DISCLAIMER: This is a process that takes many days!! Unless you will work nonstop on full power all day long you will not get this done! Don't try to do it the night before you need it!!
- Hot glue (lots)
- Hot glue gun
- Dark fabric (purple)
- Something stuffy (like a bag of cotton balls)
- Silver spray paint
- Gold paint (optional)
- Green and blue rectangle gems
- Lots of smaller clear/silver gems (circular and tear drop shaped)
- Large clean gem
- Red plastic beads
- Aluminum foil
- An oven
- Ball (golf ball of something around that size)
- Strip of white faux fur
- White Mardi Gras beads
- Wire coat hangers
- Wire benders/cutters
- Metal file
- Q-tips (optional)
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Step 1: Cutting Fabric and Forming the Crown
Sorry, don't have a picture of this! (I don't have exact measurements either..sorry, I promise the tutorial will get better!) But, basically, get big piece of fabric. Then, starting from the middle, cut a circle that is 3 to 3.5 feet in diameter. How to do this is get a ruler that is about 2.5 feet or a piece of string that is that length, put one end of the string/ruler in the middle and hold it sturdy. Then take the other end and, keeping it straight, cut or trace then cut a circle. When I did it, I had help which was really.. well.. helpful!
After cutting a circle, mark the middle and set it aside for now.
Then get a piece of cardboard and cut it about 30 inches by 4 inches. Then wrap the cardboard around your head until it fits nicely, not too tight, not too loose. Make sure you mark it so you don't have to keep putting it on your head. Then use the excess and hot glue it to itself so it makes a cardboard circle!
(again, I'm so sorry I don't have pictures! :( )
Then take the circular fabric and set the cardboard with the center of the circle in the center of the cardboard. Then, support is needed to make the shape. Because you probably don't want to put hot glue on your head or a friend's head, you can use a plastic bag with stuffing inside, a bag of cotton balls (what I used) or even a big, plush stuffed animal.
Push this bag/animal up until it is of the puffiness you feel comfortable with. This is mainly just eyeballing it, to be completely honest. Once you've found a puffiness that you like, take the excess fabric and twist it under the cardboard, as the second image shows. Hot glue the fabric carefully, the fabric will bunch up, but don't worry! You can, once it is glued all the way around, cut the large excess off and take the smaller wrinkles and pull, glue and press down until the fabric around the cardboard is as smooth as you can make it. If you want, you can cut a strip of fabric and hot glue is over the wrinkles.
Just to make your life easier, it is better to keep the bag of cottonballs/stuffed animal in the hat so the fabric will be able to stand up so you can test it out every now and then. Do not, however, glue this bag/animal to the fabric! It will not be a part of the costume and will be removed later!
Step 2: Making the Designs
Doing this, I looked at the designs from a photo and drew them according to. Before you start, though, make sure that they are small/big enough to fit on your crown! With the more square shaped ones, I actually made them too big and had to cut them down later, so make sure they are small enough to fit on with some more room for the fur and pearls, which will be added on later.
First, take the design you drew and trace it with dark marker, then take another paper and trace it probably 12 times for the rectangle and 12 times for the diamond ones, 30 times for the smaller ones, 4 times for the fleurs de lis and 2 times for the big square iron crosses. This is a lot of work and will produce extras, but this way it's almost easier because if you mess up or don't like the look of a few, you can choose the prettier ones!
Then take hot glue and fill in the pattern right there on the paper/cardboard (I used cardboard for the fleurs de lis and iron crosses because they need to be sturdier)! There is no special paper needed, no wax paper or expensive paper, just regular printer paper will do fine! I used a toothpick to make more precise points in the smaller patterns, but for best results make sure the hot glue is smooth on the top.
Step 3: Forming the Top of the Crown
This is the part that crosses over the top of the crown.
Measure with cardboard 2 equal strips of cardboard. Mine were 20 inches by 1.5 inches. Then put them on another sheet of cardboard, a larger one, and hot glue patterns over the strips of cardboard. For a cooler look, let the hot glue go off of the strips of cardboard you cut. Later, when the glue dries, just carefully peel the glue and strip of cardboard off of the bigger piece of cardboard. If needed, cut the bigger cardboard so it's easier to peel the glue off (images 2 and 3). Once you peel it off, turn it over and do it again on the other sides!
Step 4: Spray Paint
Use the silver spray paint to spray the cardboard, glue covered strips and the designs on paper (don't cut them out yet!). Also use the spray paint to paint a ball for the top (which took FOREVER because the paint was continuing to leave the face uneven, so when spraying, make sure to spray as evenly as you can), as well as the large cardboard designs.
For the ball, I used a plain rubber ball but a golf or ping pong ball should probably work, just look around and find something of the size you like and use it! Though, make sure to be careful and spray the ball somewhere where it won't roll away while it's drying. I used a thick wire as a base to set it on while spraying and drying, so that helped get the paint everywhere on the ball. ALSO if you're using a plastic ball, the paint will take around 20 hours to dry, and even then, if the paint collects in one place, it might still be wet, so be careful and have patience! This is why you want to spray paint at around the same time and early on in the process, to give everything time to dry.
Also remember! It is best to spray outside with something underneath it (like a large sheet of cardboard or a plastic sheet) because it will stain your skin/clothes/the ground, so be careful!
Step 5: Add the Wires
The strips of cardboard that are now covered in glue and spray paint need extra support so they won't be flimsy on the top of your crown. For the wires, I used old wire coat hangers. These can be found in thrift stores or maybe even in your basement, you never know! It is smart to form the wires against the top of the hat before gluing it to the strips of cardboard. And, when gluing, make sure you glue them to the side of the cardboard you wish to be the bottom, face down, and use a lot of glue so they don't come loose and pop off.
Step 6: Add to the Crown Itself
Here is where you use your beads and the fur. First, glue the strip of fur (I got the strip already packaged at Joann's and it was the perfect length to go all the way around the crown, with a tad extra) to the bottom of the crown with enough to go under neath, where your head would go, just so it looks better.
Then, if the beads are already formed to be necklaces, cut them and wrap them around the top and just above the fur on the crown, gluing them down carefully. When gluing around the fur, be careful to not get glue all over the fur or it will look messy.
Step 7: The Top of the Crown
Picture 1: Supports without being attached to the middle
Picture 2: Supports with the bag of cotton balls inside
Picture 3: Fabric glued to each support
For this one, the strips of cardboard that were spray painted and glued to wires are now set into place! Glue them to the sides of the crown and then glue the fabric up to the strips. Make sure it is of the right size before you glue it!
Step 8: Gems!
WARNING! Get the gems last!! I probably spent 30 or 40 dollars on these things because I wasn't sure what sizes, colours and how many I needed! Wait until you finish the other things (in previous steps) before purchasing gems. You can get them in big buckets for around 12 dollars at Walmart, but you will probably use only 20 of the 100s of gems.
I got all of my gems at Walmart in a bucket of gems or in separate little baggies. They are all plastic because, in this case, glass is not necessary unless you really want to. For the designs in the first picture, glue the gems down in the middle of the designs then put hot glue around the gems. However, you must be careful because if the hot tip of the glue gun touches the spray paint, it will melt the paint away.
Step 9: Making the Black Prince's Ruby
Because I couldn't find a big red gem like the one on the front of the crown, I had to make one! luckily, I had a gem that was similar to the Cullinan Diamond, so I didn't need to make it, but I'm sure doing this same process with clear gems will give you a nice result! That or you could do it with clay~
With this, I drew the gem on aluminum foil and then bent it to fit the shape.. it is best to not tear it to make it easier to pull out even though I tore the bottom (oops). Then I found some red beads and filled them in the mold I made and put them in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 28 minutes or whenever the beads are all melted together. If you have a fan/vent in your kitchen, you should turn that on after a few minutes of baking since plastic melting has a smell that isn't the most appealing.
Also, make sure that you cover whatever pan you are going to put it on with foil to make sure it doesn't get torn up and the beads don't stick to it.
After it is finished baking, remove the foil as much as you can (it's not as hard as it looks!) and get a metal file to file down the pointed edges and make it smoother. Even though it might look like you can cut it with scissors, you can't! It's the same material the beads are made of (plastic) but now it's thicker.
Once it meets your standards, you can take one of the iron crosses glue it to the middle and glue around it like you did with the green and blue gems. If you want, you can paint the hot glue around it gold to make it look more like the cold case it is in on the real crown, but you don't have to. I did it and, honestly, it didn't turn out that well! You can see it in the final picture and decide for yourself while doing yours.
Step 10: Mount on the Crown
Here is where you mount your pretty, gem covered designs onto your crown! For the smaller ones around the base of the crown (green and blue ones) I used tape to mark out about where I wanted them to be and gradually removed the tape and replaced it with hot glue to make sure everything stayed in it's right stop (of course... it still got off centre but I can deal XD).
Picture 5 and 6 are of the Cullinan Diamond (not real, of course!). I found this in my basement somewhere, but I'm sure you could find something like this at an art store either in the jewelry section or the wedding section. I glued it onto the front of the crown and held it there for a while since it had a pointed end, like a typical diamond shape. Then, to make it less ugly, I just glued left over gems around it!
The last picture is perhaps the hardest part because it is so flimsy and tall. I nearly had a heart attack gluing these parts together! You have to be patient and don't move it for a few minutes, or maybe even a few hours. And after it's dry don't twist it or anything or it will come off and you will be sad!
Step 11: Finishing Steps!
Look, you're almost finished! Because bending the paint can cause it to crack and constant touching can make it fade, you can use a Q-tip, a recycled cup/container (do NOT use something you will need to use again! Spray paint will probably not come out!!) and the paint to do last minute touches. Just be careful not to get it on the fabric! (to make spray paint like regular paint, just take your recycled cup and spray the paint down into the cup and it will be just regular paint consistency.
Also, now is the time when, if you need to make the gems on the side press closer to the crown, just carefully hot glue the messed up parts down! But be careful of the fur and fabric! Make sure to pull off all of those stubborn strings from the hot glue and any fur that might have gotten stuck if you have pets, too!
Step 12: Yay You're Done!
After hours and hours of work, it's finished and ready to ware!
This is NOT for children!! If dropped, this will probably break, depending on how sturdy you made it! It is advised to keep this somewhere where your kids/friends/pets cannot get to it! Also, I would not recommend wearing this in rain! It is only paint, fabric, cardboard and glue and, depending on what kinds of paint you use, it might run if water is dripped on it.
Well, I hope you enjoyed it and I'd be very pleased if you would show me after making it! I'd love to see any results!
((Now you can be King Moriarty like me!))