Sometimes a character you’re cosplaying has a ring with a very unique design. You may be able to find a prop replica if it happens to be a popular show or series, but often your only option is to make the rings yourself.
The two main methods used for creating costume rings are wrapping them with jewelry wire or creating them with polymer clay, depending on the look you want to achieve. Both types of rings will require steady hands and practice to perfect, but even if you’re a beginner you can make rings that look pretty cool.
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1. How to make wire rings
Wire rings add a level of elegance to your cosplay. In my opinion, the easiest way to make some deceptively simple rings is by using some wire to make cool designs. Even if you’re a complete beginner, You can make something that looks pretty decent within a 15-minute period.
If you’re trying to recreate a specific style, it will take a little bit of practice. Sometimes the wire does not move exactly how you want it to at first, so you’ll need a little patience, and may need to redo your ring a couple of times. But you’ll quickly find yourself making really cute and precise wire rings. You can even use the same techniques to create other types of jewelry, like earrings and bracelets.
- Cut a length of wire. Make sure to cut a piece that is longer than you think you need. Making all the twists and curves of the rings take up more wire than you’d expect.
- Wrap the wire tightly around the ring sizer. You want to make sure that the wire is tight so that it will fit the correct ring size. I will wrap the wire around a size that is slightly smaller than the one I’m making, and then slide it down the ring sizer to make sure it’s a snug fit.
- Use the pliers to tightly twist the wire strands around each other. To make sure the ring band stays at the current size, pull and bend the wire around itself. Again, it can help to do this at a smaller size initially and then pull it down to make the ring fit snuggly.
- Manipulate the wires with flat pliers to create patterns and effects. You can move both wires together or separately. Try looping them around each other, creating small swirls, or whatever else you can think of.
- Cut the ends and tuck them underneath the ring design. When you’re finished, Cut off whatever extra length of wire is left and use your flat pliers to hide the ends of the wire behind your design.
- Try the ring on and make sure it doesn’t scratch your finger. If the wire ends do scratch your finger, use the flat pliers to move them to a different angle.
You can also create some pretty interesting designs by adding little beads and stones to the ring creation process. Simply add the stones one by one and bend the wire to secure the stones in place. Then, continue creating your ring, making the beads the center of attention.
2. How to make polymer clay rings
Polymer clay is best for recreating thicker ring designs that can’t be mimicked with wire. You can use this method to create ring bands or you can paint them with gold, silver, or other metallic paints to make them look like high-end rings. It’s also pretty easy to glue on stones and gemstones to make the rings look even more realistic.
- Ring sizer
- Polymer clay (you can use other types of clay as well*)
- Polymer clay varnish
- Metallic paint (if desired)
*As a note, you can use other types of clay to make rings, however, polymer clay is probably your best bet. Most types of clay, especially those that air dry like paper clay or foam clay, will shrink slightly as they harden. Polymer clay does not shrink when it’s baked. If you mold it to fit a particular ring size, the final ring will still fit the same size finger.
- Roll your clay into a long log and flatten it. You can use a rolling pin or a flat object. You can make it a fairly thin ring or a thick, chunky ring. If you have any kind of shimmery or metal effect powder, you can knead that into the clay before you start.
- Create straight edges using a razor or clay tool. This way your ring will be the same shape all the way around. You can cut the edges at an angle for an interesting design.
- Wrap the clay around the ring sizer. Cut the clay so that it fits exactly around your ring size and wrap it around the ring sizer and join the ends. The clay will want to stretch out while you do this, so be careful not to let it stretch too much.
- Add whatever details you want. A delicate hand is necessary for delicate details, so my shaky hands always have trouble with intricate rings. You can use clay tools to help, which will also help in keeping fingerprints off of your ring design.
- Bake the clay rings. You can bake them directly on the ring sizer if it’s metal, but a plastic ring sizer might begin to melt in the oven. The bake time will vary depending on the type of clay you use, so refer to the instructions on your clay packaging.
- Apply varnish or gloss to the final rings. Once the rings have cooled completely, you can add any paint color you want. You can paint it a metallic color, or whatever color you prefer. Once finished, apply a final layer of varnish to the top to give it a nice finished, and shiny look.
As you get better at working with polymer clay, you can create more intricate designs. You’ll be able to make exact matches of your cosplay jewelry and rings, or you can have fun creating unique rings for yourself.
You can also add gemstones (real or plastic resin) to the rings. Glue them into place using hot glue after you’ve baked the rings. Alternatively, you can bake the polymer clay with the stones already embedded. However, this won’t be possible with all types of stones, since some will melt or crack with too much heat (especially plastic). Use your best judgment when deciding to glue the gemstones on after the clay has baked and hardened or before.