We asked Jessie Pridemore to create a tutorial for us using Black Worbla, and she shared this excellent breakdown on how she made her unique horns for Elizabeth Bathory below.
Elizabeth Bathory’s Horns
Elizabeth’s horns are very unique and different than normal horns because they are flat and have a lot of deep texture. These horns are deceptive in their difficulty and it took a few methods to get exactly the look I wanted. At the end of the tutorial, I’ll show my mistakes and ways you can avoid them.
Here’s what her horns look like
I started with styrofoam discs from Michaels since I felt they were the right size.
Using the bottom of a can of spraypaint, I imprint a ring into the styrofoam
Take a spoon and slowly start digging the insides away. This doesn’t have to be perfect since it’s going to get covered and it’s going to be really hard to see the insides.
I took some sandpaper to it to make it a little more even.
Using foamy sheets from Michaels, I make rings (that will go on the outside) and strips that will cover the outer ring
Using hot glue, I cover the inside of the ring with fabric.
**THIS IS THE ONLY TIME I WILL BE USING HOT GLUE** It is VERY important when working with thermoplastics that you do not use hot glue where heat will be applied. You’ll undo the glue and it will be a huge mess.
I will be using Zap a Gap for my glue. You can order it on amazon or get it at hobby shops. It’s a very fast drying super glue (you can get even faster versions too). It’s dries REALLY fast, so be careful if you use this. Always test glues on the styrofoam you are using since a lot of chemicals eat it.
Put glue on the ring and foam
I put them under some weighs for 45 seconds to make sure it’s on there nice and good, but since we are covering everything with Worbla, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Time to glue the foam on the outside!
Go into the crevices and glue them shut. Worbla picks up on minor details and you want to make sure it’s as smooth as possible.
At this point I will be cutting out the “ridges” for the groove effect in her horns.
**TIP** When gluing down your strips, keep in mind that when you put the Worbla over it, it will make the grooves smaller. So over compensate how you place them, putting them wider apart than you would.
Using the thicker foam sheets (also from Michaels), cut out strips and start gluing them around the edges.
The thicker sheets aren’t as large, so you’ll have to do it in segments, just place it smartly and use a gap as a “seam.”
Now take a knife and cut away the parts at the openings.
Take out some wax paper. This is important because the Worbla won’t stick to it. Heat up a strip of Worbla to where it gets soft.
**TIP** I use silicone finger guards to put the Worbla into the shape because it doesn’t stick to the plastic and I don’t have to worry about the heat.
I use my finger indent the groove so I can go in with a tiny tool and start pushing in the Worbla into the groove. This is a very slow process. You don’t want to rip the Worbla.
There’s no clear shots of the side of her horns and I wanted to do something more stylistic than I normally would. I cut slits into the plastic where each groove is and start folding down each section, folding it under and into the ring.
Now I can heat up the rest and start pushing in the remaining grooves. Remember when you are pushing Worbla out, always push it away and out. So choose a center point and always push Worbla away from the point.
Now that the ring is complete, I can start working on the horns. First and foremost, I need to figure out how long they are. When figuring out how big a part of a costume is, I use my head as a basis. My head is eight inches tall. Using PS, I see how many “heads” tall the part is so that I know how big it needs to be on me to be accurate. I have determined that the smallest horn is 12 inches and the tallest 14.5.
Using a bendable ruler, I can see how long the horn is to be 14.5 inches tall. In this case, it needs to be 17 inches long.
I make a paper pattern of what I want the horn to look like.
Each horn has one foam base and two sets of “strips” for ridges.
I glue the strips onto on side. This will be the inside. The side you have to do first because it’s flatter.
I cut out a piece of Worbla slightly bigger than the piece. Heat it up and push it onto the plastic. Remember to use your wax paper!
Just like with the ring, heat it up and push through the grooves taking your time. This time I’m using one of my leather working tools to drag it out. Push the edges down flat to the wax paper.
Once it cools, flip it over and glue the frame onto the other side. Cut out the grooves like you did with the ring.
Heat up the Worbla and slowly start pushing it on like you have done many times before.
Push the edges of both sides together and after it cools, cut off the excess.
Dremel the edges flat.
Heat up both sides thoroughly and slowly start shaping the horn. Let it cool.
**See end notes for a better tip on this than what I did**
Heat up the tab that goes inside the ring and push it in and fold it over. Place the horn in the position you want it to cool in.
The final horn. Though I want to play with the shape a little more. For more progress on this costume, or to see more of my work, please follow me on Instagram as @jessie.pridemore or on Facebook at Jessie Pridemore
I really only made one. I should have shaped the horn after the inside layer or Worbla was put down then put of outer later of Worbla on. It would have prevented this from happening.