Jack Sparrow Costume Part 2 – Adding the Dreadlocks to Your Swashbuckling Pirate Wig


Now that the dreads have dried, we’re ready to add them to the wig!  When you’re all done, you should end up with something like this:

Jack vs. the Kraken

Jack vs. the Kraken…okay. Not really.











Here’s a list of the items you’ll need:

  • 1 dark brown wig, preferably medium length.  You will be cutting and altering this wig, so be sure to use one you don’t really care about. Ours came from a discount Halloween bin, we used this one, which had to be thinned a bit and trimmed to the proper length.
  • Kuchi pendant with beads. This was kind of hard to find, and although it’s not exactly the right one, it looks close enough.  I searched ebay until I found one similar to the one used for the films
  • 1 black or dark brown ponytail holder (for the mini-ponytail thing on the top of jack’s head)
  • Chinese coin pendants
  • Seagull Coin pendant (we found an arcade token that was about the right size, which I painted)
  • String of black and red beads with white dots
  • Reindeer shin bone (ours was just a wooden clay forming tool that was sanded down and then painted to resemble the one worn by Jack Sparrow)
  • Paint to customize beads if desired. If I couldn’t find a bead, I made it out of Fimo and painted it to look more like the original
  • Twine, leather strips, or other type of string for attaching elements to wig
  • Large red bandanna
  • Small strips of the red bandanna for tying to the ends of the dreads

Please note that you may add as many or as few of these accessories as you like.  As stated in my previous post, I did go a bit crazy with the details.

With the front of the wig facing you, make a small ponytail on the top left hand side about 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the front edge of the hair line. Once this is done, trim the ponytail so that it is only about 5 inches long and make it a bit layered.  There should also be a tuft that is much shorter than the rest of it.  Like this:


This is the ponytail. Notice it is to the left of the center part of the wig.









If your wig doesn’t have shorter layers in front, the front and top of the wig need to be chopped unevenly.  I can’t really describe this part, as each wig will be different, but I suggest looking at several pictures of Jack Sparrow’s hair for a reference.  Be sure to leave the back nice and long for the braid.

The dreads should be placed along the bottom edge of the wig, along the sides, and up to the side-burn area. In addition, you will need to attach 2-3 dreads near the top of the wig “scalp” so that they can be incorporated into large braid on the back of the wig. Here are some images of the underside of the wig:


Notice the strings on the wig lacing. This is where the dreads and accessories are attached.









A closer look at the strings.

A closer look at the strings.









To attach the dreads to the wig, place the ends of the string in the middle of the dread into two adjacent holes on the lace wig scalp. Tighten with a double square knot. Attach the accessories to the desired area of the wig in the same way.

Here are some close up photos of the decorative elements we chose to attach to the wig:

The faux "reindeer shin bone" with the black and red beads

The faux “reindeer shin bone”. I really just sanded down a clay shaping tool until it looked close enough to the original. I painted it white and then used a rag to rub off some of the paint. Then I added a patina using black and brown artists ink. I also coated the whole thing with a matte sealer to protect the finish. Also note the Chinese coin near the bottom of the photo.











Kuchi Pendant

This gets attached to one of the dreads on the right hand side of the wig. All of the beads (except the pendant and the top most bead) are made of fimo, which were then painted to look like the ones worn by Jack.
















Jack's iconic pieces of 8

The coin at the bottom is fimo…until I can find a better one, anyway. The red one was hard to find, so I painted a plain wooden bead to look like Jack’s.










Hand painted coin

I found a coin that was about the right size and color, drilled a hole at the top and then hand painted the waves and seagulls. Note the red piece of bandanna wrapped around the dread, too.










Again, you can use as many or as few of these as you like.

I couldn’t find an affordable bandanna that looked like Jack’s, so I bought an over-sized cotton kitchen towel and dyed it red. I drew on the scrolling vines and flowers with a fine tip fabric marker, and the flowers were painted with medium blue acrylic paint, trying to stay as true to the original pattern as I could.

Here are more pictures of the finished wig:


Jack caught "borrowing" Vader's Light Saber

Jack caught “borrowing” Vader’s Light Saber













Jack meets Jango Fett

Jack meets Jango Fett












If I can find the images without the hat, I’ll be sure to post them, but these will do for now.

Let me know if you decide to make a wig like this one!  I’d love to see it!

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