TEXTURE

First I covered the whole thing in worbla for a uniform, paintable texture. Then I used a hot glue gun to add some rhinestone ribbon trim and diamonds cut out from sticky back foam. This added some cool texture to my hammer head- and also cover some seams. 😉

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 STEP THREE: THE HANDLE

First I covered the curtain rod in worbla and used epoxy glue to attach the finial to one end. Then I chose the paddle bit closest to the diameter of my covered rod and drilled a whole in the hammer head where the handle would be attached.

I applied epoxy to end of the rod opposite of the finial and inserted it all they way through so that the end of the rod hit the opposite end of the hammer head. I carefully held it in place until the epoxy set and my handle was secured to the inside of the hammer head.

I also added a gasket of craft foam where the handle met the head and used epoxy to secure it in place.

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STEP FOUR: PAINT IT BLACK & RELAX!

When my fabrication was complete, I spray painted the whole thing black and then finished with a light coat of clear acrylic spray paint. I then I took a break and let it set for a day. It’s hard to be patient but if you let the paint cure your less likely scratch or smudge stuff. 🙂

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STEP FIVE: FINISH IT OFF WITH DETAILS

To finish off my Harley Hammer, I used a couple different techniques. I dry brushed red craft paint over my textured parts and added some Harley touches with a bullseye and psycho laughter. I cut strips of some left over deep red velvet and glued it in a spiral pattern around the handle and added some assorted ribbon details.

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Although this mallet could be used for any Harley cosplay, I also made a little hobo satchel that we attached to this mallet to fit the Gotham Hobos theme of a group cosplay.

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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:

 

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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″

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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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:

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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:
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 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:
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 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!
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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. ❤

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DIY Spray Paint Jewelry Update

 

Every fashion expert will tell you that if you can’t afford a new wardrobe, new accessories are an “inexpensive alternative.” But let’s be real; sometimes we can’t afford new jewelry either.

Upgrading old or used jewelry is one of my favorite past times! Whether you just change up the color of a piece or “Frankenstein” several together, the result is an inexpensive way to freshen up your wardrobe.

Changing colors of pieces is by far, the easiest thing to do- all you need is spray paint! I recommend Rustoleum paints: their metallics are amazing, their clear coat is amazing, plus they have a lot of heat resistant colors because they’re used a lot on hot rods. I actually discovered the brand from my dad when he was restoring his vintage Model A.

But anyhoo, I digress. Here is how I achieved the above: 

Supplies: Round jewelry pliers, metallic silver spray paint, crystal

STEP ONE: Used pliers to take apart the necklace.

Pro Tip: You can use tweezers or regular needle nose pliers if you don’t own jewelry pliers… but at less than $7 I strongly suggest investing in a pair. They come in handy for lots of different crafts!

 

STEP TWO: Spray painted the colored part of the necklace.

Pro Tip:  For a shinier finish, use metallic spray paint alone. To achieve the “gunmetal” silver pictured, just follow with a coat of clear acrylic.

          

STEP THREE: Used the pliers to put the necklace back together and then rocked my piece out on the town!

 

 

 

Freedom from Fraying!

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Happy Fourth everyone! Quick tip of the day: easy secret to keeping your ribbon from fraying!

1. Draw a line of hot glue across the ribbon where (and at the angle) that you want to cut.

2. Do not touch the glue- just let it dry so that its nice and clear.

3. Cut through the line of glue.

That’s it. You’re done. Easy right?