Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to make a barrister wig

Our Homeschool Teen Club is performing "Wind in the Willows" in April. My daughter is playing the role of "Mole", my son is working on sets and behind stage and I am working on costuming. Our costume committee has done a fine job with all the outfits and they are almost complete.

One of my tasks was to figure out how to make a judge's or barrister's wig. You know the kind...it looks a little like a George Washington wig. I searched everywhere on-line for some simple directions and came up with ZIP! So I'm hoping this will be helpful to others who might want to make their own instead of shelling out the $30-$40 to buy one. This cost me less than $5 and took about 3 hours to make.

I bought a cheap fiber Christmas tree skirt ($2.00 after Christmas sale), like the blanket of snow you might put under your putz Christmas houses. It is the same rolled polyfill batting that is sold at fabric stores. I used a ballcap for the base ( after I removed the bill) and just started molding the batting around it. (Everything was handsewn. I didn't bother dragging out the machine!)

I made a seam down the middle for a part. I gathered the back together then added a "ponytail" made from two flat pieces hot-glued together. Then I tied it with a black grosgrain ribbon.

For the side rolls, I took long strips of batting (approx. 5" wide) and rolled them up like pastries, sewing them shut with a running stitch. I left a little flap so I could sew one roll to the next. I removed the wig from the ballcap base and tried it on periodically to make sure it fit and looked right.

I had a hard time figuring out how to make the "bangs" because they are supposed to look like a "crewcut" in the front...not easy to do with fiber batting. I cut 3-4 lengths of batting 2" wide, clipped the top side of each row and glued them, one below the other across the forehead area, then "fluffed" them out.
The last thing I did was to take a black sharpie and draw in some "grey" hairs to outline the various parts, especially the bangs and the swirled up end of the rolls. Without the black outline, the whole thing looked like a bright white towel sitting on a head!

The young man who will be wearing this wig in the play tried it on and was happy with it but asked if I could add a few more rolls to make it longer, so I'm going to do that. You could make yours as long or short as you want.

I must get moving. I have one rat tail and 16 weasle tails to complete by Friday!

February: Come and Gone!

February has been a LOVEly month! Our entire family was able to make a visit to my mom's in San Diego to help her celebrate her 80th birthday! My 2 sisters planned a huge party for her and invited around 60 people. We had such a blast!

Here she is surrounded by all her grandchildren and a few granddogs. Doesn't Mom look happy!

Our oldest daughter was able to drive down from Sacramento for the festivities. It had been an entire year since we had seen her! Too long! She brought me this portrait of our old dog Kelsey that she painted for my birthday. It's a remarkable likeness. She is very talented. It now sits on the table by the front door for all to see as soon as they enter the house.

Don't forget about the best Valentine of ALL! God's love for you is immense!