If you want to be a devil, demon, tiefling, oni, or any other similar type of mythical creature, you’ll want to make a tail and some horns to go with the costume. There are a lot of different ways to go about making these accessories, so this tutorial will use clay for the horns and EVA foam for the tail.
You can make simple headband horns if you want to, but this tutorial will go over how to attach them directly to your forehead. This tutorial will also go over how to create an EVA foam tail that you can attach to your costume with wire or a belt or a sash.
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How to create a demon/devil tail
The goal of this tutorial is to create a really cool-looking demon tail that’s not at all droopy. To do this, we’ll use a cylinder of EVA foam and attach the tail spade to one end while tying the other end around your waist.
If you don’t want to use EVA foam to create your tail, I have another tutorial for creating a tail using wire and fabric instead. It’s not as sleek-looking as the EVA tail, but you can move and pose the tail because of the wire core.
- EVA foam round dowel (20mm)
- Thick Sheet of EVA foam (6-8mm)
- Paper and a writing utensil
- A sharp razor
- A Dremel or sandpaper
- Hot glue or contact cement
- Flexible Primer
- Flexible acrylic paint
- An awl (or something sharp and pointy)
- String or wire for attaching around your waist
- Draw your tail spade. First, use a plain old pencil and paper to draw the shape you want to use for your tail spade. Use the width of your EVA tube to help you make the spade the right size.
- Cut the spade out of EVA foam twice. Trace your shape onto the EVA foam and cut it out with a sharpened razor. If you use a dull razor, you’ll get rough, uneven edges. When cutting, hold the razor at a 45º angle so that you’ll get beveled edges.
- Cut a stub of EVA foam. This will be used to help the spade match up with the end of the foam cylinder.
- Glue the tailpiece together. Sandwich the stub in between the base of the two spade pieces and glue it together using contact cement or hot glue. To use contact cement, apply it to both surfaces and wait 5-10 minutes for it to get tacky before pressing the pieces together.
- Glue the tailpiece to the EVA cylinder. Now you want to glue your finished tail spade to the end of your tail. Then let it sit for 3-4 hours to let the glue dry completely and ensure the spade is fully attached.
- Sand the edges. Now you’ll need to smooth out the edges between the spade and the cylinder. I like to use a Dremel for this since it makes the process go much faster. However, you can also use sandpaper to smooth out the edges. You can always choose to cover this section with a tail ring or decoration if you think the seam is too noticeable.
- Heat-shape the tail. Use your heatgun and heat up a section of the EVA foam cylinder. Once the plastic is heated, bend the tube and hold it in place until the foam cools down. The EVA foam will stay in the shape it cooled into. Repeat until you are happy with the shape of the tail. You’ll probably have to shape one section of the tail at a time.
- Paint the tail. When you paint your tail, it’s a good idea to apply a couple of layers of primer first to give your paint a more vibrant color. You’ll also want to choose acrylic paints that are flexible so that it won’t chip as the EVA foam bends.
- Poke a hole in the base of the tail. Now we just need to make a way to attach the tail. Make a hole all the way through the base of the tail. Make sure it’s big enough for you to fit a string or wire through.
- Attach the demon tail to your costume. Insert a string or wire and tie it around your waist or directly to your costume. You can put the tail underneath the skirt of your costume, or cover it with a belt or sash.
How to create and apply demon/devil horns
This is a simple tutorial to create small devil or oni horns that you can adhere directly to your forehead using spirit gum. I use polymer clay to create the small horns. However, you can use pretty much any kind of clay you are comfortable using. Paper clay and foam clay would both work quite well, you would just need to skip the baking step.
If you want to create larger horns (such as ram horns) instead of small oni horns, you can check out this separate tutorial for making horns. Since the horns are quite a bit bigger, the tutorial is a little more involved and will require hair clips or a headband to attach to your head. But they are also pretty cool-looking and would be perfect for a tiefling cosplay.
- Use clay to shape the horns. Mold your polymer clay into a small cone shape. You can make these very small and squat or a few inches long curved. Just make sure you have a reasonably wide base and keep the length of the horns to less than 3 inches so they will stay on your forehead later. You can use the color clay you want your final horns to be, or paint them after they are baked.
- Press the base against your forehead. This will ensure that the horns will fit seamlessly onto the curves of your forehead later.
- Bake the clay. If you’re using polymer clay, you will need to bake it to harden the clay. The temperature will depend on the brand of clay you’re using. In my case, I used Sculpey and baked my horns for 30 minutes at 275ºF. Most other types of clay will harden as they air dry.
- Paint and apply varnish. After your clay horns have hardened and cooled, it’s time to paint them however you want. Basic acrylic paint will work well on most types of clay. You’ll also want to add a finishing layer or varnish to give the horns a more finished look.
- Attach to your head using spirit gum. Make sure you do this to a clean face before you put on any makeup. Apply spirit gum to your forehead and the base of the horn. Then wait a few minutes to let the spirit gum become tacky to the touch. Afterward, press the horns to your forehead for 30 seconds.