Introduction: How to Make a 'Jem' Costume

Jem was the lead singer of an 80's cartoon band called JEM and the Holograms. By day she was Jerrica, but her pseudonym was Jem. Jem's look has evolved over the episodes, but the one I like best is her hot pink wrap dress, shiny asymmetrical belt, and crazy pink layered hair (with highlights).

I am going to be Jem for Halloween this year, and I wanted to make the best dang Jem costume I could manage (within reason and a budget.)

Here is the beginning of that venture: The Rockin' Jem Wig. Enjoy : )

Step 1: Materials

You will need:

1 Pink wig
1 Pink, purple, or silver Mullet-Style wig
1 Wide tooth WOODEN comb (Plastic combs cause static)
1 Pair of scissors
1 Pack of small hair elastics
1 Mirror

And some good ol' patience.

Step 2: Buy Two Wigs

I bought a long pink wig with bangs at my local "thrift shop" (Value Village) for $6, and then I was lucky enough to stumble upon a purple mullet-style wig, with white shiny tips, at Dollarama for $2. The trick here is to blend the two of them together to achieve a more realistic JEM look, instead of just settling for a plain pink wig.

Step 3: Divide and Conquer; Braiding the Pink Wig.

Divide the pink wig into tiny sections according to how the "hair" was sewn onto the hair cap. Comb each section with a wide tooth wooden comb. [Plastic combs on synthetic wigs will cause a LOT of STATIC, which will make everything 10 x harder]
(Also, the smaller the sections, the easier it will be to weave them into the other wig, to distribute the highlights evenly.)
Once divided, braid each section. I worked from the crown down, gradually piling the braided pieces around a stick that I had stuck into the styrofoam head.
Once done, unpile all the braids.

Step 4: Weaving the Wigs Together.

In the same manner that you divided the pink wig, divide the purple.
Instead of braiding the hair, you will need to cut a small hole in the netting between each section. It is through this hole that you will pull the braided pink strands through.
Do this all over the cap.
Then stick the pink wig inside of the purple wig, and pull all the aligned braids through its nearest hole.

Step 5: Unbraid. All of It.

As the title suggests, you now need to UNBRAID all of them.
Yes, this is a lot of work, but its totally worth it.
Once unbraided, comb all the pink strands with a wide tooth wooden comb.
Then get ready to fluff the hell out of it. The bigger the better.
Fluffing can be done with just your fingers.

Step 6: Trim Into Shape.

I would advise that you try on the wig before doing any cutting.
I compared the length and shape to pictures of the cartoon character that I had found online.
I also decided to cut the wig while it was on my head.
This is what you will have to do if you do not have a styrofoam head.
(Plus, I think it's much easier to eye ball it once you're wearing it.)
Trim all the sections until you get the desired shape.
Alternatively, if you have a friend who is a hair stylist, ask them for their professional help.
I sure wish I had done that.

And Voila! You have your very own authentic looking JEM wig!

Stay tuned for the costume, shoes, makeup, and accessories.
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