This is a tutorial for the resin-casting-phobic. The baubles are either glued on permanantly, or you can make pin-backs and have them be like brooches that you can remove for washing. There are many great resin-casting tutorials that I have come across geared specifically towards cosplay, such as these from windofthestars.com and whatishcc.com. I suggest using these for their durability, translucency, and customization that are limited in using Christmas ornaments. I can’t stress DURABILITY. I have had X-mas baubles shatter when shipping through the mail, so I take precautions by making a few extra baubles for each costume to replace. It’s a pain. But I like the quickness and non-stinky-fume-ness of this method, despite the ghettoness. Here is a much requested tutorial! I like having removeable baubles (with a pin back) so I can wash costumes more easily. If I’m working in armor, then obviously I just glue it on.
plastic Christmas ornaments
x-acto or utility knife
hot glue gun
epoxy and/or contact cement (optional)
spraypaint (optional, if changing color of ornament)
Pull off the plastic cap to the PLASTIC ornament. Don’t use glass ornaments or else you will slice your hands and be sad. Using a utility knife or x-acto knife, go along the seam slowly to score the seam. I usually press rather lightly and go around this seam 2-3 times before ‘cracking’ open the globe. Going over the seam a few times with a knife results in a cleaner edge as opposed to trying to cut all the way through with the knife the first go-around. After cutting in half, there might be cracks along the sides. I take a pair of scissors and cut a straight line at this point (right side in the pic) to get rid of the jagged broken edge, as well as make the dome less deep and more like the reference. Very few bauble pieces need a full hemisphere, and the less bulk the better. This can laso reduce the circumference of the bauble, so use it at your discretion and to your advantage.
TO COLOR ORNAMENT: This step isn’t pictured. If you need to change the color of the ornament, use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand off/scuff the surface of the already painted surface before repainting! This helps the new color adhere better to the surface.
Trace the hemisphere and subtract a scant amount to the circumference. Add your border. Here is your pattern for your border. The trace of the hemisphere is in red, and the pattern in black.
Use your pattern to cut a border out of craft-foam. Spraypaint or decorate the border appropriately.
Put a thin layer of hot glue along the edge of the ornament. Slide the border over the top of the ornament and press gently into the glue.
Use either contact cement or epoxy to glue the bauble on. Note: It’s important that the area that you’re gluing onto has NO PAINT on it whatsoever! I mark off the areas that will have stuff glued onto it with masking tape. If you try to glue to a painted surface, you will be gluing your bauble onto the paint and not to the object. Thus, the paint will chip off and so will your bauble! Gluing it directly to the raw surface makes the most secure bond! If you’ve already painted the area, try using a solvent or sanding off the paint first.
Use the sandpaper to gently sand down the rough edges. I also seal the edge with clear nail polish so the paint doesn’t flake off at the cut mark.
To make a removeable pinback, start by tracing your bauble and following the first part of STEP 2, tracing a scant bit circumference less for your pattern. Use this pattern to cut out a cardboard circle that fits INSIDE of the bauble, NOT flush with the edge. You are making excess room for the pinbacks so that when it is pinned to the garment, it is still flush with the edge instead of hovering above it.
When gluing the cardboard inside the bauble, put the glue on the cardboard and wait a few seconds for the glue to cool before shoving it into the bauble. Otherwise, the hot temperature of the glue may warp the plastic bauble.
Trace the cardboard onto felt and make a pinback as shown in the right picture. The pinbacks are secured by a red strip of felt and hot glue. I use felt to match the color of fabric I will be attaching it to; I used contrasting colors for demonstration.
Hot glue the felt pinbacks onto the bauble and trim any excess edge. I showed a sideways view to show that I recessed the back so the pins show much less. Thus, when pinned to the garment, it doesn’t show.
NOTE: As an alternative method, one can cut a cardboard back that fits the back of the bauble exactly, glue it on the bottom with hot glue, and epoxy/contact cement the entire bottom directly to the garment or armor. That is what I did for Shayla.