After that horrible first attempt at Christmas, I started over again in February. This time, I decided to build my own wire frame from scratch. I picked up a spool of cheap steel wire from the hardware store. I made sure it was stiff enough that it would hold it’s shape while I work.
I started with a hoop that fit comfortably around my head, like the band of a hat. I then glued an arc over the top of my head, joining the very front and the very back of the hoop. This would hold that hoop at the correct height on my head.
Once I had this basic interior size figured out, I could start building the exterior. Special note: After each session of work, I would test fit the helmet to make sure it still fit and was easy to put on and remove. This way, if anything was out of place, I could fix it before moving onto the next step.
I cut six wires for the horns, three for each. These I curved into the shape I wanted, and glued together. I kept the bottom ends long, to secure them to the base.
To keep their shape, I started at the tip of each horn, working down toward the base, gluing pieces of foam in between the wires, like spacers.
With the horns secure and somewhat solid in their shape, I glued them in place on the helmet. Using fabric to bridge some of the gaps, I glued everything together. The fabric provided strength where paper would not, but was more flexible than foam sheets.
With the basic shape now constructed out of wire, foam, and fabric, I could begin layering the paper mache.
The fronts of the horns were too angular, and I wanted to smooth them out. To do this, I cut strips of foam and glued them to the front face of each horn. This effectively rounded out the front without adding too much weight.
The next step is to keep layering paper mache over the wire/fabric/foam structure until the outer surface is smooth. More on that next time!