A couple years ago I was struck with the insane urge to cosplay Soom Amber, a doll created to show off the company’s mad feats of doll engineering. I searched for ages to find useful information on how to make her spectacular faun hooves, but nothing I found satisfied me. So I combined a few techniques, and added my own, and these are what I came up with:
Want to know how to make them? Of course you do.
-Faux fur (fluffier is better!)
-2 PVC pipe elbows
-Apoxie Sculpt 2-part polymer clay
-Screws (1-2 inches long)
-Hot glue gun
For the base shoes, a cheap pair of strappy stilettos works great. Aim for fake leather, because it’s cheaper, nicer to cows, and way easier to stitch through than the real stuff. Make sure the sole will be thick enough to accommodate several screws. A zipper at the back of the heel will make it much easier to put them on when you’re done.
TIP: Stick some kind of gel pad or insole into the shoe before you start because odds are these shoes will hurt!
Step 1: Leg Socks
Put on the shoes. Measure the circumference of your leg about halfway up your thigh, then the circumference of your ankle. Then measure the distance between these two points. Draw these measurements on a piece of newspaper or drafting paper and join the corners to create a trapezoidal shape. Measure the distance from your ankle to the ball of your foot, as well as the circumference around the wide part of the heel. Add this shape to your leg pattern. Add a 1/2″ seam allowance around your entire pattern. It’s a little hard to describe, but when you cut the fabric out and fold it, it should look like this:
Sew down the edge, stopping at the top of the curve of the heel–this will allow you to wrap the sock around the shoe and under the heel. Turn them right-side-out so they look like the photo on the right.
Step 2: Socks to Shoes
Wrap the sock around the shoe, pinning as needed to hold it in place. Pin, then stitch close under the heel. Stitch the edges of the sock along the sides of the zipper, leaving the zipper exposed. Stitch the fabric to some of the straps to keep it from shifting.
Step 3: Clip-clop Hooves
Get your two pieces of pipe. They should look like this:
This part involves tools, so please be careful! (Because G.G takes no responsibility for you cutting off your own hand.) Clamp the pipes to a hard surface and, using a handsaw, cut off one wide end from each pipe. Hold the remaining wide end to the widest part of the sole of your shoe and mark where the edges of the shoe hit the pipe. Saw at this point to cut a slice out of each pipe. The remaining part should be starting to look hooflike.
Mark three points on the pipe: 1 dead centre at the front, 1 near the back on the right, 1 near the back on the left. Drill a small hole at each point. Line the pipe-hoof up with your shoe and screw through each hole directly into the sole of the shoe.
Step 4: Make It Pretty
Mix a mound of Apoxie Sculpt following the directions on the package. Start small–it’s better to have to mix more than to waste a whole pile of it if you don’t work fast enough. Start layering the Apoxie onto the pipe, building it out into a proper hoof shape. I wanted cloven faun hooves, but you can make any shape you like. Remember that Apoxie is really sticky at the beginning, but easier to mould after about an hour, so plan your work accordingly. Once it’s really, truly dry (at least 6 hours, 12 just to be sure), paint it any colour you desire. I added a gloss coat to mine to make them shiny.
Cut rounded bits of upholstery foam to fill in the gap between the pipe and the shoe in a pleasing, hoof-like manner. Add more fleece if any of your foot will be exposed to the foam, because that stuff itches after a while.
Step 4: Fuzzy Time!
There’s no photo for this part because at this point I just grabbed a big chunk of faux fur and went to town, sticking it down with hot glue at strategic points around the solid parts of the hoof and stitching it around the edges of the fabric sock and zipper. Bring the faux fur up to about the middle of your foot on top, then curve it around the back to the top of your heel. Try to find a fur with a nice long pile that will obscure the heel of your shoe from view. Build from the bottom so that if you need to add new pieces of fabric, the fur will cover any lines.
Now slip on those faun legs and hoof it to the nearest convention! The best part? The hollow pipes make an awesome, authentic-sounding clip-clop noise on hard surfaces, just like horses’ hooves!
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