"I told you not to call me Fluffy in public!"
"Well, you're asking for it! I mean, look at you! You look like a human Furby, for crap’s sake!"
Yami Bakura Wig Tutorial
This wig took me a few days to complete, not including the time it took for me to collect materials. My number one tip is to give yourself plenty of time to collect materials and style it, because you're going to need it! Plus, the process becomes a lot less scary when you know you have time to fix any mistakes you may make (and believe me, I've had my fair share of mistakes with this wig)!
Now onward with the tutorial!
- A Jareth in Pure White from Arda-Wigs.com (Silver would work too, but I recommend Pure White.)
- One pack of Short Wefts in Pure White
- Styrofoam wig-head (you will need this)
- A wide-toothed comb with a long sharp end (Target, Walgreens, etc.)
- Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray Hairspray (Target, Walgreens, etc.)
- Hair clips
- Tacky Glue (Michael's Craft Store)
- Two to three sheets of stiffened felt, white (Michael's Craft Store)
- Sewing needles
- White thread
- Regular printing paper or notebook paper
- Ball-point pen
- Scissors (A large, sharp pair is best)
- Time and patience
- The first step in this whole process is to think about what you want the wig to look like. You figure this out by looking up as many pictures of Bakura's hair as you can. It's not always consistent, so pick a style you like and base your wig off that. To make my design clear to me, I made blueprints and labeled each of the important spikes to keep track of them [see second picture above]. Once you're sure about your design, it's time to start making the armatures.
- At first I was uncertain about using armatures, but now I know it was the best decision, both for structural and aesthetic reasons. Armatures are the only way to go with wigs like these. But this begs the question: What is an armature? An armature is a structure used to shape certain features of a wig that you typically can't get with hairspray alone. Armatures can be made out of various materials, including styrofoam, foamboard, cardboard, wire and mess, newspaper, and many others. Following Malindachan's Yusei Fudo Wig Tutorial (first tutorial) I used stiffened felt for the armatures. Stiffened felt is great because it's lightweight, sturdy, easy to work with, and most importantly, cheap. Typically, Bakura cosplayers use only one set of armatures for the wig. I used two sets to balance out the look of the spikes [see first picture below].
- Begin by taking a piece of paper and drawing the general shape of your armatures. This will be used as a stencil for your actual armatures. Make sure they're not to big or too small, but especially not too big. Hold them up to your own head to see if this is the case. I encountered a problem later on where the armatures looked too big because I have small features (fortunately Bakura's hair can get pretty big, so it didn't look all that bad in the end), so take care to get it right early on.
- Cut the stencils out and use them and your ball-point pen to outline the pieces for your armatures on the stiffened felt. Since the armatures are going to be three-dimensional, you'll need two sides for each armature.
- Stick the pieces together and sew the armatures together along the curved top. You don't need to sew it all the way, just at the tip and the center.
- Next you'll cut out a triangle to wedge in near the base to give the armature a three-dimensional look. This you do want to sew all the way around. Refer to the second picture below for reference. Do this for all your armatures. This step takes a little while.
- Once you have all the armatures sewn, it would be a good time to pin them to the wig to see how they look. Keep in mind the wig-head is smaller than your own head. That means the spikes will tilt upward more on your head than they will on the wig-head, so position your armatures accordingly. If you look at the first image below, you'll notice the largest spikes are tilted up. I had to edit the angle of the base so that they would tilt downward more. Also, don't worry about not having a bottom to the armatures. It won't be noticeable.
- When you feel comfortable with how your spikes look, it's time for the most tedious part of this whole process: applying wefts to the armatures. This is also the messiest part of making your Bakura costume, so work on a surface you can get fibers and glue on, like newspaper or a plastic tablecloth. Begin by taking your short wefts and cutting some good-sized pieces slightly longer than the length of your armature. Apply tacky glue to the surface of the armature and gently lay some wefts across it. Don't press down with your finger too hard. Instead, take your comb, and with the sharp end gently stroke the hair fibers against the glued surface (you may also use a toothpick to do this). This will help keep your fibers aligned straight while getting the glue worked in. Use only a small amount of fibers at a time. Keep gluing down the fibers where you want them, and once they're in place cut off the excess fibers that are overlapping the armatures. Don't try to bend them over to the small triangle part and glue them to it. It won't work very well.
- To hide the curved edge, add glue along the seam, lay fibers across it, and with the end of your comb gently stroke the glue in.
- To give your armature a clean tip, apply some glue at the tip and, with your fingers, gently pinch and stroke it in. Look at the Spiking Video Tutorial above to see how to finish off a tip.
- Finish off by adding fibers to the little triangle part.
- Do this three more times. It take hours. Once you're done with the armatures, go take a nap (optional). You're going to need to let them dry anyway.
- If I remember correctly, I believe I spiked the wig first and then sewed the armatures in, thinking I was going to lay wefts from the actual wig over the armatures and glue them in, as per Malindachan's tutorial. I tried, and this didn't work. So I just pined the armatures in about the place where I wanted them and started spiking the wig. When you do sew in the armatures, sew them only at the corners and try the wig on ever time you put an armature in to see if it's where you want it to be. The large armatures look slightly crooked on my wig because I didn't do this carefully enough.
- Divide your spikes into sections using your clips. Use the spiking tutorial and the bang-cutting tutorial above for reference. It's very important that you don't cut your bangs too short. Remember, the wig-head is smaller than yours, and where the bangs end on the wig-head's face is not the same as where they'll end on your own.
- If you haven't done so yet, sew your armatures in, as demonstrated in step 13.
Wear it and feel evil. You deserve it!
A note about wig re-usability...
If you're afraid of not being able to reuse the wig for other purposes, don't be! Using this method, the large armatures are very easy to remove, and a quick look at this tutorial will show you how to wash your wig out. I haven't tried this on my own Bakura wig, but if I did I think I would have to cut off the ends of some spikes since they're so full of glue. With the exception of shorter bangs, none of your styling should be super noticeable if you don't blunt-cut the fibers--but again, I don't know for sure.
Thanks for reading!