Introduction: How to Make the Perfect Princess Leia Wig
Princess Leia has one of the most iconic hairstyles in sci-fi films so making this wig as movie accurate as possible was a must for me. I wanted it to not only look good but not be too heavy or uncomfortable. I also was going to (and now) use this wig for appearances at many charity events so I needed it to last. The final product turned out pretty great.
Here's what you'll need:
- brown wig
- wig cap
- wig mannequin
- matching brown thread
- fake bun makers x 10 (5 per side)
- hot glue gun and glue
Step 1: Prepping the Buns
Making a bun solely by just twisting the hair around and securing it has the problem of making the buns too heavy and too small so this method will really help.
Take your fake bun makers and cut them in half. Each bun will have 5 of these cut bun makers in them (depending on the size) so make two piles.
Using brown thread that matches both the wig color and the bun makers, begin sewing the ends of the bun makers until you have a spiral. (if the color of the wig is the same as the bun makers, any gaps between the hair won't look so obvious) . Do NOT secure the spiral at the end. Just leave it loose
Step 2: Picking Your Wig
First off, make sure when you pick a wig that it is good quality and thick. There are two methods for making the Leia wig (and apologies that I only have pictures of one) and whichever method you pick affects how long of a wig you'll need. Whichever method you choose, the higher the quality, the better the look and longevity.
I purchased the Le Tigre Wig from www.ardawigs.com in Spanish Brown. It's hard to choose the color closest to Carrie Fisher's hair online but Spanish Brown was pretty damn close
Try your wig on while wearing a wig cap and make a pigtail on each side as the foundation of the bun. Try to position the pigtail just above and slightly behind your ear. If you're uncertain about the placement, simply hold your spiral bun maker in position and adjust.
Step 3: Making the Buns
There are two methods for making the wig although both are fairly similar.
Method 1 (the method I have pictures for)
The first Leia wig I made was from a combination of a wig which I made pigtails on and several segments of similar colored hair that were clumped together by hot glue. One at a time, I took each segment and secured it to the bun spiral using brown thread. After adding 4-5 segments to the spiral, I sewed those the covered area of bun spiral to the itself so the spiral would stay intact. I repeated this step until the entire spiral was covered with hair and then sewed the end of the spiral to the rest of the spiral. Once that was attached, I use a little spray glue to "cement" everything together.
Method 2 (full wig)
First, bind the end of the wig ponytails together with elastic bands (you want them as close to the ends as possible) This is essentially the same process as the previous method except that with a long wig, I simply fed the ponytail through the center of the bun spiral and then wrapped it around the spiral until I reached the end. Once I reached the end, I once again secured the ponytail to the spiral bun with thread and spray glued the entire bun.
Step 4: Final Touches
There's only one more thing to do for both methods to finish your wig. Starting from the underside of the wig, begin sewing sections of your bun spiral to the wig mesh. Do as many as you can to ensure your buns stay attached. It you do kids' charity events like I do, kids will definitely want to touch and grab at your wig so you want it to be as strong as possible.
And that's it! Easy peasy!
To maintain your wig and tame stray hairs, simply use spray glue or Got2b Blasting Freeze Spray. Make sure you only spray the buns from a distance and in short bursts or the buns will look plastic-y after a while.
May the Force be with you...always!