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Topic: Making or altering a wig for a Marie Antoinette costume?  (Read 1979 times)
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« on: June 14, 2008 11:14:48 AM »

I have scoped out eBay and craftster, looking for either a way to produce a Marie Antoinette-esque wig from fake fair or from a full blonde wig.  No success. 

I want something tall and curly, and it doesn't necessarily have to resemble real hair, something fake is fine, even yarn-like, but I am at a loss for what to do.  The original plan was to buy some really long curly blonde wig, but even then, I have to imagine making it look good would be more complicated than pinning the curls up in a mess on top.  I saw, using search, a few other people had made fake falls, or clip in extensions, and I think I can buy fake hair at a beauty supply store, and I could probably make extensions, but does anyone have a tutorial for a full on wig?  Or have ideas on how I can buy a halloween wig and successfully alter it? 

Although I have a few months, I like planning ahead, and any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008 08:57:28 AM »

It's been a long time since I did anything with wigs, but once was involved with a production of Tom Jones which had lots of wigs. We used styrofoam blocks, rollers, straight pins, all kinds of things to get that hair tall, stay curled and one character had some really outrageous adornments in her wigs (Lady Bellaston for anyone familiar with the book/ play).

Basicly you can use all kinds of things in a wig that you can't on a real human head Smiley We used T pins to hold hair covered rollers to the styrofoam blocks. Most of our styrofoam blocks were covered with plain cotton fabric just to keep the styrofoam from shedding crumbs everywhere. The rollers were the 'self sticking' hollow velcro kind from dollar store. We didn't use glue, only hairspray because over the course of our run the wigs got battered about & had to be fixed occasionaly.
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2008 01:47:50 PM »

YES!! just did one of those for a show last year! (i work in wigs and costumes in a theatre)

Number one - get a long blonde wig. curly or straight, just make sure it is all one length and mid back length. Bangs are ok!! they hide the wiggy hair line Go to a wig store (not a halloweeny one - their wigs blow and you won't be able to style them) synthetic is fine, but remember no heat tools on synthetic, so use rollers!!

how to roll a 18th century wig:

1. separate the front from the back. About 2/3 to front, 1/3 to back.
2. roll the front with med-large size rollers. Take a piece of hair, spray with enough water so it is damp. Pull the hair straight up from the base of the wig and roll under (towards the back of the head). do the entire front section like this. Keep the hair tightly wrapped around the rollers. pin it at it's highest point. over the ears, you may want to change directions and curl towards the crown of the head. (any bangs should be rolled with the smalled roller possible.
3. roll the back in small rollers. roll this section up and over. (towards front of head).
4. Let it dry. Use a blow dryer about 4 inches from the hair for about 1 1/2 hours. yes that is 90 minutes. Another option is steam. This is the BEST option. Put her in the bathroom with the hot water running during your shower. Shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. If you have a clothing steamer - that is the tops!! use that over each curl!!!
5. let hair cool for 20-30 minutes. If steaming, let it dry for about 45 minutes
6. Find a rat. Not the tailed-sewer dwelling-friend of ninja turtle kind, but soft formed, usually round item that can be hair pinned into. Use a foam core if you like. the perfect shape is that of a pope's hat with the top closed. google pope hat. it'll show ya what i mean. This should be light colored for the blonde wig.
7. gently un roll the rollers. unroll the front towards the front and sides, and the backs, back.
8. Attach your foam the the base of the wig (a few well placed hairpins should do the trick)
9. gently start pinning the front and side hair to the foam core. smooth waves are the appropriate look for the front and sides. smooth the hair over the top of the pope hat's shape.
10. finger through the curls in the back. they should get poodley curly. Slowly and gently pin the curls to the back of the pope's hat shape. Leave a few loose to be tendrilly at the nape (and hide the wig line. Remember, if you see the foam thru the hair, these wigs had lots of stuff in them.
11. Pin the crap outta this sucker. Use hairspray if you need to, but slowly so it won't bead up on the hairs. Only spray when you are 100% done. This is not a recommendation - it is a must.
12. After the hair is pinned, pin somemore - you will thank me later
13. Add stuff. Ribbons, feathers, boats, fans, wee hats - these folks wore EVERYTHING in these wigs!!
14. Take a photo- i wanna see!!

There are cheapy wigs out there, but you will spend maybe 10-20 dollars more this way, and it will look and feel better and if you want to change the style, just wash with some shampoo, let it dry and have at!!


If you are using a human hair wig, you can let it airdry.

« Last Edit: June 17, 2008 02:01:14 PM by redstar13 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2008 08:23:31 AM »


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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008 10:25:27 AM »

Cheapy wigs are ok. We did a production of Rocky Horror last fall and that's pretty much all we used. All we did for the bigger wigs was sew another wig on top of the other, or cut the wig in half and sew that half onto the top or back of the wig. The most important things about wigs is knowing whether they are synthetic or natural hair.

Synthetic wigs will only set with heat. If you curl a synthetic wig you have to use the hair dryer to set the curls. You can't reset the thing, really. You can try, but it won't look as good so if you use a synthetic wig and you plan to experiment, buy a lot because they're cheap.

Human hair wigs you can set again and again. They set hot or cold, but they don't hold styles as well because they're not permanent.

Either way use tons of hair spray. Also, we did a show a while ago with the huge hairdos and ships in them and all that. We didn't just use the hair in the wigs, we cut that foam tubing and sewed it onto wigs and wrapped the hair in the wigs around the tubing and as I recall used a light spray of shellac to coat it. THAT is the only way to get that ginormous hair.

Just adding to other peoples' comments.
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008 06:09:34 PM »

If this is still relevant at all, here is a tutorial via www.demodecouture.com:


If you want to make yourself drool, you should pore over Kendra's costumes.  They are mouthwatering.
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008 06:26:53 PM »

Amazon has Marie Antoinette wigs for about the same price that you'd pay getting a wig on amphigory.com (my fave wig site) and then getting a foam block and sweeping the hair up around the block and setting the curls.
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008 10:54:07 PM »

Just a thought that Might seem totaly comically, but for one of our costume heavy productions we were going to make MA wigs out of golden metalic curling ribbon, like for gift wrapping and building a light structure at the base of the latex swim caps we were using and pile up about 2 feet of curls.  It uses a lot of ribbons but it looked amazing last time we did it.

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