Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Reproducing of Princess Aurora's Crown

Remember how I told you that my friend Shaylynn would be the perfect person to reproduce Aurora's circlet? WELL! The very first customer I recommended to her did indeed order it, and not only did Shaylynn make a stunning reproduction, but she has written up a gorgeous and well-photographed blog post for me to share with you! 

Image from ABC's Once Upon a Time
Princess Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty, is one of the newest characters in Once Upon a Time. I've been watching this show as much for the costumes, props, and sets as for the actual story... it's not unusual for my eye to wander everywhere except the actor's face! Right from the start, Aurora's headpiece caught my eye. ~*~*~ THE SPARKLES ~*~*~ A couple of days later, Elena recommended me to a bride who wanted a replica of Aurora's circlet to match her wedding gown! Eeep! This was my first time ever creating a replica piece, my first time ever working with rhinestones, and the first time making a bridal piece this large. I was a little nervous, but so excited. I started by re-watching the first episode and snagging screencaps to analyze. I analyzed it to death. :)
Her circlet is made from rhinestones and ribbon which are plaited together into a band on her hairline. At least two small braids are woven around this band, creating a lovely mix of ribbon, hair, and sparkles. Additional rhinestones are woven around her hairstyle in a very asymmetric zig-zag. This top part fits much more like a cap than a tiara, as it folds snugly over the crown of her head.
I noticed pretty quickly that Aurora seems to have found plenty of time to do her hair between scenes.  :) The rhinestone placement is not consistent, especially at the edges, and she wears at least three hairstyles in the first episode. At first, her braids are woven around the top, zig-zag-y part, so that the rhinestones are barely visible. Later, the braids move down and are intertwined with the bottom band. In the last scene, the circlet rests on top of the braids. I wanted to make the circlet versatile enough that all these hairstyles (and more) can be worn. The bride didn't want dangling rhinestones, so I simplified the design at the edges.
Aurora always wears the back of her headpiece tucked underneath her hair. I think the actress had her hair teased and curled and then extensions added. (This is a beautiful crown... I'd love to be a props/costume designer, I really would. It must have been so much fun for the designers to come up with a sparkly, girly headpiece that wasn't your typical tiara. Aurora's whole costume is lovely. I hope she doesn't get put in pants like the rest of the royalty. I feel that we need at least one kick-butt princess who can wield a sword while wearing a frilly skirt!!!)
After I figured how how the circlet was made (and planned a few changes of my own to make it sturdier), it was time to get started! First, I wove a base from silver-plated copper wire. The next part-- making the band of braided rhinestones and ribbon-- proved very tricky. I tried to simply braid them together, as it appears in the show, but it wasn't sturdy enough. So I used two different sizes of silver-plated super-shiny rhinestones and twisted them around each other, using temporary jewelry glue to hold it in place.
After this was done, I wove the ribbon in and laced everything together with wire before removing the glue and polishing the silver and rhinstones.
The asymmetric zig-zag design was made from more rhinestone chain twisted onto freeform silver wire. The circlet can be attached with bobby pins or tied with ribbon. It's just heavy enough that it needs to be secured in some way.
(After taking these pictures, I tweaked things a bit more... I "de-fluffed" the ribbon and adjusted one point of the zig-zag so it wasn't so tall and pointy.)
The bride was kind enough to me model the circlet before shipping it! I usually have friends model for me, but I'm the only one with long and dark enough hair to attempt Aurora's hairstyle. So one cold autumn morning, I put my hair up in braids and taught my awesome mom how to use my camera.
Thanks, Elena, for letting me share this on your blog!

And thank you, Shaylynn, for writing up such a great post!

Want to commission a crown of your own (reproduction or original)? Head on over to Shaylynn's website!


  1. I love it! What I would do to have one...

  2. I would do this for a cosplay dawn!

  3. Thanks for sharing this! It helped guide me quite a bit while trying to make my own :D


Welcome to the discussion! Please note that due to chronic illness, I am no longer taking commissions of any kind.

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