View Full Version : Wig-making & Wefting -Tutorials-

05-24-2007, 08:26 PM
I just finished some on-site tutorials and I though I'd share them with everyone who'd like to make their own wigs, or (more likely) revamp existing wigs with custom-made extensions.

I'd love to have a thread to discuss these "advanced" techniques and post links to other tutorials that are scattered around cosplay.com and the net.

Here's my tutorial on How to make your own wefts using a sewing machine:
(continues to the left)

And here's my tutorial on How to make your own wig from scratch:
(continues to the left)

It shows the complete process of making a Fran (Final Fantasy XII) wig including:
-preparing the wig undermesh
-sewing wefts to the undermesh to achieve special styles: very full hair; a high ponytail
-using foam core and stubbing a wig
-curling and styling hair using both the hot water method and a blow dryer

I'm afraid you'll have to browse through the photos if you're looking for just one of these methods, but they're all in there somewhere;)

An overview of my tutorials can be found in the "Work in Progress" album in my gallery:

I owe a lot to a tutorial posted by Gren, which taught me the basics of wefting with a sewing machine.
I liked the method so much I decided to make an extensive tutorial with photos.

If you'd like to make no-sew wefts using glue or caulk, Katie Bair has a tutorial on her site:

For further reading, here's a previous discussion on some wefting methods and the use of wefts:
And DLGR's tutorial on the Stitch Witchery wefting method mentioned in that thread:

Here's another tutorial by sasha on how to make wefts (involving glue) and attach them to a wig:

Feel free to post links to your own tutorials on other wefting methods or wig-making techniques or share your experience, comment on any of the methods used, or ask questions on the use of wefting and wig-making^^ I'm excited, as I'm rather new to this thing as well and this is the first wig I actually made from scratch, rather than just adding extensions to a base wig.

05-24-2007, 09:53 PM
still reading. but thought i'd add.

*grabs your face and kisses both cheeks* i love you. you are god.

05-25-2007, 04:29 AM
Random note! I found out over time and practice (And just wefting too darn much hair) that if you make three lines of stitches before you first fold all the hair in half, it helps lock everything in place and REALLY cuts down on the hair trying to criss cross everywhere. The tutorial is fantastic, and your Fran wig looks just gorgeous! (<3!)

05-25-2007, 07:30 AM
Thanks^^ And I owe a lot to you, Gren!

Actually, what I changed when adopting your wefting method is that I stitch TWO lines prior to folding, which works wonders because it's a lot easier to fold the hair and netting between the lines of stitching. And it also has the effect of keeping the hair from criss-crossing.

But I guess I'll try the three-line thing too, maybe it works even better^^

I found that in the end, on the finished weft, there should be about 5 lines of stitching (2 prior to folding the weft, 3 after) to get real sturdy wefts. I've made wefts with less, but the hair WILL slip easily. So I guess it's really worth the extra time.

I have to say that there's few hair styles out there that I'd actually consider MAKING a whole wig for. (Like the Sora / KH wigs in Gren's gallery, or my Fran wig.) It just takes forever... But I just couldn't imagine using a purchased wig for Fran's crazy hairstyle.

I love how you can create your own color blends, as plain colors tend to come out bad in photos, on actual people (especially party colors) and adding highlights in different colors to an existing wig is a pain and may not give you the result you were hoping for. I guess I just love to be in control of the whole process from the very start *lol*

Btw, I ended up using (almost) 5 packs of extensions in SN / white, a little more than one pack in 22 / lightest ash blonde, and part of one pack each in colors 24 and 12. The darker the color, the less fiber I added to the blend. I actually experimented with the right mix ratio quite a bit until I ended up using more and more white and just subtle highlights, though I think it's good to have clearly visible highlights especially in the ponytail and the portions of loose hair so the highlights will show up at all in photos. I found that very subtle highlights usually just get drowned in convention photos (especially when the photographer is using a flash.)

05-30-2007, 04:20 AM
There's still so much I have to learn about wig styling, but thank you so, so much for these tutorials. The wefting ones are especially helpful, particularly for those characters with visible hairlines.

05-30-2007, 11:07 PM
<3 This looks like it will be very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. ^^

06-01-2007, 03:48 AM
Oh, that is amazing! Thank you so much for the tutorial. It's really going to come in handy for some wigs I'll need in the future!

Kawaii Chan
06-01-2007, 06:37 AM
Still reading, but I'll certainly need this for my Sydney Animania Neji Hyuga costume x33 I'd prefer to make my own wig, hehe.

I GIVE YOU LUFF. *glomp*

06-01-2007, 09:37 AM
Wow! I'm really impressed :D
I've only done minor wefting and wig work before but this makes me less scared to pick more challenging characters.

06-01-2007, 04:42 PM
I love you for spreading the joy of sewn wefts - I myself never could get the hang of no-sew caulk wefts. :S

These are excellent tutorials. ^_^

06-02-2007, 01:47 PM
Oh awesome! It's great to see a wig making and wefting thread. I recently got into it and it's surprisingly very fun and easy! I made a tutorial as well only my version is a bit different, it's on how to make your own generic extensions and adding them in (http://www.sasha-v.com/fc/info/tutorials/tut_extensions.html). I focused mine mainly on bangs but it's really fun and interesting to see all the different ways people can make them.

06-02-2007, 05:00 PM
That's awesome, a method that combines no-sew and sewing techniques to make wefts! Thanks for contributing that! ^_^

Neither did I, but maybe it's just because I prefer thread & needle to glue in almost any part of my costumes;) I don't even own a hot-glue gun...
(Neko-miko, another German cosplayer, uses hot glue to make real quick no-sew wefts, btw.)

06-06-2007, 11:17 AM
Can wefts be used to make ponytails? Or is there a different method for that?

06-06-2007, 11:38 AM
yes, wefting can be used to make pony tails. the best tutorial is found at Katie Bairs website

First you need to know how to add in your extensions:

Then learn how to stub for your ponytails:

06-06-2007, 11:57 AM
Thanks! Okay, one more question and I am done. I promise. Can home made extensions/wefts be dyed and washed?

06-06-2007, 01:59 PM
They can be dyed. As for washed, I assume you mean like with the wig as a whole? Yes, I can't see why not. Just make sure you're gentle and don't comb or brush it while it's wet!

06-06-2007, 02:23 PM
Thank you for the help. I guess as a whole. If it can be dyed then I guess it'd have to be washed sooner or later xD

06-07-2007, 08:53 AM
Actually, what you're asking for, xobrittuhox, and the tutorial on Katie Bair's site that Annie-Mei posted, they're both for loose or non-wefted extensions.

You don't need to weft the extensions to make a ponytail or a back part, and Katie Bair's method straight out won't work with wefted extensions!

Wefts are for sewing them into a wig (or to your home-made wig undermesh). Glue, caulk, or a heat sealer are used to seal loose extensions only.

06-08-2007, 02:40 AM
Just tried the sewing wefts the other night. You make it look so easy! XD
Thanks for sharing this!

06-08-2007, 06:51 AM
Hurray I just made a weft with some hair I had left from an extension... and it worked! I always figured it had to be like this, but this encourages me to make a wig from scratch!

That, and yes Fran's hair CAN'T be done with just a normal wig! XD ^_^

06-08-2007, 08:00 AM
Kukkii-san- Oh I see, thanks for the tip off. Very helpful ^_^

06-14-2007, 06:42 PM
I'm gathering the stuff to make my wig but I don't know of a good place to order the raw hair from. I was looking at grens suggested ragdolly.net but the only white they have is uv. Has any one used this? Dose it look odd in normal light?

06-15-2007, 09:15 AM
Definitely Doctored Locks:

Or if you live in Europe and happen to need veeeery special colors (instead of dyeing the extensions), shop at Plasikhaar:
They're much more expensive than Dr. Locks though, even considering postage & customs fees.

I haven't tried UV white yet, I believe it should look perfectly normal in daylight though. UV only means it's blacklight reactive. What you shouldn't do is mix different shades of white (like snow white and silvery white) or even the same color bought at different stores or from the same store at different times, as the dye / processing may vary slightly from lot to lot.

If you need to match the extensions to a base wig you have, and don't know the color number, the safest method would be to send in a fiber swatch to Dr. Locks and ask them to find matching extensions for you. If you're making an entire wig from scratch, however, you can blend the different extension fibers when you make the wefts, so you may not have to worry about the exact shade as long as the color blend is distributed equally over the whole wig.

06-15-2007, 08:25 PM
thank you. I had been to that web sight and just gotten confused looking around.
Thank you very much for your tutorial! Gren taught me about wefting at an A-Kon forum last year but your information about how to make the 'cap' and seeing everything step-by-step is extremly helpful! Wish me luck on my first wig!

06-17-2007, 05:20 AM
Ganbatte ne, then^^

That's cool that Gren held a panel or something like it... Wish we had this kind of thing at German cons^^ (Well we have some basic panels or workshops on how to create fanart, etc. but I have yet to see an in-depth / advanced cosplay workshop.)

12-03-2007, 12:44 PM
Just a thing I couldn't get from the tutorials is how I make the parting, when I attach the last wefts, without getting that annoying sewing lines appearing?

12-03-2007, 07:03 PM
I'm not sure what part you're talking about, but in general, you can brush the hair back to conceal the stitching lines - use a blow dryer (and hairspray if needed) to make the fiber bend as you wish (heat will form the fiber permanently.) This means sewing the weft to the wig in the opposite direction you want the hair to point after it's brushed back.

If you're thinking of making a part like this
you can't do that to a wig made from scratch unless you know how to make a lace wig or pull hair through a skin top.

12-03-2007, 07:14 PM
Thank you so much for the tutorial! I was planning on trying the caulk no-sew method and was getting a little uneasy about it- I'd much rather try to sew my own. This will come in handy!

12-07-2007, 01:58 AM
This a really neat tutorial will help a lot on those hard-to-style or the not-readily-available. I'll make use of this in the future.

12-12-2007, 12:41 PM
Thanks!! The first tip was exactly what I wanted ^^ A parting like the one of the photo is far too complicated for me (making my first wig hehe) ._.

You Fran wig is great!! *worship*

01-28-2009, 10:36 AM
Where can I get wefts from--I found the color I needed for the wig, but Cosworx only listed it as 'Dark Cherry' so I don't know where to go to to get more wefts.
I couldn't find any on Cosworx, but is that just me? Did I miss something? (That wouldn't be the first time XDDD)

Oh! Nevermind! I found wefts on Cosworx XDDD
I guess I wasn't looking hard enough!

02-12-2009, 10:14 PM
Thank you! ^-^ i didn't think you could make your own wigs but guess you can :)

03-03-2009, 05:47 PM
Thank you so much for making this thread!!

03-08-2009, 06:56 AM
You probably hear this all the time but this was so helpful! Thank you! ^__^ I was having trouble trying to figure out what to do with this wig I'm working on.

04-08-2010, 09:36 PM
I just finished some on-site tutorials and I though I'd share them with everyone who'd like to make their own wigs, or (more likely) revamp existing wigs with custom-made extensions.

I'd love to have a thread to discuss these "advanced" techniques and post links to other tutorials that are scattered around cosplay.com and the net.

Here's my tutorial on How to make your own wefts using a sewing machine:
(continues to the left)......

OMG your wefts come out SO much nicer than mines!:waaaah:
I wish you could make mines!

09-02-2010, 09:37 AM
I'm having trouble pulling a long wig back into a ponytail. I've tried braiding the sections and then pulling them one by one back to the desired base of the ponytail, but I can't seem to get it smooth.
Do you suggest cutting the lengths off to hand-make a pony that would attach onto the formed base you describe in your tutorial? If so, any hints to that nature? Cutting a 4-ft wig is kinda scary.
I'm also having trouble keeping the wig on my head. Egh, I'm such a noob. >-<

09-13-2010, 07:05 AM
Thanks for all this lovely help, but I heard from a friend that with her sewn wefts the hair falls out! Is this usually the case?

09-13-2010, 12:42 PM
Nope, home-made wefts are just as good as store-bought ones if you do it right. Your friend probably didn't seal the fiber properly; when you use your sewing machine to make wefts, for example, you need to stitch across the fiber multiple times with a very small stitch (as seen in my tutorial.)

12-13-2010, 09:39 PM
God I Love You! This Is Amazing!

08-30-2012, 05:27 PM
This was so helpful! And your Fran wig looks gorgeous :) I read all of your tutorials and now think I understand the general process. However, I still don't know if I want to make a homemade wig for my cosplay because it's my first time. I do have one question though. Compared to buying a wig, is making a homemade wig cheaper, more expensive, or more or less the same price?