Posted in Cosplay Tutorial

Cosplay Tutorial – Old Gregg / yarn wig

WHO: Old Gregg
FROM: The Mighty Boosh
WHAT: … uh, good question. Some sort of sea-monster with a “downstairs mix-up.”
LIKES: Baileys, funk, watercolours, Howard Moon
DISLIKES: People who leave him
QUOTE: I’M OLD GREEEEEGGGGGGGG
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This one was started when I was out shopping and saw a metallic silver backpack on sale in Topshop, and then a pink tutu in Clare’s Accessories. Something in my brain went “… YES!!” and I ran back and bought both items. With this one, I knew I could buy most of it as Gregg wears old clothes but the wig was the main thing I’d have to make.

WIG (basic yarn wig + additions to make it more “Gregg”)

I made Old Gregg’s wig using a basic yarn wig as the base and then customised it. You can use this kind of wig for other characters – most commonly, I’ve seen them used for “doll” characters such as Raggedy Anne and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. They’re super easy to make and to customise – the thing that really took the time with this one was putting the leaves into it because they had to twined in each individual strand of “hair.”

You will need:

  • Green & grey yarn
  • Green felt
  • Glue Gun
  • Fake foliage – you need a style that has lots of stems and leaves. I opted to buy one of those plastic shrubbery plants from the bargain bin at B&M and then attacked it with a pair of scissors.
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Wig cap & hair grips
  • A bottle of Baileys

1. Take the following measurements –

a) How long you want the wig to be from the top of your head.
b)The length from your hairline to the base of your skull

2. Take your fabric and cut it into two 2inch wide strips the length of measurement b). This will be the base of your wig so this is why I recommend felt or a coarse fabric that will “grip” your head.

3. Take your yarn and repeatedly loop it at the length of measurement a) until it’s all in there. Your final result should be a giant loop that looks something like this:-

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Holding it tightly at the top of the loop, cut along the bottom of the loop so you’ve got a whole bunch of pieces of yarn that are double the length of measurement a). Place these strands so that they’re sandwiched evenly at the middle between the two strips of fabric. Pin the two pieces of fabric together to hold them in place.

4. Using your sewing machine, zig-zag down the middle the fabric strip. Remove the top strip of fabric as you go along (DO NOT sew the pieces together!!) Final result should look like this –

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(Bemused expression optional)

And that’s how you make a basic yarn wig! Generally, I find they stay on by themselves pretty well as is but if you want that extra security, tuck your hair in a wig cap and pin it in place with hair grips.

5. Right, so let’s get thing looking a bit more OLD GREGG. Trim the wig so that it’s got layers – I added a fringe in and went for a lopsided semi-mullet cut with shorter bits at the front and top.

6. Next, get your fake foliage and start to divide it up into individual strands – you’re going to wrap them around the yarn.

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7. Open the Baileys. Drink a large glass as the full realisation of the size of the task ahead hits you. (NOTE: This step is not strictly necessary but very recommended)

8. Take a stem of fake foliage. Using your glue gun, put some glue at the top of it. Attach to a strand of yarn. Wind around. Dab some glue on the bottom of the stem, stick to yarn. Repeat.

9. Repeat Step 8 MANY TIMES and throw in Step 7 occasionally too. (FUN TIP: To save my sanity and stop me hitting borderline alcoholism, I set myself limits on how long I could work on it each day. I think overall, it probably only took about 4 – 5 hours work to complete the wig.)

10.  Voila! Finished!

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(If you haven’t already by this point, finish the bottle of Baileys as a reward.)

Clothes

So, that’s the hardest part out the way, but you’ve still got the clothes.
You’ll need:
– a silver jacket
– a pink tutu
– metallic green leggings
– white Cowboy boots
– a black shirt
– a white tie

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I reused my boots from my Jareth cosplay (they’re not cowboy but hey, if they were good enough for a David Bowie cosplay, I’m pretty sure Noel Fielding would approve 😛 ) and my Peter Pan leggings (seriously. You’d be surprised what you can repurpose…)
I hit up eBay for a metallic leather jacket and used a white ribbon for a tie. For the hands, Gregg’s got some kind of scale thing going on – I didn’t have the time or energy left to do that so I used some white, cotton first aid gloves from Boots instead which were about £3.

Make up

The beauty of Mighty Boosh costumes is that they don’t HAVE to be perfect; in fact, the more it looks like something you’ve pulled together last minute entirely from the contents of your kitchen, the more it embodies the general aesthetic of the show!

With that in mind, I used a mixture of Snazaroo facepaints and actual make up. Use green as the base, red around the eyes, pink lipstick and then black for a moustache.

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(Pictured: Why people stopped adding me on Snapchat)

So, that’s the clothes, face and wig… but what about the most important thing?

“I’M OLD GREEEEGGGG!!!!!!”

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I bought one of those stick-on push LED lights, like this one HERE and stuck it to my crotch. I tried shoving it under the leggings but this muted the light, not to mention gave me a rather uncomfortable crotch bulge, and I didn’t really want to cut a hole for the light to shine out from O__O I opted to stick it to the outside of my leggings instead as it was hidden by the tutu most the time.

Anyway. The result of this was that whenever needed, I could go to lift up my skirt and quickly push it on in the process to create the full “I GOT A MANGINA” moment.  (Weirdly, this was what got the best reaction throughout the day at con – I’ve never had such consistent delighted reactions to me lifting up my skirt in public.)

I had a really good reaction to this cosplay – I honestly wasn’t expecting much as The Mighty Boosh was 12 years old when I did this one (FUCK I’M OLD D: D: D:) but much to my complete surprise, I literally had people yelling various Boosh quotes out at me pretty much every few steps I took, which was awesome. 😀

… Right, I’ve got a massive craving for some Baileys now.

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Author:

Cosplaying, bass playing, coffee addict with an over-active imagination and a penchant for autumn and red lipstick.

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