For some time now, I have been in lust with Star Tiaras, I don't know what it is about these beautiful tiaras, but my eyes dilate, my salivary glands go into overdrive, and I get warm fuzzies all over when I see them. Before you ask, of course I have a Pinterest board... Tiaras: Stars. I go there regularly to drool and dream and wish.
I purchased this Star Tiara from Seperwar when they finally came out with one...but it was too small for my taste and while I do love it, I have been hankering for something more substantial. I adore the Rundell Tiara that belonged to Queen Alexandra, Queen Maxima's Button/Star Tiara, and Queen Sophia's Star and Pearl Tiara. I had been on the look out for quite some time for stars that I could use to make my own tiara. I am not a jeweler and have no clue as to how to go about creating a tiara, so the tiara I had in mind had to be a simple one to create from other pieces...sort of a Frankentiara. I finally found the perfect pieces on eBay, and they came in the mail on Saturday. I spent last night and all this morning bring my Frankentiara to life...
I am pleased to introduce to you
The House of White Star Tiara
Inspiration for this simple tiara came from the following three tiaras. Since I had to make it a simple design, I was more than thrilled to have these three babies on my Pinterest board for easy reference!
I really liked the curved "supports" that swoop between the stars on this circa 1880s tiara. I used this inspiration to support the stars on my tiara.
I like how there are just stars and nothing else on this circa 1890s tiara. It is simple, but makes quite a statement!
Source: Marie's Jewels and Royals
This is such a lovely tiara. I have tried to find more information on it, but to no avail....
|Source: Recycled Movie Costumes Tumblr|
I noticed this fabulous star tiara worn by Estella, while watching the 2011 version of Great Expectations. I thought, "Ohmygosh! That would be so easy to make! I just need stars in different sizes and time!!!"
I then found the stars on eBay and purchased them.
|Source: Recycled Movie Costumes Tumblr|
Theeeeeen, I was perusing Facebook and noticed that my fabulous friend Kat had posted a picture of the same tiara that had been worn on Great Expectations, being used on Galavant. I have never seen this series, but after seeing that they used this tiara, perhaps I should!!
Ok! On to the Star Frankentiara Tutorial!!!
needle nose pliers
dremel tool, file, or rasp
tiara base (I cannibalized a very old tiara for mine)
velvet ribbon or fabric cut on the bias and made into bias strips that match your hair
Star Brooch from eBay
I ordered 5 of this brooch thinking I needed 4 small tiaras and one extra, just in case. It is a really nice brooch. A bit darker alloy metal than the jewelry and tiaras I have ordered, but they still look pretty sweet!
I knew I would need some pretty stiff wire for the attachment of the stars. I have used floral wire before and it is too flimsy. So, I was happy to happen upon these wire headpins in the bead section of Michaels.
I know the headpin box says 3", but I thought I'd show the pin against the ruler.
Step 1: Remove anything from the back from the star, such as the pin and in the case of my stars, the loop that was used to attach the chain to both stars. Use your dykes to remove these pieces. If you wish, you can use a dremel tool, file or rasp to smooth down the pieces of metal left behind after you remove the unwanted appendages.
I thought I'd show for reference the size of the stars.
Attaching the Stars to the Tiara Base
Step 2: Using your super glue, affix the headpin wires to the stars. I chose to have one of the long points be at the top, so my wire followed that design decision. The glue and the alloy of the star had to really be coaxed into playing well with each other on some of the stars. I found that the low setting on my hair dryer hastened the drying of the glue.
Don't even bother working with the stars until the glue is truly and fully set.
Step 3: Decide how tall you want your tiara. This will determine the placement of the stars and the bending of the wire to attach the stars to the tiara base. I just eyeballed mine.
Step 4: When you have decided the height of your tiara, bend the wire of the largest, middle star's wire to a 90 degree angle using the needle nosed pliers.
Step 5: Attach your first star to the tiara base. I just eyeballed where the center of the tiara base would be (I am sure you could measure to the exact center, but if you have been reading this blog for any time at all, you know that I don't measure...I eyeball) Holding the wire very tightly to the tiara base, wrap the wire around the base. Get the wire wrap as tight as you can. Crimp with the needle nose pliers to tighten. Then give the crimp a heavy dose of super glue. Allow to dry.
Oh yes!!! I bent my stars out from the tiara so they weren't sticking straight up and down...I noticed on many of the antique tiaras that they were attached at an angle....
Step 6: Support curves. I discovered that when I tried the tiara on after just the single wire attachment, the stars trembles and swayed...I did not like that one bit. Searching Pinterest, I discovered the antique tiara above that has the curving support wires. I simply bent the headpin wires in a lazy "J" formation and played around with the back of the stars until I got what I thought looked good. I then used that one wire as a template for the rest of the wires...10 in all.
Step 7: Attach the support wires to the right and left sides of the main wire, securing with super glue at both the tiara base and the star itself. This will give the stars support and keep them from trembling.
Another picutre of the support wire next to the base wire.
All three wires holding the star correctly.
Use steps 1-7 to attach all 5 stars to the tiara base. I eyeballed one side of the tiara then marked where the base wire met the tiara base on a piece of paper using a sharpie to use as a template for the other side. If you are so inclined to use a measuring tape to place your star bases, go right on ahead! hahahahaha!!! ;-)
I decided my stars needed to be sloped...not straight across. Again, I eyeballed the decline in height to what looked good to me!
Attaching Bobby Pin Loops to the Tiara Base
To make the bobby pin loops, I needed a circular something to bend the headpin wire around. I have a lovely antique, bone awl that belonged to my Great-Grandma Hazel.
For those of you who like measurements...here you go.
Step 1: Take headpin wire and wrap it tightly around the awl making sure that it is a tight wrap.
Step 2: Slide headpin wire off awl and cut ends so that the full length is about 1" with loop in the middle of the wire.
Step 3: Glue loop wire in between the 2nd and 3rd star support wires on both sides of the tiara base. Sorry for this picture...I didn't even think about photographing this step until after the tiara was completed.
I also added bobby pin loops to the very end of the tiara as this particular base didn't have any loops built into it....
Finishing the Tiara
During my research and general drool sessions on tiaras I discovered something fascinating. One of the things that is used on many tiaras is ribbon or velvet, or velvet ribbon. The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor has a fabulous article about Tiaras and Hair where I learned about the ribbon wrap that many tiaras sport now a days. You guessed it!! I also have started a Pinterest board for further research...Tiaras: Velvet Cushion Base.
For my tiara, I didn't have any velvet ribbon that would match my hair, and I am pretty sure that without an act of God, I will more than likely never find any. I raided my silk stash and discovered some dupioni silk in a reddish-brown that comes close enough to my hair color that I am very pleased with the occurance!
Step 1: Cut fabric on the bias, 1.5" by about 3'. I cut mine a bit shorter and was subsequently short when wrapping my tiara base. Better to have too much than too little.
Step 2: Using a hot iron (Mine was on high as I was using the dupioni silk), fold bias strip in half length wise, ironing as you go. The strip is placed under a ruler for those of you who need it.
Step 3: Unfold bias strip and lightly iron it open. You don't want the crease to be removed, you simply want the strip to lay open easily for step 4.
Step 4: Take one side and fold the edge to the center fold....ironing as you go down the length of the strip.
Step 5: Do the other side.
Step 6: A final spraying and ironing is needed to make the bias strips nice and crisp on their folds. Looks like the final measurement is 3/8th of an inch...right?
Step 7: Starting on the inside of one end of the tiara base, place the very end of the bias strip on the tiara base, wrap the bias strip around it once and start a diagonal wrapping of the tiara base.
Keep the diagonal wrapping of the bias strip around the tiara base up until you come to the opposite end.
You can see here where I stuck the bias strip under the support wires and around the bobby pin loops. You can also see the ugly back sides of the stars. I am thinking about how to make them pretty. Or, I may just make my hair big and fluffy so no one can see the backs of the stars.
Use a line of super glue to hold the bias strip in place at the very end of the tiara base and your tiara is complete!!
Word of warning. If you are allergic to super glue, you might have to think of a way that your fingers won't end up looking like mine!!! Yes, that is a ton of super glue on my fingers!
The House of White Star Tiara...this is a clearer picture of the stars, but I still can't make my camera cooperate on the angle of the picture....
Aaaand from the side!
I didn't do my hair in a Royal fashion today, so I won't have any pictures of me wearing the tiara until I get all dressed up fancy like in the future...but it does fit and it looks great!!
I hope this inspires you to make your own star tiara and if you do, I would love to see your creation!
Blessings to you my friends!!