Make a Paper Wig

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For inspiration, check out these examples of paper wigs

Before we start:

The wig cap is the part of the wig that sits on your head; to which the hair is attached.


You can make a wig cap for a paper wig many different ways. I tried two types of wig cap: one made out of paper, the other out of a plastic bag and tape.

How to Make a Wig with a Paper Cap

You’ll Need:

  • a paper bag, or some other type of sturdy paper
  • tape or glue
  • paper for your hair
  • optional: paint to color your hair
  • scissors

The Wig Cap

Step 1. Cut the paper bag into strips, about 1” – 1½” thick.

Step 2. Wrap the first strip around the middle of your head (or head form), around the largest part. Tape or glue it in place.


Step 3. Start laying strips so that they arch over your head and both ends attach to the first strip you taped around your head.


Add more strips until you have several going in two different directions, like a basket.


Glue or tape the strips down to each other so stabilize the shape of your cap.


Step 4.  With the cap on your head, mark where your ears are.


Cut a space for them.



Step 4. Cut your hair paper into strips.

Step 5. Glue or tape hair to wig cap.


in this case I had bags of newspaper that had been run through a paper shredder

Once the entire thing is covered in hair, you’re done!


How to Make a Wig with a Masking Tape Cap

You’ll Need:

  • A plastic bag
  • Masking Tape
  • glue or tape
  • paper for hair
  • optional: paint to color your hair
  • scissors

The Wig Cap

Step 1. Cut the sides of the plastic bag so that it opens up into 1 layer.


Cut off 1 half. Lay it on your headform.


Step 2. Tape around the place where the brim of your wig cap should be.


Step 3. Tape all of the area that you want to be your wig cap.


Step 3. Take the wig cap off the headform. Trim-off excess pieces of plastic.


Watch Martha Stewart do this to a cabbage (1:30):


Step 4. Cut your hair paper into strips.


Step 5. Glue hair to wig cap.


Keep going until the entire thing is covered in hair, and then you’re done!


Try to cover gaps in your wig so the wig cap and your hair don’t show through.

You can layer paper hair almost endlessly.

If you don’t mind that it takes longer, I suggest using glue as opposed to tape. It’s less bulky.

Styling Tips

If you paint your hair, paint it before you cut it and glue it. I used latex house paint and acryllic paints to color mine. Don’t use oil-based paints. They give off really bad fumes.


Also, if you decide to paint your hair, always let it dry outside.  It’s not good to hang out near wet paint fumes.


Check out the ways that this young person curled their paper hair. Roll-it up (3:20). Or drag a strip of paper hair across the edge of a table (5:17).

Or you can drag it across the top edge of a closed pair of scissors (4:14).


I had to use my left hand to take this photo. But imagine that it is pulling this strip of paper across the top of the scissors on the left side.

Something that you might try, and which I’d like to try in the future is wrapping hair around a pre-formed shape (like a cone or a ball), and then gluing it to a wig cap.

For instance, I’m pretty sure that that’s how this was achieved:

This might help if you’re trying for a look with – say a spikey hairdo.


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