This instructable covers how to create a bison ear/horn headband set . I created this design specifically for this website with the intent of making it simple to create and easy to follow.
You can use the same methods for other ear and/or horn sets. Make draenei cranial horns. A satyr's ears and goat horns. Deer antlers or bull horns. Add them to a hat or a wig instead of a headband. Or use a stiff headband instead of an elastic one. The variations are limitless.
Add a tail and fuzzy gloves and you have a very quick, easy, and comfortable costume for Halloween parties, children's plays, a cosplay costume, and so forth. You can even use it like a normal headband to keep you hair out of your eyes.
Step 1: Creating the Horns
The horns are to be carved from pink insulation Styrofoam and then papiermached to give a smooth surface before they are painted.
You will require: a sheet of polystyrene foam. It is used for insulating houses and is available in most hardware stores. Do *not* use the white packing Styrofoam as it is much too crumbly.
- draw a pattern for the horn shape. Google for images or draw it freehand. Make sure both horns are the same by drawing the pattern on a piece of cardstock and then tracing it.
- With a snap-off knife, cut out the shape. You will have a flat representation of your horns. Do not cut outside of the lines or cut out the shape crooked. Push the knife in straight and down.
- with the sharp knife (replace the blade if needed) trim off the edges of the horn. Cut off too little rather than too much. You can draw the shape of the horn on the non-drawn sides to use as a guide
- trim it down until it is a rough but complete horn shape. Next sand it with sandpaper or a sanding block to remove all of the remaining rough edges.
- Smooth then down well and compare them to make sure they are the same basic shape and size. They do not have to be exact, but the closer the better.
- mix up some papier mache using flour and boiling water. You want it to be as thick as cream soup. Tear up some old newspapers and throw away the machine cut edges. Papier mache the horns while still trying to keep them as smooth as possible. 2-3 layers is plenty.
You can perhaps skip the papier mache step and instead use gesso or something else. The intent is to provide a smoothable surface that paint can cling to.
- Sand the papier mache layer smooth - do not break past the paper layer. Then paint it with acrylics to your liking. And the horns are finished.
Step 2: Sewing the Ears
How to create simple bison ears. With a few variations in the pattern, you can create ears from any species'.
- Get some cardstock and draw an ear on it - sort of half of a tall 'D' shape. A skinny D makes more tube-like ears and a wide D makes large, wide ears. Cut it out with scissors. This is your ear pattern.
- trace the pattern on the backing of some fake fur in the appropriate colour. Make sure you flip the pattern for the 2nd ear. These are the backs of the ears.
- Bring out some materials for the inside of the ears. You can use more fur, vinyl, leather, etc. In this case I am using fleece. Cut out two more ears, again making sure to flip the pattern (which I did not do in the photo but the fleece is the same on both sides so it did not matter so much). Cut them out.
- match up an inner ear and an outer ear - right sides together. Tuck the fur pile inside and start sewing it from the tip of the ear so that the two halves do not twist or shift while they are being sewn. You can handsew if you do not have a sewing machine.
- Turn the ear rightside out and pull all of the fur oput of the seam. You can use a knitting needle, a fork, a seam ripper, a dog brush, etc. Here I used a metal-toothed pet comb. Once you have pulled out the fur, turn the ear inside out again and trim the seam.
- With the ear still inside out, slather contact cement over both sides. Wait for it to dry slightly and then carefully turn it right side out and stick the two sides together. If the ears are large and needs more stiffening, you can sandwich another material (buckram, felt, interfacing) inside.
- Fold the ear in half lengthwise with the back of the ear on the inside. Sew along the bottom and trim the seam.
- flip the ears right side out. They are now finished.
Step 3: Attaching Horns and Ears to the Headband
Now it is time to attach the horns and the ears to the headband so they can be worn.
- measure a length of elastic around your head, cut it to length, and sew it. Make sure it fits comfortably. Mark right above your ears where you want the horns to go and take the headband off. Heat up a glue gun and squeeze a glob onto the base of the horn.
- carefully place it onto the elastic and hold until it cools. repeat with the other horn. Try to make them even and oriented to the same direction.
- cut a circle of fleece or felt and glue it to the bottom of the horn - sandwiching the elastic between them. This makes the horn more secure, sturdy, and comfortable. Then do the same with the ears - glue or sew them to the elastic directly below the horns.
- If all you want is a horn/ear set. You can stop here. The elastic can be hidden under hair - giving the impression of natural features. You can also make the horns without the ears and vis versa.
Step 4: Final Touches
The last step is to add the head fur to the ear/horns. This is what makes the ears/horns into *bison* ears and horns.
- cut a length of long pile fur wide enough to go from one horn to the other. Cut it so to pile direction going towards the back of the head. Sew a smaller and rounded piece to the from (with the pile direction going forwards) to be the 'bangs'
- glue or sew the fur piece to the headband elastic. Glue it up to and around the bases of the horns themselves to make it seamless between the horns and the headfur.
- wear it and take photos while wearing a silly face :p You are now a bison.