Last year, Night in the Woods came out and I had the pleasure of watching Jason play through it. It’s a charming game full of heart, humor, and fun mini games. Recently, I finally got to play it myself and purposefully picked story lines that Jason didn’t so that I could see more of the game. It has amazing replay value because of this and I would love to play it again. Maybe it’s just cause I’m feeling cats this year (finally finished Kali), but I wanted to cosplay Mae. And not just Mae, but her Witch Dagger costume. (A costume of a costume!) At first, I thought I’d just reuse Kali’s wig and ears but then I saw this:
While perusing the Instagram hashtags #MaeBorowskiCosplay and #NITWcosplay, I came across these amazing cosplays. I loved how instantly recognizable they were. I have been wanting to do a mascot style cosplay for a while, ever since watching Commander Holly’s video of her Animal Crossing cosplay. While I didn’t have the space to make a cosplay like that, I could definitely get my feet wet by making a head!
These heads in the above picture were all made by Frack Attack, who was gracious enough to post a tutorial on his tumblr! I definitely referenced this quite a bit, especially for the mascot head. I pretty much followed it to a tee except the shirt, so if you want, pop on over to that tutorial if you want to get it from the source!
But if you wanna read my (slightly different) process that includes adding the Witch Dagger elements, read on! And, as always, feel free to jump to the section you’re interested in:
I followed Frack Attack’s tutorial really closely. At first, I tried drawing out the face by hand. I quickly learned that I am not good at that, so instead decided to use my graphic design skills to recreate it digitally.
After tracing the face in Adobe Illustrator, I scaled it up to the correct size. I wanted the head to be proportional to my body and Mae’s head is very wide compared to her shoulders. So I measured it out and it needed to be around 20 inches wide. I scaled it up appropriately in Illustrator, then split them into tabloid sized sections so that I could print them out and tape them together into one big piece.
Once that was done, I traced and cut out the main head shape as well as a matching oval shape using black foam board. (It’s the same foam I used for Black Belladonna’s Gambol Shroud and can be found at Joann’s.) At this stage, I deviated from Frack Attack’s tutorial slightly to go ahead and cut out the eyeholes now rather than after covering it in fabric.
Once I had those two shapes, I covered them in blue anti pill fleece. I cut the fabric into pieces larger than the boards, then hot glued them on. For the face, I hotglued the whole front surface and the edge. For the back, I just did the edges only and it seemed to work out fine.
For the face, I used yellow felt that I carefully cut into her nose and whiskers. This part I did freehand while referencing the digital pattern. I did the same thing for her furrowed brow, this time using white felt that I had painted blue. (I thought white would work but in hindsight didn’t like it, so I painted them blue. If I were to go back in time, I would’ve just bought blue felt to save myself the trouble.)
Taking a leaf out of Frack Attack’s book, I got a hard hat from Home Depot (technically Jason got it lol). I’m pretty sure it was this one. Having the hard hat at this stage was very important, because I needed to make sure that it would fit into the head properly. Hard hat in hand and some cardboard from Joann’s, I determined that two fabric bolts’ worth of cardboard would be enough for the sides. (Joann’s keeps all the empty fabric bolts at the cutting counter. If you ask, they’ll give you some. They just toss them out at the end of the night anyway.) I hot glued them together (one bolt would not be wide enough for both my head and the hard hat) then bent them to match the curve of the head. Once I was happy with the shape, I covered the whole piece in blue fleece to match the rest of the head. At this point, I glued the back piece to the sides and switched gears to the eyes.
I used the same buckram fabric that Frack Attack mentioned in his tutorial. I bought 4 sheets of it and then painted them yellow and red to match Mae’s eyes. I decided to go for her looking to the side instead of straight forward, just cause I hadn’t really seen that much in the cosplay I saw. Also cause straight forward really is NIGHTMARE EYES. Once done painting and drying, I hot glued the eyes to the interior of the face piece and reinforced it with duct tape.
Eyes now complete, I attached the face to the rest of the head. I then used duct tape to attach a small piece of foam to the top of my hard hat for some padding. On top of that foam, I put on some industrial strength velcro. I put the opposite part of the velcro on the interior of the top of the head so that it all sticks. The velcro is so strong that it can hold the hard hat completely, which is what I needed since I need to make sure it didn’t slide all over my head.
After putting all the pieces together, I realized I really didn’t like the colors of Mae’s face, specifically her greenish Jaundice-looking eyes and how they were drastically different in color from her yellow mouth/whiskers. So, mixing a little bit of yellow paint to a lot of white paint, I repainted the eyes and the felt that made up her face. The results made me super happy! Much better!
Last was painting the little pink highlights in her tuft of hair. I mixed white and pink paint and then brushed it on. I wiped it down with a paper towel so it wasn’t so bright and looked more like on ombré effect. Lastly, I reinforced the velcro on both the hard hat and the interior of the head by hot gluing the edges. This should keep the velcro from peeling off with continued use.
I followed Frack Attack’s tutorial pretty closely. I had to do the pattern twice because the first time, I made it way too small. The second time around was much better. I made sure to measure the width of my arm and then cut the measurement in half to get the proper sizing for the forearm part. Making it bigger also made turning it right-side-out much easier. I used leftover pillow stuffing from previous plushie projects to fill the paws. I also went ahead and..