I made this ridiculous rainbow glitter iridescent PVC headpiece so impulsively!
I saw the iridescent headband lying on a shelf in the bathroom just after I’d been admiring some holographicvinylfetishwear on Instagram. I remembered I had some small sheets of glitter and holographic pvc I ordered as samples in my “sparkle” drawer. I grabbed those out, turned on the glue gun, and started cutting shapes out of the pvc without any pattern, plan or design whatsoever.
I had a vague idea I could fold or pleat the vinyl to make fans, and it turned out that was possible.
Intriguingly, the pvc could also be manipulated to create curving dimples around the folds. I made some fans and then poked a hole through their bases so I could use wire to secure the pleats as well as create an attachment.
I used my Tack Life mini-dremel to drill three holes in the headband, ran wires through the holes in the plastic icicles, and wired them on, then glue-gunned them stable.
Then I added the fans around them, using their wires and then the glue gun.
It actually worked!
After one has been making stuff for long enough, an invisible DOS of How to Make Stuff just runs in the brain.
I tried to take photos but I am so bad at that, so I made a bad drawing of how I did it!
I was moving so fast I just grabbed a used emery board off the desk top to make a stem or handle for the bigger fans.
I snapped it in half and stuck it between the pleats, then wire wrapped it, which facilitated attaching the pleats to the headband. I used the gluegun almost exclusively for construction, which is bad because glue gun glue is heavy! But I love how fast it is.
I did use my UHU alleskleber to attach miniature braid around the edges of each fan, which gave a nice finish.
And I used the Alleskleber to attach the various iridescent and rainbow shift rhinestones. I glittered the silk flowers by swabbing them (literally, rather than using a brush I just grabbed a Q-Tip) with Interference Paint in blue-violet, then dipping them in lavender micro-glitter.
The poufs of glitter tulle and color-shift organza are stuffed with holographic plastic Easter grass I had had since at least the late ’90s.
I can’t believe I finally used it!!! I just secured each stuffed pouf with wire at the bottom to make an enclosed bundle, then gluegunned that on.
All in, this project still took me a good ten-twelve hours. But imagine how long it would have taken if I had thought about it first or made some kind of plan for it! That probably would have added hours! Better to just dive in, for me 🙂
So of course I wanted to make one! My version started out as a cheap 16″ demon skeleton I got for 75% off at Michael’s.
I washed him with soap and water, and used a glue gun to pose him. I cut his spine in half with a hacksaw to give it a realistic curve, added ears made of thin sheet styrene or cardstock (can’t remember), and used globs of glue to give the ears dimension.
I also used glue gun glue and epoxy clay to add some bulk and volume to his joints, because he was a little frail and crappily-sculpted. And to give him a bit of a bump of nose and fangs.
Then I primed him with white spray primer for plastic and sprayed him with matte ivory spray paint.
And packed him in a box marked “Gothic Rococo Bride of Frankenstein and Fairy Mummy”.
Two weeks ago I unpacked him and started revising. His skeleton was still undersized for his head, especially for a skeleton with layers of dried skin. So I added more bulk to his limbs with air-dry clay (cheap but doesn’t adhere well) and used epoxy clay to secure the new, larger knobby joints.
I thickened his shin bones and arms, as well as making his pelvis more solid. I added some clay volume under his rib cage to give the nylon something to stick to there.
I also decided to snip off the demon-y claw tips on his wings, which were a little too goth.
Then I painted over the air-dry and epoxy clay with acrylic in unbleached titanium, which matched the original ivory paint well enough. After that, I added dark shadows at his joints, eye sockets, and so on, using a burnt umber.
I figured the shadows would show through the nylon pantyhose, adding depth, and so they did.
Applying the pantyhose was exciting, in the way that things that must be done quickly and deftly are exciting.
I used UHU “Extra” alleskleber gel, which is an almost perfect sub for my beloved Quick Grip/Quick Grab, rather than contact cement. I really should have followed the instructions and applied the pantyhose while the skeleton was disarticulated.
But I never follow the instructions for anything. So I had to do the gluing and stretching to fit over sections of the figure in situ.
The instructions say to cut the pantyhose into 12″ lengths; I wound up cutting it into roughly 5″ x 5″ pieces. The pantyhose adheres beautifully to the primed and painted skeleton, almost melting on- the first time.
Once it is saturated with glue and the glue has dried, it resists bonding, so get it right the first time. I looked at his eye sockets with the nylon stretched across them and decided he needed eyelids. I sculpted sunken eyeballs with lids out of epoxy clay, cut holes in the nylon, and pressed them in.
In the end I had some places where the pantyhose didn’t lie smoothly or wrinkled in a way that looked much more like pantyhose than desiccated skin.
I simply decided awkward areas would be covered with something in the finished piece.
And that was how he became a dressed doll with a breechclout and jewelry, and wisps of grey Tibetan lamb hair from this one piece I got at doll supplier/educator supremeMorezMore and have used for some two dozen projects. (The site’s mistress is currently engaged in a fascinating project of using stop-motion armature for a humanly-posable doll experiment!) I rifled through my fabric stash and found lots of scraps. I layered scraps of fabric, fiber, silk leaves and lace for his breechclout.
Then I got out my findings bins and made a kind of creepy chatelaine to secure it. And I made him a kind of neck piece with mixed metals that was influenced by Celtic torques and Maester’s chains.
I decided to make him lace-up shoes to cover some of the awkward patches on his shins.
I got the concept from some pins posted by my friend Alexis about to how to make Medieval shoes.
I envisioned a pattern, cut it out of leatherette and used my cuticle nippers to make sloppy holes in the the sole/back pieces.
Then I just glued the sole parts onto the bottoms of his feet and laced them up with a tan shoelace from a scrap bin.
I bought some granny boots a while back that came with tan laces; I promptly replaced them with black laces but saved the rough tan ones for… something. There was a tiny bit of black fur left from when Daria gave me a personal doll-wig-making workshop and I used that on top.
I did a little dry-brush distressing and shadowing on the nylon-covered fairy, accenting the hollow places and joints with more umber.
I also highlighted bony areas like his zygomatic arch with unbleached titanium. This was easier to me than re-spraypainting him as suggested, considering that would have required going out and getting some taupe spraypaint. I don’t really like anything to slow me down when I’m making some damn thing. I painted his eyelids to match his skull at the same time.
I had burned and melted and snagged the fabrics I used, to distress them and make them raggedy, but it wasn’t enough to knock back their color into the same taupe/ivory family as the skeleton. So I dry-brushed and distressed those too, til they faded back into his palette.
Here he is posing with some bones i made out of Model Magic, the incredibly lightweight air-dry craft clay made by Crayola.
The bones are sculpted over Q-tips, and were made in 2007 for a Hubba Hubba Revue, maybe Flintstones themed? I soaked a paper towel in thinned ochre paint and wiped it over them. I don’t even know how they got in the shipping container.
Eventually I’d like to have some kind of Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy style shadow box or specimen case for him, but for now he’s living amid my majolica in the library china cabinet. Hub will never notice him there. Although if he does, he might jump.