For your learning and viewing pleasure, here is my version on how to make a pretty Bette Davis paper wig.
- Styrofoam head bust (optional but highly recommended)
- Yellow/beige raffia ribbon
- Double-sided tape
- Masking tape
- Pen/Permanent marker
- Plastic grocery bags
- Photo of Bette Davis’ hairstyle
Step 1. Cut plastic grocery bag into a large square.
You may need two and tape them together in order to create a square large enough to cover the circumference of your head.
Step 2. Using masking tape, create a headpiece that fits to your head shape and size.
I pulled a long piece of masking tape, and then I placed the plastic bag on top of my head. I wrapped masking tape lengthwise around my forehead. Then I pulled a second long piece of masking tape around the back of my head, making sure it wraps around the bottom/close to the nape of my neck.
Step 3. Create the head shape/hairline to match that of Bette Davis’ photo.
I outlined the shape of the head/hairline using a permanent marker. Then cut the head bodice carefully, making sure to not cut away too much. Remember, it’s always easier to cut little by little than to add to the shape of the wig.
Step 4. Make short curls at the front of hairline, creating bangs.
Using three short pieces, I styled them with double sided tape and secured them to the front of the wig. Notice how the the first set is larger, and they get progressively smaller as I work my way to the sideburn.
Step 5. Create hairstyle.
Here’s where all the fun happens.
Working from the edging of the headpiece, cut raffia ribbon. I started at the bottom of the hair piece and layered my way up to created a tiered long hair look. As you can see, I started from the top and quickly needed to readjust (from bottom up) to give a fuller look to the wig.
Note: Make sure that the natural curve of the raffia ribbon follows the curve around the headpiece.
Bette Davis had a side part in her hairline, and I matched it to look the same. I used the curve of the raffia ribbon to give a more natural volume to the wig.
The raffia ribbon needs to be cut at the ends. I cut it to shoulder length to match my body frame. Then I used more double sided tape to creatively add curls at the end of the wig to match my photo.
Step 6. Voila! Project Complete!
Place your finished Betty Grable paper wig on, and look like the iconic actress for a party or class project of your own!
Now wasn’t that fun? I had a blast making a Bette Davis wig, and you will too.
See more fun Betty paper wigs:
From my hometown to yours,