Introduction: Persephone's Crown From "Lore Olympus"
“Lore Olympus” is a web comic created by Rachel Smythe and featured on Webtoon that retells the Hades and Persephone myth with a beautifully distinctive art style. Persephone sports many fashionable looks throughout the series, but perhaps the most striking is her “Underworld” appearance with long, flowing hair and a dramatic black gown with a matching crown showing her status as future Queen of the Underworld. I’ll be showing you how I made my own inspired-by version of this halo crown below. This crown can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like it to be, and I encourage you to bring your own flair to the design by adding any embellishments that you like!
- 1 inch Satin Headband
- Tape Measure or Ruler
- Chalk Pencil
- 12 inch Black Zip Ties, at least 42 of them (you could also purchase zip ties of varying lengths if you would prefer to not cut them yourself)
- High Temperature Hot Glue Gun
- Gorilla Glue Replacement Hot Glue Sticks
- A Strip of Black Felt the size of the headband
- Parchment Paper (or anything that will protect your work surface)
Optional Materials for Refining the Spikes:
- Sand Paper
- Respirator/Face Mask
- Heat Gun
- Heat Resistant Gloves
Optional Materials for Decorating:
- Assorted Flowers/Petals
- Assorted Rhinestones
- Wax Pencil (for Rhinestone Placing)
- E6000 Bead and Jewelry Glue or GemTac Wig Head/Long Pins
- Anything else you can think of!
Step 1: Measuring and Marking the Headband
Begin by using the tape measure to measure the length of the headband. Use the chalk pencil to mark the halfway point directly on the headband in order to help place the zip ties symmetrically. Copy this length onto the felt, including the halfway point.
Next, measure the width of the headband at the center. Copy this onto the length line you’ve already drawn on the felt. Measure the most narrow point of the headband at either end and copy this onto the felt at both ends of the original length line that you drew. Sketch a border connecting these lines together. It should resemble the shape of the headband if it were laid flat.
Cut out the felt shape and set it aside. This will be glued onto the underside of the headband later to make the crown more comfortable to wear. You can check for size by placing the felt against the inside of the headband. If it is too long or wide in some places, that’s okay! It can always be cut down to size later.
Step 2: Zipping the Zip Ties
Using this image from the "Lore Olympus" web comic as a reference, I’ve drawn over one half of the crown in order to better highlight how many points are present, as well as their sizes relative to one another. One side of the crown has 21 total points, and since the crown is symmetrical, this means I will be trying to fit 42 total zip ties around the headband.
I’m going to begin zipping the ties around one side of the crown first to see how well they fit before continuing to the other side.
A few things to note: I want the “box” of the zip tie to sit on the part of the headband that is further away from my face (see the images above). This will provide a little shelf of space to glue flowers on top of the headband later. I also do not want to zip the ties as tight as they can go yet, just tight enough to remain in place temporarily. It is very important that they can still be removed from the headband at this point in the process. I will tighten them as much as possible when it is time to glue them in place. One final thing to consider is that the zip ties have two sides, a smooth and a “striped” side. In order to have them zip more securely while meeting the first criteria above, the striped side will need to face forward. You could certainly alter the set up so that the smooth side faces forward if you wish. I actually rather like the look of the stripes, so I’m okay with them showing.
I counted out 21 zip ties and began zipping them around one half of the headband, starting about a half inch away from the center line and working my way down toward the end, making sure to not tighten them as much as possible yet. I like to begin zipping the tie on its own away from the headband, and then finishing it by looping it onto the headband and tightening in place.
Pictured above, you can see what the headband looks like with only half of the zip ties present. I ended up with only a tiny bit of headband space left at the very end. I highly recommend trying the crown on at this point to decide whether or not you like the look of having that many spikes. If not, you can always take a few away and adjust your crown accordingly. Once you’ve made your decision, repeat this process on the other side. I purposefully left a little space in the center to try and emulate the center gap shown in the illustration above. Once finished, you can try on the crown once again. If you are satisfied with the spacing and amount of spikes, move on to step 3. If not, you can adjust the spacing or remove/add spikes before moving on. If some spikes are crossing each other or not pointing quite straight, that’s okay! I'll address how to fix this in the next step.
Step 3: Trimming and Finishing the Zip Ties
Before gluing the zip ties in place, I decided to measure, cut, and sand the tips to the proper sizes, as well as use heat to fix any warping. See the image above for my final measurements if you would like to use them as a guide. All measurements were taken with the ruler starting at the top of the zip tie box and ending at the tip.
Once cut, it is helpful to sand the tips of the zip ties for safety reasons. In the reference image, the tips of the spikes have a flat/rounded shape. I wanted my tips to be pointed, and cut/sanded all of the zip tie tips accordingly. When sanding plastic, always be sure to wear a respirator and goggles to protect yourself from the plastic dust particles. You will need a very large working space for this part to keep all of the zip ties in the correct order, as it is much easier to do this when they are off of the headband. Carefully slide the zip ties off of the headband and place them in a pattern to ensure that they will be placed back on the headband correctly. Laying them all flat is also helpful in seeing which ties are the most warped and need reshaping.
Sand the tips to whatever shape you prefer by holding the zip tie near the tip and drawing it back and forth over the sandpaper on a flat surface until the edges are smooth enough to not poke somebody’s eye out. I used 220 grit sandpaper to get rid of the bulk of material, and 400 grit sandpaper to smooth the new edges. If you are wanting a pointed finish, you can speed up the sanding process by using scissors to trim off the corners of the flat ends before sanding.
If you’d like to refine the spikes further, you may use a heat gun to help flatten any crooked or warped zip ties. Be sure to once again wear a safety mask as well as heat resistant gloves and work in a well ventilated area. I used the high setting on my heat gun and ran it back and forth, about 6 inches from the surface of any crooked zip ties, over a flat, heat-resistant surface. Once the plastic begins to flatten a little on its own under the heat gun, it will be easy enough to shape. Hold the tie as straight and flat as possible against the work surface until it has cooled. This step is very time-consuming, and if you are fine with the shape of the zip ties as they are, you can skip this part and move on to the next step. Only about a third of my zip ties were crooked enough to warrant reshaping.
Step 4: Securing the Zip Ties and Adding the Felt Liner
It’s time to put the zip ties back on the headband and secure them with hot glue! I’m going to be using Gorilla brand hot glue because it has a very strong hold and a slightly longer working time (about 45 seconds). I started in the center (make sure to leave about a half an inch gap on either side of the center line) and worked my way towards either end. I looped the zip tie to be glued onto the headband and put a stripe of glue on the headband where the tie is going to be placed. In order to secure the zip tie, center it over the stripe of glue and pull the zip as tight as it will go. This is actually really tricky to do with the short ones, but it’s okay! The zip ties glued next to the short pieces help secure them in place as well. Continue this process for the entire headband until all zip ties have been glued down and secured. I added one final strip of glue after the last zip tie on each end, just for a little extra security.
If you are planning to finish your crown after this step without any decorations, you may want to be careful with your glue placement so that very little shows. However, if you are planning on adding embellishments, you can use as much glue as you feel is necessary and not worry about the mess, since it’s going to be covered up anyways!
It’s time to glue down the felt liner that was cut out in step 1 to the side of the headband that will be resting against your head. This helps with both comfort and functionality, as the texture of the felt helps prevent the crown from sliding off while you’re wearing it. Start by adding glue to the center line on the felt and matching it up to the headband's center line.= Slowly continue gluing your way towards the ends of the headband, covering up the bottom of the zip tie loops as you go. If the felt is too wide or long, you can trim it after it is all glued down.
Now if you want to stop here and declare your crown finished, you are more than welcome to! However, in my opinion, the decorating is always the most fun part of projects like this. I’ll be showing you what the crown can look like with a few embellishments added on in the following steps!
Step 5: Optional Decorating: Adding Rhinestones
Adding rhinestones is a great way to add a little bit of sparkle to anything, and they are so simple to install that you can add them while listening to music, watching a movie, etc. I found some dark gold rhinestones in a variety of sizes in my stash that I’ll be using. I choose gold because this crown is a part of a larger costume and the gown will have gold accents on it, so I thought that would be a nice tie in between the two. You could use any color you want: pink as it is Persephone’s main color, blue to show a connection to Hades and the underworld, black so it blends in with the crown more easily, the list goes on!
I usually don’t plan the rhinestone placement ahead of time by marking where they will go. A few rules I want to adhere to for the look I am going for is to place bigger rhinestones near the base of the crown and smaller ones near the top, as well as to keep their placement symmetrical between the left and right sides. For example, the two center spikes should have the same rhinestone placement as one another for the design I have in mind. If it makes you nervous to glue them down freehand, you can of course use a ruler and a silver sharpie to make little placement dots for each rhinestone.
I like to pour my rhinestones in a little tray and use a wax pencil to pick them up and place them. You can use non-facial tweezers as well. The glue I will be using is E6000 for Beads and Jewelry with the tiny nozzle attachment. A little goes a long way, and you really don’t need to use much more than a small dot. I place about five small dots of glue at a time directly on the zip tie, and then place the rhinestones on them, and repeat until I am satisfied with the look.
When working with E6000 it’s always a good idea to wear a mask and work in a well-ventilated area as the fumes from the glue can be toxic. Once all of the rhinestones are on, I allow them to dry a bit before going back and pulling off any wayward strings of glue.
Step 6: Optional Decorating: Adding Flowers
Since Persephone is the Goddess of Spring, I felt that flowers would be an excellent addition for this crown! I ordered black flowers in a variety of types and sizes to place all over the headband. I’ll be using the high temperature hot glue gun with Gorilla glue for this. What I like about the flowers is that it feels very authentic to the character while also covering up some of the glue messes that I made when securing the zip ties.
If you happen to have a wig head and pins available, you can test some different flower arrangements before gluing them down. I found this especially helpful for the placement of the large flowers. It was very easy to fill in the rest of the crown with small flowers once I liked where the large flowers had been placed.
Rhinestones and flowers aren't the only embellishments that would look good on a project like this either! You could add beads, crystals, fringe, ribbons, floral vines, string lights-the list goes on and on! Feel free to get creative and make your masterpiece your very own!
Step 7: Crown Yourself, You Rule!
Find your pinkest wig and your darkest outfit and be the glorious Queen of the Underworld that you are! Great job! :)
Runner Up in the