My daughter really wanted to make her own popular Pony costume for Comic-Con 2012. I had to build it from scratch. I looked online and never found any good directions, so I thought I would post what I did, to help anyone else that may want to have one this Halloween, or just for fun!
Her favorite 'pony' is yellow with butterflies on the hip.
The wig is what started the whole outfit. I looked around and found tons of wigs online on Etsy and on eBay, but my husband took her to a costume shop, where the saleswoman helped fit a wig to my daughter's head and gave her the wig cap. I highly recommend doing this if you live anywhere near a wig shop. The wig was about 45$, but it is high quality, or high enough, and because she tried it on, it was comfortable, didn't slip or fall, and it was the right length for her head. It is really hard to buy a wig over the internet. If you are familiar with doing this, then maybe you will know what to order. I have never bought a wig online.
First, my ten yr old daughter is 5'4" and wears a women's size Med clothing.
We searched and found a clothing outlet online that sold all cotton yoga type clothes- since we couldn't find the shade of yellow we needed- and we wanted the WHOLE outfit the same shade of yellow, we opted to buy white base clothes and dye them in the same dye bath. You may or may not want to go to this much trouble. Or, you may want to just get pants/top that are close in color. Since I do fiber arts- I knew how to dye cotton and what to get. I will explain it- but directions are all over the internet to do this also. She chose a hooded top w/long sleeves, and fold over top yoga pants ( which worked well later to hide the 'belt sash" that was holding her tail on.
Here is a list of the materials I used to create this costume:
- procion dyes for cotton clothing
-soda ash to set dye
-bucket for dying in
-stir stick of some sort ( disposable, do not use again for food/eating and no metal)
-outfit; white all cotton ( mostly cotton, low 2% spandex ok) outfit for dying
-wool felt in color of wings, or again we ended up using another wool dye bath for felt ( food color works on wool, but NOT on cottons)
-foam clay for forming ears, I used a brand called Hearty- art store says Model Magic is same clay
-brooch pins, 2 for pinning finished ears to wig
-epoxy to set pins to underside of ears for stability
-bobby pins, clips for clipping back regular hair before putting on wig
-any decorations you need or want for your pony
-wings (out of the wool felt pieces)
-paint or patches or iron-ons for hip decorations (now a days you can print iron on patches in ink jet printers to iron on if you don't feel like painting the hip marks) do whichever is easy/most familiar process for you
-fake hair swatch in color matching wig, most popular is called Kankelon, but other brands will work for tail piece(one 'chunk' was a fat ponytail for her, and they come in a rainbow of colors, cost for these is about $3.50 a ponytail, which is about as fat as a real horse tail)
-yarn or string to tie up tail like a tassel is tied
-thread to stitch wings flat to side
-hot glue to glue wing layers
-stencil to cut wings ( i made one with paper measured directly on my daughter's side to make sure it is the right size, and make sure they were even)
-any hair clips for wig to decorate if you want
Step 1: Step 1
I found a white outfit online for about 20$ for shirt, and 10$ for pants. They shipped within a few days.
Cotton needs a dye called Procion Dye to set in it, it also needs Soda Ash. When you buy these at an art store, they are usually next to each other and under 10$ to buy both.
Directions for dying cotton are all over the internet. I chose the hot water method in a bucket in my bath tub. I super heated the water by adding hot water from a kettle. The clothing should be all dyed in the same bath to ensure they turn out the same shade. I also washed the clothing in the washing machine to remove any sizing that some companies place on their cotton. If you skip the prewashing step, it could make the dye settle unevenly on the outfit. I still had one small spot on the leg where the yellow dye set darker then the rest of the costume, it was inside the leg and not noticeable enough to remedy.
Follow all directions to dying cotton that comes with the Procion Dyes, they even have youtube videos & instructions on their company website. Here are my photos of the outfit wet and balled up on the side of my tub, ready to go into the dye bath. The dye bath looks very dark but the clothing still came out quite pale. If I had kept the dye over a heat source, I could have made it darker. Again, if you decide to use any type of pots, make sure they are not aluminum or reused to cook food in as dyes can be poisonous if they leach into food later.
Step 2: Step 2
After the base costume is the color you want, and you have the 'mane' wig and a matching swatch of kankelon or similar hair for tail- this is how I made my tail.
Take the fake colored hair out of the package, it is already a 4' length of hair folded in half, at the halfway fold, I slipped in a satin ribbon I had laying around the house, then I whipped the top with yarn to secure it loosely, but closely to the fold on the ribbon. This way the tail can move/slide ( if you need to sit) and the ribbon can be tied around the waist and this came in handy when she needed to use the RR. The tail can be untied, and hung up and then put back on when you need to change the bottoms or RR breaks.
Here are the pictures of how the hair swatch is sold and then how I tied it onto the ribbon/belt.
The final tail was about 2' long and went to about her knees, it was full and looked good it matched the wig closely enough - it was not perfect, but they were far apart from each other, so we did not worry too much about the shade being a bit off.
Step 3: Step 3
Make the ears! I was stumped at how I would do this. Until I got to the art store, I really wasn't sure how I would do this. They needed to be light and sit on her head and on top of a wig. I was not interested in a head band because they irritate her head usually. I was trying to see if I could make 'free sitting' ears. I had a few ideas of how to do this- sew some out of fleece? Felt? Make some out of FIMO?
I wanted it to match the color of the outfit... once I was at the art store, I found this foamy, light weight clay, it came in crayon bright colors. One package for each ear. If you look closely at the ears now you see little cracks in the material but for the most part it looks good and is lightweight and took the pins and glue I needed to add to it to get them attached to her wig.
Since the wig is made on a net like fabric, I knew I could make ears that could pin through the wig fabric.
I wanted the ears to mold to her head as closely as possible, I remembered this awesome tool my dad had left me- I have NO idea what it is called- maybe an experienced carpenter out there can help me out here..
The tool is normally for scribing wood for cutting wood trim to the correct shape when matching up mitered corners... I pushed this scribing tool onto the curve my daughter's head, drew the curve of her head for the left side on paper, and then did the same on the right side. I am guessing another easy way to do this might be to use another easily found moldable (like aluminum foil) to make the shape and size of the ears on your head correct. I used the curve to draw the ears on paper and then after I had them drawn out for each side with the correct height and curve, I opened and molded the clay into the ears. I knew this clay set up quickly - I had about 10 minutes per ear to work. Once my daughter thought they looked good and I tested the curve by holding it to her head. I let them sit to dry. One thing I did not think about- I drew my 'sketches' in red ink, and I laid one of the ears on the drawing. Since the clay has a oily feel to it, the red line transferred onto the ear. It rubbed off- but be careful where you leave these while they set up. I left them all night to dry completely since they were about 2" thick at the widest part.
Step 4: Step 4
After the ears were dried, I wanted to attach these brooch pins to the base and make sure they stayed put lest we lose an ear at Comic-con, where you would never find it again...
I found that since the ears were foamy and light when they dried, I was able to push a short piece of wire through the ear itself. The brooch pins have 3 holes in the base. I pushed wire through 2 of the three holes, then I mixed up the epoxy we had on hand. If the epoxy was going to be visible I would have gotten one that dried clear. I knew that this part would never be seen- so, I didn't worry that it dried gray.
This may be different for your costume, make sure you know what color your epoxy dries. I chose to use epoxy knowing it could not pop off like hot glue can- and I was worried that using something like super glue could break off a portion of the ear itself. It all worked out perfectly-
Here are the pictures of the way i wired in the pins then glued them on, let them set again overnight.
Step 5: Step 5
Make the wings. Now, my daughter understood we were short on time at this point. She had also decided that she did not want wings that stuck out off her body ( which is good because walking through Comic-con with anything sticking off your body is tricky). She drew out the picture of the pony's wings as they look folded on the sides of their bodies. 3 curves at the top, with 4 feathers laying flat from there. There are many, many pictures of these all over the internet for inspiration.
I had dyed the top layer of wool to match her outfit, and used a darker shade of yellow felt underneath to outline the wing shape. I think this turned out looking great.
After I cut the shapes of the top, I hot glued them down, and then stitched with 3 stitches the wing to each side of her top, placed under her arm and towards the back
I need to take a picture of this and add it here, be patient this is my first Instructables, and I didn't realize I didn't have a picture of this in my camera.
Step 6: Final Costume!
So, here is a picture of her next to a pony statue at Comic-com 2012. She found many other 'ponies' and took pics with most of them.
Her costume definitely stood out.
I have to say, I was really lucky, and I do have an art background where I have worked with many different materials over the years.
I got lucky that most of the products happened to work and all the last minute.
If you are less experienced with art materials I would leave more time than a week before to put together, and test the costume for a day to make sure it holds and you can make any adjustments.
We had a great time, and she even got to wear it at Halloween.
Hope you like it- my first and so far only Instructables!
Maybe there will be a new one, for Comic-con this year...