Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sara's First Cosplay: Annie Headband

I've recently gotten back into playing League of Legends, playing all sorts of champs. But of course, Annie is my favourite.  She's just so delightful and evil and I love stunning nerds so my ADC can stomp their faces.

I do love her outfits - all her skins are so cute and, in my opinion, surprisingly cosplay-able.  I do love her classic in-game skin, but I decided to make the headband as featured in her splash art:

Annie's official NA League of Legends splash art
Now, just to put this all into context.  I have never in my life "cosplayed" anything.  I have dressed up at Halloween, and for various rugby events (Togas were very popular).  I do think of myself as crafty but not particularly skilled at it.  So this is sort of a stab in the dark in terms of my skill at making something wearable.

I started with a trip to the craft store.  My first mistake.  I should have started with a plan! I should have looked up things about making ears on headbands.  Oh well, you know what they say - YOLO.

Here's what I picked up at Midocco Art Supplies and Dollarama:

2 sheets of magenta card stock
1 sheet of magenta felt
1 sheet of light pink felt
Fabric glue
1 sheet light pink foam (I didn't end up using this, it was my alternate to the inner ear felt)
1 roll of magenta ribbon
2 junky plastic headbands.

I also used Binder Clips.

I had this idea in my head, and I think it was correct, that felt wouldn't stand up on it's own and needed some card stock to keep it upright.

I started by freehand sketching (in pencil!) the shape of the ears in the above picture onto the card stock.

I cut one out, and used it as a stencil for the second one.  Don't worry about the pencil marks, these are going to be covered with felt.  I left a bit of extra card at the bottom so I would have something to stick onto the headband, like little feet.

I used these card stock ears to stencil ear shapes onto the felt.  I used a marker because I'm bad! Fabric chalk would have been best here, but alas I had none.  I rationalized this with "cut inside the marker!" yeah right.  Use chalk.

When I cut them out they still had the black marker edges on them - I tried to trim it off but it was a mess.

They ended up looking reasonable when I cut them out.  I started putting the ears together first, thinking I'd worry about attaching them later.  I made loads of mistakes.  The bottoms are straight across/flat.  Heads and headbands aren't flat.  Oops.

I used the larger magenta ear stencil and freehanded the smaller inner ear part to cut out of the light pink felt.

Again, I used black marker! What is wrong with me, I'll never know.  These parts I was mostly able to keep all pink and trim off the black after I'd cut them out.

So I had all my parts for the ears and started gluing them together using Aleene's Fabric Glue.  I loved this stuff, it did exactly what I wanted - glued porous fabric to other stuff.  It says wait 24 to dry but I found it was perfectly dry in about 8 hours.  Waiting for glue to dry sucks.

Once I had all the ear parts together, I started working on the headband part.

I couldn't find a magenta cloth-covered headband, which is what I pictured.  No, of course, I went to the dollar store so all they had was this gem to your left. So ugly and not easy to glue stuff to!  So I decided to cover it in magenta ribbon.  This turned out to be a good thought, and I looked up a tutorial on how to do that successfully and it was pretty easy.  Started with making the ends ribbon covered, and just wrapped from there.  Super easy.

With the headband done and the ears all ready to go, it came time to attach the ears.  I made lots of mistakes here.  I didn't measure once, ever.  Big mistake.  So of course, the ears are crooked and too close together.  Don't do what Sara does.

This part I did do correctly - making the little feet out of the paper inside the felt.  This made it SUPER easy to glue these ears onto the headband, even though they weren't curved.  They are also super sturdy and stuck on quite well.  

 I used a healthy amount of glue and then left them to dry with binder clips attached: 

So then I though to myself - I don't want the shiny ribbon on the outside of the headband, her headband isn't shiny at all! So I cut out a strip of the leftover felt, cut two slits in it to fit the ears in, to place over the headband.  The strip looks like I was drunk when I was cutting it out, so again, measure twice cut once, unlike me.
It actually worked out okay, other than the edges looking extremely rough. 
I left lots of extra so I could tuck and glue and trim it to make it at least look a little presentable.

Again, I used the fabric glue and the binder clips to make sure it dried in place.

The ears ended up not exactly how I wanted, but I think they are pretty okay for my first (blind) attempt at making a cosplay prop.  Notably, the ears are too tall and pointy. But they are fun to wear, they are sturdy, cute, and comfortable. Oh and I had fun making them, except for waiting for the glue to dry.

These, in total, cost me about $11 and I got everything I needed at 1 craft store and a dollar store.