I've got several projects in the works right now, but I thought you guys might like to see this one I just finished up. It's not a home run by any means, and I'll tell you where things went wrong and what I'd do differently, but I hope this inspires some similar craftiness out there:
I MADE DIS. Wha whaaaaat.
This is probably a good time to mention our Harry Potter Party will have a Fantastic Beasts spin this year, so many of our guests (ourselves included) will be dressing up as 1920's era witches and wizards.
Say it with me, now:
My struggle, of course, is finding ways to make a generic Flapper style a bit more magical. Since the President in the movie is wearing a funky headdress I started there. (Plus I just really like headdresses. :D)
As always I've done this on the cheap, so you could recreate your own for as little as $10 or $15, depending on how fancy you get with the jewelry. The primary materials are stiffened Friendly Felt (much stronger than the floppy kind), glue, and beads.
Close up of the jewelry bit:
The center piece is a combination of elements - I'll show you how they went together in a sec.
In fact, let me walk you through the whole build, starting with this simple mock-up John put together at the very beginning:
This was to test the shape on my face, so the strap is just taped in place.
I knew I needed something pretty spectacular for a focal point, so I went digging through my jewelry drawer of cast-offs. I found this $6 necklace and liked the wings:
I needed it to be gold, though, to match my dress.
We don't have a great gold paint at the moment, so instead John applied faux gold leaf with a little spray adhesive:
Testing the fit:
Here I've got an elastic band attached for a strap - I later replaced it with fabric-covered felt.
Next I paused to hit the craft store, and came back with all this:
This cost around $15, but only because the star pendant was $7 or $8 on its own. I splurged because I thought it had a Deco vibe, and because it looked pretty sweet layered over the wings:
To attach it I used a tiny gold brad through the top, then a little super glue around the edges to keep the star from shifting.
The finishing touch is a plastic gem I cut off the back of the dress I'll be wearing:
It fits perfectly, and ties in with the design on my dress. (I plan to wear something over the dress, so the missing gem won't show.)
Next I hand-strung & attached 14 strands of beads to hang from the edges before moving on to the really tedious part: gluing all the beads.
To do this I used a thick coat of E-600, a toothpick, and patience. (Blegh.) I had to work in one-inch sections so the glue wouldn't dry out.
I'd squeeze out a small section of glue, place my longer beads first (the end-to-end lines), then fill in with the tiny beads.
[NOTE: If you do this, make sure you work in a VERY well-ventilated area; E-6000 is seriously stinky, bad-for-you stuff.]
One side done!
So here's one of the snags I hit: E-6000 is NOT the best at sticking down plastic beads to Friendly Felt. Honestly, I'm not sure *anything* is great for that, so if you have recommendations, please tell me in the comments!
Since I wasn't confident in my E-6000 holding, once I was done I went back and covered the entire thing in glossy Mod Podge:
I really drenched those suckers, which gives it a lot more strength. Plus Mod Podge is flexible, so I don't have to worry about it cracking.
For the feather flourish I bought a $4 pre-made piece from Joann's, ripped off the brown feathers, and replaced them with white feathers I pulled out of an old pillow:
Yes, I scavenged an old pillow for this. WHAT.
Now that the pretty parts are done, let's talk actual structure.
That one layer of Friendly Felt is going to feel mighty floppy after you glue a ton of beads and jewelry to it, so John helped me make a second layer of felt to reinforce it. This second layer also has two head straps attached, so the whole piece can sit on my head like a hat:
The head straps are more Friendly Felt, covered with a silky black fabric I found in our fabric drawer. (That's optional, but you know how felt attracts dust and pet hair.)
Getting the angle of these straps right is crucial, and unfortunately turned out wrong on mine. :( My straps are too high, where they should have angled back a bit more. I can still wear it with a few strategic bobby pins, but without them the headdress wants to slip forward down my nose, ha.
Assuming YOUR straps are angled properly, though, go ahead and hot glue the beaded outer piece onto this inner one. This will sandwich the straps between the two pieces of felt for added support.
After that I hot-glued the feather piece in place, and voila! Done!
Closer look at the hanging beads:
If I were to do this again I think I would add more; I really like lots of dangly bits.
You can see here I sewed a few lines of beads to the upper head strap, too:
I know I should add beads to the second strap, too; I just ran out of steam. Turns out sewing beads is even more tedious than gluing them - who knew? ;)
And there you have it! I hope you guys enjoyed, and maybe try making one of your own? I'd love to see what improvements you'd make, like a better inner material, or at least a better glue. Plus you could have all KINDS of fun with the design. What do you think? Tell me what you'd do/change in the comments!