The most distinguishing feature of any #fursuit #cosplay is its head. The head is probably the single most important element to any fursuit because the head is what helps to define the identity and species of the type of anthropomorphic character that the #fursuiter is portraying more than any other component. It’s also often the part of the fursuit that draws the most attention.
We’ll begin by stating that there are multiple ways in which a fursuit head can be constructed, but the primary components that are almost always used in all fursuit heads are (1) foam and (2) fur.
- Foam is what gives the fursuit head its overall shape. Other materials (such as EVA foam or parts casted from resin) may also be used as part of the inner structure.
- Synthetic fur (in typically different colors) is then applied to the outside of the head in patterns according to how the wearer wants it to look.
Other materials that you will need include the following:
- Hot glue gun & sticks (a lot of stick)
- Measuring tape / ruler
- Sewing (a sewing machine is recommended, but some sewing will have to be done by hand)
- A head form
- Hair clippers (for cutting the synthetic fur)
- Vacuum cleaner (for cleaning up debris)
Most fursuit heads have static jaws, but if a fursuiter wants the jaw to move as they move their mouth on the inside, that needs to be taken into account before any work is done in constructing the fursuit head.
Several Documented Methods
For simplicity, we’ll break down some of the techniques for making a fursuit head into the following methods that we arbitrarily named. An important note: these aren’t necessarily the only ways in which a fursuit head can be constructed.
- Method A (Static jaw, from the inside out over a balaclava base)
- Start with a knit balaclava as the first inner layer.
- While wearing the balaclava, wrap a sheet of foam around the head to form a cylinder that’s the same size as the maximum diameter of the wearer’s head.
- With the balaclava removed, glue and and shape the cylinder around the sides and top of the head.
- More foam is then added, shaped and sculpted to form the head of the anthropomorphic character before any fur is added.
- Method B (Static jaw, from the outside in starting with wide foam)
- Start with two very thick pieces of foam (like a foam mattress) and glue them together.
- Begin to cut and shape the exterior of the anthropomorphic character by working inwardly. This is like creating an actual sculpture.
- Gouge out the shape for the wearer’s head to fit inside of the sculpted head.
- Method C (Static or movable jaw, from the inside out over an elastic strap base)
- Create a simple structure for the head using 3 pieces of cut elastic strap, one of which goes around the chin.
- Begin attaching foam pieces to the stretched elastic straps (that are on a head mold) to form a base layer of foam.
- After attaching the foam to the chin area, cut the foam (and not the elastic beneath) if you want a movable jaw.
- Ad more foam that is shaped and cut similar to what was done in Method A.
- Method D (Movable jaw, from the inside out & using a resin-casted muzzle)
- To do this method, starting with Method A or C for the base layer will be a good starting point.
- Instead of forming a muzzle out of foam, use a hinged resin-casted muzzle (purchased from a prop maker) as the base of the muzzle. Then add foam over of the resin to create the desired head shape.
- Of the various methods listed, this is probably the most expensive due to the need to purchase a resin-casted muzzle.
Now for the example videos.
Method A is shown by Skyehigh Studios:
We also recommend watching an 8-part video series posted by Koofsuits. We included the first of the 8-part video series on how she constructs a fursuit head. She doesn’t show the initial creation of the base layer as Skyehigh Studios did in the previous video.
Method B is shown by fursuiter StarryKitsune:
Method C is shown by fursuiter Tiny Badger:
Part of Method D is shown by prop maker CanineHybrid:
Using EVA Foam in the Fursuit Head Build
Fursuit maker AlbinoTopaz recorded how she made a fursuit head for an auction winner that incorporates EVA foam for additional rigidity in the final product. EVA foam was used for both the ears and teeth. This required painting.
- What is Fursuiting?
- Skyehigh Studios’ YouTube Channel
- StarryKitsune’s YouTube Channel
- Tiny Badger’s YouTube Channel
- CanineHybrid’s YouTube Channel
- AlbinoTopaz’s YouTube Channel