So let me tell you something about this tutorial.
This stuff is fucking gold. Her instructions are so perfect and so easy, it’s wonderful.
This tutorial is in two parts, so allow me to elaborate on some things she touches on, and a few things she looks over:
Note 1: You do not need 5 skeins of yarn to make the fluffs. Allow me to show you Exhibit A:
This tail is maybe a foot and a half long, and maybe 6 inches around when I flatten the fur?
And Exhibit B:
In both of these pictures, the blue yarn is from only one skein.
My base, which the part 2 video shows you how to make, was about half a skein of gray. I purposefully made my tail base thinner because I wanted it to look more feline and less canine, but I think I butchered that just a bit.
Note 2: You do not need to use a straightener on the fluffs.
Keep in mind that I’m only saying it’s not necessary. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use one, because on the contrary, it would probably make your tail look ten times better than mine. What I am saying is that if you, like me, are not in possession of a straightener and can’t borrow one, then you will be totally fine without it.
I sewed my fluffs at about this distance for every ring of fluffs (because I did rings going up the tail).
This is what mine looked like once I had only finished the tip. So yes, it’s supposed to look mostly like a truffula tree. A floppy truffula tree, but a truffula tree nonetheless.
Note 3: You are not restricted to elastic as an option for attachment mechanisms. I used a chain, as seen here:
I think the chain works really well. Because my tail is supposed to be seen as an accesory to the character, I’m not making any attempt to hide the base - actually, I want it to show. I thought a chain would be a good fit, in that case. That’s a bracelet. After a few minutes of wrestling with tightly-wound yarn and a few near-death experiences (slight exaggeration) I managed to get it through. And it works great!
Note 4: You can give your tail character!
Is your character a sort of rough-and-tumble kind of character?
Turn the tail upside-down and shake it, then just don’t brush it out and you get something like this.
Or maybe your character is a lot more clean and groomed?
Brush it out thoroughly. Ta-da!
All in all, though, this is a beautiful idea and a wonderful tutorial. If you are looking to make a fur tail, this is the tutorial for you. These things legitimately look so real if you do them right, and they are soft as fuck.
The only downside is that, like she says, it does take 35-40 hours to finish, but it’s so worth it. Trust me.
Thank you for your time. *steps off soapbox*
Heyyyyy so guess what needs to be updated? That’s right, this post!
Long story short, everyone keeps bringing this back for who knows what reason and so I’m hoping this update will spread as much as the initial post did, because I have some ~helpful info~!
Allow me to present Exhibit C, the finished tail that went with me to Katsucon 2014 and survived Friday’s adventures:
In this one, I have officially used all the fluffs (all of them).
Now I stand at about 5'2", just so you know my arms aren’t incredibly long. The tail is maybe 2 feet? I think it’s just a little under that.
I’m going to address right now the things I’ve seen in response to this post (because yes, believe it or not, I read every single tag you guys put on this. XKit does amazing things. It’s good for exactly this purpose.)
1. I would seriously not advise using this for anything other than cosplay. Or if you just want to casually wear a tail, because that’s pretty kickass too.
The reason I say this is because when I went to Katsucon, I was sitting by the fountain with my chaperone and no sooner did we sit down then said fountain started up. This thing will hold water really well. Which sucks, because it makes the tail look so much thinner in all the places water gets on. And also, getting anything other than water on it is absolute hell to get out, so if you want a multi-use tail, just be careful okay?
2. About the base, from the previous poster.
As you may have guessed, there is a reason I reblogged my own post from this particular person rather than from myself. They actually make some really good commentary, and if you’re going to make one of these, I highly recommend checking out what they said.
But, I am going to disagree and amend a few points they make, and sorry about that in advance to the poster.
Yes, my tail in this new photo is actually the one I had from the start. And the reason it’s longer is because I did unspeakable things (read: I made a really improvised extension that miraculously worked, but one I would not ever recommend trying at home). I noticed that it was not at the ideal length I wanted for my Streetstuck Nepeta, and so I fixed it, and here we are. I will say right now, I wish I had the foresight to make my base thinner when I started. (Past me is such an idiot.) I had thought the base I had made was, in fact, thinner than what was in the video - and maybe it was, but it was definitely not enough. My extension, on the other hand, is the perfect width.
I don’t know how well you can see that, but I tried to show despite the fluff the difference in thickness.
My extension was about ¼th, I think, of the original width they give you in the video. I know it was half the thickness of my first base. I think I must have ended up with only 4 or 5 strands in every strand of the braid - and I did do a 4-strand braid for my extension too, it worked really well that time.
The more yarn you put in your base, the thicker it will be, naturally, and it will also be stiffer. However, the longer your tail is, the more flexible it will be. So it really depends on what you’re going for.
3. Stylistic aspects of the yarn.
I seriously do not recommend making your job any harder when you’re making the yarn fluffs.
Just don’t do it.
It’s not worth it.
Following the instructions in the video ought to give you the least time-consuming yarn-fluffing process. I’m saying this because, as a person who has a huge tendency to start projects and never finish them, I was this close to just giving up. It’s very tedious, and I think about 10 hours in I had to start taking breaks whenever “fuck it” would cross my mind. Definitely, having something to watch while you do your work helps. Put on a movie or something. I’ll give anyone recommendations if they ask, but be aware that I am a huge animated movies fan. :)
This was my tail when I put it on for my last cosplay test before Katsucon. Just so you can see how it looks on a person.
The second poster offers that purrhaps cutting the fluffs in half will make your tail look thinner. I’m going to disagree with that and say that I actually think that would make your tail look a lot fatter, because I’ve noticed that with mine, while I was worried about the fluffiness factor, once I got my base under control, the fluffs smoothed each other out. (The Fluff Factor. Sounds like a competitive knitting/needlefelting show.)
4. About the shaping of the tail.
I’m going to go ahead and make the disclaimer that I did neither of these things. I don’t know if they work, but I know I haven’t done them with this type of tail and I know the second poster said that they haven’t made this type of tail yet.
I would not advise using wire in your tail.
I really don’t advise it at all. My reasons are as follows:
1, I worked with wire for jewelry making. If you’re up close and personal with it and trying to do precision work it will stab you every goddamn chance it gets and then it makes your fingers raw. Not fun. So if you’re going to do it, at least be careful.
2, This is not the greatest idea for making your tail do that up-and-out thing that I’ve seen some cosplay tails do. The reason is that the wire-curved part of the tail will actually just make the tail curl around your leg or fall off to the side. It’s really not the greatest idea if for that reason alone.
3, Braiding wire into yarn is a pain.
So if for the sake of convenience only, it may not be the best idea.
Now, the fishing line idea, that is actually pretty cool. I’ve used fishing line before and it’s pretty good for this stuff. Just make sure you don’t cut off your circulation and make sure there’s little to no way you would cut off your circulation throughout whatever event you’re taking your tail to. Always keep track of your string. You never know if it’s gonna get caught on something or get picked up by an unsuspecting pet, or small child, or get tangled in a tree and choke someone - you get the picture, right? Make sure you have a way to get it off. Fishing line is tough. Be sure that you are careful when you use it because there is little to no way to break it with your bare hands. Carry scissors or something, and for the love of whatever you esteem to be holy be safe okay?
I think that covers a lot of the main stuff.
Remember that I am not the amazing person who made this video. I can’t answer all your questions. I can’t provide detailed step-by-step instructions. I just know what worked for me and how I differed from these instructions.