Guest post: How to make a wig

Half marathon notice

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 March Cutty Sark and the museum car park will be closed for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. All other museums will be open as normal and DLR and rail links will be running. Find out about road closures

In last week's guest post, curator of Material Culture and Decorative Arts Amy Miller explored some of the best wigs in Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude. This week, artists, art historian and subversive milliner Sue Walker shows you how to make your very own 18th-century style wig.

Make the fabulous Skeleton Duchess Wig in a few easy steps:


You will need:

  • “chenille straws” available in craft shops, fabric glue or sewing kit,
  • hat elastic or hairgrips to attach the wig to your head
  • A cheap lace material that you can cut into long strips –lace tights, or an unworn lace dress or tutu is perfect, large prices of lace with a curved pattern finally, decorations as opulent as you like!

1. Bend the straws and twist them together starting with a circle to fit your head. Gradually build up a wig form knotting the straws together in interlocking forms.

Wig 2aWig 2b

2. Tear up your tutu or tights and twist them around the structure.
You can do this tightly or make large loops to look like curls: Your wig will get a lovely distressed, aged look.

Wig 3

3. Cut out the curved patterns of lace and stitch or glue them to the wig structure:

Wig 4

A beautiful, skeletal wig will emerge.

Wig 5

4. Complete by it adorning with decorations.

Sue Walker will be running Subversive Wiggery workshops as part of Clocking Off LATE on 13 November.