The first Dinosaur Skull Headdress I made is the Jack-a-Lope-a-Saurus Rex, which is an antlered T-Rex covered in sequin scales. A later variation has antlers and metallic leather feathers. Then, an entirely new species appeared as a feather-crested Dilophosaurus.
This Instructable includes the patterns and instructions to make your own Jack-a-Lope-a-Saurus Rex. From here, feel free to iterate and make up your own dinosaurs!
Step 1: Inspiration and Materials
The design is based on actual dinosaur skulls and antlers, and I was also very inspired by drawings, miniatures, and headdresses I found on the internet. I'd like to send a huge thank you to these amazing artists:
McGibs, Dragon Headdress
Adam Tenenbaum, Antler Headdress
Hikigane's beautiful Ice Dragon Headdress
Carla Wyzgala, T-Rex red Dinosaur Bone watercolor
Dizzidragonz, Dragon Skull Mask
For my own, I wanted to wear what an Amazon warrior would wear in prehistoric times, but without the weight of an actual skull. I designed this headdress to be lightweight and durable enough for outdoor events. From previous pieces that I've made (the Praying Mantis spirit hood and the Horsehawk, shown above), I had some parameters on how the size and balance of the structure would affect the overall wearability.
In my design, the upper jaw would fit over the top of my head like a hat, and the hinged lower jaw would provide stability by balancing the tall antlers.
2mm craft foam (4 sheets of 9x12") - Amazon or local craft store
3mm craft foam (1 sheet of 9x12") - Amazon or local craft store
12 gauge solid copper wire with white insulation - Amazon or local hardware store
Lightweight chain or leather cord
1" elastic (12" long) - Amazon or local craft store
Hot glue gun & glue
Printed patterns (next step)
Step 2: Pattern
Download the pattern, print the 6 pages and lay them flat over the 2mm or 3mm foam. Trace each piece with a ballpoint pen, just denting the paper and the foam underneath. Cut out each piece with an x-acto knife or scissors.
The craft foam is pretty straightforward to work with, and you can easily find lots of great Instructables with hints and tips (foam armor tutorials are my favorite).
Step 3: Assembly
Hot glue the edges of the skull top (Edge A) so the skull top and sides meet at right angles. Follow the dotted line on the pattern.
A 38" length of wire supports the antlers. Fold the wire in half and hold it in the inside front of the nose. At the back of the skull, run each end of the wire through a small hole in each side (marked with an X on the pattern). Then glue the wire to the underside of the top of the skull.
Assemble the antlers and glue them onto the sides of the skull just below where the wire protrudes. Then glue the wire to the inner sides of the antlers so they can be bent and posed. I used a pair of needlenose pliers to curl the very end of the wire to blunt it. Additional support wire can be added to the other antler prongs too.
Glue the headband (cut from leather or craft foam) to the inside of the skull a few inches back from the nose. The approximate location is marked on the pattern. Changing the length and position of the headband will adjust where the skull sits on your head.
Next glue one side of the elastic (which will go around the back of your head) to the inside of the skull in the spot marked on the pattern. Try on your headdress and adjust the length of the elastic before gluing on the second end. You want it tight enough to be secure but not uncomfortable.
Glue the edges of the jaw bottom (Edge B) to the jaw sides so they meet at right angles.
Finally, use the cord or chain to hang the lower jaw from the upper jaw and adjust it to the desired height.
Step 4: Decorate!
Add strings of sequins, metal bits, flowers, googley eyes, lights, paint, anything that you happen to have around. Some spraypaints are compatible with craft foam too, just try a test piece first. I had good luck with the pink iridescent string sequins, which I first outlined the skull with and then, row by row, filled in. Large additions to the base skull can be supported with more wire.
Have fun! Feel free to message me or comment with any questions.
Step 5: Next Up...
If you're looking for your next sequin-related project, stay tuned for my next Instructable! Learn to sew a Sequin Poncho from reversible-sequin fabric, faux fur, and fringe trim. Need a finished one right away? The final version is available now in my Etsy shop!