I have a confession to make: I hate styling wigs. It's messy. It's tedious. It makes me nervous. Give me armor making, resin casting or hand embroidery any day, and I'll feel right at home, but please not wig styling!
Now that I've got that off my chest, it might come as no surprise to you that I held off on styling Zelda's wig until the very end. Of course, actually pushing up my sleeves and doing it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn't a cake walk either. Keep reading to see how I did it.
I used Arda wig's Tigre Classic in Dark Copper. I also added 2 packs of wefts in Warm Light Brown (to add thickness to the hair and dimension to the color). To make the highlights, I sewed in a pack of short wefts in the color Sandy Brown - which ended about where the braid starts. (If you need tips on how to add wefts to wigs, see my related tutorial here.) Yes, the wig was extremely heavy after all of those additions! Therefore, I had to sew a large hair comb to the underside, too.
Once that was all done, I parted the hair and carefully measured out what I thought looked about right to leave at the sides. Then I pulled back some of the hair around the top and secured it with a clear elastic band. Looked like this after that step:
I divided the remainder of the hair into three sections. Two smaller side sections (which will be wrapped) and one large back section (which will be braided). Despite adding the weft packs to thicken it up a bit, I discovered that the side pieces still weren't thick enough (for my liking) to wrap. So I rolled up some cotton batting and held it up against the side pieces until it seemed about the right thickness..
I cut the batting to the length of the hair and sewed it to the underside of the side hair. To cover the cotton, you can either wrap and glue the wig's hair around it or you can add a small weft piece of hair to the back side of the cotton - that way both sides are covered and the cotton won't be visible.
Once the batting is secured within the side hair, you can wrap a clear hairband around the place where you want the white elastic wrap to start. (You can alternatively use white ribbon for this, but I personally think elastic works better because of the thickness and lack of shine.)
At this point, you'll want to try the wig on to see how short you want to cut the side pieces - since the sides are shorter than the back braid. Mine cut off just below my chest, but others are about mid-chest level. You can also cut the back of the hair if it's too long, but be sure to braid it first because braiding will make it shorter. Zelda's back braid seems to cut off right at her butt.
It's really hard to explain how to wrap the hair in writing, but doing it is not a difficult task. Just criss-criss the elastic starting from where you placed your hair band and working your way down. Be sure to start wrapping from the middle of the elastic at not at one end. Once you are close to reaching the bottom, tie the elastic off (don't cut it). We'll glue the bottom cone thingys in next.
YouWhat I did next was hot glue the cone things directly to the cotton batting and cut the hair around it to where it's even with the rim of the cones. Once they were glued on really good, I glued some of the hair to the cotton batting, too - for good measure. Then I continued the elastic wrapping until meeting the cones and fully covering any exposed hair. I then cut and tied off the elastic, as well well hot glued the ends down. If you have any trouble making the bottom look seamless, you can also wrap some white suede cord around the bottom (you'll be using the same white suede cord to wrap the back).
For the back of the hair, I braided it starting from about the middle of my back so that my hair covers the V-neck. I placed another hair tie at the starting point so that I could slightly spread the hair out a little before braiding. Once you reach the bottom of the braid, leave a few inches and tie it off.
(By the way - I did most of this without having a clue as to what I was doing. I literally just figured it out as I went along.)
The next thing I did was taking some rolled up cotton batting and hot glue the back cone piece to it, like so....
I cut the tip of the batting until it was about even with the hair tie and inserted it between the bottom hair. Using a couple hair clips, I pulled back a layer of the bottom hair so that only a thin layer of hair remained around the cotton and I hot glued this layer to the cotton (you can also sew instead, but I was feeling ruthless.) After that seemed pretty secure, I piled the rest of the hair around it and wrapped it - starting just above the hair ties to the rim of the cone using white suede cord. Side note: The cone things were modeled using Sculpy clay and baked in the oven. The two smaller cones were painted with a pearl white acrylic. The back is silver (although, there's debate on whether or not it's supposed to be gold).
The back hair piece that covers the tip of the braid was made from craft foam. I glued a hair clip on the back to help it stay in place. The tri-force symbol on the front was made using some acrylic rhinestones I found on eBay.
I hope this tutorial helped. Long live our Twilight Princess!