How-To: Make Your Own DIY Maleficent Headpiece

This is a fun little project if you’re planning on going as Maleficent or the classic Sleeping Beauty evil queen. I found out about the concept a while back and tried to re-create a similar effect just in time for Halloween. Since I did a breakdown tutorial for Maleficent’s makeup, I thought it would be appropriate to add a headpiece to the mix.

The entire process took me four days due to the extensive drying time for the air-dry clay and paper mache. To cut down on drying time, make your horns a bit smaller.

Instructions:

Materials you will need:

  • Reference photo to shape the horns
  • Air-dry molding clay (any color)
  • Newspapers (both to line the work surface as well as for the paper mache)
  • Thin craft foam square, large enough to make skullcap with extra leftover
  • Black snakeskin foam or embossed leather square to cover skullcap
  • Glue gun
  • Heat gun
  • 1 spool black electrical tape or black vinyl tape
  • Scissors
  • Half of a round styrofoam sphere, roughly the size of your head
  • Pins
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1.75 cup water
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Plastic (saran) wrap
  • Foil (to cover work surface when doing paper mache)
  • X-acto knife
  • 1 spool jute rope

The horn mold:

1. Take you clay out and shape out a horn using a reference photo. If you want to use one mold for both horns, make sure to make the horn fairly straightforward without too many curves since this will ensure both sides match when you mirror them. If you want horns more true to satyr horns in the movie, make two separate molds for each horn. This step will be more consuming in the beginning but ultimately you’ll cut down on drying and waiting time. You’ll be able to paper mache both sides without waiting for the first one to dry before doing the other.

2. Once the horn(s) shaped, leave it overnight to harden. Depending on the thickness, it might need more time to solidify.

The skullcap:

3. While the clay is drying, you can get started on your skullcap. Take your foam and fold it in half. Cut out half a teardrop shape that would roughly fit the top of your head, well into the front of your forehead. Make it slightly bigger and shape it down by trying it on your head and cutting the sides for a better fit.

4. Place the foam down on top of the styrofoam sphere and pin it into place. Grab your heat gun and blast the top of the foam to start shaping it. Heat up the foam then press it down into the styrofoam to form the skullcap shape (see video for a clearer reference). To make this process easier, pin down the foam all around the perimeter.

5. Next, grab your black felt and glue it to the skullcap. Trim off excess fabric, leaving a 0.5″ edge all along the edge. Cut slits into this excess felt and fold them down one by one, gluing them to the inside of the cap.

6. Take your electrical tape and line up the middle of its length along the edge of the cap. Fold in the edges and keep trimming around until the shiny surface covers the entire perimeter.

Horns continuation:

7. When your clay mold dries, mix the flour and water in a large mixing bowl until there are no clumps, and it’s a smooth paste. Cut your newspapers into thin and thick strips. Cover your clay horn with plastic wrap tightly, place foil on top of your work surface and dip the newspaper strips into the paste.

8. Start layering the strips around the horn, overlapping and working in layers. Do several layers of the paper mache and place the horn aside to dry overnight. If doing this with two molds, repeat the process with the other mold. If doing this with one mold, unmold your paper mache the next day and repeat the process with same clay mold.

9. When the paper mache is dry, use your x-acto knife to cut along the length of the horn. You might need to press into the mold in order to get a clean cut through the paper mache. Pull the opening apart and pull the clay mold out of the casing.

10. Crumple up newspaper sheets and stuff them into the paper mache horn. Tape along the opening in a few spots to hold the horn together, and then layer more newspaper dipped in the flour paste over the opening to completely close it up. Let the paper mache dry and repeat the process with the second horn.

11. When everything is dry, unravel your jute rope from the spool and glue one end to the bottom of the horn. Start wrapping the jute rope all around in an even spiral, gluing it to the horn in the process.

12. Take your electrical tape and start taping around the horn, over the jute rope, beginning from the bottom going all the way to the top in a similar spiraling motion. Keep rotating the horn as you tape it up.

13. Repeat the jute spiral and electrical tape with the second horn.

Putting it all together:

14. Take your headband and position it on your head. Place the skullcap where you would like it to sit on top of the headband and note the position. Glue the skullcap to the headband.

15. Take both horns and place them on the skullcap where you would like them to be. Mark the position of where the edge meets the skullcap and where it would need to be attached with some tape or a marker.

16. Cut a piece of rectangular foam to fit the inside of each horn. One side should be glued to the inside of where the horn meets the skullcap, the other half of the rectangle should hang out to attach to the top of the skullcap. Do this on both sides and connect the two overhanging pieces on the bottom with another rectangular piece. This should form a bridge and another ‘headband’-like structure between the two horns. Next, glue the foam bridge to the top of the skullcap.

17. Tape over the form and the horns with a black shiny heavy-duty duct tape to secure everything in place.

18. As part of the final piece, and this is something I did not do in the video, wrap a stretchy shiny fabric around to form a complete headdress a la Maleficent (again, reference a Maleficent photo to see how it’s wrapped). Or you can use the heavy duty duct tape to work in a pattern similar to the head-dress.

Maleficent headpiece Style Tomes