While thinking up a costume for this year, I wanted to keep it simple. Since Halloween is my favorite holiday (besides Christmas) I couldn't let it pass without putting in some effort. An easy magical costume for me is a Gypsy - since I have all the clothes I need for the job, and more than enough gold toned jewelry. The topper needed to be a delicate golden Gypsy Crown. The nice part about this project is that I used materials I already had, re purposed some spare chain, and I can wear it year round if I want.
Here's what you need to make your own...
(for if you have a styrofoam head to work on)
Jewelry Craft Pliers :
less expensive versions can be found at a dollar store.
Multi use heavy duty snips which cut soft metal. This is for cutting lengths of chain.
craft and wholesale shops sell bags of natural and colored feathers.
My supply is thrifted and re-purposed for $1 - $5 a chain. One chain should be long enough to circle your head.
You will need both Jump Rings and Crimps - crafts shops or etsy supplies are a good source.
Look for a glue that works with metal. In a tube, strong and stinky.
Secure the Crown
A flat chain is the best choice for the main circular part of your crown. Wrap the chain around your head, sitting as you plan on wearing it. Close the clasp (if there is one, if not, you will need to add a jump ring) at the right length so that the chain closes at the nape of your neck, but does not slip down over your forehead. Snug but not too snug. The remainder of chain can trail down your neck.
If you have a styrofoam head form, pin the crown to the form so you can visualize where to place loops and strands of additional chain. Using your piers, secure chain strands and loops with jump rings. Periodically place crown on your own head to make sure strands are not too close to your face, or you may find them irritating.
Create Feather Dangles
Feathers have such a delicate, natural quality. They're a perfect accent for a chain crown because they won't create an unbalanced weight issue like charms will. Colored feathers would also look beautiful, but I decided to work with the natural toned ones I had on hand.
Choose a selection of feathers which compliment one another in color and size, and trim the hard quills so you are working with the softer, more evenly colored tips of feathers. The crimp findings are small, and it takes a bit of precision to layer all the feather tips into one groove.
Use clear epoxy (glue) and lay a dab in the crimp bed. Layer your feathers, pressing down with a toothpick or tool (like a stitch ripper). Dab each feather in the bead on the tip of the epoxy spout before laying it in the crimp bed. It's ok if your tips extend past the bed and toward the loop in the finding. You can trim this when you've closed the crimp. Let glue dry for a short while.
Use your flat pliers to close one end of the crimp first, then the other. Trim excess so the loop on the finding is un-obstructed. Join a jump ring through the loop.
I created two feather dangles, but you can add as many as you like, entirely around the crown would look amazing!
Finally, attach your feather dangles to the ends of your strands or loops of chain.
Wear your Gypsy Crown and dance under the Halloween Moon.
Your design will double as a long golden necklace - easy to wear year round. I'd consider it time well spent. Wouldn't you?
If you create your own Gypsy Crown, please share it with us! I can imagine more feathers, bright colors, mixed metals, tassels and charms. There are so many directions you could take to make it your own (or make it the same, we'd love to see your rock it!). Your friends will wonder where you found that beautiful Gypsy Crown!
Love Lots - Jill