Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tutorial: Costume Ears

Instead of buying some expensive, ill-fitting & uncomfortable black-cat-ears-on-a-headband, Pat convinced me to make my own. Am I ever glad I did! These were super cute, took minutes to put together & stayed put all night (even in strong winds)!

[sorry for the lack of photos - I will put up more later, when I take them, first I wanted to get this tutorial up so it may still be useful for this Halloween!]Materials:

2 alligator clips
3/8" (10mm) wide black ribbon (preferably grosgrain)
black felt
black lace
hot glue gun


Warning: Be careful not to glue the clip shut!

1. Cover your alligator clip with ribbon. Measure a length of ribbon that will cover the top half of the clip, starting on the inside, and the end part you squeeze. Secure the ribbon with glue gun. You can also find these on Etsy already covered (which is what I used - which is why they aren't black).

2. Make a cardboard template of the ear shape you want.
Make sure the bottom edge of the ears are cut in the shape of the clip (i.e. one edge of the triangle will be trimmed so it isn't a perfect triangle).

3. Using the template, cut out the ears in felt. The number of felt ears will depend on the thickness of your felt.
I needed 4 for each ear (I cut out 8 total) to make the ears as thick/wide as the clips.

4. Glue the ears together with a hot glue gun. Once set, glue the ears to the clips.

5. This part is optional if your ribbon is the same colour as your ears. Cut a length of lace that is about twice as long as the perimeter of your clip (at least 8" long) - make it as wide as you like, I went with about 2.5" (6cm). Starting at the center of the piece of lace, glue it to the back of your alligator clip (the part you squeeze). Bunch up the lace a bit so you get a bit of a frill.

6. Working your way along one side of the clip at a time, glue the lace down, bunching/ruching it to make it frilly. Glue down the ends to the front of your clip (cutting off any excess).

7. Clip into your hair & go! These alligator clips are great - they don't slip, even in my baby-fine hair.

Alternatives: These would work well as bat, cat or fox ears. Just use a different colour of ribbon, felt & lace (rust for a fox, grey, orange, white or brown for a cat). As I mentioned above, feel free to omit the lace, or use some other form of trim to do the trick. You can also experiment with the ear shape - elf, bear, lion, dog, bunny - anything would be doable.

If you make some of these, make sure to link up some photos in the comments!

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