How to Make Hozuki and Bonbori Wigs
Posted on 16 September 2014
This is going to be very text based with photo’s in between. I’ve got a ton more images that I’ve added to this from previous write-ups. I will also be adding links to show the tutorials I gathered to help me along the way and other information. I’ve done a brief explanation here, my DA and at my cos.com page. Enjoy the full write up, ask me any questions if you have them. (Please do not ask Arda, go to link.) This was a huge learning experience and it was tough, but with out it I would now not be making my own wigs. Be prepared for a wall of text!
Tools/Items that you’ll need:
- Wig (2 if you want twins, if not divide numbers in half)
- Extensions in wig color, straight(5) and curly(4)
- Comb (not a wire wig brush)
- Hair clips and bobby pins
- Cheap Hair Spray
- Silicone and Adhesive caulk in clear
- Wig head
- Base/stand for wig- I use a coat rack that unscrews so I can have it at different lengths.
- Hot glue gun
- Spray insulation foam
- Exato Knife
- Batting fiber
- Research images
Prep work (worked on while building the wig)
I made wefts from the remnants of my clips and my wig. Here you can see on the left of the image a weft strand I was working on.Arda does not make individual wefts just as an fyi. Regardless, I still needed the clips. It was either buy a long wig and cut the wefts from that or make my own. Each method has it’s pro’s and con’s. Wigs have a lot of different lengths of fibers due to layers, I used the pony tail is much better in keeping the lengths the same.
There are many other ways of doing this, but due to my wrapping method I felt that I needed to make my own to hide the end to the fibers more easily.
I basically followed the wefting tutorial exactly. I used 2 pieces of cardboard that I then covered with strips of packing tape. The tape prevents the caulk from adhering to the service. From my remnants I took the fibers brushed them out carefully (you will loose a lot of fibers) and then laid it out in a width of 6 inches, give or take. The width of the wefts doesn’t really matter, in the end I cut to what I needed for the wig.
Once laid out, be sure not to have it too thick or thin. Too thick, and the fibers won’t be glued together. Too thin, and you’ll have patches. It does not need to be perfect, but this is a warning.
Sometimes I laid masking tape down over the fibers (as in tutorial), some times I didn’t. It really depends on what works for you. I only used silicone caulk for this entire wig. I’m finding that adhesive caulk has faster drying time but less flexibility. Both caulks work.
Apply the glue onto the fibers. Here is where I had to play around. I found that if I took the pointed end of a comp I could wiggle the glue into the fibers more to ensure all the fibers were being touched by glue. Once dried, I took the 2nd cardboard and flipped the fibers over, pealed the weft off the base and repeated the process.
This took a lot of time, but for me it was time well spent.
Step 1: Separate and stub.
(Pardon if some of the images don’t look in order, when
working on two wigs, going back and forth… you take pics when you can)
When researching for these wigs I knew that I wanted a divided wig, meaning the the skin cap was not only on the top, but reached all the way to the back. For the twins, this was a requirement. While God Save the Queen’s tutorial is great for when the division is missing, I really did not want to do this due to the nature of my characters hair and my process.
1A: First thing I had to do was divide the wig into four sections. Why four? In preparation for one of the last steps. Where the hair is placed into the skin cap, it’s sectioned off from the rest of the wig due to how it’s made. Here is a close up.
2A: Once I divided the hair, then it was off to stubbing. Stubbing is chopping the excess hair in preparation to many techniques.
Tie the hair tightly with a rubber band. Be sure to make sure your hair is smooth because you will not be able to retrace your steps after this. Once it’s done, it’s done.
A little bit away from where the rubber band is, cut the excess hair. Do not play with the stub as it will release it’s hair that was bound.
3A: With the hair cut, apply the caulk to prevent the hair from escaping. Press the caulk down into the fibers as much as you dare. Do be careful as I was too hard on my and hair escaped. No worries, you can glue the escaped hair. Here you can see a completed image of the wigs stubbed.
Step 2: Make the top poofs.
1B: I don’t have a lot pictures of my process of making the poofs. The form of the poof is a curved tear drop to fit against the curve of the head. It’s not an extreme curve, but slight. This is where I got my idea from, Kamui. In the background ofthis picture you can see a poof without fiber.
What I did was lay down some plastic wrap, sprayed the foam on the insulation and let it dry for about two days. Once dry, then you can cut it into shape. There is really no way for me to describe the process but it took about 6+ tries to get the right shape and I had to make sure to have 4 of them equal in size and curves. Here is a picture of the shapes.
Be careful of sizing. I was constantly measuring them against my head.
2B: After making the shapes, I then started to work on the poofs themselves to cover them with the pony tail clips. I covered the poofs in batting and glued it down with hot glue. I don’t know if this really helped, but it gave the poofs a softer shape.
The clips have a sewn cap which is wrapped around a clip. I removed the clip and glued the cap around the poof. You can see where I pinned it in place, here. I wanted to make sure I had enough fiber around the top of the poof.
Step 3: Semi-styling the poof.
1C: As you can see, I cut off the excess fibers ONLY after I figured out the styling. Each poof is going to need to have the hair lay differently. There was also a lot of hair spray involved.
This will not stay styled when attaching the wig base. Again, this is to make sure you have enough at the ends to put onto the wig base.
Step 4: Attaching the poofs top and bottom.
1D: For the curls, I’m sorry but I don’t have pictures to show the process except one. All I did was take the hair clips out of the curl pony tails. I balled up some batting and stuff it into the curl where the clip had been. There is elastic that tightens the curl around the clip, I tightened the elastic around the batting and glued it with caulk onto the stub.
2D: This is the only section I used hot glue to secure the poofs. I didn’t want to wait for caulk to dry. You can use either glue, but I was lazy.
3D: Here you can see how I re-styled the hair to drape on the wig head. There was a heavy amount of hair spray used.Another view of the draping of the hair.
Step 5: Gluing the fibers onto the base.
1E: Using the caulk, I basically put a lot down and “brushed” the fibers into place. It’s not as easy as it looks, I layer glue in sections to ensure the fibers were covered.
Step 6: Attaching the bangs.
1F: This was probably the process that took me the longest. There are no tutorials that I found as to how to make curved bangs out of fiber. So, I played around a lot… It took me many trial and errors to make it work. This image is one of my errors, I was really dishearten that it didn’t work but as you can see I finally figured it out.
2F: I took different sized strands of wefts ranging in thickness and in length. I then used a wig base and my gluing station. I glued the only one end of the strand. If I clued both then I would not have been able to fix and style.
3F: When the glue dried I then pined, styled and glued the bang into place. Tucking it near the base of the poof. Here is another view of the bangs.
Step 7: Wrapping strands to build poof shape.
1G: This wrapping section fills holes in the back, top (to cover bang ends) and front of the poofs. As you can see I’ve glued and pinned a strand into place. Pardon the bad image, but here you can see a section being wrapped. The ends I would then tuck into the front or back. Where ever I thought there was a “hole” I filled it with a strand.
Step 8: Wrapping the bottom poofs
1H: Here you can see I’ve bound the curls into pony tails to emphasis the poofs. I did this so I could measure and contain the curls.
2H: This next step was the most time consuming and trying of patience. You are trying to wrap hair with gravity (which does not apply in anime) and forcing the hair to bend around a sphere shape (which it will fight you). Patience, caulk and hair spray are your friends in this. I used two cans of the got2b hair spray.
I did my best to keep the wefts glued ends hidden towards my “neck” or the inside of the wig. There’s really not great way to explain this, playing with it and getting a rhythm worked best. This was one of the longest of the processes, and it should have been the easiest. I can’t tell you how many layers I put on, but it was a lot.
Step 9: The last wrapping and finishing touches.
1J: I don’t have any pictures of this process, but a ton of hair spray was used. You really have to be careful with how you wrap, so it is all about having it in front of you and playing with how it wraps/drapes. A lot of glue was used in this as well. I tucked the ends into the poof in the front, sides and base of 1st poof.
How to make the ears.
This has nothing to do with the building of the wig, but I figured I’d go into this as well because it’s part of it.
1: What helped me was to have a darker color fur than I needed, not too dark but it makes it more natural. From there I didn’t prep the fur, I started to paint directly on to it. I research on cos.com for how to dye fur and came up with a painting tutorial (which I don’t have atm but is explained below).
2: For the colors, I kept it to two colors a medium (yellow) and light (white) To prepare the colors I put some in a cup and put a little of water until it was the right consistency. You will want to do test swatches first. If there isn’t enough water the paint dries and binds the fibers. If it’s too watery you don’t see any color. To paint I used a stiff brush. You want to make sure that you cover the fibers entirely w/ medium paint. While the medium color is drying, I took a comb and combed the fibers to prevent sticking. Then I did the same for the light color, only difference is to keep the paint more on the tips of the fur instead of trying to get the color deep into the fibers.
If you find that the light color isn’t as light as you wanted, put a little paint on the brush and directly paint the fibers. Then I took a paper towel and patted the fur of any excess paint. Then I brushed it with the comb.
I was very happy with my result, in person the fur and wig fibers match in color.
3: As for making the ears I used this tutorial. I altered it a little bit to make it more like the anime ears. It was one of my favorite parts of the process.
How to attach those gosh darn beads.
1: This was difficult. I had to make sure I didn’t ruin what I had completed but I need to sew the beads on. I used elastic string to attach the bead to ensure stretch for when I or the wig moved.
2. Get a curved needle! If I knew this before hand it would have saved me a lot of trouble. I really don’t have an explanation as to how to do this… String beads and sew into place.
Here is the final piece!
The Wigs In Action!