Kei Lin Sama

Costume :Oiran
Variant :Blue/red kimono
Source :Unknown
Progress :In Progress
Worn At :None

Costume Photos

Oiran combs and bun

Oiran wig base

Oiran wig front view

Oiran wig back view

Tortoiseshell kanzashi have now been sanded!

Butterfly bun

Oiran hair reference

Tortoiseshell kanzashi reference


Costume Information

I have no idea what series this is from. I'll upload a ref pic soon - if anyone knows what it is, please tell me!


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this will be stunning, GOSH STOP BEING SO TALENTED

by LolaInProgress on Sunday, 30 June, 2013 - 14:27
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Oh wow! So beautiful. Can't wait to see more.

by Sephirayne on Monday, 9 September, 2013 - 23:12
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Whoosh dat wig, I don't envy you in the slightest! XD a tip for keeping wigs on, you can buy wig clips that you sew into the hairline of the wig cap which then snags into your proper hair and wig cap and prevents it from slipping :) I've had to sew clips in to wigs that are too heavy (big example is Aerith and her mahoosive plait OTL)

by Freyarule on Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 - 08:58
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Thanks Freyarule, I'm going on a clip hunt! Your Aerith wig looks very back-heavy, yet in all your photos, it's perfectly in place. I'm going to try it!

by Kei Lin Sama on Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 - 22:34
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As Freyarule said the clips will be great to keep this wig on! Theres lots of tutorials online to make lace frount wigs which is where you add netting to the frount of the wig and slowly loop wig fibers around the holes to make it look like normal hair (netting needs to be skin coloured duh XD)
As for the giant back thing. get some packets of wefts which coscraft sell for £5 a pack. Then get either some chicken wire covered in fabric or cardboard or worbla (depends what you plan to do to the back XD Cut into the O shape and then a smallish hole in the middle. Then cover in black fabric and then slowly cover in the black wefts. And then once covered hair spray and cut off loose ends ^^
Then attach to your wig with either sewing or more hair grips. hopes this is helpful if not message me ^^ i can try help more!

by Darkiekun on Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 - 21:29
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Ah Darkiekun, another wig expert! Please share your wisdom..

I started sewing in the clips and they really grip my hair nicely, but when I tried the wig on, there's the wig cap between the clips and my hair. What do you recommend?

Also, I already made the butterfly bun out of craft foam and wefts (see journal) and I wish I'd thought to put some wire under the foam..

Last question: how do you get your own hair to lie nicely underneath the wig, especially if you have a heavy wig? Do you just stuff it in a wig cap, or do you have a secret way of hiding it?

by Kei Lin Sama on Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 - 21:55

Heya, if clipping into the wig cap is an issue, Coscraft do black netting ones that are nice and easy to put clips through, if you've just been using the stocking type ones before now!
If you have lovely long hair you can braid it and loop it up on top of your head like so:
If it's short hair like mine, you can just shove it under the wig cap but you may need clips for those annoying little bits of hair at the nape of your neck. If you're particularly hardcore you can get wayward bits at the nape shaved off by your hairdresser...! I just kirby grip mine cos screw that XD

And here's a wee tutorial on using pin curls for extra security when kirby gripping wigs. Think I might try this too!

by madmazda86 on Thursday, 26 September, 2013 - 13:51
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Wow, can't wait to see this! ^_^

by Nesabi on Monday, 11 November, 2013 - 18:30

Kanzashi look fab!

by madmazda86 on Tuesday, 17 December, 2013 - 01:15
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Oh wow this is looking incredible!! Can't wait to see more progress!!

by MissColzyChan on Tuesday, 14 January, 2014 - 04:32
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Wow! That wig is looking incredible. Beautiful work.

by Sephirayne on Tuesday, 14 January, 2014 - 15:11
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Awesome progress!!!!!! Well done on the wig, looks hard but you have done it so well!

by Afireinsidegirl on Wednesday, 15 January, 2014 - 09:37
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astounding progress! can't wait to see more <3

by Frederica la Noir on Sunday, 19 January, 2014 - 13:49
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Very impressed so much detail and so much patience has already gone into this costume – beautiful work, I can’t wait to see more!

by Angelphie on Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 - 20:33
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This is looking so impressive - the wig in particular!

by InfiniteJester on Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 - 11:05
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Your wig skill is epic, thus on my watch list it goes. :)

by Cyat20 on Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 - 20:26
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The progress on this looks amazing!
Can't wait to see the final result <3

by Emzone on Friday, 28 March, 2014 - 20:17


Oiran combs (2) (Posted 3rd March 2014)

Oiran combs arranged in parallel with the butterfly bun. It's taking shape!

Oiran combs (Posted 3rd March 2014)

The semi-circle you see at the top of the oiran's head is actually made of 3 combs arranged in a fan shape.

The sides of the wig (2) (Posted 2nd March 2014)

The sides, back, and butterfly bun are complete.

The sides of the wig (Posted 2nd March 2014)

The back and sides of the wig are finished. Here's how they fit together

The back of the wig (Posted 2nd March 2014)

Here is the side view of the back of the wig. There's space inside for all my long hair.

Eri-ashi progress (Posted 2nd March 2014)

I cut out the eri-ashi shape from funky foam and glued hair to the top. Then I attached it to the back piece of the wig.

Eri-ashi (reference pic) (Posted 2nd March 2014)

Here's my idea for the back of the wig. Normally, the geiko or oiran draws a tapered stripe design using her white make-up to accentuate the nape of the neck. I don't think I can draw neatly on the back of my own neck, so I will make the shape with the hair (as shown in the reference pic). Note: the three-legged design is 'Sanbon-ashi', and the two-legged design is called 'Eri-ashi'.

Kanzashi flower finished (Posted 18th February 2014)

A nice break from sanding resin and gluing hair to foam

Kanzashi flower in progress (Posted 18th February 2014)

Got tired of the wig

Edit: The petals were gradient dyed with serial dilution and spray bottles. The beaded decoration was very fiddly!

Hairpin sockets (Posted 18th February 2014)

Here's the bit that anchors the hairpins to the back of the head

Ring support for the butterfly bun (Posted 18th February 2014)

Here is the bit that attaches the bun to the wig. Made from Worbla and craft foam

More hairpins (Posted 13th January 2014)

Hair pins fan out from each side of the wig

Oiran wig back view (Posted 13th January 2014)

Here's the back..

Attaching the bun to the wig base (Posted 13th January 2014)

The bun is attached to a ring-shaped support, which is fixed onto the wig base. Thanks Darkiekun!

Katsura - the base for the oiran wig (Posted 13th January 2014)

Many thanks for the excellent wig advice from Freyarule, Darkiekun, Madmazda86, and Afireinsideirl. I put several comb clips inside the wig to hold it onto my hair. The top part remained on my head even when the bottom of the wig tore itself away under the weight of the kanzashi (the whole lot is approaching 2kg now).

I decided to make a robust base for the wig using corset bones and bias binding channels. Doesn't it look like a helmet?

Oiran combs (Posted 13th January 2014)

Each of the combs slots into a socket made of Worbla. The comb assembly sits just in front of the butterfly bun

Attaching kanzashi to the butterfly bun (Posted 13th January 2014)

Surprisingly heavy!

Coral beaded kanzashi (Posted 13th January 2014)

More Primark kanzashi

Hairstick kanzashi (Posted 13th January 2014)

Made from leftover Primark bits

Oiran bun (Posted 13th January 2014)

Here's the butterfly bun so far. Each of the hairsticks is anchored in its own socket made from worbla.

Sanding the kanzashi (Posted 17th December 2013)

Progress is slow, but I have finally finished sanding all 25 pieces of tortoiseshell kanzashi. I used 12 grades of sandpaper: starting with grit 60, 100, 180, 280, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, and ending with 2500. When the sanding starts, there's a soft and slightly sticky surface that clumps on the sandpaper. Once that was removed, I sanded the entire surface of each piece with the lowest grade evenly, then repeated with the next grade (and so on). If you miss a bit, the scratches will show through, and to get rid of them you have to start again from a coarse grade, which can be frustrating.

Casting with polyester resin (Posted 18th November 2013)

Here are all the tortoiseshell kanzashi, ready to be smoothed and finished. This was my first costume with water clear polyester resin. Polyurethane resin is a lot easier to handle than polyester, so I don't know if I would choose polyester resin again. The fumes are nasty (I bought a mask after the first attempt). My biggest difficulty was the viscosity of the heat resistant silicone moulding gel.

The golden amber colour effect was achieved by mixing brown and yellow acrylic paints into the resin just before pouring. It's a shame the colour is so inconsistent, but it didn't turn out too badly.

Making the butterfly bun (part 2) (Posted 10th September 2013)

The glue has dried, so now I have two halves of the bun! Probably needs a trim and then some more hair..

Decorative knotwork for the butterfly bun (Posted 9th September 2013)

The back of the butterfly bun is decorated with a 'Good luck' knot. The knot is tied from a golden curtain cord I spotted at a market!

Making the butterfly bun (Posted 9th September 2013)

Once the wefts were glued to the foam pieces, I stitched them together. Soon the glue will dry and I'll be able to fold the hair into that iconic Oiran butterfly shape

Kanzashi mockup (Posted 9th September 2013)

I really have no idea what I'm doing. As always, the best thing to do is make a mock-up and see what happens. The butterfly bow is made from black paper and card. The hairsticks are made from cardboard. I got the wig for a tenner, since I will almost certainly need more than one attempt to get the hair right.

Horrible wig (Posted 26th August 2013)

I've decided to tackle the wig first and get it done before I start on the fabric parts. I just made some hair loops for the butterfly bun and the sides by gluing hair wefts to the foam pieces. Everything was going smoothly until I trimmed the excess hair. Now there's hair sheddings all over my room and it's gotten everywhere!

The wig (Posted 14th August 2013)

I bought a wig and started on the hair. This has got to be the most challenging wig I've ever attempted.. The butterfly bun at the back will be really heavy and the whole wig is just bristling with hair-sticks. I heard that bobby pins will keep a wig in place but it'll take more than that to keep this monstrosity on my head. If any wig experts are reading this, your advice would be very welcome!