Hi beautiful! Are you seeking to spice things up with a foam wig? Or do you have a costume in mind for cosplay and you need a foam wig to go along with it? Well, here’s a guide to show you how to make a foam wig.
My name is Tee, and I’m an enthusiastic lover of all kinds of wigs and DIYs. Over the years, I have made many foam wigs for my friend who loves cosplay a lot.
You may think that it requires a lot of skills and experience in making a foam wig, but that’s not true. Follow the steps and details suggested in the section below and you can make a beautiful foam wig in no time!
On that note, let’s dive in!
How to Make a Foam Wig (Tools and Steps)
Gathering these tools first will make the foam wig-making process a lot easier.
- Craft knife
- Heat gun
- Wrap nylon
- Half-inch strips of craft foam
- Hot glue
- Wig head
- Spray paint
- Craft foam
- Transparent foil nylon
- Styrofoam wig head
Step 1: Mould your Head Shape
The first step is to make a base cap that the rest of the wig can be built upon. This base cap has to be built with foams to allow for a better structure and foundation. To make the base, you’ll have to make a custom mold of your own head.
To do this, pack all of your hair and ensure they stay flat, wear a wig cap. Then, wrap it with transparent plastic foil, use tape to cover it all around as an extra layer. The tape allows you to be able to cut out the mold.
Trace out your hairline to the position of your ears, so it’s easy to cut because you know where everything is located, and so you know where all the points are located when you’re done cutting. After marking the points, begin to cut.
Step 2: Make a Foam Base
After making a base with transparent nylon and tape, mark out sections on the mold to make a pattern for the foam. Make markings like; side, top, front, back, right, left, right-side, left-side, etc. Or you can simply number the sections.
With this, you divide the base mock-up into quadrants. This helps to cut and make the foam from several pieces rather than trying to cut it all at once.
Place the cut-out quadrants on a high-density foam. You can use a foam that is about 4 to 6 millimeters thick.
Add about half or quarter-inch to the sides of the cut-out quadrants before cutting the foam in their shapes. This gives some allowance to glue them to each other. After cutting the foam into bits and pieces, glue them together till they look just like the molded base made of tape.
Step 3: Create an Understructure
After your foam base is ready, place it on the styrofoam wig head. Now, you’ll need to create an understructure for the foam wig itself. The understructure would be built on the foam base.
To create your understructure, you can use cartons to initially create a prototype before making an understructure from the foam.
Repeat step 2 to divide your carton substructure into quadrants, before you place it on the foam to cut out.
However, not all foam wigs require an understructure. You could go straight to crafting the foam wig itself. For example, if you intend to create a foam wig with spikes, your next step would be to create the spike, or cone-like forms.
Step 4: Craft the Foam Wig
After creating an understructure, you can begin to craft the foam wig itself. Let’s use the example of foam wig with spikes as an example!
After making cone-like forms or spikes made out of foam, begin to assemble them together on the foam base. Do this symmetrically or in a way that aligns with the shape you’re trying to achieve.
Make sure the structure is aligned before moving on to the next step.
Step 5: Add Extra Features
Extra features help to bring your foam wig alive and become more real. You can proceed to add features like hair strands or fibers. You can add them to the front and back of the hairlines.
Tips: if you want to add hairs, make sure they are in tiny, fine strands. The thinner the hairs, the more realistic they’ll be.
Asides from adding tiny hairs, you can also paint the wig to give it a more refined look. But before painting, heat the wig lightly to make the painting much easier.
After heating lightly, prime the wig for painting. Spray some Plastidip on the wig. This helps to blend and smoothen any harsh edges from the glue application.
As soon as the Plastidip is dry, you can go ahead to paint the wig in whatever color you desire. You can also get creative with the paint, and brush up some parts of the paint to create some highlights.
This is a great video by Jen Schachter, she made a breathtaking Marie Antoinette foam wig, check it out!
Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions about making a foam wig.
What Foam is Recommended?
The kind of foam to use depends on the style and shape of the wig you intend to create. If it’s a flat, thin shape, you could use Eva foam or stiffened foam. However, for 3-dimensional or larger shapes, you should use styrofoam. It often gives a higher degree of control when carving out.
What Understructure Shape do I Need?
This is largely dependent on the shape of the wig you intend to create. You have to be insightful enough to discern what the understructure shape looks like, and how you can carve that out. Making a foam wig requires a lot of insightfulness and creativity.
Usually, an understructure is a combination of different shapes and structures that all come together to make one. Especially if your foam wig is a spikey design, you’ll need to sketch out a lot of aligning shapes.
What Size of Foam Should I Get?
You need more than one size of foam to create your wig. The size of the foam that’ll be used for the base is different from the one that will be used for the substructure, and the overall structure. Although, keep in mind that the size also depends on the style of your wig.
If the wig style has lighter strands than the outlay, you may want to use a thinner size to create it. The same applies if the outlay is much thicker. For a basic structure, you can use a 2-millimeter size for the base, a 6-millimeter size for the substructure, and a 10-millimeter for the overall coverage.
With these laid down steps, I trust you now have an idea about how to create a foam wig. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.