Tutorial: How to make a simple paper wig

This method of making wigs for display mannequins has been used in museums for over 20 years.

It is a great way for small museums and fashion students to create elegant wigs cheaply and easily. We have used white paper for our tutorial, but you could use anything you liked; ribbon, fabrics, unusual papers. You are only limited by your own imagination!

You will need some double sided tape, scissors, and a wig material. This could be paper, ribbon, material, or synthetic fabrics.

Cut your material into strips (we used 2.5cm x 10cm) and place a piece of double sided tape at the top of each strip.

Stick your paper strips down each side of the mannequins head, creating a part.

Secure the bottom of the strips to the mannequin with some double sided tape.

Don’t pull the strips too tight, let her have some body to her wig!

To create the back of the wig stick on four more paper strips.

Stick the back of the wig down with some more double sided tape.

Take a strip of paper and something to roll with, we have used a paintbrush, a pen would also work!

Roll the paper tightly around.

You can then stretch your roll open to start creating the hair tendril.

Using double sided tape place a tendril on each side of the wig.

Our wig has three tendrils on each side, you could put as many as you like.

Take a longer piece of paper to begin to create the bun.

Loop the paper over to create a few loops, and secure together with double sided tape.

Attach the bun to the wig using double sided tape.

The side view.

The back view.

The finished product.

Photography by Sotha Bourn.

Post by Suzanne Chee, Conservator.

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