Cats costumes make fun and creative Halloween costumes. And children are always fascinated by a giant cat prowling around. There are many parts to a Cats styled costumes, but the unique wigs can be the most intimidating.
This Intructable contains step by step instructions to building and styling your own Cats style wig. It is a fairly simple process that can be completed by anyone with glue gun experience and a steady hand.
Caution! This project makes extensive use of a hot glue gun! Be careful, hot glue, as it's name implies, is hot!
Step 1: Materials & Tools
-Lions Brand Homespun Yarn, in various colors
-1 pair of Control Top Pantyhose
-Fabric for sideburns - cross stitch fabric is recomended
-Extra hot glue sticks
-Fine toothed comb
-Book that is approximately 14" in diameter
-Hot Glue gun
-Sewing Machine or needle and thread
Step 2: Prepping the Yarn, part 1
Wrap the yarn around the book as many times as needed. The amount of yarn depends on how many colors you plan on using. For this project, I cut 360 strands of yarn, and I had quite a few left over. It is always better to cut more than you need, as nothing is worse than to halt wigmaking to cut more yarn.
After wrapping the yarn around the book, I made one long cut to separate all the strands of yarn. For this particular wig, I cut 100 strands of yellow, 80 strands of white, 80 strands of black, 60 strands of red, and 40 strands of gray.
Step 3: Prepping the Yarn, part 2
Two of the threads are located inside the bundle of fibers, so you will have to separate the fibers to locate them. One is thin, like the one around the outside of the yarn, and the other is thicker and easier to see.
Remove the threads from two pieces of yarn before continuing.
Step 4: Prepping the Yarn, part 3
After knotting the strands, grab one end of the strands with one hand while holding on to the knot with your other hand. Firmly pull the end away from the knot.
A small section of yarn will pull away from the main strands. Tie that small section in a knot, then repeat for the other side of the main strand.
Now, repeat that process for the rest of your yarn. This process gets extremely tedious, so I usually pull all the threads out for one color, then knot and pull every strand before moving onto the next color.
Step 5: Making the Wig Base, part 1
After determining the size you need and cutting to that size, it is helpful to round the corners of the wig base. This ensures a closer fit.
Take your wig base to your sewing machine or grab your needle and thread. Sew along the opening you just cut, as close to the edge as you can. This will make a good, secure, and well-fitting wig base.
Step 6: Making the Wig Base, part 2
Put your wig cap on your wig head. Start warming up your hot glue gun. I prefer to set mine on 'high' (380 degrees Fahrenheit/193 degrees Celsius on my glue gun), as it bonds the plugs of yarn better to the wig cap, and is just generally more secure. But if you're afraid of burning yourself, then 'low' (248 degrees Fahrenheit/120 degrees Celsius on my glue gun) will work as well, but you will have to be very careful when combing out your wig.
Once the glue gun is heated up, place a line of glue across one narrow edge of the sideburn. Carefully press the end onto the wig cap, about where your temple would be. Angle it toward the back of the head. After that is mostly cooled down, lift the sideburn up to place a vertical line of glue on the wig cap, along the edge of the sideburn. Press the sideburn carefully into place.
Step 7: Building the Ears, part 1
Ears are usually placed about two finger widths back from the front edge of the wig cap. I mark out the basic positions of the ears, but I don't always stay perfectly within the lines. The picture shows quite clearly where I mark out the basic position of the wig parts.
Take one of the longer plugs, and place a dot of hot glue on the knot. Hold the stray ends far from glue and carefully place the plug on the approximate outline of your ear.
Repeat to form the outline of the ear. Place the knots right next to each other, to form a tight and secure ear.
Step 8: Building the Ear, part 2
After combing out the ears, there will be a lot of fluff like cotton balls. Take about 3/4 of the fluff and roll it into as tight balls as you can. This will become the stuffing for the ear. Put a small layer of glue on the wig cap, inside the little ring made by the wig hair. Stick the ball of fluff on the glue and hold it in place until it stays put.
Brush through the ear yarn to smooth it out, and ensure it is standing straight up. Take a sturdy piece of thread, and knot it around the ear hair at least five times. It needs to be secure. I tie once in the back, loop the tails around and tie in the front, and then repeat several times. It's a lot of knots, but it's very secure. You can trim the thread and hair above the knots now, or wait until after the glue.
Take the clear glue, and pour it into a bowl. Add a bit of water until the glue has a watery consistency. Take the paintbrush and gently paint the tied ears to make a hard coating on the ears. You could paint one or two coats, depending on how much time you want to devote to this step. If you haven't yet, trim the threads and the extra hair above the knots.
After gluing the ears, I usually blast the ears with a coat of hairspray, just for extra security.
Step 9: The Sideburns, part 1
Take a long plug and apply a dot of hot glue as you did for the ears. Place the plug at the bottom of the sideburn, right on the edge closest to the face. Work your way up the sideburn, all the way up to the ear. Make sure to place a plug right up next to the ear. Gaps make a wig look bad.
Repeat for the other side.
Take your fine toothed comb and comb out the sideburns after the glue has set. You will loose a lot of fluff, as you did for the ears. You could reuse this as stuffing for another project.
Step 10: The Sideburns, part 2
Step 11: The Back
Take one of the short plugs, and place a dot of hot glue on one of the sides of the knot. We don't want the hair on the back to stick straight out, we want it to lie flat. Place the plug close to the bottom edge of the wig base with the fibers pointing down.
Continue applying the plugs in rows, and then leave a small gap of about one finger length before the next row. If you place the rows too close together, you will end up with a helmet instead of a wig.
Make sure you place plugs on the sideburns and continue the design to cover the sideburn fabric.
Every few rows, it might be useful to trim the hair that is too long, and trim the hair that will be close to the neck. A design can work, with colors bleeding into each other, but neat little patches can work as well. Solid color wigs usually do not need trimming anywhere but the bottoms.
Most wigs have random patches of color on their backs.
As you get close to the ears, you need to make sure the hair is flush with the ears. Remember, gaps make ugly wigs. Continue with the back until you reach the back of the ears.
I included some pictures of my other wigs so you can see some back styles. If you need more, try Google or the search engine of your choice.
Step 12: Styling the Sideburns
Once the sideburns are trimmed and styled to your satisfaction, blast them with the hairspray. For Cats wigs, hairspray is your best friend. You want to load as much hairspray into the sideburns as possible. Sure, the wig will probably explode if you get too close to an open flame, but you know for sure the hair isn't going anywhere.
Step 13: The Bangs
Work your way up to the crown. When you get to the space between the ears, check what type of plugs you have left. If you want a certain color on the crown and you've run out of longer plugs, the shorter plugs will work on the crown.
Step 14: The Crown
This step is to ensure there are no gaps, as the hair is fairly straight up at this part. We don't want to see the wig base.
Step 15: Styling the Bangs
Now, bangs are usually cut in layers, with the longest layers on the bottom and the shortest on the top. After a straight cut to get the approximate length you want, take your scissors and make the cuts directly into your fibers to feather the bangs and make them softer.
After trimming, play with the bangs a little before spraying. You don't want them all sticking straight out, because it looks like the wig got electrocuted. Cats wigs should look soft and natural.
Finally, when the wig is looking like you want, blast it with the hairspray.