Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pearl Steven Universe Cosplay Tutorial Masterpost with Crocheted Spear Pattern!

I met so many wonderful people at Colossal Con this past weekend and a lot of them requested info on my Pearl cosplay so here you go! I did a write up of the crochet pattern for the staff/spear, how I styled/added the point to the wig, and how to make the outfit with little to no sewing. Don't let yourself be intimidated by the wig modification/styling, it's not as bad as it seems! If you want to make a Pearl cosplay on a budget this is the post for you! Bird mom's got your back! <3

Big thanks to Rynn of All Trades Designs for making me look awesome! Check out her Colossal Con album here!

Super long post after the cut!

Pictures are at the end of each section!

First I want to start with an awesome Steven Universe tumblr with lots of cosplay help for cosplaying pretty much anyone from SU! There is also a video there for making Pear's spear in the traditional manner if you don't know how to crochet.

If you have any questions about any of the info below please ask and I'll do my best to help! Also if we met please feel free to say hi! ^_^

Crochet Staff/Spear Pattern (Pics at end of this section)
This staff is actually pretty easy and could probably be made in a dedicated weekend by someone who is comfortable crocheting. Let me know if you find any mistakes, my notes on this were a little messy sorry! >_<

Materials list

  • worsted weight yarn in light blue (blade section), light pink (staff section), electric blue, gold/yellow, and white
  • small amount of stuffing
  • small piece of cardboard for pommel
  • one or two sheets of white foamies (available at most craft stores)
  • yarn needle for sewing
  • H hook
  • G hook
  • pins for pinning pieces on
  • scissors
  • dowel rod, I used a 3/4" wide by 35" long one you can easily find these at craft and wood working stores, they should be less than $2
  • Scotch guard or waterproof suede boot spray (optional, more info in assembly section)

Please do not sell this pattern or anything you make from this pattern! I spent a lot of time making this and typing it all up so it could be available to everyone for free, please respect this!

Note: there is no gauge for this pattern. The only thing that is important is that you have a tight stitch when crocheting. If you use the recommended hooks it should be fine but if you are someone who crochets more loosely you may want to reduce the hook size accordingly.

This pattern may use any the following techniques/abbreviations:
Sc- single crochet
inc- increase
dec- decrease, particularly you should use the invisible decrease if you know how to do it
sc in each sc or work even- put one stitch into each stitch from the previous row, don't add any increases or decreases
R- round or row
Ch- chain
hdc- half double crochet
Trpl- triple crochet
# sc or sc #- for example 5 sc or sc 5 both mean to crochet in the next 5 sc, with one single crochet in each.
Repeat (*)- repeat what is between the asterisks * until you come to the end of the round, unless otherwise indicated
ring- magic ring. If you cannot do this technique then you may substitute this: ch 2 and sc however many were supposed to go in the ring into the second ch. However this will leave a small hole in the piece, this is why the magic ring is preferred, it leaves no visible hole. Many tutorials on how to do the magic ring are available online.

The numbers in parenthesis at the end of each row are the number of stitches you should have when that row is done. Mark the start of each round with a marker and move this marker as you complete rows/rounds.

All pieces (unless otherwise indicated) are worked with TWO strands of yarn together. You may do this by taking the strand on the outside of the skien and the one which comes from the inside of the skien together. Crochet with two strands the same way you would crochet if you had only one, hold them both together as you crochet. 

Staff (Make using H hook and 2 strands of light blue yarn held together as one)
This is worked in the round, have the dowel rod nearby to test length.
Round1- 6 sc in magic ring (6)
R2- *sc, inc* (9)
R3-??- work even (9)
Crochet with the blue until it reaches approximately 15.5 inches long when pulled onto the dowel rod then change to pink. The pink part will be about 20.5 inches. Don't crochet on the dowel rod just pull it onto it to check then pull it back off and continue crocheting. Once you reach the end of the dowel you will have to pull the crocheted tube onto it and do the following:
*sc, dec* (6) then dec as much as you can to close up. Before you finish off make sure you don't have too many rows or the tube covering the dowel rod will slide around and look weird, play around with it and add and remove rows as needed. Finish off and weave in your ends.

Spear point (make one with H hook and 2 strands of yarn held together as one, use light blue yarn)
Worked in rows using hdc only! Leave a long tail to start with so you can use it to sew it onto the staff later.
Row 1- ch 25, hdc 24 (24)
R2- hdc in all hdc (24)
R3- dec, hdc in rest (23)
R4- dec, hdc in rest (22)
R5- hdc in each hdc (22)
R6- dec, hdc in rest (21)
R7- dec, hdc in rest (20)
R8- dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (18)
R9- work even (18)
R10- dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (16)
R11- work even (16)
R12- dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (14)
R13- work even (14)
R14- dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (12)
R15- work even (12)
R16- dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (10)
R17-dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (8)
R18- dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (6)
R19- dec, hdc across to last two, dec across last two (4)
Fold the spear in half long ways, if it looks pointy enough at the end stop here or continue and do two dec in next row. Finish off, fold the spear in half and sew it up along the side, don't sew the bottom shut! If the tip of the spear looks weird tuck the offending part into the spear tip and sew it down. Idk mine looked a little weird, like too pointy sort of? So I tucked the very tip inside and sewed it down and it looked much better/smoother. 
Now take the foamies you bought and cut out a piece to insert into the spear point. I traced the spear onto the foamies and cut that out then trimmed it until it fit. You will need to cut out a little notch to accommodate the staff when you sew the spear point on. Don't worry about this until you go to sew the spear point on. Basically I just cut a little notch out of the side opposite the curved blade part and made it deeper as needed until I had the blade over the staff where I wanted it. I used 3 pieces of foamies inside mine. Cut one to the size you like then use it to make 2 more.

Spiral (make one using light blue, 2 strands of yarn and H hook)
worked in rows.
Row1- ch till it's about 15 inches long, about 51 chs for me. Put 2 hdc in each ch. The chain is going to twist up sort of weird, don't worry that's what you want!
R2- hdc in each hdc (this is a good point to test your spiral on your staff to make sure it is long enough/not too long. Feel free to take out some chs or add more to get the look you want. if it doesn't match up exactly that's ok too, you can sew the blue band below it on to cover your mistake!)
R3- you can either hdc in each hdc or get a little fancy here. Pearl's spear spiral is somewhat thinner at the bottom and thicker at the top towards the blade so you can slp stitch for some stitches, then sc for some, then hdc for the rest to make the bottom part appear slightly thinner.
R4- hdc only part way down, hold your spear point onto the top and see how it looks with your spiral, when you are happy with how much of the top you want thicker do a sc then a slip stitch and finish off. I did something like 10 hdc from top then sc, then slip stitch. Do whatever you think looks good for you! Finish off.

Pommel (Make with white yarn and H hook, 2 strands held together)
worked in rounds
Round1- 6 sc in magic ring (6)
R2- *inc* (12)
R3- *sc, inc* (18)
R4- *2 sc, inc* (24)
R5- sc in back loops only (24)
R6- work even (24)
R7- *2 sc, dec* (18) Insert a circle of cardboard or foamies before you close it up too much, this will help it keep the flat shape at the bottom.
R8- * sc, dec* (12) stuff lightly
R9- *dec* (6)
Close up.

Cone for pommel (make w/white yarn and H hook, 2 strands held together)
worked in rounds
Round1- 4 sc in magic ring (4)
R2- inc, sc in rest (5)
R3- sc, inc, sc, inc, sc (7)
R4- sc, sc, Inc, sc 4 times (8)
R5- sc 4 times, inc, sc 3  times (9)
Finish off, stuff pretty firmly.

Band at top between the blue and pink sections (make one in electric blue with G hook and 2 strands of yarn)
Worked in rows
Row1- ch 17, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each after (16 sc total)
R2- sc in each sc (16) finish off, leave tail for sewing.

Gold band at bottom by pommel (make one with gold yarn, g hook and 2 strands of yarn)
Worked in rows
Row1- ch 17, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each after (16 sc total)
R2- sc in each sc (16) finish off, leave tail for sewing.

Blue triangle band by pommel (make with G hook and electric blue yarn and 2 strands yarn held together)
Worked in rows.
Row 1- Ch 9, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each after (8)
R2-dec, sc rest (7)
R3- dec, sc rest (6)
R4- dec, sc to last two, dec across last two (4)
R5- dec, dec (4)
Finish off, leave long tail for sewing.

  • Sew the blade portion to the top by putting it slightly over the top of the staff and sewing it on all around, make sure it's sewn on very well! I sewed mine on about 1.5 inches from top of dowel rod. Remember to cut a notch out of your foamies to allow the dowel rod to fit in. Don't forget to sew the bottom of the spear closed as well.
  • Position the spiral part onto the blade, pin it and sew it on
  • Sew on the electric blue band below the spiral part
  • sew the point onto the pommel and then the pommel onto the spear
  • sew the gold on band just below the pommel then sew the electric blue band on below that, the triangle part should be aligned with the flat part of the blade.
  • spray the spear with scotch guard or similar spray. I used this suede boot protector that I had lying around (got it from Target in the shoe section). This step is optional but will make it water and dirt resistant. Take it outside and spray the top half, bring it back in and lay it over a table so the part you sprayed is hanging off, put a heavy book on the back end to keep it from falling off. Repeat with the other side once it's dry.
  • Try to store the spear laying down horizontally since it kind of smooshes the pommel if you stand it up on it's end.

Wig (pics at end of this section)
I want to start this by saying this is the only wig I have ever styled this heavily so there may be better ways of doing this but here's what I did and I hope it's helpful! I tried to make my instructions complete as possible but I winged it a lot too. I started with this wig (it's not a terrible wig but it's not like omg amazing either so you may want to look around if you want a higher quality one). Basically what we will be doing is removing some of the hair from the back of the wig, creating a cone, affixing that cone to the wig, and gluing the hair back onto the cone. More detailed instructions and materials list below.

Materials list
  • Short pink wig (or whatever color you think is best)
  • Heavy duty hair spray, I used Got2B glued freeze blasting spray and Beyond the Zone brand Frozen Stiff 
  • E6000 glue (you should be able to find this at most craft stores or walmart)
  • stitch ripper
  • some small scissors
  • posterboard or a large sheet of butcher paper
  • heavy duty very stiff felt stabilizer, you should be able to find it on a roll anywhere that sells fabric, the brand I used was called "Pellon Peltex 70 ultra firm stabilizer" it is great stuff! (also good for keeping up tall hats like Wirt's without adding a ton of weight!)
  • A foam head to put your wig on (don't skip this, you really really need it! These can usually be found at craft/fabric stores for less than $5)
  • Newspaper, masking tape and saran wrap
  • some pins to pin the wig to the stand to keep it from slipping
  • cookie sheet to lay wefts on
  • Patience and maybe some good friends to help you
  • bobby pins/hair clips for pinning excess hair out of the way
  • Some tutorials/posts that really helped me and
Prep work:
      First thing you should do is take your foam wig head and build up the size by taping some folded up newspaper so it's closer to the actual size of your head (more info in the first tutorial in materials list above). I then covered the top part of the head with saran wrap to keep the newsprint from getting on stuff. If you want to make a really sturdy stand for your foam head you can drill a hole in a block of wood and insert a dowel rod then put your head onto that. If you don't have access to power tools you can glue or tape your foam head to something heavy to stop if from falling over. Pull your wig onto your stand and pin it in a few different places to keep it from slipping off while you work. Now we will move on to making the cone for the back of the head.

Forming the cone:
      First you will make a circle on the butcher paper or posterboard (I don't know the size I used sorry! It will be different depending on how big your head is.) and cut a line to the middle of the circle so that you can shape/roll it into a cone. We are using posterboard here so that you can play around/change the shape of your cone without wasting the felt stabilizer. You will likely have to make a few circles of various sizes or trim them before you get something you like (try trimming along the bottom as well as down the middle). Check the size by rolling it into a cone and securing it with paperclips then holding it up to your own head or to the wig to see how it looks. Don't make it super huge if you don't have a lot of hair to work with on your wig (like me). Protip for large circle drawing: use a pencil with a string on it to make a perfect circle (hold the string in the center of the paper while you swing the pencil around to draw the circle). Once you have the posterboard circle how you like it you can use it as a template for cutting the felt stabilizer. Shape the felt stabilizer into the preferred cone shape and either glue or sew it together. If you glue it make sure the glue is dry before you continue!

Removing wefts (AKA the scary part):
      Pin any excess hair up and away from the area you will be working on. Now we will carefully remove the wefts (long strips of hair that are attached to the inner wig structure). Start out by holding your cone up to the wig and positioning it where you would like it to sit. Now put pins all around the cone to mark where the edges would be, this will tell you what hair is ok to remove and what is not. Using your small scissors cut the wefts (but don't cut the inner elastic wig structure that the wefts are sewn on to!). When you reach the elastic strips the wefts are sewn on to you will need to unpick the stitches with your stitch ripper. I only cut the wefts right next to the elastic straps they are attached to in hopes this would help keep the hair I left on the wig more stable. Work slowly and carefully and do not remove any more hair than you need to. Lay the removed wefts on a cookie sheet to keep them out of the way and neat. Apply a small dab of glue to the cut areas of the wefts on the wig itself to keep them from fraying. Take a breath you are doing great! Let any glue dry before continuing.

Reattaching cone and gluing wefts on:
      Wedge the cone into place on the head and sew it on however you can, I pulled the elastic wig structure over the sides and sewed it to those as well as to the elastic pieces under neath it. Get it on there however you can, it's not heavy so you just need to secure it as best you can. Note: I have seen some people stuff their cone, I did not do this since the stabilizer felt was so stiff and I was avoiding extra weight. You can now begin gluing the wefts back on starting at the tip of the cone and working backward, overlapping the hair as needed to create a full look.  I only applied glue to the base or band part of the weft. It may be helpful to lay your foam head on its face so the cone is pointing up (so gravity isn't working against you for the pieces on the underside). You may need to cut longer wefts down to size or glue on two wefts in the same section to get the look you want. The E6000 glue is really great because it dries pretty quickly and is flexible but it gives off a lot of fumes so work in an open area and take breaks as you need to. Let the glue dry for each piece before you go too far, this part takes a while. Use bobby pins or sewing pins to help keep the hair where you need it while the glue dries.

Protip if your wig is stupid like mine: The hair on my wig all fell in a downward direction along the neckline and was sewn so that it could not be gathered upward without exposing the inside of the wig. This would have made it impossible to sweep the hair at the nape of the neck upward onto the cone because of how the wefts were sewn on there. I ended up having to cut the wefts in that area off and flip them around and glue them so the hair was pointing 'up' towards the cone and could be swept up onto it. Depending on the wig you get this may not be a problem but that's what to do if you run into that.

Styling wig:
      Nearing the end! I would let the wefts you glued on dry for 24 hrs or more before continuing to styling. Put down newspaper so you don't get hairspray everywhere. Unclip the hair you pulled back previously and determine how much you want to keep for your bangs vs how much you want to sweep back onto the cone. Pin the hair for the bangs out of the way. Begin using the hair spray starting at the tip and working back toward the head in small sections. You will need to pause often to let the hairspray dry and you may have to hold the hair down for a bit till it hardens up. Don't go crazy with the hairspray either, just add some and let it dry then add more to keep it together as needed. Some troublesome sections of hair may need to be sprayed then bobby pinned in place while they dry. Don't try to rush this part, work in sections and let it dry as you go. I used very little hair spray on the front/top of my wig, just enough to keep the bangs together. Trim and curl bangs as needed to get the look you want. I was outside in pretty strong winds for a few hours and didn't have any trouble so I highly recommend these hairsprays!

Tips for packing the wig for travel, getting out of the car, putting it on ect:
      I put my wig stand inside of a box and taped it to the bottom of the box so it couldn't shift as we drove. I also buckled the box into the backseat of the car to prevent further shifting. It's absolutely a good idea to bring your hairspray with you to fix any trouble sections. If any big pieces fall down spray them then pin them with a bobby pin till they dry. Having emergency white bobby pins for this is a good idea. I didn't have any real trouble with sections falling but your mileage may vary and it's good to be prepared! Also do NOT touch the wig more than you need to, especially the cone part! If you need to get into a car have a spotter to tell you if your point is clear of the door frame. I found it was easiest to duck my head down real low and get into the car head first then wiggle the rest of me in. To get out duck your head down as low as you can and put your head out first then follow with your body. For me it was too hard to fold myself up to slide my whole body out at once so just go head first and you should be fine. 

As far as putting the wig on here are a set of great tutorials:
I have never had my wigs slide when I use this method. Once you have your wig cap on it's good if you can have a friend help you get the wig on, I grab the front and pull it over my forehead then my friend helps me pull the back down. Be gentle! I have very long hair so wigs can be a little tight for me. I find it helps to do 5 pincurls across the front of your head (see tutorial I linked for more info) then to put the rest of my hair into two braids and loop them into a U and pin them down.

Protip for wearing wigs: Once you have your wig on go take an Aleve or other long lasting painkiller. I am super serious, go do it before you head out! It really helps reduce or eliminate the pain in your head/temples caused by bobby pins, wig cap, wig ect. I always always do this and it makes the whole experience much more enjoyable/comfortable.
Removing the wefts, the yellow elastic strips are the wig base, be careful not to cut them! Note the pins i used to tell where the cone would cover.

Adding on the felt cone, note the yellow elastic parts of the wig were sewn onto it.

Hair being glued onto the cone
All hair glued on and drying before styling
Finished wig!

Front styling, I had to cut the top bangs a bit. You can also use rollers.

Clothing and Gem
      First let me put this out there that I am the terrible combination of poor and unable to sew so I am sure that if you can sew/have a larger disposable income you can make a much better outfit! But for anyone on a budget here's how I put my outfit together:

      I got the shirt here in the mint color for about $7, it is very stretchy and comfortable though a little see through so wear a camisole or something underneath. The star was made out of a sticky backed foamie, available at most craft stores for 99c a sheet. Cut out multiple stars (I got about 8 stars out of one sheet) and take them with you just in case you need them. I wore one star for half of one day and all of another and had no problem with it coming off. Be sure to stick it on once you have the shirt on. The sash I did have to sew it is about 3-4 inches wide and super super super long. I made it so I could wrap it around my waist a few times before knotting it. I knotted the sash by leaving a tail then wrapping around my waist a few times then I brought the free end (the end you were wrapping around) between the sash and the body then tying a slip knot around that (its easier if you have someone do it for you). The pants were a pair of old acid wash jean capris that I hemmed/shortened. First I bleached them overnight to lighten them up even more (be sure to wash them 1-2X after!) then I dyed them with some Rit dye using the bucket method for about an hour and a half (stirring constantly for the first 30 min then stirring occasionally for the rest of the time). If you use a pair of jeans that aren't stretchy make sure there is enough room in the thighs to hem them as they will become tighter in that area! The socks I already had, I believe I got them from Target, they often have a good selection of socks. Also try SockDreams if you can't find what you need, they are awesome for cosplay socks and have free shipping! The shoes were $3 from a thrift store and a little too big but I stuffed the fronts with cotton balls and they fit fine. If you can't find shoes try getting some white canvas ones you can dye. 

      The gem was a half a wooden egg from a craft store, they came already cut in half with a few in a bag. Look in the wood section and you should be able to find these, you may need to sand the bottom a little as I did to soften the flat part, they should be pretty cheap also. I painted it with a few coats of white acrylic paint then a few coats of pearlizer pearlescent paint (found it at a craft store with the other acrylics). Finally I finished by sealing it with a spray paint sealer, I also sprayed the back as well. To affix the gem I used spirit gum and I had it on for more than 8hrs with no trouble (just be sure to wash your face before putting it on if you have an oily forehead like me >_<). The trick to spirit gum is to apply some to the back, wait a little bit then tap it with your finger till it's tacky then press it to your forehead.  You will need spirit gum remover to get it off. Q-tips are helpful for working it under the gem, work slowly and be gentle with your face!
Here's where I got mine, heck yes Prime shipping!


And that's it, hope this is helpful to you! Go be the best bird mom you can be! <3


  1. That is awesome!

    1. You are most welcome!
      P.S. Love your Pokemon Stuff!

  2. You are amazing! I wish we could do a sort of exchange where you teach me radical wig styling and how to read a crochet pattern and i teach you sewing. considering your attention to detail and your sense of aesthetics, i think you'd be marvelous at it. seriously fantastic job!!!

    1. Ah thank you so much! I actually bought a sewing machine at a thrift store recently with the intent to learn! ^_^ And if you want any help with reading a crochet pattern feel free to hit me up and I'll help the best I can! lol I unfortunately have nothing to teach about radical wig styling as that's the first time I ever did anything to a wig besides just wear it :x

  3. This is absolutely wonderful. I'm going to cosplay Pearl eventually so this will be very helpful!

  4. I'm planning a Pearl cosplay for next year, and I hope I can teach myself crochet and make this spear. Thank you so much for sharing!