Making rooted hard cap wigs for dolls

Made wig caps for my shrunken headed CAM girls since I had already stuck their heads on and painted them, so I didn't want to take their heads off again which meant I couldn't reroot them. ...I'm never doing this again!!! I found ways to make it work, but I suck at it. Plus it takes a reaaallly long time to do it in a rooting method and I did not enjoy it at all. The glue method was fast, but I never really liked the idea of securing hair solely by glue.

This tutorial will detail a rooting method, though I will link to and show some information about the gluing method. I made this tutorial in case anyone else wants to go down this road. I used Wonderflex to make the hard wig caps but Worlba would work just as well. I like to use these because they are fast to work with and the plastic is soft enough to punch through with an awl or needle. Wonderflex has a threaded backing, so it won't stretch out as much as Worlba, which for this particular venture is a good thing because it keeps the piece from stretching too thin in any spots. Wonderflex and Worlba are thermoplastics that you heat with a heat gun or hair dryer to soften up and make pliable, then you form it and let it cool to harden again. You can find them at Cosplay Supplies here:

For gluing method, see this YouTube tutorial: If you want to mae that a hard cap instead of softer glue cap then follow steps 1-3 here and then use the video's gluing section for the rest, except that you may still want to read step 5, about gluing hair under the edges to bring it up and around to hide the edges.

For this tutorial you will need:
plastic wrap
paper towels or something similar for padding
doll hair
Wonderflex or Worbla
some kind of glue, will talk about details lower down
Needle and thread (if doing rooting method)

Step 1: Pad and/or protect the head:
This full step is not actually pictured because I thought the wig cap might be ok without too much padding, but I was wrong... you're much better having padding for any kind of rooting method. If you are only gluing hair onto a hard cap, you only need to fill the head cavity om CAM heads with a papertowel or something similar to keep a rounded head shape at the back and avoid having a flattened or caved area there, and then stretch some plastic wrap over the head. If you are doing the rooting method, you also need to put at least 2 layers or paper towels or something eles over the head below the plastic wrap layer to make sure there is enough space between your wig cap and the head for the knots.

Step 2: Make and cut out the wig cap pattern:
Take head measurements and create a pattern for your cap. It's hard to explain, but you'll see the picture below and hopefully that will help a lot. Measure for a strip down the center of the head and then the profile pattern for each side. You'll need notches around the curved areas to keep wrinkles and bumps out of your cap:

Step 3: Heat the pieces and form them to the head:
Pictured above, this step is pretty self-explanatory. Use a hair dryer or heat gun to adequately soften your chosen thermoplastic and form it to the scalp. It adheres to itself quite nicely.

Step 4: Determine your hair pattern and punch holes for rooting:
If you're doing the glue method, at this point you just follow the youtube tutorial linked earlier on this page. If not, decide if or where you want your hairline to part and arrange your rooting pattern accordingly. You can use an awl or thicker needle to punch the holes for your rooting pattern before hand, or as you go.

Step 5: Rooting around the edges:
Rooting around the edges is different than rooting the rest of the wig, because in order to keep the edges of the plastic from showing around the front and the sides, you need to glue the at the under side of the cap all around the edges (except for the back) so that the hair comes up around the edges to cover it. The picture below should explain how hopefully. These edge plugs need twice as much hair as the other plugs since half of the hair goes for wrap around and coverage. Fold your thread in half. Thread both ends of the thread through your needle. Pull the needle and ends of the thread through one of the edge holes. Pull the thread through, leaving enough of a loop to thread your hair plug through. Thread an inch or so of one of your hair plugs through the loop and pull it through. Now take the side that was pulled through and pull it out to the mid-point, so that the strand is the same length inside as it is outside. If you like, you can glue each individual strand one at a time, but I prefered to thread and then glue about 5 strands. Lay your glue on the inside of the cap below your hair strand and pull both sides of the strand so that you're pulling it to press tightly against the inside of the wig cap and glue. Put a little more glue on top of the strand on the inside of the cap as well to make sure the strand is secure all the way through. It's good to have a fan to hold this up to and help speed the drying a little.

Step 6: Rooting the rest:
You can use any number of other rooting methods for this, just search the internet. This particular method knots 2 plugs together and secures that anchor to the scalp with glue. Thread both ends of the thread through your needle. Insert your needle into the scalp from the outside and pull the thread through, leaving enough of a loop to thread your hair plug through. Thread your strand through so that it folds at the half way point in the loop. Pull the thread through the scap so that the loop of hair comes through enough for you to tie it to a 2nd loop that you make with this same process. Tie the 2 loops together. Double knot them. Cut off the excess string. Put some glue on the underside of your tied loops and pull the strands back out from the outside so that the knot lies flush with the scalp. You may want to put a little extra glue on top the knot for extra security and to make the edges of the thread stick down.

Once you do all that around the head the whole cap you're all done. Here's that particular wig I was working on. It's imperfect, because I did not adequately pad under the hard cap when I was making it and I didn't make the edge strands thick enough all the way around.

Here's one that I did with the glue method. I was impatient though and used hot glue which has it's benefits and drawbacks. The plus is that hot glue cools and dries fast, so you don't have to hold the hair in place long. The negative being that the heat will soften the thermoplastic as well and you have to be careful not to let the cap deform as you're using the hot glue on it. It's also more difficult to correct mistakes with hot glue since it tends to be more stringy and not washable. Anyway, here's my results with hot glue on the hard cap:

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