Queen of Hearts – Art process, making the headpiece

Off with
their heads!

Queen of Hearts
Hair and crown
Art costume making

Here’s some process into the makings to Magenta’s ‘Queen of Hearts’ hair and crown (headpiece) to her costume. As a fire starter, I looked up ‘Queen of Hearts costume’ on the Internet, to get a basic refresh outline. Originally I wanted to buy a wig, then thought, no! Let’s make this.

For the crown, I bought lots of random craft pieces from a local Two dollar shop, however for the hair I used mainly random craft elements previously used on other headpieces made. I have large tubs full of stuff like this, plus I used dark and bright red felt squares, both about 30cm’s in diameter to cut out hearts etc. For the main dress, I used crocheted items and fabrics already at home. I’ve added two pictures to the end of this post of the metallic fabric previously used on a set for photography studio, now for Magenta’s dress.

I always hold in position or have the general materials collated for whatever I’m making for Magenta. I also work quite organically so things don’t always end up as I originally anticipated. Whatever works!

Being a detail freak, I also like to sit with ideas or visit second hand stores prior to making stuff as I love the surprise featured elements to add along the way.

Top picture is two cardboard cones masking taped together, as previously used in another headpiece for Magenta as per the second image. I was going to throw these out but had a red light hoarder moment which said to me ‘nooooo!’ I just rested these cone pieces above Magenta’s head to get the right distance I was after and used tape again to secure.

Over the past week, I’d been going through my craft type boxes filled with artificial flowers, random pieces to find what would work for the faux hair. Luckily it was rather easy as had this messy ball of some wool type, long blonde faux hair piece and artificial foliage as per the below.

✪ Model – Magenta mannequin

Here’s the messy kind of ball, kitten play magic pulled apart to build over the cones in layers. Added other elements found along the way too.

As per previous, my only concern is it bulky enough?

Continuing on, went to get paint or spray paint to cover, a gal at the hardware suggested coloured hair spray. I’ll use red acrylic paint I have in a container once I find it!

Love the faux vines etc bought ages ago now interwoven, plus more of the nature elements coming through.

Toying with the cardboard craft pieces, also have a broken vintage faux mirrored frame I’ve included into the mix. The design has changed several times with what I have. The faux jewellery are a bit full on but feel they’ll work ok once finished.

Just using standard craft glue that dries clear to adhere the elements at this stage. I’ll stick the faux jewels on after I paint the gold frame.

Found some thick red craft pieces that’s like dreadlocks now added, serving as the fringe & up.

Added string to roughly hold the shape together better and added these craft butterfly things. Not 100% about them, but had a feeling to still add them and see.

Painted the headpiece then thought the coloured spray didn’t work very effectively due to the random things I used, so I cut out red hearts from the felt and used my glue gun to secure them fast to save time. More texture was needed as it was a bit unbalanced with my haphazard butterfly additions. Found my acrylic paint and used it to highlight more elements.

Note, it’s a rare occasion I use spray paint, I really hate using it, but knew some of the parts wouldn’t cover with acrylic, as found with the coloured spray.

Resting the headpiece on Magenta to see how it looks, plus to work out how to add the flat crown piece. Decided to use a skewer type effect to go through the hair as per the below.

Had some ornate dolls house bollards and just glue gunned them onto the back as shown. Added dark red faux velvet fabric to the go behind the oval featured piece. Used craft glue to add the faux jewels as the glue from the glue gun isn’t very flattering if it leaks in a visible area.


Finished piece, excited for Magenta to wear!

Here’s Magenta in her queen like glory! Magenta is actually propped up rather awkwardly onto a child’s coat stand I found a few days ago wrapped with bubble wrap etc. Magenta is a seated mannequin & best she returns to this state after this shoot!

Her crocheted collar has three fabric parts to it, actually sewn onto the wire from a car rim found on the streets some time ago. My parter cut the wired rim at the front so it could go around her neck. This is held up with string going up to a hallway (open second floor to our house), attached to a vintage typewriter and a ban on my two year old from touching it!

The headpiece is pretty light and is held up by a large safety pin, left open, hooked onto the string mentioned above. Photoshop will save the day with my edits, however unedited is what’s on show here.

Below are two references to a set design job for a photo studio some time ago now. The gold fabric is what I used on Magenta’s outfit.

Thanks for reading, Ana x