Monday, October 25, 2010

Tutorial: How to Modify a Foam Head Version 1

The gist: How to expand a foam head to make your own noggin.
Craft level: Easy Peasy.

Most of us have larger heads than the standard foam wig head that you can buy most anywhere. This can be a problem when you're styling wigs. Even if you stretch out the wig netting as far as possible there's a good chance that you'll end up with 'Wig Butt'. We've all seen it. It's when someone puts on a wig that's too tight and the bottom of the netting creeps up to show the wearer's hair. This will tutorial will (hopefully) prevent that from happening to you.

~Foam Head or FWH (available at most beauty/costume shops)
~pen and paper
~knife (serrated is best)
~tape measure (the soft kind)
~LOTS of straight pins (I found tons at Dollar Tree)
~firm padding. I found some upholstery foam in the remnant bin.
~Optional: Fabric to cover your work and make it purty.

1) Measure your head then compare it to the FWH. Go around the eyes to the back of the head, then from the top (crown) to the back (base) as shown in the picture above. These should be the widest points on your head. Avoid putting the tape over your ears or having excessive hair under the tape as these will thrown your measurements off. If the difference between you and the head is less than an inch I wouldn't bother modding it. Personally I was two inches bigger than my FWH.

2) NOT SHOWN - Start cutting the padding into small strips. You'll need several lengths, but none should be more than an inch in height or width. Keep your measuring tape on hand because it's time to measure measure cut.

3) Start placing the strips around the head in the general area where your wig will sit. The important part is that you continue to measure your FWH. Just slapping on some foam will NOT work. It doesn't have to be pretty, just accurate. As you can see I have a thick piece at the top, and then thinner ones on the sides. You should keep things symmetrical. If you need to add one inch, put a 1/2 inch piece on each side. Fill in the holes with smaller pieces as necessary.

4) MEASURE IT AGAIN. The beauty of using pins vs. glue is that you can reposition as needed.

(an unfinished cover)

5) Optional - Cover your work with a pretty fabric or if you're so inclined, duct tape. Warning - if you use duct tape, make sure not to squish the padding. Also, the glue will eventually break down and end up on your wig pins, which will lead to glue in your wigs!

This mod should last you a very very long time. Keep on the lookout for Version 2, where I figure out how to cut a head in quarters and mod it from the inside out!

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