Step 4: Creating the Ears
You’ll notice that there are two basic ear shapes used: more round and more oval. I prefer the more oval ears, and my dimensions are based off of that shape, simply adjust the dimensions if you would like more round for your head. Create a template using poster board to ensure all ears pieces are identical. Create 2 cutouts inside to mark where your threaded rods will run through the foam. Using this template, trace 4 ears on the blue foam sheet. **keep this template for future use to create additional sets of ears** Cut outline with a jigsaw with coarse blade or hacksaw. Using the tip of your razor blade, cut two V shaped channels in TWO of the ears deep enough to accommodate the threaded rods. You will be sandwiching two pieces of foam to make one ear, and cutting this channel allows the pieces to fit together flush after the rods have been inserted. Test the channels for fit before moving on.
Also be aware that some fabrics are somewhat sheer, so keep that in mind when marking your foam sheets and assembling ears. Try to put the printed side on the inside of the ear foam sandwich to avoid any see-through when covering them with fabric later.
Once the channels are cut and fit checked, use low temp hot glue to secure the rods in the channels. The rods only need to extend ¾”-1” past the bottom edge of the ear. Draw a bead of foam safe liquid nails adhesive on the foam and then apply hot glue down the channels with the rods and around the perimeter of the ear. Quickly sandwich the other piece of foam on top and use strips of tape to hold the two pieces firmly together until the glue has set. Repeat process for other ear.
After the glue has set, remove the tape strips that were used to hold the sandwiched pieces together so that the entire edge of the foam is exposed all the way around. Now, take a piece of 300 grit sandpaper wrapped around a wood block to sand the edges of the ears perfectly smooth. You will want a nice flat edge with 90* angle all the way around to have a crisp, finished look to your ears after applying the fabric covering.
Now that your ears have taken shape you can decide where you want them to rest on the head. Again, there are two main positions for the ears: wider set, and higher perked-up ears. The spacing difference between the two is only about ¾”, so be careful when you mark your globe. Hold your ears up to the head to get a feel for where you would like them to sit – don’t place them on the side marker lines, the ear holes should be cut 1” back from the side midlines. Hold them up to determine height placement, mark, and check to make sure they are equally spaced down from the center point at the top of the head.
Now you can cut the holes for the rods to slip through. Your rods will be at an angle, so cut your holes oval to allow for slight adjustment as the rods slide into the head. You don’t want a super tight fit as this could cause the acrylic to crack as they move. Have you ever seen someone split the seat of their pants? Yeah… too tight of a fit.
After you’ve drilled your holes for the rods, attach them to the head with washers and wing nuts. Now it’s really starting to look like you’re getting somewhere!!