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It’s so stimulating being your hat.

I’ve been thinking about making papier-mâché rams horns to wear on my head at festivals and such. Any idea how I can do that, without having a hat or anything obvious to hold them on?
A Capricorn

Hey Cappy.

Well, I think there are two things to be conquered here. First off, you’re gonna need to construct the horns so that they are the right weight, and secondly, you need to problem solve to figure out the method of attachment. I think the latter will inform the former.

My advice? I think your best bet is to construct a wire frame that will sit upon your head. I’d use a combination of armature wire and something a little less malleable, like unbent wire hangers. Make the main part (might I suggest around the hemisphere of your cranium, including under your occipital ridge and then once over the top) out of the hangers so that you have sturdiness and a solid grip to the shape of your head. Use the armature to fill out the parts on the sides that keep unwanted movement to a minimum. (Armature wire is lightweight, so it will give you good flexibility, and it’s easy to shape, but it really won’t grab onto your head the way a coat hanger or other sturdy wire will.)

With a wire framework over the top and around the sides of your head, you’re gonna want just a little bit of weight pulling it down to keep it seated on your skull, and that’s where the horns’ weight comes in. They should be light enough not to be pulled too much one way or the other by the momentum of your head’s movement, but not so light that they won’t provide a little downward force. This might take a little trial and error, so I’d build for lightness by making the horns out of papier-mâché or plastered paper, and add weight as needed with clay or something that won’t rattle around too much. As a side note, I’d bet you’d have a lot more luck if you weight them more on the side towards your head and less towards the ends. I’m just saying.

Once your framework is settled and your horns are made, weighted correctly, and painted, go on and hide the wire with false hair. It’ll look all windswept and wild and awesome, and a wireframe is way easier to hide than a big ol’ hat.

Good luck!