Elizabethan Whisk Collar

About: I'm just an engineering student with a little spare time.

So the opera asked me to help make costumes for the show this year, and I was tasked with making the whisks (that weird Victorian collar). The actress this was for was a red queen of sorts, so the whisk was to have cards all over it. This build was more tedious than anything, so I have a lot of pictures, but not much writing on this instructable.

This build took about 5 hours to make, and cost about 10 dollars.

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Step 1: Materials

-Wire (I used thread covered wire)




-Red, and gold paint

-White tulle

- Black thread


Step 2: Patterning

I stared out by drawing a pattern for the basic shape of my whisk. Next I pinned the wire into the base shape for the whisk. This allowed me to size all of my pieces before I started to tie them together.

Step 3: Aching Fingers

I wrapped thread around the vertexes of the wire to create the whisk. Five wires served as supports, and two more wires made the curve of the whisk. When the wires were properly secured I covered the thread in glue to make sure it would not unravel.

Step 4: Cards

I started by gluing the cards together in a slight curve to make up the arc of the top of the whisk. I wanted it to be slightly heart shaped. Then I glued the rest of the cards together one by one.

I glued the wires of the whisk skeleton to the cards.

I only put cards on one side of the whisk so that it would not be too heavy and warp the wire.

Step 5: Paint and Tulle

I used a translucent gold acrylic paint, and roughly brushed it over the cards, so it had a certain glow to it. I painted the other side of the whisk in red so all the different cards were less noticeable.

I gathered a yard of tulle and glued it to the bottom of the red side of the whisk to help hide the imperfections.

Step 6: Done!

And we're all done. Making a whisk can be very arduos on your fingers,, so it's important to stretch frequently. This project and the horse and donkey head I made for the school play left my hands aching for days, and I'm glad to not have to wrap string over anything else in the near future.

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or message me :)

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    3 Discussions


    2 years ago

    The way you built the wire base is so clever! Definitely saving this one for later use :D


    2 years ago

    Very nice! It looks like a lot of work. I think you'll find that this is Elizabethan not victorian.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you very much! I suppose it is more Elizabethan than Victorian :)