How to Make Your Own Synchronized Swimming Headpiece
Clearly you want your competition suit to be spectacular. But the truth is, once you dive in nobody is going to get to see it until you climb out again. What everyone will see a lot of, is your headpiece.
In regular eggbeater, all the audience can see are your shoulders, head, one or maybe both arms, and your head. Thus, the appearance of your headpiece is very important.
With a little know-how and the right materials, you can make your own headpiece. This guide will outline what you need, construction tips, and some quick options if you're in a pinch.
What You Need
- Plastic needlepoint canvas: This is a sheet of plastic with many little square holes. It's available at craft stores.
- Fabric scraps: Use leftover pieces from your suit, or buy some matching swimsuit-type material at a fabric store.
- Copper wire: Use galvanized 20 gauge wire. This is strong enough to keep its shape, but malleable enough to easily bend by hand.
- Fishing line: Use four- to six-pound fishing line that will be able to fit through the eye of a sewing needle.
- Assorted decorations: Use as many rhinestones, crystals, sequins, vials of glitter, and beads as you like. Strands of rhinestones are ideal.
- Adhesive: It should be strong glue that is permanent, waterproof, and bonds to multiple kinds of surfaces. It doesn't have to be stretchy since your headpiece won't stretch.
- Spray adhesive: This is merely used to temporarily hold things in place while you sew. No need for it to be waterproof.
- Glue: The stretchy craft glue that you use to glitter your suit is perfect. It should also dry clear.
- Sewing needle: Pick a needle with a large enough eye to fit fishing line through. Make sure it also fits through any beads you're planning on using.
- Scissors: Any scissors that can cut paper, needlepoint, and fishing line are fine.
- Wire cutters: These are, perhaps obviously, for cutting the wire.
- Needle nose pliers: These are used to bend the wire into shapes conducive to holding bobby pins.
- Pen: Any regular pen will work to make the loops for bobby pins. The pen will also be used to draw on the needlepoint.
- Imagine a design that you think will go nicely with your theme or competition suit.
- First, draw out your ideas on paper. Think about how it would fit onto your head. Keep in mind, it can be more than one piece.
- Next, draw the shape(s) out on paper to the intended size and cut them out. Place them on your head (or a friend's) to make sure they look the way you imagined. Ensure the pieces aren't too big, too small, or going to poke you anywhere.
- Trace the shapes with a permanent marker on to the plastic needlepoint canvas.
- Then, cut them out. It doesn't matter if you get pen all over them because it won't show in the final product.
Putting on the Fabric
- Use a large enough piece of fabric to cover the top of the plastic shape. Also, leave enough extra around the edges to fold underneath.
- Spray a thin layer of the adhesive on the plastic. Then smooth the fabric down on top of it.
- Thread the needle with fishing line, and tie a knot at the end of the line.
- Fold the fabric's edge around and underneath the edge of the needlepoint. Then poke the needle through the folded under side so it comes out through the fabric-covered side, and repeat.
- Continue sewing loops up through the bottom and around the edge of the needlepoint.
- Sew all the way around until you end where you started. Now tie a double knot and trim the excess from the end.
- If you are using multiple shapes of plastic, repeat these steps to cover them all.
- Lastly, stitch the pieces together with fishing line where you want them to connect.
- Decide where you'd like to place the different decorations you're going to use. Using several different types will give your design some texture.
- Use the strong adhesive to attach individual rhinestones or crystals.
- If you are using rhinestones on a chain, sew them on with fishing line. Stitch over the connections between the stones. Consider using rhinestone chains for outlining the whole headpiece, or each individual section of it.
- Use glue to draw lines or shapes that you want glittered. Sprinkle glitter the glitter on the glue, and then dump off the excess onto a piece of paper (for re-use). Glitter is also a good option for outlining or making certain shapes standout.
Wiring for Bobby Pins
- Cut about a foot of copper wire.
- Using the needle nose pliers, round off all the ends into tiny loops. This way you won't get poked.
- Make loops for bobby pins to go through to hold the headpiece to your hair. To make a loop, wrap the wire around a pen. Then twist the pen (which will twist the wire) to secure and close the loop. Make a loop about every two inches.
- Sew the looped piece of wire around the under-edge of the headpiece. Outline the headpiece by bending the wire as you go. The loops should stick out around the edge; the straight parts of wire should not.
- Make as many pieces of looped wire as you need to go all the way around the edge. Pay extra attention to points or pieces of the design that stick out. Each of these should have a loop at the end. This will keep the headpiece from flapping around when you swim.
Pin on & Show Off
Design and decorate with as much creativity as you can muster… and as many crystals as you can find surface area for! Once your wire, glue, and bobby pins are in place, you'll have an impressive headpiece to wear in competition. Creating a headpiece of your own can not only give you pride in what you've made, but also a greater sense of ownership of your routine.