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Thread: ★ The Accessory Making FAQ ★

  1. #101
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Make your master out of your armature wire, clay, and whatever else you want...then make a mold using a urethane resin, or silicone mold rubber, and then use platinum cure (Dragonskin) silicone to cast the brace. Pigment the silicone so you don't have to paint it. Make sure you sculpt an overlap so you can 'glue' the bracer together with more silicone. Voila!

  2. #102

  3. #103
    Senior Member Pod of The South Keiris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merman Dylan View Post
    I just got an idea. My local Joann's sells a material that is water resistant that I tried making a belt out of, and they sell all kinds of spandex, polyester, and other water resistant swimwear fabrics. They also sell a variety of hemp and aquatic plant based rope. I could try making a fabric bracer. I'm pretty good with needle and thread sewing by hand. I like sculpting wire because it's like weaving with a tougher material. i'd love to learn about silicone products, but this is the idea I just got.
    Dylan, you can buy all kinds of textured vinyl and synthetic leathers at Joanns. These would be simple to cut into a large cuff like shape. You can then paint on scales add fins out of the same stuff or switch to some of the shimmery diaphanous fabric for the fins and reinforce them with your wire. Use a silicone glue safe for aquariums to anchor and coat the wire in place. You can also coat the whole thing with a very thin layer of this same glue to waterproof it. It comes in tubes at Lowes or Home Depot.

    Another way to create the bracers and is MUCH simpler than sculpting everything first using the Dragonskin silicone. Smooth-On sells it in different sizes and you can order it directly. Cured silicone will peel off any slick surface such as a counter or floor. It is a 2- part process. When you order it comes in equal parts of A and B and have to be mixed in exact ratios to cure correctly. I just use a cake mixer. If you want to color the silicone all the way through add a LITTLE paint or powdered pigment to part B first and achieve the color you want as a base then mix in part A.

    If you had created a mold, now is when you would pour the silicone in to cure. However, if you want a simple sheet of silicone that you can cut into any variety of shapes including scales and thin translucent fins, pour some into a cookie sheet, let it cure and peel it out. I use a release agent, Mann Ease Release 200 spray, also available from Smooth-On. Spray the cookie sheet first.

    Once you peel out the silicone sheet you can cut it into the scale shape of your choice. Mix up a little silicone to use as glue since silicone ONLY sticks to silicone. Overlap your circles/scales and add a little silicone where they touch to glue them in place. You can create a whole scaled bracer this way. Then cast another cookie sheet for your fins. peel and cut them into the shape you want. They will be very floppy and fin-like. Glue them in place with more silicone running down the length of the bracer. You will want to use straight pins to pin them in place while the silicone cures. Once everything is cured and the way you want it, you can now add more paint to highlight the scales, add veins to the fins, etc. Just remember the pigment MUST be mixed with silicone to stick. You can use a little Naptha to thin it sown to make it a little more fluid. Et Voila!

    You can PM me if you have any questions. Good Luck!

  4. #104
    Senior Member Pod of The South Keiris's Avatar
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    I used that same trim for the Hem of a Neptune costume!

  5. #105
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Wrap it around your upper arm like a snake!
    Formerly known as ireneho

  6. #106
    Make sure it's super tight, I noticed even my silicone bracers moved around in the water, and fabric is bound to be more flowy.


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  7. #107
    Senior Member Pod of Cali mermaidopal's Avatar
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    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a circlet base? I recently chopped my hair to a pixie and would like to make a circlet. I love the look of some of the wire circlets out there, but I would like to make something that goes a little bit more with the shell/fake plant look I have going on with my top. (I have an adorable hairclip from etsy, but unfortunately my hair is too short to use clips now.) I see that some people use metal chains but i'm not super familiar with jewelry making and what is water proof, so I'm wondering if maybe i can do some sort of netting base? Let me know your thoughts. Here's along the lines of what I was looking for:
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  8. #108
    Senior Member Pod of Texas Naufra's Avatar
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    I haven't worked with actual fishing net yet, but most fibrous materials, like cloth or rope, stretch when they get wet. With this in mind, I would recommend finding a base material that doesn't absorb water. You'll notice in the second picture you posted that they've used chain as the base and attached the netting to it with jump rings, this way is the net does stretch when wet it won't affect the fit of the circlet. If you do go with the netting as the base, you'll want to keep it lightweight so it won't slip down as readily or maybe add a cross-piece that goes over the top of your head to help keep it up. For swimming in it, you would need to secure it to your hair somehow. If the netting is thin enough, you could use bobby pins to hold it in place, though they would be visible with your hair so short.

    As for water-safe metals, most jewelry metals do not react much to water, especially precious metals. Craft store jewelry chain is normally just fine with water, but if you're super-worried about it then I would recommend looking for jewelry parts that say that they're plated in a precious metal. This is a more expensive way to go, but peace-of-mind has value. I don't recommend using copper or bronze so much because they're more likely to oxidize in water and copper alloys are more easily eroded by human sweat and skin oils, but if that's the color scheme you want I suggest coating the metal to protect it. Rustoleum is perfect for this, and nail polish top coat (the clear kind) can work, too, if you take the time to do it carefully. Nail polish will have to be reapplied every so often if you sweat on it a lot.

    I'm a trained goldsmith with a college degree in jewelry and I'm pretty handy with other areas of costuming, too, so you're welcome to PM me with any questions, Opal. ^_^
    User formerly known as "Zicoxite".


  9. #109
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    I'm not a jewelry expert, but I know a little bit about sculpting. There's a sculpting material called sculpting wire. It's thin and malleable. Depending on how you bend it, you can create all kinds of shapes. When you twist them into a pattern, the wire can become very strong and unique. The metal doesn't rust or erode if you get the right kind, but I learned from working with it that it does seem to rub something onto your hands. I think the body heat heats up the wire and it leaves a gray or silver mark on your hands that rubs off onto your hands.

    This is an example of what you can create with sculpting wire. It comes in all kinds of thickness, and you can create something more hollow or solid depending on how much of the different kinds of wire you use.


  10. #110
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    It's aluminum wire and very soft. It can be distorted very easily...that's why it's used as an armature, so it can be repositioned while you're sculpting over the top of it. The aluminum will rub off onto your skin.

  11. #111
    Senior Member Pod of Cali mermaidopal's Avatar
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    Great, thanks for the info everyone!

  12. #112
    I know this is an older thread, but does anyone have experience with making swimmable accessories out of polymer clay?

  13. #113
    Myself and many other use polymer clay to make swimmable accessories and decorations, they're fine for water wear

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  14. #114
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Mermaid View Post
    Myself and many other use polymer clay to make swimmable accessories and decorations, they're fine for water wear
    I know you say this but gosh I am too afraid to wear the lovely earrings you made me in the water lol


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  15. #115
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    The suggestion of acrylic paint to paint shells with — does it stay underwater? I want to make a headdress primarily for dry events, but if I could take it underwater every now and then for special shoots ... that'd be cool.

    Same question for superglue, really. Can it withstand water?

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by PetLoverSpy View Post
    The suggestion of acrylic paint to paint shells with — does it stay underwater? I want to make a headdress primarily for dry events, but if I could take it underwater every now and then for special shoots ... that'd be cool.

    Same question for superglue, really. Can it withstand water?
    Both of those questions are answered in the original post

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  17. #117
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    I did see both substances mentioned but wasn't sure if it was in the context of dry events or underwater wear. I take it everything's meant to work underwater, then?

  18. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by PetLoverSpy View Post
    I did see both substances mentioned but wasn't sure if it was in the context of dry events or underwater wear. I take it everything's meant to work underwater, then?
    Yes, that's correct! Sorry I guess I didn't state that very clearly :P If there's issue with something not working for underwater wear or it's better for dry wear I mention that specifically. (Like how I noted that hot glue is not good for for continuous underwater wear.)

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  19. #119
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    No I just wanted to be absolutely sure, I often miss the subtleties of human language xP Thank you!

  20. #120
    Was thinking of using a roll of burlap (like those ribbons) to use as backing for hair accessories. Can anyone confirm that this will hold up? The alternative is felt, which I have seen used before. I'm worried about mold. Thanks!
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