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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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. ❤

Cindy-&-Katherine

DIY Vintage Harlequin Clown: Accessories Tutorial

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Sometimes you just need a quick and easy costume. One of my favorite ways to whip up a costume in a jiffy is to make really cool DIY accessories that can be added to regular clothes. This is a DIY tutorial for my 3 piece Vintage Harlequin Clown accessories.

HarlequinClown_MeThis is especially awesome if you’re on a budget and have a bunch of parties or events to go to: it’s super versatile.  I LOVED the high waist short and contrasting striped shirt we dressed up my fantastic model Kelsey in, but you could slut it up (and I mean that in the best way) with a skimpy leotard, sexy dress, or maybe pair the shorts with a corset or halter bra for a pin up vibe.

I actually wore it to an early Halloween party while my main costume was still in progress, and it was a big hit.  (The top, skirt, tights and shoes are all direct from my closet.)

Included in this tutorial are instructions to make a cone hat, ruffle collar and ruffle cuffs.

Beginner level, low cost, and can be done in an afternoon; what’s not to <3?

Enjoy!

Supplies

NOTE FOR SUPPLIES: You want to get fabric 45″ wide or wider. The wider the fabric the more “ruffley” your collar will be (and yeah I just made up a word, so deal). If you’ve never shopped for fabric before, read this, then proceed.

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Don’t forget to download my cone template!

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  • TIP:  I used the large size for my human-sized hat you see in the pictures and I used small and medium for doll sized  “party skeletons” that I used to decorate my “Circus of the Damned” theme Halloween party. You could  also  totally  use the small version and glue it to a headband for a cute mini-hat look.

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Repeat for opposite side of the hat. You’ll use these tabs to secure the hat to your hair with bobby pins.

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Repeat step one with your second printed fabric- this time making a 6 1/2 ” fold.

NOTE: Save the excess fabric you trim off. You’ll use that to make the cuffs.

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TIP: You should end up with 15 inches marked off directly in the center of your ribbon and 12 1/2″ of ribbon left over at either end.

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Start with your left over fabric from the ruffle collar.

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TIP: Before moving on to the next step, trim edges so they’re nice and even like the photo in step one.

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  • OH SNAP! Note on using snap closures: Each closure comes with two pieces (an “innie” and an “outie” if you will) that, uh, well, snap together. Cleverly named, these things are… but I digress. You will need to make sure that you keep track of which pieces are innies and which are outies as you apply them to your cuffs. Otherwise they won’t snap together, k?

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 Repeat steps 4-8 for the other cuff and your done! Enjoy! XOXO

Love note from JoJo: This post was originally a 3-part post condensed and reformatted on 6/21/14.

Easy NO-SEW Cape: How to make a cosplay cape for beginners.

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Level: Beginner, Time: 1 hour, Cost: Under $20

BEFORE YOU START:

Make sure your ribbon is at least 7/8″ wide.

The cape I made is 38” long and is knee length for the average height adult (5’5” to 5’8”). I used 2.5 yards of polyester crepe with 38” width, folded. So my total fabric size was 76” by 90.”

If you want a longer cape measure from the base of your neck to where you want the cape to end to find your “desired length.” (Hehehe. Get your minds out of the gutter ladies.) Consult Doodle 1 to calculate fabric size needed.

Doodle 1

IMPORTANT: Choose a fabric that will not fray because you are not going to be hemming this cape.
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STEP ONE: Unfold your fabric and lay it out flat. Iron out any major wrinkles and/or creases if necessary.

STEP TWO: Fold your fabric in half width-wise and pin edges together. Lay the folded fabric flat on the carpet. (Doodle 2)

Doodle 2

STEP THREE: Align the 0” mark of your measuring tape with an upper corner on the fold of your fabric and stick a straight pin directly into the carpet to hold it in place. If you don’t have carpet, find a friend to come and hold it for you. If you have no friends, put down the electronic device and go be social. (Doodle 3)

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STEP FOUR:  Starting at the edge of the fabric (Doodle 3), gently pull your measuring tape taut and place a pin at 45.” Make sure you pin the two layers of fabric together. Using your corner pin as the axis to rotate your measuring tape towards the folded edge and place another pin at 45”. Continue until you reach the folded edge. These pins will be your cutting guide. (Doodle 4)

  • Remember to gently pull the measuring tape taut each time to get accurate measurement
  • Be sure not to pull the corner pin out of place.

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STEP FIVE: Repeat Step 4, placing a pin at 7” each time instead of 45.” (Doodle 5) Then unpin your tape measure.

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STEP SIX: Cut along the pins. Make sure you are holding both layers together when you cut. You should have a quarter circle with a tiny quarter circle cut out when you are finished (Doodle 6)

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STEP SEVEN: Make sure you remove all the pins and unfold. (Doodle 7) Now you’re in the homestretch!

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STEP EIGHT: Plug in your glue gun and let it get hot while you measure out apprx. 52” of ribbon. Seriously, it’s no big deal if you go over or under an inch or two.

STEP NINE: Measure 15″ of ribbon and mark it with a pin. Lay your ribbon flat.

STEP 10: I’ll call the tiny half-circle cut out in Doodle 7 the “neck hole”. Starting at your pin and the edge of the neck hole, apply hot glue to half the width of the ribbon and attach the edge of the neck hole working in small sections.

  • Make sure your neck hole edge is only covering half the ribbon width as shown below.

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  • When finished you should have apprx. 15″ of ribbon hanging loose from either end of the neck hole (Doodle 8).

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STEP 11: Along the edge of the neck hole, fold the ribbon over so that the edge of the fabric is covered completely. Glue in place.

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That’s all. Wear it. Look awesome. Try not to spill too much booze on it. Mission accomplished.