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!

10 comments:

Move That Couch said...

I kind of lost track of you with all my blogging changes but so glad you commented because now I can add you again.

That wig looks fantastic...omg it looks like the real thing.

Have a beautiful day.

Hugs,
LeAnn:)

Diane said...

Okay

WAAAY Cool! From the pictures, I can't tell if it is real or not. Faboo job!

Priscila said...

ohhhhhhhhhhh thats kindda cool!!! I want one! I want to put one in my art room...are u going to sell any?

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

WOW, super great job on the wig!! I see you are very talented. I also see that your daughter is talented. What a lovely gift she gave you, the painting of your dog is just wonderful. A priceless treasure.
Happy Weekend!!
Deb

My Maine Cottage said...

Very Clever! Although I would have like to see it modeled! :-)

Summer said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I needed to make a George Washington wig for my son for a school presentation, boy were they expensive! I did a search online and found YOU! It turned out fabulous!!! Thanks again!

dmorganfam said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial! My son just told me at 8pm that he needs a Thomas Jefferson costume for tomorrow! Thanks a lot buddy! I searched pinterest for wig tutorials and your is the best looking one and was really easy to follow! Thanks for sharing your talents and ideas! You really saved me!

dmorganfam said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial! My son just told me at 8pm that he needs a Thomas Jefferson costume for tomorrow! Thanks a lot buddy! I searched pinterest for wig tutorials and your is the best looking one and was really easy to follow! Thanks for sharing your talents and ideas! You really saved me!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this post! I was dead set on making a George Washington Halloween costume for my 2 year old son. It came out great and it was obviously comfortable, because he wore it the entire night!

One alteration: In my rush to create it, I mis-read the part about using the baseball cap as a mold only, and realized this after I had sewn the batting to the cap. This actually worked out well in the end. My son's head stayed cool (not against the batting), and the cap is adjustable, so I can use this wig for a few years. Thanks again!

Mrymerry said...

All I can say is THANK YOU,THANK YOU,THANK YOU!

I'm making 60-70 costumes for our school production of The Wizard of Oz & need to make a Barrister wig. Thanks to you I now have instructions & a materials list!