Introduction: How to Make Your Own Burlesque Pasties

With a recent revisit to carnival acts, the art of burlesque is making a *big* comeback worldwide. The tasteful and creative play of showing a lot yet exposing little was made popular in the 20s-40s by names like Gypsy Rose Lee and Sally Rand (although the sassy striptease has been around for a lot longer!) Neo and Guerilla burlesque shows are popping up everywhere (unexpectedly in the latter case!) and there's no reason you can't be a part of it. While I'm not going to be able to help you with the dance steps I can certainly show you how to quickly and cheaply make your own high quality pasties to cover your *ahem* naughty bits!

Step 1: Supplies

about 8" x 8" of craft foam (I find black looks best for the fabrics I usually choose)


fabric of your choice

tassels/notions of your choice

grommets (you can buy these in the scrapbooking area of any craft store)

grommet smasher (find 'em right by the grommets)




Step 2: Cut & Sew Forms

I'm sure there is some mathematic equation that will tell you how to get a 3d cone form from a 2d nipple diameter. Barring discovery of this formula, guesstimate.

Take a circular template slightly larger than your nipple diameter and cut it out of the craft foam.

Cut a "Pac Man" shape out of the form. Be sure your first cut goes to the middle of your circle. If you want tassels cut a small portion out of the center for the grommets.

Hold the two sizes together to make a little hat shape. Check to see if it fits you. Trim as needed.

Sew the two sides together.

Make four of these. Two of them will be against your skin so take care that your seams are as smooth as possible (we'll refer to these pieces as the bottoms). The other two we're going to sew your fabric on (we'll call these the tops). The bottoms should be slightly smaller than the tops and don't need grommet holes.

Step 3: Sew Fabric & Notions

Cut a fabric swatch a little larger than your original circle. It should be large enough to fold over the underside to form a seam.

Cut a straight line from the outside to the middle of the fabric just as you did for the foam. Don't forget to also cut out your grommet hole.

Spread the tacky glue on the top.

Line up the center of the fabric with the center of the tops. Put a little glue where the fabric will overlap and press flat. Some fabric will allow the glue to bleed through but most of the time it will be invisible when it dries.

Fold a part of the fabric over to the underside and start sewing. I've found pleating the excess fabric before sewing gives a flatter finish. Do this one pleat at a time. If you really have a lot of excess fabric inside trim it off.

Step 4: Attach Grommets & Tassels

Insert your grommet with the biggest side on the outside of your pasty. Place your pasty point-side down on top of a piece of craft foam on top of a hard surface. The foam will prevent the front side of the grommet from scratching when you hammer it.

Rest the grommet smasher on the inside of the grommet and gently tap with a hammer until the inside splits like a flower. Hammer gently so you don't warp the front of the grommet.

Insert your tassel through the front hole and sew to the fabric inside of the top.

Step 5: Finishing

Sew the bottom to the inside of the top to make a nice finished set of pasties! The difference in sizebetween the top and bottom should allow sufficient room for unseen stitching.

Secure to nips with eyelash glue or double sided tape and you're ready to shake up the party!

Step 6: Variations

I originally started this project to share for a women's sleepover this year. I could find surprisingly little info online about how to actually make pasties so I thought I'd put an instructable together. My intent was just to make one pair but I had such a blast shopping for fabric and really enjoyed the quick completion time and novelty that I'm now selling them at I also happen to know a number of burlesque dancers who I hope will wear them ('cause truthfully I'm quite shy! ;)


John_the_Builder made it! (author)2014-02-24

My English is no good. Kindly, what is for Pastie? Like small hat for Monkey? Kindfully provide visual. Thankfully yours for your kindness!

John_the_Builder made it! (author)John_the_Builder2014-02-24

Tough crowd, not even a small Titter?

hcscheepers made it! (author)hcscheepers2015-04-12


hcscheepers made it! (author)hcscheepers2015-04-12


countrybabe48 made it! (author)countrybabe482014-12-16

They go over girl nipples. To be sexy

Gonazar made it! (author)2008-02-10

Now make a pair with a motor in side to make them spin ;P

carpespasm made it! (author)carpespasm2008-02-15

As soon as I read that I started thinking of where you could source a motor small enough to do that.

carmen_sandiego made it! (author)carmen_sandiego2012-10-25

you are supposed to use the motot in your booty, twirl them the old fashioned way

Gonazar made it! (author)Gonazar2008-02-16

It depends on how heavy the tassles are, if they're light enough you may be able to use something similar to a cell phone vibrator motor, which are pretty damn small. So are the ones in any mini R/C cars.

carpespasm made it! (author)carpespasm2008-02-16

i would think that the motor being flat would be more important than it being small in general. Pager motors tend to be pretty long. Something like the ones on this page might be good:

That or you might be able to hide the motors from a couple old CD players in some especially thick pasties.

iTHROWDOWN made it! (author)iTHROWDOWN2008-02-10

haha yea this is instructables .... it has to have either L.E.D's or something that spins or a lazer LAWLZ

Geoffrito made it! (author)Geoffrito2008-02-11

either that or it has to explode. That, however, would be painful.

ThunderCourage made it! (author)2012-03-06

OMG! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have been looking for a way to make these for a while now, and wanted to have a lady-oriented craft night too..
I'm so EXCITED!.. I can't wait to have a little sleep over and craft extravaganza. Bezos!

Miscelinious made it! (author)2011-06-01

The only thing i can say about this.... is YES. :D

cirqueraven91 made it! (author)2009-12-28

 where the heck did you find the craft foam? I looked a Joann's and Michael's no luck... where did you buy yours? How small are the grommets which you used? I ended up getting ones that were to big and now have to go through the task of taking them back to Joann's....
Please help, I really want to learn how to make some. Thanks!

J@50n made it! (author)J@50n2009-12-28

 here is a link to Joann's for the foam.

cirqueraven91 made it! (author)cirqueraven912009-12-29

 Thank you so much!

J@50n made it! (author)J@50n2009-12-29

 no prob!

emattrose made it! (author)2008-12-08

eyelash glue... how do you get these things off? It sounds painful.

clamoring made it! (author)clamoring2008-12-09

It's really not too bad. :)

monkeyjen75 made it! (author)monkeyjen752009-11-02

I use double stick carpet tape. Actually , once I discovered this tape, I use if for LOADS of stuff. It's my new hot glue.

Juklop made it! (author)2007-11-15

Why not just go topless?

clamoring made it! (author)clamoring2007-11-15

Because then you take the "tease" out of striptease!

Darkshot made it! (author)Darkshot2007-11-15

stripteases are for looosers i say strip...

jongscx made it! (author)jongscx2007-11-16

There's a certain charm and mystique to the "-tease" part... I think it's more alluring to have an almost-naked woman dancing, than a fully naked woman dancing. And , Jessica Alba in an over-sized hoodie and nothing else is always pretty hot.

Darkshot made it! (author)Darkshot2007-11-16

shes not that i disagree full nude is better =/ hope thats not tooo! inapropriate

Kaiven made it! (author)Kaiven2008-08-24

full nude! (not of the same gender D:)

static made it! (author)static2007-12-22

The "tease" is OK for awhile, but it all should come off at some point. IMO of course.

Naeem Iftikhar made it! (author)2008-02-16

Good do it again if you have a time

FixedHDD made it! (author)2008-02-16

make a photo how to wear em!!

kellimaier made it! (author)2008-02-14 husband is going to love this little surprise!. I wish I hadn't found it on Feb 15th...but hey, who needs it to be Valentines for a little fun?

masterochicken made it! (author)2007-12-19
clamoring made it! (author)clamoring2007-12-20

Where has this group been all my life?

masterochicken made it! (author)masterochicken2007-12-20

nowhere, I just made it

cry_wolf made it! (author)cry_wolf2008-02-12

I like the thumbnail picture for it. xD

stasterisk made it! (author)2008-02-05

Hey, what adhesive do you use for attaching?

lolabirdsong made it! (author)lolabirdsong2008-02-10

I always use liquid latex. It's safest and removes with ease. You can get it from adult stores or use the stuff that comes with false eyelashes. Avoid the mustache glue variety (spirit gum)... it is just gross!

nvnusman made it! (author)2007-12-02

Okay, I think all these comments just illustrate the effectiveness of the "tease' element: "Always leave them wanting more." There's not a carnie or con"person" alive who wouldn't applaud your decision to leae the specifics in the mind of we beholders!

Doctor What made it! (author)2007-11-17

OOOH!! I've always wanted meself a pair of these!!! I could put them on and dance around in my room, then cry myself to sleep!!

nyuszi made it! (author)2007-11-17

Oh~ thank you so much! you such a darling to share the technique! Good luck with your selling! xxx

masterochicken made it! (author)2007-11-15


jongscx made it! (author)2007-11-15

NOOOO... you didn't put "Waka waka waka..." on Step2:Pic2... Still, nice, though I'm personally not equipped to wear these, I know a few friends who would appreciate the instructions.

trayo made it! (author)2007-11-15

How do they stay on/ how do you get them on?

clamoring made it! (author)clamoring2007-11-15

eyelash glue or double-sided tape.

iain010100 made it! (author)2007-11-15

This instructable is incomplete without a video clip of the end product in action. ;-)

rockyt made it! (author)2007-11-15

I'm from the show me state. Lets see the twirl.

modelmanjohn made it! (author)2007-11-15

I can't believe you don't have an example of how they fit!