Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Star Wars Boba Fett Mickey Ears

After I finished making my first two sets of Mickey ears I knew that I wanted to make them for the whole family.  Keith requested some Boba Fett ears, and although I didn't know what I wanted for the second ear I knew that this was something I could accomplish.  I found a pair of fun foam Boba Fett ears and wanted to try to recreate something similar out of felt.

Using the tabbed ear template I created, I cut out out four pieces of thick felt, two green and two black.  I let Keith select which headband was more comfortable for him to wear and he picked the plastic one with holes in it.  (I got the headbands at the dollar store; $0.33 for a headband is the right price!)

Materials for the Boba Fett Mickey Ears Headband

  • Craft felt, the thicker/stiffer felt for the ear bases and the thinner, cheaper felt for the embellishments
  • Silver puffy fabric paint
  • Gutternmann Invisible Thread 
  • Black thread for the bobbin
  • A sewing machine 
  • Hot glue gone
  • Blank headband

To create the embellishments, I folded pieces of felt in half and cut along the fold.  I made the initial pieces larger than the ear template because it would be harder for me to get the curves right than it would be for me to trim the final shape after the sewing was done.  

I trimmed the first black and burgundy layers and then added the black cross on top.  This is a lot of layers of felt to sew through, but I crossed my fingers that my machine could handle it.

It was difficult at times to get 4 layers of felt through the machine, but it worked much better than I expected.  I didn't stitch any of the edges that were along the perimeter of the ear yet, I wanted to wait until I attached the back of the ear so that I would only need to sew these areas once.

I switched from a white to a black bobbin to attach the front of the ear to the back of the ear.

Once the ear was complete I trimmed the edges to make the whole thing round.  

I left the bottom edge of the design loose so I could trim this after adding the ear to the headband. I wanted this to be as flush as possible and I didn't know if it would need to be trimmed on a curve or not.

I considered sewing the antenna onto the helmet, but I knew that I would struggle to get another layer of felt through the machine.  It made more sense to use hot glue to attach this to the ear... after I finished up a few more embellishment details.  

I added some final touches to Boba Fett's helmet ear with some silver puffy paint.  

The first Boba Fett ear looked fantastic, but I wasn't sure what to do on the other ear.  Some pinterest options had a symbol that I was not familiar with.  Keith wasn't a fan of this, and asked for the Boba Fett Mandalorian instead.  This gave me an excuse to try out a new technique, freezer paper stenciling.  With the help of the craft knife I already purchased for these projects, I could cut the shape out of freezer paper and use that as a stencil.

I carefully cut the shape out of the freezer paper (dull side up).  I ironed it onto a plain mickey ear using a "press cloth" under the ear and over the ear so I wouldn't risk damaging my iron. (I had sewn the front and back of the ear together before the stenciling because I learned the hard way that my presser foot an get stuck on puffy paint.)  I turned off the steam setting on my iron.  I tried to iron on the "synthetic" setting but that didn't get stuck all the way, so I increased the temperature to "silk".

I was impressed that this actually was stuck to the ear!  Using a makeup sponge, I dabbed the puffy fabric paint onto the stencil.  I tried to be careful, and ended up doing a total of three coats.  I was impatient when I was waiting for it to dry, so I decided to help things along with a hair dryer.

I had many fears thorough the stenciling.  What if the freezer paper cuts weren't good and it moved?  What if the fabric paint was stuck together and I couldn't remove it from the ear?  Thankfully, the mickey ear below the stencil just had one simple seam around the edge, so it wouldn't be super hard for me to start over... but I really hoped that this worked.

Finally the design was dry and I could remove the stencil...

It was hard to remove the stencil. Maybe it is because I used dimensional fabric paint.  Maybe I should do this when the project is wet next time.  At least the edge looks clean.  there will be no reusing this stencil!  With the help of the pin, I was able to get the small sections off of the ear.  Tip: Start at the pointy edge and pull out.

Eventually I was able to remove all of the stencil pieces and WOW.  THIS.  IS.  AMAZING!  It looks like I bought a stencil.  How have I never tried freezer paper stenciling before?!?!

Don't these ears look fantastic?  It took a little of waffling, but I decided to put the antenna on the outside of the head.

I stuffed the ears and then hot glued them onto the headband.  I'm surprised that the guys like these open work headbands more than the solid ones, but I'll have to pick up some more of these from the dollar store.

I attached the antenna with hot glue as well.  I think I messed up the placement a little bit but it is still super recognizable.  Wahoo!

The last thing I had to do was trim the bottom of the helmet.  I was able to cut this straight across, but I'm glad that I wanted until the gluing was complete.

What do you think?  Isn't this the perfect headband to visit the Star Wars characters at Disney World?

Next time I do a freezer paper stencil I will cut off more of the excess freezer paper so I can see the placement of my design a bit better.  However I am thrilled with how this technique turned out, and I am excited to do more freezer paper stenciling in the future.

Stay tuned for more Mickey Mouse ears!  I was having so much fun that I just couldn't stop making new sets.  I have a feeling I'm going to end up with a suitcase full of accessories for my trip.

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