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How to Make a Peking Opera Headdress and Costume #2

Last 2019, my Grade 8 daughter made a Peking Opera headdress and costume for the character Wudan. You can find the post here. This 2020, my other Grade 8 daughter also made a Peking Opera headdress and costume, but for the character Laodan, an old lady. 
How to make a Peking Opera headdress and costume Laodan

Here's the character Laodan that my daughter is trying to copy.

This image is not mine. It is from this page.

How to Make the Peking Opera Headdress of Laodan

The headdress of Laodan is much simpler than Wudan's. We only bought or gathered a few materials for the entire costume, which are listed below. 

Laodan Peking Opera headdress

  • 3 yards Olive green cloth (I think it was just P30-P35 per yard)
  • 1-yard blue fabric trim
  • A few fuzzy wires
  • Black bonnet
  • Black satin fabric
  • Some pearl beads
  • Garter
  • Gold glitter dust
  • White cloth 
  • White thread - DMC
  • Glue gun and glue stick
  • Needle, thread, scissors
These are the different parts of the headdress. I will mention them according to which part is put on the head first. I will also describe how my daughter made each part. 

1. Cut the top part of the bonnet to give an opening for the hair when tied into a bun. The bonnet serves as a base for the headdress. The different parts can be glued to this base so that they won't slip out of place. (My daughter did not glue them together anymore since she just used the costume for a few minutes to make a demo video she submitted to her teacher). 

Black bonnet with cut top

Note: If you're making this, it would probably be better to use a white bonnet. This would eliminate the need to do part #3. 

2. On a piece of black satin fabric (cut into half oblong shape), she glued 7 small and 1 big pearl beads to make a flower design. Then she sewed the fabric to a garter, the length of which fits the circumference of her head

Black satin with pearl beads flower shape

3. Cut out a white cloth in a similar shape as the bonnet with an open top. It should fit the head. (Sorry I can't find this part now and failed to take a picture)

4. Cut out a piece of the olive green cloth that is 3-inches thick. The length depends on the circumference of her head. Fold and sew the edges, then sew together the two ends of the cloth to make a headband. Put a gold bead at the center, if you have one. My daughter just glued gold glitter dust in the shape of a circle on the fabric. 

Olive green headband

Note: If you're making this, you can also just tie the olive green cloth as a turban. It would probably be able to cover the hair better. My daughter's headband should have been made to fit the head a bit lower. 

5. Cut the fuzzy wire into 2-inches long each. Make 12 of these. Insert one pearl bead on one end and put a dab of glue stick on the tip of the fuzzy wire to lock the pearl in place. Then glue these fuzzy wires with pearl on the blue fabric trim. 

Blue fabric trim with fuzzy wires and pearl beads

6. Use two pieces of white DMC thread as white hair inserted under the garter near the ear. 
DMC white thread

As for the kimono, I made this part of the costume as it is not required for my daughter to make it. I followed the how to make a no-sew fleece robe tutorial in the video below with some revisions. 

Instead of cutting fringes and tying them together, I just sewed where needed. Also, I sewed white satin fabric on the neckline and on the edges of the two sleeves. It was not perfect as I'm not an expert sewer, but I think it served its purpose.

This is how her final costume looked like. What do you think about this costume?

Peking Opera headdress and costume of Laodan


CA said…
How I wish I was even half as crafty as you. This is also one way of learning something new during the pandemic.
Chin chin said…
Hi CA. My daughter was the one who made the headdress. I just asked her how she did it and blogged it. As for the kimono/robe, having tutorials to follow on YouTube really helps.
Monidipa said…
I really like how crafty and creative your daughter is. And she looks indeed lovely!
Eloise said…
I think it's great that you're making costumes... thanks for the step by step instructions! If kids see their parents crafting/making things they'll most likely grow up doing it as well ; )
fabulousperks said…
This is so cool I’m looking to make a headpiece for an upcoming photoshoot. I love this it’s giving me some ideas. Thank

I think you did a really good job. There is nothing more beautiful than recreating costumes!
Rebecca said…
This looks great, love the crafting aspect of this.
latte lindsay said…
This is so cute! I'll have to have a go at making one of these.

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