Good for Halloween, for Fursuiting, for Festivals and Music gigs, for Lady Gaga wannabes, for Cosplay, or just for fun: some very lightweight, 3D curly or helix-shaped (helical?) horns. They are hollow, and the lights within them light up the night. The lights can even be seen during daylight - just not so bright. These horns are durable, but crowd-friendly. They have no sharp points, and each one weighs about 100gms (about a quarter of a pound). I read that the faun's amazing horns in Pan's Labyrinth weighed ten pounds! No comparison intended. My homemade horns pale into nothing beside those made by professional costume/prop makers.
These horns have ridges or 'growth rings' like real horns, and the lights shine out from between the ridges. At night they glow; switch the lights off during daylight, and they even sparkle on a sunny day! OK, so not everyone's a fan of glitter...
How was I going to make some horns which were all of the above? While walking through a gardening store I saw some topiary plant supports, and an idea started to form...
Supplies and Tools
- 2 twisted garden supports – you can get these from chain stores, garden centers etc. They are hollow tubes made out of soft, thin metal, with a coating of plastic. They cost about $10 each, but you can use them more than once, if you’re making more than one set of horns. The thing that makes these great bases for building on – their rigidity – also makes them difficult and unforgiving. If you bend them in the wrong place, it’s very hard to fix or change.
- 2 rolls of Soft/Cushioned Plant Tie. This stuff has a thin wire core and is coated in soft foam, and comes in 10 metre rolled lengths. It’s a dull green, but once it’s covered or painted, the colour hardly shows through. I found 2 brands – one cost less than $3 per roll, and the other cost more than $8. They both look the same, and both work equally well. 1 long horn can use up more than half a roll; if you don’t want to waste what’s left, it can be joined by cutting away about 2½ cm of the soft outer coating at the end of the roll, and pushing the exposed wire carefully into the beginning of a new roll of plant tie.
- Masking/duct/packing/whatever tape, about 5cm wide. Cheapest is good.
- A hacksaw. This is for cutting the twisted garden supports.
- Wire cutters. These are for cutting the soft plant tie. It cuts really easily. You can even use scissors; just not your hugely expensive sewing scissors.
- A roll of cooking/baking paper. Get 15 metres or longer.
- 2 sets of lights. I used strings of 20 battery-operated red or blue ‘rice’ Christmas lights. They also come in green. They cost almost nothing if you time it right, and get them just after Christmas. The only drawback to the rice lights is that once they're inside the horns, they ain't coming out. I also used some EL or glow wire. It costs a lot more, and it's not as bright; but you do get a more even glow. And, unlike the rice lights, the glow wire is easy to remove from the horns.
- 3 AA-size batteries per string of Christmas lights, or 2 AAA-size batteries per EL/glow wire.
- Some coloured crepe paper. It can be matched or toned with the colour of the glitter paint.
- Foam Glue. Dries clear. PVA glue can be used, but not recommended. Foam glue adheres to the soft foam plant ties better, and it’s stretchy.
- Glitter paint, water-based, translucent or transparent. It can be matched or toned with the colour of the crepe paper.
- A hot glue gun, and 2 or more packets of glue sticks.
- Some thin string.
- A very small round or oval fishing sinker.