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Whether you’re dressing up as a unicorn for Halloween, cosplaying as a galarian ponyta, or just want to be a narwhal, you’ll have to make a horn to match your costume. If you’re ambitious, you might also try to find a way to attach the horn directly to your forehead.
This tutorial is a single-twist horn that has a somewhat realistic look (chek out the other tutorial for while a more cartoon-style unicorn horn). You can use multiple colors for either method, or even add glitter or a shimmer powder to the clay.
I used polymer clay for both of these tutorials, but other types of clay can also work well. I chose polymer clay because it’s easy to find in a wide variety of colors, so you don’t have to worry about trying to neatly paint all the twists of the horn later on.
A single-twist horn is when you have one cone of clay that you twist into a horn-like shape. It has a more realistic horn appearance and you can make the tip super thin by continuing to twist and stretch the horn. You can also make the horn thicker, shorter, longer, or whatever you want.
Supplies you will need:
- Polymer clay in your desired color(s)
- Polymer clay varnish
- Optional: a hair clip or headpiece
- Optional: spirit gum
- Roll clay into the shape of a cone. Make sure it’s shorter than you want the final horn to be because you will be stretching the clay as you twist. If you want to use multiple colors for a swirled look, knead the two colors of clay together into the cone shape.
- Twist horn starting at the base. Starting at the base of the cone, gently pull as you twist the clay. Continue twisting and pulling section by section until you reach the tip of the clay.
- Add extra ridges with a clay tool if desired. If you want more defined ridges, use a toothpick or clay tool to add details to your horn twist.
- Attach the horn to a head piece or flatten the base against your forehead. Depending on how you intend to attach the horn, you want to mold the bottom of the horn to fit. First cut the base at a diagonal, them press it against your forehead or your headpiece. For this horn, I pressed it against my forehead so that I could attach it directly with spirit gum once it’s finished. (more information at the bottom of this article)
- Bake the clay. For Sculpey brand, you should bake the clay for 15 minutes and 275ºF (135ºC) for every ¼ inch thick the clay is. The temperature and time will vary depending on the brand of clay you use. When it’s ready, remove your horn from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
- Apply varnish to the clay. Once cooled, you can apply a varnish to the horn to give it a little bit of shine. It makes the horn have a more finished look.
How to attach the horn to your head using spirit gum
You can get as creative as you want when deciding how to attach the unicorn horn to your forehead. However, it’s best to choose your method before you create your horn and bake your clay. This way you can mold the base of your horn so that it will fit exactly onto your headpiece (or directly onto your forehead)
If you want to go the extra mile and make it look like your unicorn horn is coming from your forehead, you can use an adhesive to attach the clay directly. For this to work you need to use a strong adhesive and make a horn that’s on the smaller side.
I recommend making a horn that is no more than two and a half inches long to make it more likely the horn will stick in place. The one I made is slightly longer (about three and a half inches) and I was able to get it to stick to my forehead. However, I could tell that the horn did not have as strong a hold as I would like. It definitely would not have lasted for an entire day cosplaying, so I recommend making yours a little smaller.
The other aspect that will make attaching the horn to your forehead more successful is using a strong adhesive.Since clay is a little heavier than silicone prosthetics, cheap spirit gum might not work well enough. You’ll probably want to invest in the high end stuff that has a better sticking power. Mastix spirit gum is much better at holding prosthetics in place and should work well for a small unicorn horn. Pros-Aide is another heavy duty adhesive that is safe to use on the skin. (don’t forget to get spirit gum remover or Pros-Aide remover if you use these products)