Picture of How to Apply Elf Ears
You can buy elf ears (or alien ears, or devil horns, or other scarier latex prosthetics) online or at at your friendly neighborhood costume shop, but professional makeup artists to apply them are harder to come by.

Never fear. Find a friend, show them this Instructable, and you'll be in good hands. My friends dubbed me Head Elf Ear Artist and I don't even know how to apply normal makeup. (They were busy with their own Instructables, and you can't do your own ears. You just can't.)

Step 1: Acquire supplies and allow yourself enough time

Picture of Acquire supplies and allow yourself enough time
You need a few things besides just the latex prosthetics you're going to apply. I was clueless and time crunched enough that I just bought the recommended adhesives and removers and makeup at the costume shop. You may prefer to be a little thriftier.

You'll need:

  • A pair of elf ears
  • A very small amount of spirit gum (Structural)
  • Spirit gum remover (Any oil you're willing to rub on your skin)
  • Liquid latex (To smooth the edge between prosthetic and skin)
  • Makeup (You'll need special makeup to put on the latex. Normal makeup will break down the latex, and not stick, and you'll panic thirty minutes before your event. Don't laugh, it happened to my friend.) (The makeup we got, Ben Nye, was very very stiff. A liquid would have been nice for basic coverage, at least.)

We didn't have the forethought to photograph all of the supplies since we were frantically applying four people's ears two hours before a wedding that was an hour drive away.

According to timestamps on the photos, I was able to complete one pair of ears in 45 minutes, including drying time, but I would allow two hours for your first attempt. Liquid latex can cover a multitude of sins, but it takes time to dry.
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KibaBoyRO4 years ago
k sry double comment , but wana know if there is a difference between elf and elven, i mean if i look the internet with elf it mostly gives me the santa like elfs and those from World of Warcraft, but if i write elves it gives me the mythical creatures like lord of the rings kind of creatures, so is that a diffrence between elves and elfs?
KibaBoyRO4 years ago
k so u made urselves elfsfor a wedding? O.O or some similar event? that must have been one of the most awsome times of ur life TT.TT i wana be and marry a elf girl too, i love elfs!
 Hey! Vulcans don't smile!
About Step 3 & 7:  I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but it's actually much more comfortable to use Liquid Latex to apply the ears as well, once it dries you never feel it, and it holds better than Spirit Gum mostly because it has a tendency to crack and fall off whereas Latex stays malleable.  It's a bonus for removing too, because it peels off painlessly (as long as you can avoid getting in on your hair at all).
twocvbloke6 years ago
Elf ears? Seems highly illogical to me... ;) (that's a Vulcan reference for non-trekkies... :P )
Again, who says illogical? Its completely illogical to say illogical. So why do say illogical? Doesn't sound weird when you use it?
MaXoR Speedmite5 years ago
illogical is only illogical to the ignorant
Speedmite MaXoR5 years ago
You are so illogical.
 I fail to see the logic in that statement.
Vulcans say illogical... ;)
This coming from a VULCAN fan......your ears aren't so pretty either....lol
I recall that our high school put on "Midsummer Night's Dream" for the senior play. Jason E. was Oberon, and had pointed ears for the play. I would salute him with the vulcan salute, and say, "Live long and prosper!"
Use rubber-mask grease paint to add color to latex. If you don't have RMGP a layer of Castor Oil will let regular grease paint adhere to you prosthetic!
jforbess (author) 6 years ago
Sadly, I have no idea. It's been a couple of years since the wedding of elves.
thank you! This makes me wanna have an elf wedding xD
kaitoucoon6 years ago
what brand is the color wheel? is that ben nye??
jforbess (author)  kaitoucoon5 years ago
Oh, after reading through the instructable, yes, I noted that it's Ben Nye.
Babyshoes7 years ago
Now wishing I didn't have a latex allergy!
There used to be wax lips, i wonder if you could find wax ears (nooo lol not ear wax)
the wedding must have been a lot of fun! what was the theme? You look marvelous in your ears darling!!! :0) I would love to just casually wear them to work and say nothing and watch reactions lol
Elf ears make everyone more attractive! It's true! :D One of these days I'll break down and attach some just for fun. I wish I would have committed to that for this Halloween, but alas, I am going as something much weirder.
Oddly enough, many Japanese people think that elf ears are REALLY weird . I showed a picture of santa's elves (part of the Xmas lore that is omitted here in Japan) and they freaked out. I've since stopped telling my students about elves.
It's because of their nose fetish
Ooohhhhh YES!!!!!
Tell them that "Lord of the Rings" is a christian documentary.
This will make for an awesome porno I'm making. Buy it when it comes out.
*fewf* I'm not the only one with a thing for elves...
we should start a club
LOL, Nerdy Pervs For More Elves
More general but sill...
here it is
sounds perfect
nicky02066 years ago
i think you should be a elf for Christmas not Halloween.
screw that, be an elf year round!
thanks for that comment.
AHH! i love this! i have tried and failed multiple times to apply elf ears, and now i know why! (well, the fact that a got a cheapie $5 pair of ears might also have been the problem)
as soon as i get a new pair of ears, i'm so gonna try this!
Sunny1246137 years ago
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