Introduction: Maleficent Headpiece and Prop Tutorial

About: I have a BA in cultural anthropology from UCLA, and am back in school with the hopes of earning an MFA in game design. I love art and creative expressions of all kinds, and spend my spare time learning as much…

Thank you all for visiting my instructable! So, before we begin, let's go through some safety tips. This is really important.There are steps that I would definitely not repeat a second time so please please PLEASE read these:

  • Cover any foam mannequin head or foam base with plastic, paper, or other non-reactive material as crazy glue chemically reacts to styrofoam
  • Use only one type of glue as different glues can react to each other
  • Whatever heat source you use to melt the Fosshape, remember that heat rises. Always hold the mannequin from the bottom so you do not burn your hand.
  • ALWAYS glue in a ventilated space and use a ventilation mask meant for chemical fumes. Also use eye protection. I had a severe reaction to using so much crazy glue in a small space and know first hand how important this is
  • Do not use crazy glue cotton as it can start a fire (read usage instructions on whatever glue you use)
  • Make sure you do not seal any pins inside the headpiece as you will have to cut them out later

OK!! Now that we've gone through the scary warnings, let's get started!

Step 1: Step 1: Painting the Horns

I started with red plastic Halloween horns. I used a glossy black spray paint approved for plastic to paint them. As you will see later, I replaced these with Maleficent replica horns.

Step 2: Step 2: Creating the Fosshape Skeleton

Fosshape is a felt-like material that contains something called a thermoplastic. When exposed to heat, the thermoplastic melts and hardens the Fosshape in whatever shape you had it before.

I took a mannequin head and pinned the Fosshape the way that I wanted using t-pins. *Update* Instead of having a v-shape in the back, I pinned and then cut the Fosshape to cover all the way down to a straight line at the bottom. I found this helped me wrap the vinly fabric later on.

Once in the shape I wanted, I took a steamer and steamed the Fosshape to harden it.

Step 3: Step 3: Attaching the Horns

This part is really up to you how you want to attach them, but I found this way worked for me (silly though it may look at first). I took scrap fabric (if you're using crazy glue make sure this fabric does NOT contain cotton because you will start a fire and I'm assuming that's a bad thing for your health...) and cut a hole in the fabric that was smaller than the base of the horns. I then slid the horn in, pushing the fabric down to the base, and glued the fabric to the horn. I then pinned the fabric onto the Fosshape skeleton, positioning the horns where I thought they should go. I then cut off the scrap fabric beyond the pins, and crazy glued the s$&%t out of the fabric, making sure to get crazy glue between the Fosshape and fabric to fuse them. The fabric hardens when glued, so the horns became immobile and attached. I then removed the pins (make sure you do not glue the pins into the fabric).

Step 4: Step 4: Constructing the Outside

Here's where it starts looking like the movie headpiece (yay!). I found a matte vinyl fabric, as well as an alligator textured vinyl fabric. Using a stencil I made, I traced the shape onto the backs of the fabric, cut them out, and glued them together. You can see the overlay of the matte fabric over the alligator one.

I then put the headpiece on, found where the triangular center fabric should be placed, and used a pencil to mark the Fosshape where I should be attaching it. You can also secure it with painters tape, but please always test the tape on a scrap piece of vinyl as it can remove the top layer on non-glossy vinyls. I also marked spots on the Fosshape where I wanted to cut it back so it didn't cover too much of my face. I put the headpiece back on the mannequin, and pinned it in place.

Step 5: Step 5: Time for Vinyl

Here's where it gets a little tricky! I'm really sorry I don't have more pictures for this step, but I was holding the mannequin with my feet and gluing vinyl strips down so it made it hard to photograph the steps. Good news though! Because of the way the vinyl attaches to itself, as long as you do everything carefully it will look good!

Starting from the base of the neck and working towards the horns. Begin to glue horizontal strips of vinyl fabric to the Fosshape. One tip I can give is to lay the strip down, pin it in place so you have the design laid out, and then glue as you remove the pins. This way the pins don't leave an indent where the fabric is being glued. As you can see in the second image, the final result looks much more polished when you pin ahead of time and plan out how you want to lay down the strips (my second attempt is on the left).

When you get to the crest of your head, this is where you will wrap the base of the horns in vinyl and work backwards to meet where you've already covered the headpiece in vinyl.

*USE MODERATION WITH THE GLUE* Crazy glue is strong and only one or two dots are needed when gluing the vinyl to itself. That way you won't have it dripping everywhere and ruining the texture of the vinyl.

When I made the headpiece a second time, I adjusted the angle of the horns because in pictures you couldn't see the first ones when I tilted my head back.

Step 6: Step 6: the Collar

With the headpiece constructed, I began work on the collar. I took 8 triangles of the alligator fabric- 4 large triangles and 4 small ones. I sandwiched each size together with bendable but stiff wires between them, and then glued them together. This made 4 triangles with the shiny side of the vinyl visible on both sides. I then made a neckband with two very large strips of the strongest Velcro I could find, and used black duct tape to attach the triangles to this, and then bent them to the shape I wanted.

Step 7: Step 6: the Hooves

So I know that she doesn't have hooves in the movie, but I created these so I could add height to the costume and still maintain the fantasy element of the character. Again, I'm sorry I don't have better pictures, but here's what I did:

  • I took 99 Cent store flip flops and traced the hard plastic outline of the front of the shoe onto them. I then cut out that shape, glued them on, and simply used an exacto-blade to create the split in the front. The curving of the foam naturally opened it up, but feel free to cut a chunk out of the front for the desired look. I then used acrylic paints and a stiff brush for a streaky look, and colored the inside of the split black. You may want to use a black flip flop as the underlying color may show if the paint cracks.
  • I then covered the red of the shoe in small patches of fur fabric. I suggest doing this in pieces to cover any curves properly, and allowing for overlay. I've seen a lot of people use hot glue for this, but I decided to put the hook side of a circular Velcro patch on the shoe and the fabric side on the underside of the fabric. That way, if I need different colored hooves, I can just swap out the fur. This is also good if the fur gets ruined or dirty. To cover the top of my feet, I created one large slice of fabric for the top with flaps on the sides much like the pictured Velcro shoe. That way I could open up the top, put the shoe on and tighten the strap, and then close the fur over my whole foot. *When measuring the fabric for this top portion, make sure to have your foot inside the shoe so it's large enough and not too tight.You can also take a regular stiletto heel and saw off the heel, but I figured that these would have some more stability (especially since I've never walked in heels before!).

You should know that cutting the fur makes small pieces get EVERYWHERE. Have a lint roller and vacuum at the ready! Also, I found the least messy way to cut it was to drag an exacto knife along the bottom of the fabric so as to only cut the mesh and not the fur. The edges of the fur don't have to be perfect as it all blends together (thankfully).

Step 8: Step 7: the Staff

Here's the fun part! I took an iridescent nail polish and just covered a wooden egg with it. I then took a dowel (the second iteration was a birch branch which I sanded and painted black) and wrapped and glued floral wire around it to look like ivy. This is a much cheaper way of achieving that look rather than buying an actual ivy-covered walking stick. Once everything was painted, I popped the egg on top with crazy glue and finished wrapping pre-painted wire around it.

Step 9: Step 9: Presentation Time!

So here are the final products! I won 1st place at the Maleficent Premiere costume contest with this costume. And now that Halloween is fast approaching, I am reworking the entire costume! I have added replica horns rather than the skinny ones I had on there. I sawed off the old ones, sprayed the new soft foam ones with a shiny black paint to look more like bone, filled them with poly-fil, and glued them on the stumps of the old horns. As for the costume, I am taking a suit jacket with an asymmetrical collar and will be doing one of the following:

  • Sewing sleeves and a train onto it to keep the flowy aspect of her costume
  • Sewing a cape onto it that attaches to my sleeves

The finishing touches, if I can make them in time, will be prosthetic cheekbones and articulated wings. If I make them, I will add pictures to this tutorial.

Feel free to write with any questions, and you can see more pictures on my DeviantArt page at

Happy Costuming!

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