Jess (Mitzy) (bluefurrykitty) wrote in kitty_ears,

Ears and tails tutorials

*Edit: Had to delete the paws tutorial since the poofy paw tutorial I had linked too was taken off Latin Vixen's site.

I could've sworn I posted these a while back in this group (posted them to a couple of groups with similar interests) but I can't find the post anywhere so here it is again, updated with a yarn tail tutorial:

Kitty costuming.

Unfortunately I have no pics of stuff being made (just finished product) but I’ll try my best to explain everything.

Hair Clip Ears:
http://www.livejournal.com/community/kitty_ears/381098.html#cutid1 I made a pair of hair clip ears using  fishhatkaijuman ’s method and I had a hell of a time with it :-P It took me several tries to get a decent pair. I ended up using hotglue to attach the fur to the foamies and to itself rather than sewing. Then again, my ears had more of a curved shape to the bottom than the ones in the how-to and I couldn’t get the two pieces sewed correctly so they’d completely cover the foam on each side :-P Anywho… These ears are good for general wear for people with lots of hair, obviously they don’t work well in very short hair and if you’re a rambunctious kitty they can move around easily.

Head-band Ears:
My favorite to make, I’ve made several different pairs of head-band ears.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Costuming/purpleears.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Costuming/blueears.jpg
I use plastic mesh for the inside of the ears, and attach the fur with hotglue. The plastic mesh can easily be heated up with a blow dryer and molded to give a slight curve to your ears or even to make one slightly folded at the tip like a floppy doggy ear. Cut the fur on the front the same size as the plastic mesh and the fur on the back with at least and extra 1/2 inch all around except on the bottom where it’ll attach to the head-band. Glue the front piece on first and then the back. For the edges put a small bead of glue and fold the extra edge of fur, fold it into itself a bit to make sure no backing is showing and press it down. This gives a nice edge to the ear. Don’t do this across the bottom! In fact leave a little unglued space on the bottom, that’ll get taken care of when you the ears get glued to the head-band. Make sure to use very glue on the edging and not to get on the fur anymore than you need to. When you’ve got both ears glued together put the headband on and hold the ears up, mark where you want them on the head-band. Now that bottom unglued edge and pull the fur apart, but a nice thick bead of glue between the two pieces of fur and along the bit of plastic mesh that sticks out and stick that right onto the head-band. A bit of glue should ooze out, make sure that doesn’t get on the fur but rather smear it around the head-band, especially if you use one of those head-bands that has little teeth to keep help keep it in place. This will help hold the ears on better, don’t want them breaking off. Do that to both sides and voila! Kitty cuteness ^.^ I especially like head-band ears, they stay on better during play and they’re super easy to make.

Tails:
Tails can be made many different ways, from very simple to very complex.
Easy Tail:  The simplest form of a tail is just a tube of fur filled with polyfil (stuffed animal stuffing can be found at walmart or any craft or sewing shop). Sew up one end with some sort of loop to attach to a belt or a strip of elastic to go around your waist.

Chain Spine Tail:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Costuming/2d34e10e.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Costuming/twotails.jpg
The method my owner and I use most to make tails is to use a chain down the center. This gives the tail weight and strength. We put some extra weight on the end of the tail so it swings nicely when you walk. Our chains are padded with strips of foam pipe insulation (tube pipe insulation can be found at most hardware stores, definitely Home Depot or Lowes) that we put through each link to help cut down on noise (chain spines will rattle slightly). We also wrap bits of the insulation around the links and then wrap a piece of foam around that so when you squeeze the tail it feels more like a spine.
To attach the tail to a belt we use a special bracket we had my owner’s brother fabricate for us in the machine shop at his school. It’s 3 pieces of metal, a cross beam that the chain from the tail loops over and two lengths that stick out and bend over for slipping over your belt. This bracket with the chain attached is dipped in plastidip so you don’t get metal digging into your back if you sit down with the tail on. The ends of the bracket are poked through two slits  cut into the back of the tail fur near the top. This style will allow you to easily put the tail on and take it off in a hurry, great for wearing around town.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Costuming/frombehind.jpg

Pipe Insulation Tail:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Costuming/6222999f.jpg
These are great for more dog like tails. They’re made of the pip insulation also used for the chain spine tails. The insulation is already cut on one side so just cut it down the other side so it’s cut in half. Take one of the halfs and fold it over, if you fold it so one end is longer than the other you’ll notice it makes the insulation curve ^.^ Play with the curving until you get it the way you’d like and then tape the insulation together (make sure you leave some space untaped at the folded over end) . Make sure you have a bit more curve in the insulation than you want in the tail, the fur will be a little heavy and will bend the insulation down a bit. You can just do a tube of fur like the chain tail or you can lay the curved insulation down onto the fur and trace around it, this will give make a more poofy looking tail.

Yarn Tail:
(sorry about the crappy pics, these tails didn’t photograph well)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Tails%20for%20sale/recompressedtailoncouch.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Tails%20for%20sale/yarntailworn.jpg
Yarn tails are very cheap and easy to make. They’re especially good for people who are low on funds and can’t afford fur or don’t know how to sew. All you need is some yarn.
The center of the tail can really be anything you want it to be, I usually take some yarn and braid it to a few inches longer than I want the tail to be, I’ve also used various kinds of ropes and thick strings. You can also add heavy wire to make the tail pose able. Make a knot at the end of the tail center so the yarn won’t fall off!
Next spread the fingers of one hand and take the yarn and wrap it around it then cut it, you’ll get strips about the same length, you can also use anything else to wrap the yarn around, my owner made me special tools to use for this that make it much faster and easier to cut all the yarn. Take a few pieces of yarn (I find 3 works best but you can try different amounts) and just tie them to the center of the tail and push them down to the knot you made at the base. Keep doing this until the whole tail is yarned! Simple but time consuming, a great project to make while watching TV.
To finish the tail you can just tie the center yarn/string into a loop so you can slide it over a belt or you can make a fancy bracket like my owner does:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Tails%20for%20sale/yarntailbracket.jpg
It’s just a piece of house wire/cable (don’t know the name but he says it’s used for wiring in houses).  There’s thick copper inside that keeps the bent shape. It’s extremely comfortable and can easily be put on or taken off.

Paws: I personally haven’t made any paws. Although I know a lot of people who have, including my owner and I do own a pair. Most people who make paws say the simplest way is to put your hand all spread out on a piece of paper and trace it! Then add an extra inch all around for seam allowance, cut two pieces of fur and sew them together ^.^ The paws I have are part of my fursuit, they’re blue with white fingers. My owner wanted to make a set of paws and so he sewed them together like mine were with each finger sewed on separately, this was extremely time consuming! However if you do want to do different colored fingers that’s the way to go.

Kitty Toys: When making things with fur you’ll always have a little left over especially when making ears. These little scraps can easily be made into poof-ball kitty toys! I’ve also made them into furry hair ties.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/bluefurrykitty/Costuming/hairpoofs.jpg
All you need is to cut the scrap of fur into a circular shape and sew some kind of string in the middle on the back side (I use rat tail, a strong thin black cord used for edging) . Take a needle with some thread and put it through on one side then go to the opposite side and pull the two together. Now sew in the edges sticking out and keep doing that pulling in the part that sticks out the most. Eventually you’ll turn your scrap of fur into a tight little ball of fluffy fun.


 

Tags: tutorial
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