Wigheads

 

I was frustrated at the cost of masks and could not find anything that I liked that would be unique in our haunt so I was introduced by the NJ Make and Take the technique of creating latex heads out of wigheads. Clyde was my first attempt and I soon caught the bug and pumped out four more. Special thanks goes out to Vlad and BlackCat who showed me the way...

 

I am always sketching out ideas for some of the props I use in the haunt. I spend time on the internet searching for features I want to use for my wighead creations. I try to familiarize myself with face shapes... eyebrows, cheekbones, wrinkles, lips, hair styles, nose size...all important to get to know before starting the project.

Wigheads are Styrofoam heads used to display wigs and mask. They can be found in cosmetic stores such as Sally's. They can also be found online through Jeff at Frighteners Entertainment. They are available in assorted shapes and sizes. The smaller ones I use for making woman and children. The larger one I use for creating manlike creatures. It's harder to find and more expensive. The average wighead cost usually runs anywhere from $2.99 to $6.99.

Vlad had suggested to build a stand for the wighead to be worked on. It's better to have two hands free, especially working with latex. I drilled a hole into a 2 x 4 or any other thicker wood. I inserted a one inch PVC pipe about 12 inches high.

 

Materials Needed:

  • Paper Towel (Viva)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Mold Rubber latex
  • Assorted size paint brushes
  • Hot Glue gun
  • Soldering Iron
  • Olfa Knife
  • Saw blade
  • Small nails

Optional:

  • Tin Foil
  • Wig Hair
  • Prosthetic Wounds
  • LEDs

Teeth can be found at Dollar stores or the day after Halloween in the make up area on clearance.

There are many options as far as eyeballs. Most traditional are the already painted eyeballs that can be found at Party City or OTC catalog. Ping Pong balls, Resin pupils, the balls from underarm deodorants, eyeballs from Anatomical Chart Company, safety glass from halogen light fixtures....

I painted the wighead red for this demonstration only to show off the cuts and accent the features...

Using the saw blade I cut a horizontal cut below the nose for the mouth opening. Some wigheads have lips to make it easier. I then made a perpendicular cut under the chin. This makes a 90 degree wedge cutout (lower jaw) where the mouth will be. I then cut an angle off the wedge to form a mouth "opening".

Plug in the soldering iron....once its hot, make a small notch where the teeth will go. I will only be using the lower set for this demo. Play with the depth so the teeth are positioned where you want them. Hot glue them in.
Attach the lower jaw to the wighead with hot glue and small nails. Mix some black or dark red paint with a small amount of latex. Paint the inside of the mouth and let that dry.

Use the soldering iron to melt two holes for the eyes. They sockets should be small enough so the eyeballs fit snuggly.

If LEDs are being used for light up eyes a hole needs to be made in the back of the head. Make the hole big enough for a 9volt battery. Wolfstone is a great source on how to wire these up.

Next I use the knife and soldering iron to create features. Sunken eye sockets, cheekbones, nostrils...

I shaved down the neck and added pupils. I would add any deep scars or wounds at this time also.

I unraveled some cotton balls and began applying latex on areas that needed more pronounce features such as eyebrows, nose and lips. The cotton balls soak up alot of latex. I wanted a bigger,  flatter nose so I used a little extra cotton. Let that dry. The latex will turn yellow.
 

Now comes the fun part. Begin tearing squares of paper towel. Make sure to get that deckle edge. Brush on latex in small areas on the wighead. Apply paper towel squares and cover with latex. This gives it the skin. If wrinkles are needed pinch the paper towel while still wet. Google "old people" to see how wrinkles form on the face.

 

Eyelids I find are the hardest part. I tear a small piece of paper about the size of the eye. Using a small flat brush I apply a small amount of latex to edge and fold over. I brush on latex to one side of the paper towel while flat on the work surface. Apply a small amount of latex on eye area-Not on eyeball. Attach lid over eye and adjust using a toothpick. Repeat for upper and lower lids. The toothpick is a very handy tool.

Notice I added an Adam's apple to neck and some neck muscles. It's beginning to take shape.

 

Ears are somewhat optional. If the creature has long hair and the ears are hidden then there is no sense to add them.

For this demo I will be using the BlackCat method. Cut two medium Tin foil squares. They should be double thick. Form the tin foil into ear shapes, making lobes and inner ear. Some ears have an attached lobe. Latex the ear area on the wighead. Using nails pin the ear to the head. Begin applying cotton and latex to the foil. After that dries skin with paper towel.

While I let the ears dry I mixed some flesh color paint with a generous amount of latex. I applied the colored latex onto the head. Depending how thick some areas you might want to do two coats. I tinted some latex pink for lips, inside ears and eyelids. I used a small amount of black paint and dry brushed eye socket areas and cheekbones for depth.

 

Now is a good time to apply any details like scars, warts, wounds, growths. Make up prosthetics can be used also. I used crumpled styrofoam for warts and cotton balls for tumors.

 

Warts

 

Tumors and Growths

 

Hair lip and Scars

Hair is another option. A wig can be used or braids if it can be purchased at dollar stores or Sally's. Sometimes wigs can be snatched up at Halloween clearance areas.

Depending how long you want the hair, start about two inches below the ears on the back of the neck. Using a small flat brush apply a horizontal line of latex across the neck. Cut a small amount of hair and spread flat. Lay hair on wet latex. Dip the small flat brush in latex. While holding the hair in position brush the latex upwards over the hair. Repeat process until a row is formed. Let dry.

Once dry, begin with next row about one inch above the row you just did. Cut a small amount of hair making it longer to match the first row you did. Keep repeating process until all rows fill the back of the head. Make sure allowing each row to dry completely.

 

Now comes the top of the head. Figure out where the part will be. In the middle or side. The goal is to work backwards. Start at the part and cut long lengths of hair. Repeat the process like the back of the head letting each row dry completely. When done. Flip the hair over to cover the rows. It's also good thing if you know somebody who can cut hair.

<---- This hair gets flipped over.

 

 

 

Grandmaw

 

 

 

Billie

 

Sally

Clyde

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hagatha

 

 

 

 

Iggy

 

Check out the photo shoot of The Creepy Family Next Door

 

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