Personal Work

Craft Foam Hairclip/Badge Tutorial

I’ve been making badges and hairclips from craft foam today. It is a quick and easy way to make a unique accessory which shows the kind of things I like, for example videogames and manga.  I thought I’d write a tutorial in case anyone else wanted to try it.  These are good for cosplay and everyday wear.

Splatoon Hairclip by Midnakit.png
Splatoon Hairclip inspired by an unlockable accessory in the game

You need:

  • Craft foam sheets – I got mine from The Range, A5 size, 40 sheets in different colours for £2.99.
  • Cold glue gun – again from The Range, £6.99 plus £1.99 for 12 refills.
  • Scissors and/or Craft Knife and Cutting Board.
  • To make hairclips – Hairclips (mine were 6 for £1 from Wilkinsons), embroidery thread and needle, and small pieces of felt sheet.
  • To make badges – I used some left over blanks from a broken old Badge-It machine.
  • Ideas and a pencil and paper!

Step 1: Draw your idea with pencil and paper. Research online or on DVD, book covers etc.  This example is the symbol from Fairy Tail.  When you are happy with your picture (make sure it’s the size you want) copy it onto a sheet of craft foam and use scissors or a craft knife to cut it out.

foam shape

Step 2: Your shape will likely be quite flimsy on its own so reinforce it with a contrasting background.  Choose another sheet of craft foam and cut out a background.

foam background

Step 3: Carefully follow the instructions on your glue gun and stick the two pieces together.

glue shape to background

Step 4: Attach a hairclip or badge to the back.

FOR HAIRCLIPS: I found that the metal hairclip didn’t glue well to the craft foam so I used embroidery thread to sew the clip to a piece of felt, then glue the felt to the craft foam.  Make sure to check it is facing the right way if you prefer to wear clips on one side.

FOR BADGES: I used leftover blanks from an old broken Badge-It.  I filled the back of the badge with a couple of layers of craft foam and made sure they were all glued securely together.

clips and badges

Below are a couple more examples that I made today, a pokeball hairclip and a Korosensei badge to which I added a small tassle, with a bit of fabric paint to define the teeth:

This is a really easy project and I hope somebody else finds my tutorial useful to make something perfect for them! :3

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Events and Exhibitions, Personal Work

Graduate Show at PCA

Illustrators at PCA
Illustrators clockwise from the left: Cameron, Alice, Emma, Lorna, Elena, Alice, Cameron

I’ve been to the Graduate Show several times this year, partly because I have something on display in the Young Arts Club section.  I’ve been really interested in the Illustration and Game Arts exhibitions, because those are the areas i’m hoping to study and work in, but I had a good look around the other galleries too.

This year I met Elena O’Neill and Lorna Davey who are graduating in Illustration.  They showed me around the exhibition and talked to me about their course.  Elena had some beautiful patterns on display and had pencil cases and pouches made from printed fabric of her work.  She also had really cute tiny clay(?) birds scattered around her section. Lorna had an amazing self portrait up on the wall in a comic style.  She also had a book of other portraits there and I love the details in the hair and how her portraits have loads of character.  Lorna is staying in Plymouth after graduation, so i’m really hoping we can meet again to do some sketching.

I bumped into Alice Kensington, who is also graduating Illustration, on opening night.  I’ve met Alice a couple of times before at DevCon (the local science fiction/comics convention) and we are both into cosplay, cartoons like Gravity Falls and Steven Universe and games like Zelda.  The first time I saw her she was in costume as the Other Mother from Coraline and I was Mabel Pines,  the second time she was Scarlet Overkill from the Minions movie and I was Frisk from Undertale.  I really like her illustration work, which is so colourful and soft and curvy.  Alice is really sweet and i’m definitely going to meet her soon to buy her a piece of cake and do some drawing together :3

There was a badge making machine in the Illustration shop and I made three custom badges with my own quick sketches.  One was for a friend and I didn’t take a photo, but here are the other two, one is a picture of my brother and the other is the character Ellie from the game The Last of Us:

custom badges by midnakitThere were so many amazing things in Illustration and I got a zine called Floating Around by Cameron Williamson.  It’s about someone who’s anxious about going to the Art College, but makes a decision to give it a shot. In the center theres a great picture of him staring out to sea on Plymouth Hoe.  It reminded me of what it felt like when I started at the Young Arts Club.  I also fell in love with the work of Emma Baker for zines, fanzines and the characters she designed to illustrate phobias.  I wanted to buy one of her zines but it wasn’t on sale, so i’m going to contact her about it to see if she has any copies.

I’ll do another post about the rest of the exhibitions another time.