Click on the links below to jump to the various sections of this design….
- Brief & Inspiration
- Time & Money
- Preliminary Sketches & Development
- Review So Far!
- Construction Notes
- Final Review & Improvements
The idea is to make some clip-on hare ears for a Mad March Hair costume. They are going to be long and shaped so they are not just the 2D cheap ones you get on a headband!
Brief & Inspiration
Time & Money
|Time to Design||5 hrs||3 hrs|
|Time to Build (Including sourcing/scrounging materials!)||10 hrs||5 hrs|
|Cost to Build||£25||£0|
This has cost me much less than this as most of the materials were scrounged or already available. The only thing I have had to buy was the fur to cover the ears (~£5).
Preliminary Sketches & Development
As I want to make them quite large but not uncomfortable to wear I don’t want to use oven drying clay (like Fimo). I’ve previously made some twisted goats horns from clay but they are slightly uncomfortable to wear as they are too heavy.
My initial idea is to make a wire frame and then cover it in a few layers of paper-mache before covering them in fur. I don’t see any issues with this although I will have to coat the paper-mache with a water-proof PVA to weatherproof them.
Review So Far!
The main difficulty I see coming up is how to attach them to your/my head! There are a few options to consider:
- Headband (elasticated circle style!)
- Alice Band
I’m going to try and go with clips as the first option and alice band as the backup option as I don’t want it to be obvious how they are attached.
The first step was to make the basic shape out of wire (the lighter the better but still has to be fairly sturdy).
Then wrap this basic shape in masking tape. At this point it will still be quite angular and not rounded off, don’t worry about that… each layer added makes it smoother and the fur should hide a multitude of sins!
Once you have this shape to your liking you can move on to the next stage, there will only be limited changes once you have covered it in paper mache.
The mix that I used was one part flour to one part water with a sprinkle of salt. It was a recipie that I grabbed from the internet somewhere but it worked first time for me so I’m sticking with it. The idea for those who haven’t used it before is to mix it all together and then dip strips of newspaper into the mix scraping off any excess mix and then laying the paper onto you blank, in this case our wire and masking tape hare ear.
One tip I do have is that it make life easier to suspend the blank from something while you are applying the paper mache as you are going to run out of hands and its not a shape that will stand up on its own.
This allows you to cover everything except for the tip of the ear, which you can come back to once the rest of it has dried. I had intended to do several layers and allow it to dry between layers but after one layer of paper mache it seemed tough enough to go without extra layers and I was conscious of keeping the weight down as well.
The next step is to get the fur on! I was aiming to just have one seam on the fur down the middle of the ear at the front so the seam is in the hollow of the ear. The longer the length of the fur the more forgiving it is with hiding mistakes. I just started glueing from the from the center of the ear and rolled the fur around the ear gluing as I went but leaving the tricky bits like the bottom and the crooked tip until the end. I left the tricky bits until the end as it is much easier to do once you have cut away any excess fabric and it isn’t flapping around in your way.
After a few experiments with clips for the ares they turned out to be just too heavy and large for the clips to deal with so they had to be sewn onto a band instead. The band was just two layers of fabirc with some interfacing to stiffen it up a little.
Final Review & Improvements
The ears were pretty good when finished but as normal I had over engineered tham and they were too heavy! The tail that I added last minute was far simpler. For the tail I just created a very simple wire frame and wrapped the fur around it sewing it in place on the back and adding a belt loop.
To improve these ears I would either remake them in the same way that I made the tail or add an additional support running from between the ears to the back of neck. I have already been asked for a smaller version of these so when I get chance I will make another pair and upload the results.