DIY cosplay horns

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington
Photography & Makeup: Ambra

This post is severely over due. I made these horns sometime last year, just to see if I could and they came in handy for an upcoming cosplay. I made 2 sets of horns. The one I wanted to see how “realistic” I could make them and the second inspired by Dreaded Eden. Mostly I just wanted to see if I can engineer a pair.

Right, so here is what i used:

Bell styrofoam shapes
Plastic alice bands.
Screws
Dremel tool
Florist wire
Masking tape
Newspaper torn into 2cm strips
Woodglue
Premade paper mache
Bostik – Clear gel glue
Acrylic paint
Felt fibres (the rainbow coloured bag underneath all the string and ribbons, honestly I have no clue what you call it, but i found it next to the felt in the craft shop and i know you can make felted patterns with it, if anyone knows what you call it please let me know)

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The base for both horns:

Cut two pieces of florist wire double the length of your intended horns. Fold them in half and twist the tips together (securing the tips together is a trick I learnt while trying to bend them, it helps a lot).

I used the styrofoam shapes as a base to push the wires through to give them better support. If necessary use blocks of styrofoam along the length of your horn to keep its shape when you wrap the masking tape around it.

Wrap masking tape along the length of of the horn try not to crush the shape you’ve created for your horns.

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Once your done wrapping both horns, tweak the shape to make them symmetrical.

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Dilute the wood glue with some water and use this with the newspaper strips to build up the shape of your horns and to make them stronger. Paper mache 101.

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Also another important step: I had to learn the hard way that the styrofoam isn’t a strong enough base. The screws pull right out of it. Should’ve been obvious but this is how I learnt, with my horns constantly falling off at the cosplay picnic.

So to fix this: I hollowed out the base of the styrofoam and filled it with a plug of paper mache and let it dry properly. This can take up to a day or more depending on how deep you make the plug. But I’d suggest erring on the side of a deeper plug, it gives more grip to the screws. Be warned if you’re going to be very hard on the horns the plug itself might pull out. But sofar it’s worked quite well for myself.

To attach the horns to the alice band. Using the Dremel tool drill a hole through the alice band at the height you’d like your horns to be and also a hole in the paper mache plug. Just make sure it’s slightly smaller than the screw so it can get a proper grip when being screwed in.

Horn 1:

For the more “realistic” set I used the pre-made paper mache to give it texture and to add ridges. The first time I only added the bigger ridges that go with the turn of the horns.

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Only afterwards I realised I should’ve added the ridges running around the horns as well. No matter, the paper mache adhered well enough on top of the acrylic paint.

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After finishing them off I used a combination of black and Burnt Umber paint to add details.

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Horn 2:

Unfortunately I didn’t take progress photos of this one. But i’ll try to explain as best I can.

I separated each colour of the felt fibers into to equal amounts; for each horn. I then applied a line of the clear glue on both sides of a horn and started to wrap the fibers around the horn, starting at the tip.

Think well beforehand in what sequence you want the colours to be. As I wrap the fibers i keep gliding my hands over them in a twisting motion, always in the same direction to smooth them down. Before the one colour is done, I add the next colour just underneath and then blend them over each other. At the bottom i just applied enough glue to secure the last piece.. I added the golden ribbon as a round off but you can decorate it any way you like. Rhinestones, ribbon, fabric paint. Whatever would make your’s special.

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If you guys have any questions let me know anytime in the comments section. I’ll try to help anyway i can ^_^

Final product:

And here’s a few pics of Horns 1 in use. Unfortunately I haven’t used the rainbow horns for a shoot yet.

Did my friend's makeup and styling for MCQP 2012 Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Did my friend’s makeup and styling for MCQP 2012
Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Model: Cheri Serenity Warrington
Photography & Makeup: Ambra

Myself at the cosplay picnic. I did prepare a costume based on a known character so just threw things together to create a character

Myself at the cosplay picnic. I did prepare a costume based on a known character so just threw things together to create a character

2 thoughts on “DIY cosplay horns

  1. Sam Ellenberger says:

    I think it’s called wool roving. It’s normally used in felting projects. I think Cheri uses it for dreadlock falls she makes

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