Every werewolf needs some good paws - otherwise how are other people going to make cliched "what big paws you have!" jokes at you? Whether for a Halloween costume, a fursuit, or just because, here is my guide to making a set of werewolf paws that are sure to be a hit!
You will need:
-A pair of gloves that are BIGGER than your hands. I used gardening gloves for mine.
-Fake fur in whatever colors you like. I wanted to make mine look extra wolfy, so I went with a brown and a white.
-Upholstery foam. I got mine in sheets from the WalMart craft/fabric section.
-Black acrylic paint.
-Some kind of sturdy adhesive. I used hot glue, but it didn't work very well on the foam. Maybe contact cement would've worked better.
Step 1: Step One: Planning
No pictures for obvious reasons.
Anyways, before you start, plan out how you'd like your werewolf paws to look. Here were the questions (and answers) that I had when making mine:
-What color do I want my paws to be?
-Well, I have brown hair, so they should be brown. For added realism, I want to throw some white in there, too.
-Should they have claws?
-Well, duh, of course.
-How should the paw pads look?
-Something close to actual paw pads, but on a human hand. (I decided on the tips of the fingers, the top of the palm, one on each side of the lower palm, and one on the wrist.)
Think about these and other questions before you start making them, otherwise you might end up hating how they look halfway into the project!
Step 2: Step Two: Paw Pads
Well, it's time to start building! Start with your non-dominant hand for simplicity's sake. Pull on the glove - remember, it has to be BIGGER than your normal size glove; gluing things onto it will restrict the movement and make it hard to pull the gloves on and off! Trace your hand onto a sheet of paper. Then, on the tracing of your hand, draw out how your paw pads will go. You may want to number the pads. Now cut out the shapes of the pads.
Using some kind of blade (I just used regular scissors), cut each pad pattern out of the upholstery foam. Leave the bottom part of the pad flat, and use your blade to round off the top. Don't worry if they look ugly; they shouldn't look perfect anyways. Glue the pads down where they go on your glove - keep the glove on while you glue - and leave the glove on while the adhesive sets. (The first image is how mine came out.)
Now, after I'd done all my cutting and gluing and whatnot, I noticed that the foam was a lot thicker than I'd realized earlier. If I'd just left it there, it would have looked ridiculous when I continued making them. So I "bulked out" the glove a little more, adding small pieces of foam to the joints and a large, thinner piece to the back of the hand to make it a little bulkier. (The second image is how mine came out) That makes the thick paw pads look much more natural. With those, especially, they don't have to be pretty. You're going to cover them with fur anyways. Then again, if you'd wheedled yours down to a normal size in the first place, you might not have to worry about this part.
Now you can grab your black acrylic paint and paint over the foam pieces. You really only have to paint the parts that are going to be the actual pads, but as you can see in the third image, I got a little carried away and painted some of the bulking bits as well. In any case, it'll need two coats to look its best, so obviously, paint one coat, let it dry, and then paint another coat. Let that dry, too, before continuing on to the next step.
Repeat this entire step on the other glove. (You can, of course, reuse your paw pad patterns from the beginning for the opposite hand.)
Step 3: Step Three: Fur
This is the easy part! Now you're just going to drag out your fur and start covering the glove. I used my white fur first to cover the palm. Remember, I was going for a semi-realistic look. For spaces between the paw pads, cut out a shape that is close in size and shape to the space. Try to aim for "bigger" than "smaller" in that case. For the rest of the paw, I just cut out strips of fur and covered the necessary parts of the paw.
I was using scissors for this part, but I lost a good chunk of fur from cutting with them. If you have a rotary cutter, I'd recommend that over scissors; use the blade on the non-furry side to keep as much fur as you can from getting hacked off the fabric!
If you're following this pattern to the letter, then once I finished up with the white fur, I switched to brown fur to cover the backs of the paws.
If you want to add claws to your paws, leave a fur-less space at the tips of all the fingers to add them on. If not, go ahead and cover the tips with fur. In that case, you're done already!
Step 4: Step Four: Claws (Optional)
When I made my paws, I wasn't entirely sure what to do about claws, because I was making the paws in a time crunch and didn't have much money to look into pricier, realistic options.
So, I just got some of my scrap foam pieces and whittled out some slightly-curved cone shapes and glued them to the tips of my paws. They didn't come out half bad, either, surprisingly!
However, if you're looking for more realistic options, I'd recommend that you go with baking some claws for yourself from a polymer clay like Sculpey. Acrylic paints work well with polymer clays, and they'd probably be more realistic than my foam claws here!
Or, if you're going for the really realistic look, there are plenty of places online where you can buy resin wolf claws that purportedly look just like real wolf claws! However, keep in mind that resin claws cost around $3 a claw - and you need at least 10. That's $30 down the drain right there. But, hey, if that's what suits you, then go for it!
Step 5: Step Five: Show Off!
Well, now you've gotten your paws made and you are ready to go! Only thing left to do is go show off your new 'wolf gear!
If you're looking for other pieces to build for your werewolf costume/fursuit, then get to work on a tail and ears to go with your new paws. Then go scare some folks! After all, that's the best part of being a werewolf!