Nekomimi, or cat ears, make for fairly a common cosplay prop. They grace the heads of a fair number of characters from both popular anime and manga, and more often than not, putting a pair on, by definition, adds an element of cute to whatever costume you’re wearing.
This tutorial, which I’ve thrown together, is a quickie guide to crafting yourself a pair on the cheap. It’s a project that’s easy to do, safe, and takes only approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete.
First off, you’re gonna need the following items:
1. Felt squares – $2 for a pack (from Daiso)
2. Approximately 2-ft of 1 mm thick metal wire – $2 for a spool (again from Daiso)
3. A plastic hair band – $2 (also Daiso). You can also pick one up from a neighborhood store, or the market for a little less.
4. Swatch of fur cloth – $4 from the cast offs pile at Spotlight. Alternatively, you can pick up a quarter meter of high quality fur cloth for about $7, and it should last you a long, long while.
In addition to the above items, you’ll also need a pair of wire clippers, scissors, and craft glue.
Cut out 4 pieces of wire, approximately 6-inches in length each. Crease them in the middle, making loose arches like so.
Attach these arches to the plastic hair band by looping the ends several times around the hairband. Make sure the fit is snug, so the wires don’t slide out of alignment.
Arrange those arches just so. This will be the framework for your kitty ears – with the wider triangle and slightly smaller triangle forming a small cleft when you bend them. This will give your ears their shape when you start gluing the felt pieces on.
Cut two triangles out of felt, then trim two of the sides, so the shape looks something like a diamond.
Pour a bit of glue onto the wire frame, then carefully affix your felt cut outs.
Do it for both ears, making sure to press it down until the glue sits so the shape of the ears comes out.
Now, it should look something like this.
Cut out two triangles from the fur cloth.
Pour a bit of glue along the edges of these fur triangles, then make a fold approximately 2 millimeters wide, and press down. This seals the edges, prevents the fur from shedding, and creates a smooth edge on the sides.
Now pour glue on the back of your felt covered cat ears, and on the edges.
Carefully attach the fur triangles. Use a bit of glue at the tips of your ears, to help them retain their pointed shape.
Finally, let the glue dry out, and you should end up with something like this.
Add on your finishing touches – brush the fur and fluff it up a little, and use craft glue to mend the odd bits if they’re fraying.
And presto! Your very own nekomimi head band!
How cool is that?