Monday, June 9, 2014

[DIY] Antler Headpiece

Festival fashion these days is mostly a competition for the weirdest outfit. For some reason, I decided that for EDC this year I needed a pair of antlers to wear for one of the days. Don't forget, we aren't going for super realistic here-- we are trying for wearable. Now, let's get weird:

You will need:
Brown or Neutral Colored Headband
2 Wire Hangers
Wire Cutters
Newspaper
Masking Tape
Flour
Water
Brown Paper Bag
Small Fake Flowers (optional)
Take your wire hangers and make two cuts in each, as shown. You should now have 4 pieces of wire in total. 
Take the two pieces with the hooks and set the other two pieces aside for later. Bend your wires into a more curved shape (as shown). This will become the front and back points, or "tines", of your antlers. Bend your hooks straight down, or leave them. Or whatever. If you aren't sure what shape you want to create, google "antlers" and find a set that you like. Google has all the answers.
Twist quarter sheets of newspaper around your wire and tape around them to secure them. Keep adding until your antlers have the thickness that you want. 
Take the extra wire you set aside earlier and use tape to add one to each of the main antler pieces. Tape them down at the point of their "V" shape. Bend the wires into curves so that they match the other tines of your antlers. Trim your wires if necessary. Antlers come in all shapes and sizes, so be creative!
Wrap newspaper around your naked wires and continue taping. Don't cover the hook part of your hangers with paper. Here is what my antlers looked like when I finished the newspaper and masking tape step.
Put on your headband and hold up your antlers to figure out where to place them and mark where you want them. Wrap the leftover "hook" wire around your headband where you marked. I had to try mine on a few times and adjust them until they were facing the right angles. When you are happy with the placement, use newspaper and tape to cover the wire and blend the antlers smoothly into your headband.
To create your paper mache paste, mix flour and water until you have about the consistency of pancake batter. Tear newspaper into strips and cover your work area with plastic.
Dip your newspaper strips into your paste, and run the strips between your fingers to take the excess paste off. Wrap strips around your antlers until they are completely covered.
Continue wrapping around the spot where your wire meets your headband. Make sure all of the pieces are smoothed down against your antlers.
Let your antlers dry overnight. They must dry completely between each layer of paper mache. If your antlers still feel a little thin, you can add another layer of paper mache. One thick layer was enough for my project.
When your antlers are totally dry, use the brown paper bag as the paper for your final layer of paper mache. Once again, be sure that all of your paper is smoothed down. Be sure that all of the newspaper is covered by brown paper.
When your antlers are dry, clean off the leftover paper mache residue on your headband, and they are ready to wear! If you want to go for a more ethereal mystical fairy sort of look, you can glue tiny fake flowers onto your antlers.
My antlers are probably a little bit too big and not secure enough to wear to EDC and dance around all night (I will probably make a much smaller pair), but they will make a really nice costume or photo shoot piece. Did you recreate this DIY? Can you think of any reason anyone would ever need a headpiece like this? Am I possibly totally insane? (Probably!) Leave a comment and let me know!

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