The crown was going to be the last piece I worked on, but other than the corset patterning, this was the first thing I worked on. My thought process on this involved purchasing fabric and sequins and gemstones and wire and paint. I already owned foam and buckram and liquid leaf. I figured I would make one and see how it goes. And if that one didn’t turn out I could make another one. I didn’t start photographing this process until I was about half way done.
My first approach to the crown was foam and wire. I wasn’t sure how well foam would look, especially for a crown that I wanted to look like it was real. I’m not sure how that will work with just the materials I have. My sequins are on the way; I should get them by the 25th. The rest of the bits I already own.
Starting out with the foam. I drew a set shape I wanted the crown to be and drew it on my foam. I only have two pieces of white foam. Not ideal for what I need, but I am hoping it will work. The size is 12 by 18 I believe; I didn’t measure it before I cut it. After cutting out and attaching the ends of the crown with a tiny amount of hot glue. Be very careful, I recommend E6000, but since this is just a practice crown I am okay with the hot glue method. Just so you are aware when you press firmly on the glued pieces there will be air bubbles that pop.
The first template wasn’t curved enough at the bottom. It just ended up looking all circular at the top. Not what I wanted. So I laid my pattern piece back down on the paper and drew the top edge on the foam and left a guideline at the bottom of where my marks were currently located. And then from the center mark I drew the pattern more rounded at the bottom. I want the top to curve outwards a little bit. Cut out your piece and glue the ends together a tiny bit. You need to be able to remove the glue when you have the correct shape you want.
The shape worked perfectly well. From here I should have drawn out the shape on another piece of foam for all the detail work on the front of the crown. That would have been easier. But instead I measured out where I want the crown to sit and decided I would attach the small rectangle at the back to keep the crown together. I grabbed the wire and wrapped the wire on the inside of the crown to get the correct length I would need. After wrapping the wire around itself a few times to be extra sturdy I thought now would be the best time to glue the wire on and get started on the details on the front.
Nope. Do this portion after the crown is traced out a second time on the foam, otherwise you will have to maneuver the crown on the foam to get the correct shape and the size of everything you need.
Follow the before steps for making the base metal work for the crowns sturdiness. With careful tracing out of the crown onto the foam I was able to get all the templates I needed for the crown details. I cut out two of each piece besides the front piece. And then proceeded to hot glue all the strips of detail work down. Make sure to press firmly, if you need to add more glue to make sure it is secure, go ahead and do so. If you added too much glue you need to wipe it off. Obviously my crown isn’t perfect. But I am very happy with it. I feel like it looks good for being my first crown.
If the glue is in one of the cracks you cannot reach then you can use the handle of a spoon to get the glue out, a metal spoon, not plastic. It will peel off of the metal spoon, but the heat may burn the plastic spoon.
I tested out my liquid leaf on a scratch piece of foam I had lying around, it sunk in and stiffened and became porous. I decided that I would need to lay down a base coat of something so I won’t waste the liquid leaf. I don’t own wood glue yet, or gesso or any other filler you could use. And considering it was eleven or twelve at night when I was working on this I couldn’t just head to the store to get what I needed. I did have Aleene’s original tacky glue in my stash for other projects I was working on and figured what would be the harm in trying it out.
The best way to do this is to add some water to the glue, it is very tacky and doesn’t spread easily like I thought it would. The first thing I did was pour some glue straight onto the centerpiece of the crown. Big mistake, I couldn’t get it to brush flat. So I took my brush and got a cup (pin cup, not a drinking cup) filled it with a tablespoon of water. Dip the end of the brush in the water and brush the glue, you may need to repeat several times to get the glue to smooth out. For the rest of the crown I poured glue into the water diluting it. I would rather brush on glue a few times for a smooth look than have to thin down the glue on the crown.
After the first coat, I went to bed and took a look at it in the morning before work. Low and behold it was pretty decent looking. Here is a picture of it.
Not bad for my first crown. Of course when I got back home from work I needed to add more glue to the front to make a good base for the liquid leaf. I used about 4 layers of thinned down glue to get the base that felt smooth enough.
The liquid leaf should be used in a ventilated area, if you are a minor you should consult an adult, and by adult I mean your parents or guardian. After you add one coat of liquid lead you will need to dry it. Let it air dry. It shouldn’t take long, mine took about ten to fifteen minutes before I added the second coat of liquid leaf. Let it dry again. This time I waited thirty minutes. Even though it was dry much sooner, I still waited.
The next step, the easy one, I used a glitter paint, after painting a test area I didn’t like the coverage of the glitter and decided I would add some loose glitter into it. I didn’t have any silver glitter available. But I did own holographic glitter. So mixing the two together gave me better coverage. Not the kind I wanted, so I may go back and add some more to the back of the crown.
After the glitter paint was dry I could add some gemstone/rhinestones. I just used the leftover rhinestones from my Evil Queen Costume. This was a strenuous part. Having to individually glue each stone on. It took a total of 8 hours I believe. I didn’t have a strip of stones I could use. And I didn’t want to risk using the heat setter on the foam or liquid leaf. That could have been bad. So I sat there and put each stone on by hand.
The quickest way to do this is to plop down a pea sized amount of glue onto the crown, spread it out with a tooth pick and then add the gemstones as quick as possible. The glue dries fast so if you use any more than a pea sized amount you won’t have enough time to add the stones before you need to add more glue down. This is a very arduous process. The glue I used is E6000, like the liquid leaf you will need mask or some form of protection from the fumes. I should have used my mask more, but I didn’t. I don’t have an exact amount of gems that I used for this crown, I didn’t keep count. I do know that there were 6000+ in the bag, and the bag still has plenty left. I didn’t even use half of the amount I owned, so, plenty for future purposes. Here is a finished look at the crown.
Now onto the circles. These were fairly easier. Be warned I used my machine embroidery to make the circles. You can totally do this by hand, but it went by much faster using my machine. I had 18 circles total. The first step was to map out where I wanted the pearls to be. I realized I should have added fifteen or seventeen onto one, instead of thirteen. It would have looked much nicer. I used pale pink pearls.
Here is the picture of what the circles look like.
The next step was to add the seed beads linking the pearls to one another. This was a little slow in the process, but I knew it would be worth it in the end. The linking seed beads I used were a cream pearl color.
The last step was to add 3 seed beads to each pearl on the inside. The seed beads I chose for this step was gold. And that finished the process for me.
I stitched them on by machine. I should have hand sewn them down, the result would have been much neater. And less stitchy. I can’t explain it, but hopefully the final pictures can show what I mean. There will need to be 4 circles on the bodice total, and the rest on the overskirt. Even on each side. And also even markings on both sides.
I have yet to add the cording for this costume, not sure when I will have the time as I am in the process of making the most challenging costume I have ever made. When I finish that costume and my other costume for SenshiCon I will hopefully get back to this.
That’s the end for this post. My next post will be about the pictures for Anastasia. Once I take better ones. I will get on that this week. Before one of the final pieces I need come in the mail for my upcoming costume. Until next time, bye,