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View Full Version : Tutorial: Making a Clip-on Ponytail


Katsumiyo
12-30-2009, 02:16 AM
Since a lot of Cosworx wigs (and wigs from other sites too, of course,) don't have clip-ons in matching colors, I figured this would be a good thing to have around since there are a lot of questions on how to do high ponytails, but not a lot of answers. Katie Bair covers how to stub a wig (http://www.katiebair.com/wigtutorial_stubbing.html), and Kukkii has an excellent tutorial on how to pull a wig into a high ponytail (http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1856065/), but while I made mine I searched and searched and didn't find any tutorial on how to make a clip-on that included functioning pictures. So I decided to make one here, and I hope it can help some folks out.
Here are the things you'll need:
Wefts matching your wig (If you can only find loose strand extensions and not pre-sewn wefts, try Kukkii's tutorial on how to make wefts (http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1079221/))
Claw clip
Matching felt
Matching thread
Scissors
Needles
Hot glue gun and glue sticks (not pictured)
Sewing machine not necessary, but highly useful.
Hot water, if your wefts have kinks (follow Katie Bair's hot water tutorial (http://www.katiebair.com/wigtutorial_straightening.html))

*Please pardon my cellphone pictures!* My camera was broken at the time these photos were taken, so I had to use my phone. It takes decent pictures but I ended up using a friend's camera to take the last couple pictures, since they're the most complex and I wanted everyone to see what I was doing...but the pictures are still terrible, so I'll be using my trusty friend MS Paint to show how everything works.

Step One
Cut a rectangle of fabric (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon2.jpg) that will go around your clip. The two slits are where the claws of the clip will go through. I gave about a half-inch on each side of the slit, and an extra half-inch on top and bottom. These will be important later. Make sure this piece of fabric fits around the clip without stretching; if the felt stretches, over time it can rip and you'll be left with a big tear at the bottom that will stick out and need a bit of work to repair.
Step Two
Sew on the first weft (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon3.jpg). You can start at the very bottom if you like, but I found I preferred a little extra 'insurance room' in case the stitches made the felt weaker. It also helps balance it a little, since too much heaviness near the bottom would make it more difficult to work with later. Just sew along the sewn part of the weft (indicated in blue) and save-stitch at the beginning and end, just like a normal seam.
Note to people who have not worked with wefts before: here is where you snip a weft (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon_weft.jpg).
Step Three
Sew on wefts (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon4.jpg) until they are level with the top of the slits--picture is about a third of the way up. How far apart you sew your wefts will dictate how thick your ponytail will be. I sewed them directly above each other and ended up with a very thick but beautiful ponytail. However, the thicker it is, the worse the tangles will be, so I wouldn't recommend sewing them right on top of each other unless you're going for a VERY thick ponytail (and have some Motions Oil Sheen (http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=118976) on hand. :P )
Step Four
If you've clipped your ponytail into a wig at this point, you can basically see how things take shape from here. Sew some wefts onto the sides (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon5.jpg)--same side as the previous wefts, the hair facing the rest of the wefts. This will help cover the claws of the clip and prevent them from showing in profile shots.
Step Five
Sew the final wefts along the top (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon6.jpg). Finally! No more weft-sewing. Bet you never want to sew another straight line again...at least, you will if you did what I did and sewed the whole thing in one day. The more wefts you have along the very top and sides, the better chance the sewn areas of your wefts won't show when you finish.
Step Six
Use something to scratch up the top of the inside of the claw clip. I used leftover sanding sponges, but even something like a plastic knife will work fine. Scores in the plastic will help the hot glue hold much better.
Step Seven
Slip the claws into the slits. This might take a little work. Make sure no wefts are getting caught where they shouldn't be. Groom the wefts sewn on the sides so they glide between the claws and over the sides without tangling.
Step Eight
(Commence terrible pictures...guess whose macro setting doesn't work?)
Now, you'll notice once you slip it on that it is boxy and awkward-looking. This is definitely the toughest step, so be careful and do this to the best of your ability. Use pins you don't care about to pin it before doing this and make sure it sits well. To fix this, hide the clip, and make the top look thicker, we are going to be doing a sort of box pleat right (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon7.jpg) at the top. While you're finagling this, let your hot glue gun heat up.
Step Nine
Apply hot glue at the red dots (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon8.jpg). If you're careful, this means you won't get any on the hair itself, though it's fine if you do a little since it shouldn't show. You can sew it if you like, but anything short of an industrial will probably choke. Yes, you are gluing wefts on top of wefts and they are touching and probably melting a little bit. That's okay...melted plastic holds well, right? :)
Step Ten
Now you will be applying glue to the felt to attach it to the clip. Put glue along the UNDERSIDE (NOT the side with wefts this time) of the felt so that it will fold over and glue to the clip. Add dabs of glue where the red indicates (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon9.jpg)--the purple lines show the curve of the felt, so the two outermost dabs are just inside the 'corners' of the clip.
Step Eleven
Apply glue along the underside of the top of the felt, where the red here indicates (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon10.jpg). Apply it as well on the underside along the sides, where the wefts are sewn 'sideways'. This will keep the claws from slipping out of the ponytail 'cover,' and will also help make it easier to put in without wefts wanting to face all the wrong ways. You can pleat or glue the corners, if you like, but just tucking them in usually works.
Step Twelve
Detangle and comb out your ponytail. It probably needs it by now. This will also help any misbehaving hair to go in the right direction. You probably saw how the wefts that were glued upside-down along the top want to jump up--one simple combing ought to cure this just fine. You can use hot water should it prove stubborn, and also to get rid of any kinks the fibers attained during shipping.

You're done!

Photos of a finished ponytail with this method:
http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2025696/
http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon_jim.jpg
http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/sammy.jpg

If you're attaching it to a Wisp or another short base like I did, and only have one ponytail rather than two, I suggest a little styling to the rest of the short wig to make it look more like a ponytail. You can see the improvement here:
http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2390947/

For those that are paranoid and/or short, here is what the top of these ponytails looks like:
http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon11.jpg
And when closed:
http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon12.jpg
Identical to ones you would find in stores:
http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On%20Ponytail%20Tutorial/clipon_store.jpg

Questions are more than welcome and any particularly good or repeated questions will be added to the end of this tutorial. Please point out any directions that are not clear and I will do my best to clarify them, also...I'm not always very good at giving instruction the first time. ^^;

Squishy Blob
01-01-2010, 12:52 AM
Thanks. I've had wefts lying around for ages and I've finally got some reliable information on how to make them into clip-ons!

Meitachi
01-01-2010, 03:41 PM
Thanks so much for such a helpful tutorial! :D I was wondering how to go about this process for a while.

xSYN
01-05-2010, 12:55 PM
I LOVE YOU. thanks for sharing =D!
/plotting tiemz.

also; WAI HELLO THAR SQUISHY. i'm tangent from CNZ. XD

youmee400
03-06-2010, 11:37 AM
Great tutorial

Katsumiyo
03-08-2010, 12:33 AM
Thanks, guys! Glad I could help. :3

Mr.Kitty
03-08-2010, 05:53 AM
ohh super awesome tutorial <3 i will defiantly be using it

what colour wig and extensions/wefts did you use ?

Hansku
03-08-2010, 07:51 AM
oh my god, thank you thank you thank you.

I've also searched tutorial for clip-ons for ages. I'm so glad that you made this <3

Poki_Toshi
03-08-2010, 09:09 PM
This is very helpful! Thanks so much for posting this, now I know what I can do with some left over wefts. ^__^

TaRu
03-08-2010, 09:57 PM
EPIC. Katsu, you are my savior! This will come in super handy!! Thanks so much for making a tutorial for this -- it's little things like this that confuse people, thanks so much for making a step-by-step guide! <3

Katsumiyo
03-14-2010, 03:59 AM
<3
Mr. Kitty, my wig and extensions are 24B, now renamed the 25 from Cosworx.

whitebeast
04-04-2010, 08:42 AM
...This is such an amazing tutorial. D:

-loves on it- I used to have all sorts of twintail/ponytail aspirations but could never go about them since I couldn't figure for the life of me how to make the ponytails! Thank goodness for this tutorial.

How many packs/quantity should be used to make ponytails?

☆ KEITA
04-04-2010, 09:26 AM
This is awesome doood. * A*; I thought making your own clip-on ponytails but you make it look very easy! xD I'll def. have to try this out sometime. : Db

Katsumiyo
04-09-2010, 02:17 AM
Whitebeast: You should use probably around two packs a ponytail. It differs from character to character--someone like Yoko with voluminous hair should use more than two packs, but someone with normal or thinner ponytails, you should be okay with two packs per ponytail. My Samus ponytail took a little under, probably around a pack and three-quarters of one.

Alaxz
04-09-2010, 05:47 PM
This tutorial is amazing, a lot of thanks for posting it! I can't wait to try this n_n

TRiPPY
06-18-2010, 05:54 AM
*necrothread* Thank you so much for this tutorial, you won't believe how hard it is to find simple bright red ponyfalls to use with my regular hair! So i just decided to make my own. I can never use elastics because my hair is thin and extensions usualy slip off my head in seconds, so clips were what i was looking for.

I bought 6ft of red human hair pre wefted from Ebay and I was wondering, how many ft of hair do you guys actually use per clip? I've seen people discuss it in 'packets' but I bought from an independant seller who didn't list weight. The hair arrived today and it's beautiful, but i'm not sure if i should buy another 6ft lot again since when its not on a clip yet it looks really quite flat. I'm going for big fluffy spiked out pigtails.
I'm going to start sewing it in today and see how it goes.

Katsumiyo
07-13-2010, 11:34 PM
Ohhhh late response, never got the email for this...
I typically use about a pack and a half. I guess that's somewhere around 2-3 yards in length. If you're going for spiky pigtails, I'd use more than that on each one, and do a lot of teasing and layering to get the look right.

Saru-chan
07-14-2010, 12:47 AM
This is amazing! I own a claw clip hair peice my mom wasn't too happy spending about $30 bucks on, and I can't afford another one out of my own pocket. This helps me so much! Thank you x3

kenshin-chan64
07-14-2010, 02:43 AM
this is awesome! do you think this method would style well attached to a medium length wig? two characters i want to do have the same color hair, but one's is about shoulder length and the other is a long ponytail to about lower back area.

obviously i could make the ponytail with this method, but i'm just unsure about how it will look and attach to an existing small ponytail.

Katsumiyo
07-27-2010, 04:43 AM
Kenshin: I've never tried that myself, but considering people usually attach clip-ons to their own ponytails for everyday use, I think that would be fine. Just make sure to not let the wefts of the base wig show when you pull the hair back.

Akishira
07-27-2010, 12:13 PM
Thanks so much for sharing this!~ :)

Kasukie
07-28-2010, 03:59 PM
This seems really useful :D

Wheres a reliable source to get my wefts and wigs at? and i dont live in US. well my friend was gunna cosplay gakupo and miku but when i saw the clip on that you can get online i didnt know if it was only one or do you get two (+ their expensive) o_o"' and their hair is soooooooo long T_T so i thought we could make the clip ons with your tout but i dunno where to get the materials ...
so when i do get the wefts i was wondering how many packs i would need too...
sorry for all the questions this is my first time cosplaying ....

Celcia
07-29-2010, 01:17 AM
@Kasukie

Cosworx is a reliable source for both wigs and wefts. Right now it's cheaper to use their store here at http://shop.cosplay.com

Kasukie
07-29-2010, 01:56 PM
@Kasukie

Cosworx is a reliable source for both wigs and wefts. Right now it's cheaper to use their store here at http://shop.cosplay.com

thank you :D but is it just the cosworx store or are the other ones on the right also reliable and ships to canada o_o

Katsumiyo
07-29-2010, 09:33 PM
Kasukie: Cosworx wefts are really only good if you need them for a wig from the Cosworx line, since their colors don't match up with a lot of the standard wig colors. Doctored Locks is a very reputable site for wefts, and they even offer color-matching services.
http://www.doctoredlocks.com/catalog/home.php
There's also Amphigory:
http://amphigory.com/hair_weave.html

wanderingdreamr
08-03-2010, 07:40 PM
Oh wow, I have a few cosplays with high-ish ponytails and I was thinking of doing something totally different but this is so much better. Thank you so much!

ShadowDrac
09-28-2010, 10:39 PM
Oh gosh, I'm bumping a semi-dead thread here, sorry about that.

Would this method work with a low ponytail, one at the base of the wig/neck, rather than the back of the head?

Thanks,
Shadowdrac

Katsumiyo
10-04-2010, 12:53 AM
Don't apologize at all for bumping an old thread. I think it's more accepted 'round here if you bump an old tutorial thread, rather than some general help thread anyways.
It would work, but I don't see why you wouldn't just sew in a few extra wefts and just pull the wig into a ponytail instead. Since lower ponytails fall differently than ones pulled higher up, it might look a little weird. And it just seems easier to pull it into a low ponytail anyways. But if that's really what you want then yeah, it should be able to work that way.

glitter bomb
10-04-2010, 02:27 AM
this was a very helpful tutorial. thank you!

ShadowDrac
10-04-2010, 06:01 PM
Don't apologize at all for bumping an old thread. I think it's more accepted 'round here if you bump an old tutorial thread, rather than some general help thread anyways.
It would work, but I don't see why you wouldn't just sew in a few extra wefts and just pull the wig into a ponytail instead. Since lower ponytails fall differently than ones pulled higher up, it might look a little weird. And it just seems easier to pull it into a low ponytail anyways. But if that's really what you want then yeah, it should be able to work that way.

Thank you for the reply. The reason I asked is that I was considering recycling my wig of choice for another cosplay, one that didn't have a ponytail. But I really think you're right; since I do have extra wefts, it would just be easier (and more natural looking) to add a ponytail than make a clip on.

Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

Chipface
10-28-2010, 09:46 AM
This tutorial is great. I was wondering how to make a clip on ponytail for a costume I'm doing and this explains it clearly. Thanks for sharing:D

kitsuneheart
08-03-2011, 12:47 AM
Oh wow! This is such an amazing tutorial! =D This sounds like just the trick for my reshiram wig. ~glaresatwig~ >,< Styling a longer wig into a ponytail (even a low one) is way harder then I thought. ^^' I may just have to get brave and chop off the ends of it to give this a shot.

Would this work with handmade wefts as well? Or no-sew? As I said, I'm thinking about chopping a good chunk off my wig to make ponytails for it. =/

mogusq
08-10-2011, 02:51 PM
Thanks so much for posting this! It's really useful.

Katsumiyo
08-14-2011, 04:52 AM
Oh wow! This is such an amazing tutorial! =D This sounds like just the trick for my reshiram wig. ~glaresatwig~ >,< Styling a longer wig into a ponytail (even a low one) is way harder then I thought. ^^' I may just have to get brave and chop off the ends of it to give this a shot.
Would this work with handmade wefts as well? Or no-sew? As I said, I'm thinking about chopping a good chunk off my wig to make ponytails for it. =/

It would work fine with handmade wefts. As for no-sew wefts, I suppose you could glue them to the felt instead of sewing them, though with glued weft I'm always terrified a huge clump of hair will come out or something. @__@
A word of warning: I tried trimming a long wig shorter so I could use the rest to make a clip-on. Long wigs like the Ivy tend to be thicker than short wigs like the Clover, so it can be very difficult to style them into a shorter style suitable for a clip-on. Depending on the character, you can either get a shorter wig in a matching color and rip the wefts out of the old wig to make a ponytail, or take the long wig into a low ponytail and use a claw clip to hide it beneath a clip-on ponytail. The low-ponytail method best suits characters with enormously thick hair like Yoko and may not work for characters with normal-sized ponytails.

xoxoPanda-chan
08-14-2011, 09:26 AM
thankies for posting x3

LadyToast
09-01-2011, 04:21 AM
I wanted to thank you SO much for this tutorial!! Because of you I'm finally able to finish my Yin cosplay ^^~~~<3 I'm almost done with the ponytail I just wanted to show you the success of my hard work today (worked on this for 6-7 hours straight) >>>http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c204/olivia8383/DSC_00081.jpg

Lady Marie
12-04-2012, 05:11 PM
Is there a way to make the clip fluffy and bigger?

Zoesmash
02-17-2014, 06:33 AM
Hello,

I want to make a dark green ponytail and I'm so thankful for coming across this! I can't wait to give it a go BUT...

I can't find any Dark Green hair wefts so i'm going to have to buy some human hair wefts and dye them the colour I want and then make into a ponytail. How long of a weft do i need? If i google hair wefts, they have inches like 18 inch human hair weft, i always thought that was the length of the but is that the length of the weft? They also seem expensive. Unless I get synthetic and ink dye.

Thanks x

itoshigo
06-13-2014, 04:45 PM
OP, I just wanna say thank you! Thank you so much!
This is going to come very handy for making a clip-on ponytail topper for the Hanji wig I'm gonna be putting together. :love: