Tutorial: Making a Clip-on Ponytail

Archived Thread
Our site is currently being changed over to the new version. Everything you see is currently in read-only mode. Additionally, the layout and UI will not be complete until all sections have been re-enabled, so please ignore any layout issues (or bland-ness) at this time.
#1 Katsumiyo on 11 years ago

Since a lot of Cosworx wigs (and wigs from other sites too, of course,) don't have clip-ons in matching colors, I figured this would be a good thing to have around since there are a lot of questions on how to do high ponytails, but not a lot of answers. Katie Bair covers [URL="http://www.katiebair.com/wigtutorial_stubbing.html"]how to stub a wig[/URL], and Kukkii has an excellent tutorial on [URL="http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1856065/"]how to pull a wig into a high ponytail[/URL], but while I made mine I searched and searched and didn't find any tutorial on how to make a clip-on that included functioning pictures. So I decided to make one here, and I hope it can help some folks out.
Here are the things you'll need:
Wefts matching your wig (If you can only find loose strand extensions and not pre-sewn wefts, try Kukkii's tutorial on [URL="http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1079221/"]how to make wefts[/URL])
Claw clip
Matching felt
Matching thread
Hot glue gun and glue sticks (not pictured)
Sewing machine not necessary, but highly useful.
Hot water, if your wefts have kinks (follow Katie Bair's [URL="http://www.katiebair.com/wigtutorial_straightening.html"]hot water tutorial[/URL])

*Please pardon my cellphone pictures!* My camera was broken at the time these photos were taken, so I had to use my phone. It takes decent pictures but I ended up using a friend's camera to take the last couple pictures, since they're the most complex and I wanted everyone to see what I was doing...but the pictures are still terrible, so I'll be using my trusty friend MS Paint to show how everything works.

Step One
Cut a [URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon2.jpg"]rectangle of fabric[/URL] that will go around your clip. The two slits are where the claws of the clip will go through. I gave about a half-inch on each side of the slit, and an extra half-inch on top and bottom. These will be important later. Make sure this piece of fabric fits around the clip without stretching; if the felt stretches, over time it can rip and you'll be left with a big tear at the bottom that will stick out and need a bit of work to repair.
Step Two
[URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon3.jpg"]Sew on the first weft[/URL]. You can start at the very bottom if you like, but I found I preferred a little extra 'insurance room' in case the stitches made the felt weaker. It also helps balance it a little, since too much heaviness near the bottom would make it more difficult to work with later. Just sew along the sewn part of the weft (indicated in blue) and save-stitch at the beginning and end, just like a normal seam.
Note to people who have not worked with wefts before: [URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon_weft.jpg"]here is where you snip a weft[/URL].
Step Three
[URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon4.jpg"]Sew on wefts[/URL] until they are level with the top of the slits--picture is about a third of the way up. How far apart you sew your wefts will dictate how thick your ponytail will be. I sewed them directly above each other and ended up with a very thick but beautiful ponytail. However, the thicker it is, the worse the tangles will be, so I wouldn't recommend sewing them right on top of each other unless you're going for a VERY thick ponytail (and have some [URL="http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=118976"]Motions Oil Sheen[/URL] on hand. :P )
Step Four
If you've clipped your ponytail into a wig at this point, you can basically see how things take shape from here. [URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon5.jpg"]Sew some wefts onto the sides[/URL]--same side as the previous wefts, the hair facing the rest of the wefts. This will help cover the claws of the clip and prevent them from showing in profile shots.
Step Five
[URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon6.jpg"]Sew the final wefts along the top[/URL]. Finally! No more weft-sewing. Bet you never want to sew another straight line again...at least, you will if you did what I did and sewed the whole thing in one day. The more wefts you have along the very top and sides, the better chance the sewn areas of your wefts won't show when you finish.
Step Six
Use something to scratch up the top of the inside of the claw clip. I used leftover sanding sponges, but even something like a plastic knife will work fine. Scores in the plastic will help the hot glue hold much better.
Step Seven
Slip the claws into the slits. This might take a little work. Make sure no wefts are getting caught where they shouldn't be. Groom the wefts sewn on the sides so they glide between the claws and over the sides without tangling.
Step Eight
(Commence terrible pictures...guess whose macro setting doesn't work?)
Now, you'll notice once you slip it on that it is boxy and awkward-looking. This is definitely the toughest step, so be careful and do this to the best of your ability. Use pins you don't care about to pin it before doing this and make sure it sits well. To fix this, hide the clip, and make the top look thicker, we are going to be doing [URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon7.jpg"]a sort of box pleat right[/URL] at the top. While you're finagling this, let your hot glue gun heat up.
Step Nine
Apply hot glue at the [URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon8.jpg"]red dots[/URL]. If you're careful, this means you won't get any on the hair itself, though it's fine if you do a little since it shouldn't show. You can sew it if you like, but anything short of an industrial will probably choke. Yes, you are gluing wefts on top of wefts and they are touching and probably melting a little bit. That's okay...melted plastic holds well, right? :)
Step Ten
Now you will be applying glue to the felt to attach it to the clip. Put glue along the UNDERSIDE (NOT the side with wefts this time) of the felt so that it will fold over and glue to the clip. [URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon9.jpg"]Add dabs of glue where the red indicates[/URL]--the purple lines show the curve of the felt, so the two outermost dabs are just inside the 'corners' of the clip.
Step Eleven
Apply glue along the underside of the top of the felt, [URL="http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon10.jpg"]where the red here indicates[/URL]. Apply it as well on the underside along the sides, where the wefts are sewn 'sideways'. This will keep the claws from slipping out of the ponytail 'cover,' and will also help make it easier to put in without wefts wanting to face all the wrong ways. You can pleat or glue the corners, if you like, but just tucking them in usually works.
Step Twelve
Detangle and comb out your ponytail. It probably needs it by now. This will also help any misbehaving hair to go in the right direction. You probably saw how the wefts that were glued upside-down along the top want to jump up--one simple combing ought to cure this just fine. You can use hot water should it prove stubborn, and also to get rid of any kinks the fibers attained during shipping.

You're done!

Photos of a finished ponytail with this method:
[url]http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon_jim.jpg[/url]
[url]http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/sammy.jpg[/url]

If you're attaching it to a Wisp or another short base like I did, and only have one ponytail rather than two, I suggest a little styling to the rest of the short wig to make it look more like a ponytail. You can see the improvement here:

For those that are paranoid and/or short, here is what the top of these ponytails looks like:
[url]http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon11.jpg[/url]
And when closed:
[url]http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon12.jpg[/url]
Identical to ones you would find in stores:
[url]http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/heroonadonkey/Clip-On Ponytail Tutorial/clipon_store.jpg[/url]

Questions are more than welcome and any particularly good or repeated questions will be added to the end of this tutorial. Please point out any directions that are not clear and I will do my best to clarify them, also...I'm not always very good at giving instruction the first time. ^^;

#2 Squishy Blob on 11 years ago

Thanks. I've had wefts lying around for ages and I've finally got some reliable information on how to make them into clip-ons!

#3 Meitachi on 11 years ago

Thanks so much for such a helpful tutorial! :D I was wondering how to go about this process for a while.

#4 xSYN on 11 years ago

I LOVE YOU. thanks for sharing =D!
/plotting tiemz.

also; WAI HELLO THAR SQUISHY. i'm tangent from CNZ. XD

#5 youmee400 on 10 years ago

Great tutorial

#6 Katsumiyo on 10 years ago

Thanks, guys! Glad I could help. :3

#7 Mr.Kitty on 10 years ago

ohh super awesome tutorial <3 i will defiantly be using it

what colour wig and extensions/wefts did you use ?

#8 Hansku on 10 years ago

oh my god, thank you thank you thank you.

I've also searched tutorial for clip-ons for ages. I'm so glad that you made this <3

#9 Poki_Toshi on 10 years ago

This is very helpful! Thanks so much for posting this, now I know what I can do with some left over wefts. ^__^

#10 TaRu on 10 years ago

EPIC. Katsu, you are my savior! This will come in super handy!! Thanks so much for making a tutorial for this -- it's little things like this that confuse people, thanks so much for making a step-by-step guide! <3

#11 Katsumiyo on 10 years ago

Mr. Kitty, my wig and extensions are 24B, now renamed the 25 from Cosworx.

#12 whitebeast on 10 years ago

[color=#969696][b]...This is such an amazing tutorial. D:

-loves on it- I used to have all sorts of twintail/ponytail aspirations but could never go about them since I couldn't figure for the life of me how to make the ponytails! Thank goodness for this tutorial.

How many packs/quantity should be used to make ponytails? [/b]

#13 ☆ KEITA on 10 years ago

This is awesome doood. * A*; I thought making your own clip-on ponytails but you make it look very easy! xD I'll def. have to try this out sometime. : Db

#14 Katsumiyo on 10 years ago

Whitebeast: You should use probably around two packs a ponytail. It differs from character to character--someone like Yoko with voluminous hair should use more than two packs, but someone with normal or thinner ponytails, you should be okay with two packs per ponytail. My Samus ponytail took a little under, probably around a pack and three-quarters of one.

#15 Alaxz on 10 years ago

This tutorial is amazing, a lot of thanks for posting it! I can't wait to try this n_n

Follow Cosplay.com