Saturday, July 13, 2013

Help me plan my next DIY project?

Have you ever had a DIY project waiting around for months and months because you couldn't figure out exactly what you wanted to do about it? I've been sitting on top of one particular project for I think over a year now, and so I finally think it's time I asked you guys what you would do in my situation, just so I can get this done and have something to do with myself for the next month an a half.


You see, I have this groundhog skull that my dad found for me on one of his archaeological digs. It's just the upper part of the skull, and it's only missing one molar tooth, so it's in pretty good condition and perfect for making a kind of super Gothy accessory. But the question is, what to make?

(For reference, the skull is 4 inches long, 1 1/4 inches tall, and 2 1/2 inches wide.)

The first and most obvious option is to make it into a hair accessory, but what kind?

(Forgive my startled expression I was trying very hard not to blink)

Essentially, I have three options. I can attach it to a headband, turn it into a fascinator, or put it on a hat. 

Hats would be the least labor-intensive of the project, but would require the most planning (and potentially the most money) because it takes the right kind of hat. I imagine it with a kind of vintage tilted hat but those tend to be pretty expensive and hard to find. Besides, the size of the skull isn't friendly to every hat, so maybe it would have to be put on a wide-brimmed hat, but do I want a wide-brimmed hat? Questions, questions.

The headband is a cheaper option but headbands don't look great with all outfits (particularly super fancy ones), so it might be the least versatile. There's also the problem that I don't want my skull to look out of place on the accessory and tower miles above everything else, so I have to add background elements (like lace, flowers, etc.) to even out the structure, all of which might make the headband so heavy that it would slide off.

Fascinators are probably the most labor-intensive for what I'm picturing. Essentially I would have fabrics of different lengths, textures, and patterns, and then sew the ends of them together to make fabric loops. Once I have the loops I would stack them on top of each other (longest on the bottom) to make a circle out of the stacked loops and sew them down the center, attaching the skull so that it sits on a pillow of fabric. Then, add more decorations as I see fit, and sew clips on the bottom-most fabric to attach to my hair.

And speaking of decorations, there are so many options! Lace, feathers, buttons, beads, ribbon, bows, and the most goes on! What would look good with this skull?

Alternatively, I could string a chain through the ear canal and wear it as a (very large) necklace...perhaps that's what I'll do while I'm still waiting to put the rest of this project together.

Personally, I'm leaning towards the fascinator look, but I'm still not fully decided. Will it look weird in most outfits, and am I wasting my time? How would you guys tackle this project?

19 comments:

  1. #1 - You need to preserve the skull before doing anything at all to it. Clean it and seal it to get rid of any left over tissue that may cause it to rot and get your sick and to keep moisture etc. out so that it lasts a long time.

    #2 - Personally I wouldn't wear most animal skulls as jewelry because to me it looks tacky. I did have a bird's head necklace for a while, but skulls bigger than a small bird's head i think is gaudy and ridiculous looking. Personal opinion.

    I'd rather make some kind of house decoration with it than accessories.

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    1. Hi McKe! The skull has been preserved, it's been stable and non-rotting for over a year now. And I'm sorry you think my fashion choices are tacky, ridiculous, and gaudy but it will make me happy, so I'm going ahead in this project. :)

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    2. Good for you. I think it would make a wonderful hair piece!

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  2. I think a round, flat fascinator with other adornments (lace, feathers, veiling, etc.) in addition to the skull would look marvelous! I would advice to be careful with the skull as it is still bone.

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    1. Thank you! The skull seems fairly sturdy, we had a minor Earthquake and it fell off my shelf and it was fine, but I will try to be careful. :)

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  3. My vote is with the fascinator - both the hat and the headband would probably limit wearability. Maybe simplify the design slightly though, the make it less labour intensive? And good on you for actually using the skull! My boyfriend and I have a collection of bones [mostly vertebrae], skulls and horns that we keep to use in photoshoots and to make into accessories, and its great to see someone like-minded :)

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  4. Yep, agreeing with the above - has to be a fascinator for me. Maybe a flat satin base, with a lace trim around the edge and possibly some detachable pearl loops? I'd keep it simple (or even customisable), because it's such a nice skull you'll want to wear it with loads of outfits. :)

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  5. a fascinator is the best of the above. though I 'd make it a brooch. it's easier and more versatile, as you can pin it to clothes, jackets, bags etc

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    1. I think a brooch would be a great idea if not for the fact that I tend to wear t-shirts more often than brooch-appropriate blouses, and the skull is a little large for most brooches anyway. Perhaps that would be a project if I discovered a smaller skull, such as a chipmunk.

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  6. I've been making facinators based on a wire rim with an interesting fabric on top, padding of felt to give it volume and a base of canvas for stability. It ends up being pretty versetile, you can line the edges with trim, sew watches, doll heads, seashells, or whatever you want. I put it on a comb, but there may be a better way. I think I spend around 6 hours on them, but I also do it while commuting so it's not too bad.

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    1. That sounds like a perfectly manageable project, even for six hours of work! I love the watch idea, I think I might incorporate that into the project. :)

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  7. I vote for the fascinator as well, although the brooch idea also sounds interesting!

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    1. It seems that's pretty much the consensus here! :)

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  8. Not to disrupt the consensus, but the fascinator will probably be your best bet. The skull can be the centerpiece of the project without competing with the form of the hat. Plus, if you use a variety of different fabrics and textures, the fascinator can be quite versatile with different outfits.

    How heavy is the skull? One concern will be how you are planning to attach the fascinator- too much weight pulling on your hair constantly might give you a headache or cause the fascinator to be continually slipping out of place.

    If you didn't want to do a hair piece, I think having the skull as the buckle of a belt would be interesting.

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    1. I haven't weighed the skull but it's certainly less heavy than metal hair ornaments that I own, so I'm not especially concerned.


      If I wore belts, that would be a great idea! Someone should start making those

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  9. I think a lovely old-fashioned black hat with lots of black veiling and a few old millinery flowers would be great with that skull! And then you wouldn't have to worry about the weight of it shifting the fascinator on your head.

    But that's just me. ;o)

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    1. That sounds like a wonderfully elegant solution, if I can find a black hat that I think would suit I'll be sure to consider it!

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  10. A hat or a fascinator would be the most versatile as well as a statement piece. I have had a similar project idea in mind. If you choose to make a hat, I think a cloche would be sturdy enough to hold the skull plus other adornments as desired. If you attach the skull to a a few pins or a steel closure (like the ones on a handbag), then you can switch up what the skull can go with and what can be attached to the hat. Here's a pattern suggestion: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/felted-cloche-3

    If you choose to make a fascinator, again I recommend leaving yourself the option to remove the skull so that you can pair it with more than one accessory. Here is a link to fascinator patterns I've been itching to make. http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/v8868-products-44627.php?page_id=181

    As a side note, I think a fascinator with black netting or tulle that comes over your eyes or face would play up the funeral/death impression with the skull attached.

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