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!!

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TheViper3 years ago
I just spent about half an hour creating this template for the ears because I am, unfortunately, a perfectionist. It is all done with the ruler on Microsoft Office Word 2010 and cannot be viewed correctly on a lower version (I tried, sorry!). All you need to do is print on four 8.5"x11" size pieces of paper, line up the cross on each paper, tape, and cut out everything except the red section, including the purple part at the "bottom". It is the official dimensions of the Mau5head. Have fun making this! Great instructions, by the way.

NOTE: This template only works for 14" diameter Mau5heads.
For those of you without Microsoft Office Word 2010. I am unsure if the dimensions translated correctly into the .pdf file, but they should have. Please let me know if there is a problem.
there seems to be a problem that i had with this the final measurement came out to be about 12.6" instead of the 13" im going to use the 12.6 out of laziness but i just wanted to point this out
To be honest, I skipped the "two-halves make a whole" method and went directly to a 1" thickness ear. I cut the Styrofoam using an Exact-O-Knife (after tracing the template onto it) and then used a drill press to create two identical, parallel holes in the material. I suppose the only problem with this is that everybody doesn't have a drill press, but if you do or have access to one, I definitely suggest this method.
Hey Intrica!
Been a while since I've posted but I changed the ear template... now it's more accurate and has where the all-thread rods go marked out. When you print this make sure your printer setting aren't set to stretch to printable area... set them to none or no change. Also once this is printed you must take scissors or a straight edge cutter and trim down the inner edges where the four pages meet all the way to the black line so that where the pages meet there is no white beetween the lines. Good Luck Everybody!!!
hi intrica, i love this tutorial but i have two questions: where did you buy the fabric and Styrofoam, also do you know where i could find a good ear template? I want mine to come out as good as yours. Thanks
ipwnuall24 years ago
Sorry I've commented A LOT on your tutorial but where did you get your rods? Can you give me a direct link?

This might help if you are still looking for this piece.
Intrica (author)  ipwnuall24 years ago
You can find the rods at any Home Depot or Lowe's =)
supermau53 years ago
!!!DO NOT USE SUPER GLUE!!!!! its melts the styrofoam D: but thanks for the awesome instructible!!!!!
supermau53 years ago
is there anything else i can use for the ears i cant find any thing!!! found it once but like $40 a board 1/8 the size so...can i use cardboard
oh just found some at a pool shop $8 each bargan
Hitm47n3 years ago

I really like the ears just the way you have them and that was how I wanted to make mine from the start. Is there a way you can send me a copy of those ears and I could print it out and trace them oorrr any other ideas? PLZZZ!!!???!!1!

I think making sure the ears are the right size and shape is one of the biggest things im having trouble with =[


Intrica (author)  Hitm47n3 years ago
There is a link within the comments to ear templates that should help you out.
ddian3 years ago
Intrica is it that you could provide a vector for the exact size of the ears? .ai have?
when i was putting a hole through the globe I was afraid that it might crack the whole globe so I stopped ... any suggestions about putting the ears in without the threaded rods ?
liquid nails ?
PapaHyde3 years ago
what should I do when I try to screw the ears on the dome and the rods seal break making the rod just spin when the wing nuts spin resulting in them not getting tight.
Intrica (author)  PapaHyde3 years ago
It sounds like you did not put much glue along the length of the rod, which would prevent it from spinning. I would suggest opening a very small area where the rod comes out through the fabric, and applying a generous amount of hot glue around the area where the rod comes out of the foam, or if you can, inject the glue up into the hole where the rod comes out if there is room. This should stop the spinning
would it work if i use the 3m 77 spray adhesive? im thinking pulling the rod out some then spraying the rod and sliding it back then.
Intrica (author)  PapaHyde3 years ago
no, the 3M stays flexible. You need a very firm, rigid adhesive. I would use hot glue, but if you don't have that available you can use white glue like elmers, but it will take at least a day to dry and harden. Other adhesives and glues can melt right through the foam, worsening the problem.
I got it working now. i just drilled a little where i pulled the rod out of and filled it with hot glue and stuck it back in and put some around the top. While I got u one here will that spray work for placing the fabric on the globe . Thanx.
mau5imo3 years ago
Gettin there.
sbateman13 years ago
Will 4 layers of thick cardboard way too much?
Intrica (author) 3 years ago
The template that was posted was intended as a helpful tip from another builder. It was not created by me. Use your own creativity to decide how you want the ears to be shaped, what dimensions you prefer them to be, and go from there. It would not hurt to print a copy, hold it up, and decide if you like it as-is or where you'd like to adjust it.

It's your mau5head, build it any way you want! :)
mau5imo3 years ago
Question about the ears. If i use the template and work it out to be 13 inches then the bottom curve will not equal out to be 7inches. Will this make a difference in the end.also is the ear to be 13 by 13 inches or 13 by 14
jgill54 years ago
I'm just making sure, but do you use that same Dow Foam for the lips as for the ears? Thanks for this tutorial!
Intrica (author)  jgill54 years ago
Yep, same foam, just cut it into a strip, and gently ease into a curve before gluing.
jgill5 Intrica4 years ago
Thanks and can you tell me if this styrofoam stuff would be a good alternative?
It looks very similar and I can't find any Dow foam at Home Depot nor Lowe's.
Thanks for all of your help!
Intrica (author)  jgill54 years ago
no. That is very low density styrofoam and will not be sturdy or hold shape. you need the high density blue or pink stuff. make some calls to different stores and you will find it.
jgill5 Intrica4 years ago
Sorry for all of these questions, but I have just one more.
What do you use to "tack" the EL Wire to the head?
Once again, thanks for all of your help!
Really big help, thank you brandonhauser1! :D
Might i suggest letting the rods stick out a little further out of the ears and putting a piece of foam between the washer and the dome so that you can have a nice snug fit and still not run risk of cracking the dome when you tighten the nuts down.
Intrica (author)  jasonwashere64 years ago

I actually do adhere foam to the backs of my washers, I just forgot to put that detail in the instructions. Thank you for the reminder, I will update the tutorial. Thanks! ;)
I <3 This
hey, your using a 14 inch and im using a 13 inch, do you mind printing an ear for a 13 inch ball?
I have a template for the ears that prints on multiple pages to create the perfectly sized and shaped ears... Would you like me to send it to you?
also what would your thoughts be on making a mold for the ears then using a spray foam/insulation to actually create the ears?
it sounds like it may be a bit more time consuming and messy but it also might be easier to make multiple sets and have them all the same exact dimensions.
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