Introduction: Brain Coral Headpiece
Wearable sculpture with undersea theme. Lightweight and dramatic, can be made cheaply with simple supplies.
Black foam core 3/16" thick
Craft knife, straight edge
Hot glue gun
Round form: plastic dome, yoga ball, or form of your choice.
Flat paint brush
Styrofoam head form
Marker or tape
Cut foam core into 1/2" strips, then cut across the strips at slight alternating angles. Flip every other one. When they're all oriented short side down and placed side by side they will describe a curve. the drawing exaggerates this process.
Bend your pieces by crimping them manually. For tighter curves cut a few angled slots. Apply hot glue and hold until set.
When you've got a handful of these ready, attach them end to end with hot glue while standing them on edge over your dome/ball/form. (My dome is 12" in diameter)
From time to time you'll need to chamfer the edges to get them to line up correctly.
Continue one at a time.
If you want a guide to work from, use a marker or tape to indicate your design directly onto your form. There are images of Brain Coral on the web that you can use for inspiration. I used skinny tape on the inside of my plastic dome as a rough guide, visible in these photos.
At the end of every hot glue session go back and add Elmer's glue to every joint for extra strength.
To decorate your coral, apply Elmer's glue a little at a time with a brush like the one in the photo demonstration. Add glitter, repeat. Do this over a tub (glitter gets everywhere). In the photo I'm posing with one of my test mock-ups. You may make the sides a different color from the outer edge. If so, do the sides first, edge last.
Finished Brain Coral, detail.
Make a headband out of 1" foam core strips, hand-curved and glued together. This photo shows one cross piece going side to side. I added another going from front to back.
The mock-up in this photo shows the support "stems" for attaching the coral to the headband. I used three of these. I reinforced the points of attachment with a shortened and sharpened toothpick buried inside each tip, as shown in the drawing. This also provides additional strength to the support.
Glue securely with Elmer's. Test placement first on styrofoam head. Cover the foam core band with a wide cloth headband of your choice. I made one from an old black t-shirt plus a few sequins. The finished headpiece weighs 7 ounces.
Finally, vacuum up. Glitter gets everywhere.
Go out and dazzle people at the event of your choice! In this case, Coney Island's Mermaid Parade. Cheers!