December 6, 2012

Hobbit Inspired Circlet

I am super excited for the Hobbit and have decided to dress up and have a 4 day party leading up to the premiere.  I completed my circlet for my costume last night.  I was dismayed at the lack of instructions on the internet about how to make a circlet, I could not find any that were actually helpful.  Although I did not take pictures as I completed the project, I hope that my experiences will help others in making their own circlets. 

To begin I researched pictures of circlets to get inspiration for my own design.  I did not want something as elaborate as Arwen’s butterfly, coronation circlet or Galadriel’s circlet, but I did want something Celtic and art nouveau inspired that would mimic the style of Lord of the Rings design.  However, my designs for my amount of experience with metal were a bit lofty.  In the end I had to tone down the design, but I think it turned out well anyway.

16 or 18 gauge wire (I bought mine from Joanns)
21 gauge wire (Also bought from Joanns)
Decorative bits (I bought a set of Blue Moon, leaf shaped metal necklace fasteners, but you could use any beads)
Needle nose pliers
Wire cutters

First I shaped the wire, making a ‘v’ point at the middle of the forehead and then sloping the wire up and around the back of my head. 

I then twisted the metal around so it formed a loop at the very back of the circlet (steps 1-3).  I looped the metal then around the main frame of the circlet so the loop I had just made would stay (steps 4-5).

I made another loop, this one going beneath the main wire frame (rather than in the last step where I went up and above the main frame).  I made the wire frame, now on the top of this new loop a bit more round (using the needle nose pliers) so that this segment formed another loop.  I also closed off this loop by winding around the frame as I did for the last loop.

I continued making loops until I was back at the ‘v’.  I did not make loops all the way down the ‘v’ as I wanted that to rest flat against my forehead.  I tied off the last loop as I had the others and then cut off the excess wire with the wire cutters.  Scissors will not work, do not bother trying you will only break your scissors.  I did loops on both sides, attempting to make them identical.

Now comes the fun part!  I knew that metal could be hammered flat if hot, so I took a long handled lighter and waved it over the ‘v’ of the circlet for a few seconds.  Then I took the hammer and gave it a few whacks.  The metal was quite easily hammered flat, and I personally think it gives the metal a more ‘professional’ look.

I did not think the circlet looked finished enough.  So I cut four 3 inch segments of the remaining wire and used the needle nose pliers to curl each of the ends in opposite directions (see figure below).  I then heated these with the lighter and hammered them flat. 

I worked these metal swirls into the loops that lay above my ears.  They added a nice texture to the circlet that contrasted with the still round loops, and were quite easily put on.  I did not have to solder them in or even tie them down with the 21 gauge wire (although doing so would not be a terrible idea, it would just make it more stable).

I then added the Blue Moon brand, leaf shaped metal necklace fasteners.  Two right after the ‘v’, effectively covering the last knot of the loops, and then two after the metal swirls I inserted over my ears.  I secured these leaves using the 21 gauge wire.

After the leaves I was mostly done, and all I had to do was the final shaping.  I placed the circlet on my forehead and bent the wires slightly so they laid correctly on my head.

Here are the final pictures!  More Hobbit inspired stuff to come :D  As usual, feel free to leave comments, I would love to hear what you think!

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