Classic Leia Dress Fabric: A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back

Princess Leia’s classic white dress (follow link to image), which she wears in A New Hope and the end of The Empire Strikes Back, is a hard fabric to figure out, there has been a lot of speculation about what kind of fabric it is. Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy says that it is made of crepe de chine silk, which is a light weight woven fabric.

Leia dress fabric
(Stat Wars Costume: The Original Trilogy: Picture From DIY The Galaxy Of Star Wars)

A more affordable fabric that that has been used by some costumes is Jet Set Polyester, this fabric is a jersey knit with a tiny bit of stretch, however, if you are looking for a more accurate fabric, other options that might be more affordable would be to get a synthetic crepe de chine.

(Note: crepe de chine is most likely the fabric used for the dress, as the other construction details in Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy seems to check out with what is known about the dress from other sources.)

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Twi’leks: Part 1: Lekku

Twi’lek’s are some of the oldest and best loved aliens in Star Wars; they are also some of the most varied representation within the movies and TV shows. This post is the first in a series braking down Twi’lek’s from the movies and TV shows.

Lekku:

Lekku are the head-tails, also known as, head-appendages, brain-tails and head-tentacles, that are the Twi’lek’s defining futures. Many of the ready-made for perches Lekku are not movie accurate, (that said, they are still good for costumes.)

Lekku Height & Position:

Often the main problem with these ready-made Lekku is that the tentacle is both too high and to close together and often leaving out the defining bulb shape at the base where the Lekku are attached to the skull. Aayla Securra and the background Twi’lek’s may be the reason for the height of the Lekku becoming exaggerated. Aayla’s Lekku are higher up on her head than all the other Twi’lek’s featured before her, However, all Twi’lek’s that are featured in the movies and TV shows of Star Wars have their Lekku lower then the top of their skull.

Female:

(Note: The Lekku also come out from the side of the head, not the top, the center of the female Lekku roughly fall in line with the temple generally.)

1.2
(ROTJ: Oola: Lekku Lower Then Top Of Head, Center In Line With Temple From An Angle: See Yellow Line)
2.2
(ROTJ: Lyn Me: Lekku Lower Then Top Of Head, Center In Line With Temple From An Angle: See Yellow Line)
3
(AOTC: Aayla: Lekku Lower Then Top Of Head, Center In Line With Temple From An Angle: See Yellow Line)

Male:

Male Twi’lek’s Lekku are also lower then the top of the skull and also come out from the side of the head. However, they typical seem to come down from an angle more in the back of the skull, and lower down then female Twi’lek’s.

bib lekku
(ROTJ: Bib Fortuna: Lekku Lower Then Skull And Lower Down)
4
(SWTCW: S1.Ep21: Cham Syndulla: Lekku Lower Then Skull And Angled Down More From Back Of The Head)

Lekku Spacing:

The widths of the Lekku spacing is often too close in ready made items, in the movies the Lekku appear to be roughly about a hand width apart. Lekku come out of the back and side of the skull running towards the back, which is why they stay behind the shoulders. The width between the Lekku can be more then a hand width like on Oola,and Hera, both of which seem to have wider set Lekku.

3.1
(ROTS: Aayla: Spacing Of Lekku)
3.2
(SWTCW: S1.Ep21: Male Twi’lek: Lekku Spaced Apart)
3.3
(ROTJ: Lyn Me: Lekku Spaced Apart)
3.4
(ROTJ: Oola: Lekku Spaced Almost Width Of Head Apart)
3.5
(AOTC: Aayla: Lekku Spaced Apart)

Female vs. Male Lekku

Female Twi’lek’s have their Lekku placed differently than males, for the most part female Lekku are higher up and out to the sides of the head more so then the males.

Male Lekku come out of the skull lower down at the base and back of the skull from behind the ears, they don’t have the base of the Lekku bulb shape as visible from the front the way females do.

Hera’s Lekku like many of the other female Twi’lek’s come out from higher up on her skull and out to the side more. Cham’s Lekku come out lower down on his skull and more from the back of his skull, they also angle downwards which is typical for the males. A general shape that female Lekku follow it a upside down U, where as male Lekku follow an upside down V shape.

Her and dad
(SWR: S2.Ep15: Hera And Cham Syndulla: Lekku Placement)
Lekku u shape
(SWTCW: S1.Ep19-21: U Shape of Female Twi’lek Lekku)
Lekku v shape
(SWTCW: S1.Ep20: V Shape Of Male Lekku)

Images from Cap-that.com

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The Empire Strikes Back: Bespin/Cloud City: Leia Hairstyle: Movie Accurate

Breakdown:

Leia’s Bespin hair consists of a bun with two looped braids tucked underneath the bun, this hair style is most likely achieve with the addition of hair pieces and or hair extensions. This style is not hard to do, however, most tutorials don’t have the right preparations, even if they have good technique, to get the right volume and length most people will need to use synthetic extensions.

Bun:

Leia’s hair does not have a part of any kind; it is smoothed back into the style,

Bespin Leia hair 11
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: No Part)

Leia’s bun is a medium sized bun of un-braided hair that is wrapped into a bun with the ends hidden within the bun. Follow the numbers from 1 to 5 to see the wrapping pattern of the hair.

Bespin Leia hair 1
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bun Wrapped Pattern)
Bespin Leia hair 2
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Follow 1-5)

The bottom edge of her bun is roughly in line with just above Leia’s eyebrow however, this sill chance from Leia to Leia.

Bespin Leia hair 7
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bottom of Bun in Line With Eyebrow)

The top of Leia’s bun is roughly in line with the crown of her head, Leia’s bun should not be higher than the top of her head.

Bespin Leia hair 4
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bun Top in Line With Top of Head)

Leia’s bun is placed in the center of her head; the width of her bun leaves an inch and a half at least on either side of her head. (Note: that a hair net matched to hair color should be put over the bun to finish it.)

bespin leia 18
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bun Width)

Braids:

Leia has two, English, or three strand, braids that loop from underneath her bun, the braids come out from the sides of Leia’s buns, this is important, as there are several inches left between Leia’s braids.

Bespin Leia hair 13
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Braids Come Out From Under the Bun)
Bespin Leia 17
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Several Inches Between Braids, Braids Come Out From the Sides)

The bottom edge of the looped braids comes down to just above Leia’s shoulders. (Note: that Leia’s braids need to be about an inch in width if not a little more. They should also be a consistent width all the way through.)

Bespin Leia hair 3
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bottom of Braids Comes Down to Shoulders)
Bespin Leia hair 6
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bottom Of Braids Comes Down to Shoulders)

Curls:

To finish off this style, Leia has the hair in front of her ears are curled into a soft spiral curl, note: that these curls can be a little longer or shorter than the bottom of Leia’s ear lobe, however, they should not be much longer than this.

Bespin Leia hair 14
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Curl in Front of Ear)

DIY: Bespin Leia Hair:

Version – 1:

Follow the steps in the video links, (Note: that this tutorial needs tweaking to be movie accurate.) Put your own hair into a ponytail on the crown of your head, if your hair is long enough leave it out to make the bun, if not then make sure to add in some synthetic hair to make the bun large enough.

Take pre-braided hair in a long enough length to loop down to the top of the shoulders. Pin this hair on the top of the ponytail, and loop the braids as shown in the video, however, make sure to loop them down to the top of the shoulders. (Also: make sure that the braids on hanging down from the sides, this is easy to achieve by pinning on the top of the ponytail, there should be several inches between the loops.) Hid the ends under the bun, make sure to wrap the bun following the pattern in the above picture with numbers. Make sure to position the bun in line with the top of the eyebrows and the head, also make sure that the bun is not too big. Finish the look with a hair net.

(Note: this video link has a bun that is note wrapped the right way and is too big, it also has loops that are too short and the braids need to be a little wider, it also leaves out the ear curls. However, the technique is good for achieving a movie accurate hair style.)

Version – 2:

Wigs:

If you are using a wig you may not need to add in any extra hair, follow the steps above with your wig hair to achieve the right look.

Version – 3:

Hair Pieces:

Like with End Ceremony Leia, you could make a hair piece that you pin on over your own hair, make sure to follow the proportions indicated in the pictures. If you have long enough hair you can add a little synthetic hair into your own to make the right width and use your own hair to make the loops and use a clip in or pin on bun (See Links.)

Things You’ll Need:

Links To Other Methods:

A New Hope: Leia’s End Ceremony Hairstyle: Movie Accurate

Leia’s end ceremony hair is rather simple and can be achieved in several different ways to get a movie accurate look.

Breakdown:

Leia’s hair is pulled back into a high ponytail on the crown of her head, the tail is braided in a three strand or English braid. The tail of the braid that hangs down Leia’s back should have at least 6” to 12” inches left un-braided.

Leia End Hair 1
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Braid Length)
Leia End Hair 5
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Three Strand Braid)

The bun has three English braids wrapped around the outside, the bun is very large, the bottom edge towards the back of the head starts around the top of Leia’s ears.

Leia End Hair 3
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Three Braids Wrapped Around the Bun)
Leia End Hair 2
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Bottom Edge of Bun Starts at Ears)

the height of the bun is roughly 5” inches, measuring from the crown of the head to the top of the ears is about the same height as the bun. Play around with it to see what looks best for each individual Leia, in some cases this measurement may exceed 5″ inches, but it is advised to keep the height of the bun 5″ inches or under. The Bun is also clearly viable over the top of Leia’s head and the width of the bun does not go past the edge of Leia’s head, and infarct is smaller then the width of Leai’s head.

Leia End Hair 4
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Height and Width of the Bun)
end leia hari 6
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Height of Leia’s Bun, Top of Head to Top of Ear)

DIY Leia’s End Ceremony Hair:

This hair style will need hair help, for shoulder length and long hair two packages of synthetic braiding hair can be used to achieve this look.

It is important to note that often the techniques used in the tutorials for Star Wars hair are good, however, often times the proportion are wrong for movie accurate hair.

Version – 1:

Put your hair into a ponytail on the crown of your head; add some synthetic braiding hair into the ponytail and braid. All of Leia’s braids are think and the width if even all the way through, the 82” synthetic hair might work better for adding the right length to the braid down the back. Make or buy a clip on bun, make it by taking two hair daunts and sewing or gluing them one on top of the other. Cover your clip on bun with the hair and stitch the three braids around the hiding the ends inside the clip on bun. Once finished, clip the bun over the top of your long braid that hangs down your back and you’re all done.  If you’re using a wig then putting the hair into a long braid and adding a clip on bun would work well, for security it’s recommend sewing instead of gluing the when attaching the built items in this style.

Version – 2:

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the steps in the video tutorial above, however, the style needs tweaking, the hair is not long enough so make sure to use the right length of hair to achieve the look. It might be a good idea to use the 82” synthetic hair, or, if you have short hair and can’t make as large of a bun braid only half of a bundle of synthetic hair, use the unbraided half to make your bun larger and then wrap t he braided half around to make the first of three braids. To make the braid that hangs down the back, use a separate bundle of synthetic hair that is the right length and pin it to the bun before wrapping the three braids around the bun.

 

 

Another video tutorial, has a similar technique the the tutorial above, and like the above mentioned style needs adjusted to be movie accurate. However, the technique has helpful methods.

Version – 3:

 

Follow the steps of the video tutorial above, only make sure to smooth out the hair, and to get the right volume and length consider adding in a second bundle of synthetic braiding hair. One for the braid that hangs down Leia’s back, and another bundle to split into three and wrap around the bun.

Notes:

Remember that in all of these ways of making this hair style, a hair net should be placed over the bun. The hair should also be smooth as possible and try and keep the volume and length as close to movie accurate as possible.

Items Needed For This Style:

Version – 1 Items Needed As Well:

  • Clip in bun (matched to hair color)

Or

  • Two hair donuts (matched to hair color)
  • Sewing needle and thread (matched to hair color)

Links And Methods:

The Force Awaken: Ray’s Tri-Buns Hairstyle: Movie Accurate

Ray’s tri-buns are simple to do, like with all Star wars hairstyles, following proportion is the best way to get a movie accurate look. Many tutorials, though perfectly accurate in method, have their proportions off, with studying and following the movie proportions, the methods liked at the bottom will work wonderfully for Rays tri-buns.

Front:

A small triangle of hair it taken from the front of the hairline, roughly in width from the center of the one eye to the other, this hair is then tide with a little black hair tie and is roughly in line with her ears.

Tri-bun 2
(TFA: Ray; Tri-Buns: Front Section of Hair)
Tri-bun 10
(TFA: Ray: Tri-Buns: Front Section of Hair Width)

Buns:

The tri-buns are simple, the hair is sectioned into three parts and pulled back into a ponytail that is halfway pulled through the hair tie and has the end wrapped around the base.

(Note: that these buns are not all the same size and these are smaller at the top of the head and going down to the largest.)

(Also Note: that Ray’s hair, though easily done with your own natural hair, is a very stiff hair style, it doesn’t move a lot, this is likely because she has extra hair extensions in her style.)

Tri-bun 6
(TFA: Ray: Tri-Buns: Buns Are Different Sizes)

(Also Note: that that the buns should not touch each other when finished, and that it will be easier to achieve this style is your hair is between shoulder length and mid back.)

Mini-Bun:

The first bun is a mini-bun, the hair is pulled from the front of the ears up to the crown of the head and put into the first tri-bun. the Mini-bun loop is roughly in line with Ray’s hair line.

Small-Bun:

The second bun is a Small-Bun; the hair is pulled back from the base of the skull in line with the jaw. The top of the small-bun is diagonally from the top of the ear a straight line, all this hair is up into a slightly larger bun then the first making a small-bun. The small-bun’s loop is roughly in line with the upper to middle part of the ear.

Medium-Bun:

The last bun is the largest and is a medium sized bun; the remaining hair is put into a medium-bun. (Note: that none of the buns touch each other,) the medium-bun’s loop is roughly in line with the base of Ray’s neck close to the shoulder.

Tri-bun 7
(TFA: Ray: Tri-Buns: Hair Sectioning For Buns)
Tri-bun 8
(TFA: Ray: Tri-Buns: Height Of Buns)

Ear Curls:

In front of the ears there are small sections of hair left out and slightly curled, these hairs are left out from the hair style and finish off the look. They should not be longer then her shoulder and often times appear shorter.

Tri-bun 9
(TFA: Ray: Tri-Buns: Ear Curls)

Method Tips:

Ray does not have any apparent hair pins holding the hair that is wrapped around the base of her bun in place. Using a topsytail tool, after wrapping the hair around the base of the bun, pull the tail of the hair back inside the elastic, hiding it inside the bun for a seamless look.

Things You’ll Need:

Other Methods:

Image From Cap-That.Com

Attack of the Clones: Purple Senate/Loyalist Committee Padmè Makeup: Movie Accurate

Like with all Lucas era media, the makeup in Star Wars follows two trends, the makeup styles of the time period the film was made in and a more neutral palette. Most of Padmè makeup from the Attack of the Clones is very neutral and mostly consists of light brown tones, and dusky pinks.

This look is the approximation from photos of Padmè’s Loyalist Committee/Purple Senate dress makeup.

Foundation:

Padmè’s foundation is natural looking, Padmè’s makeup should not be over done or leave her looking artificial. Any liquid foundation with a powder over top matched to your skin should work well. (Note: that other forms of foundation will also work, as long as they leave the skin looking natural.)

Eye-Shadow:

For this look Padmè wears a dark ashy taupe color on the back of her eye lid that is winged out and up a little past the edge of the eye-socked. Above the lid on the brown bone, as well as in the tear bucket/inner corner of the eye Padmè has a light, possibly white, highly.

 

padme makeup 1
(AOTC: Padmè: Eye-shadow)
eyeshadow 3
(AOTC: Padmè: Eye-shadow: Light And Dark Colors)
padme makeup 6
(AOTC: Padmè: Eye-Shadow Highlight)

Eyeliner/Mascara:

Padmè does not wear eyeliner with this look; instead some of the dark ashy taupe color that is winged on her upper lid is applied to the lower lid under her lash line. Padmè also appears to be wearing mascara, (Note: that noticeably false lashes are not used in this look.)

padme makeup 8
(AOTC: Padmè: No Eyeliner)

Blush:

Padmè’s blush is a pinky brown or pinky nude color, it is applied to the cheek bones, starting from the bottom of the temple and extending down to the apple of her cheek. The blush is also applied a little below her cheek bones in a downward angle, onto the flat of her cheek.

blush 1
(AOTC: Padmè: Pinky Brown Blush)
blush 2
(AOTC: Padmè: Pinky Brown Blush)

Lipstick:

Padmè’s lipstick is a light pinky raspberry color in a semi gloss that is lightly applied to her natural lip shape.

lip 1
(AOTC: Padmè: Light Pinky Raspberry Lipstick)

Images From Cap-That.com

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Attack of the Clones: Padmè Battle Arena Makeup: Movie Accurate

Lucas era Star Wars makeup tends to follow the trends of the time the movie was made as well as take the approach of a more neutral and subdued color palette. This look, like many that Padmè wears in [Attack of the Clones,] has a very natural look, with little to no color outside of the lipsticks.

(Note: This is the approximation from analogizing the photos of Padmè makeup, all of these suggestions should be plaid around with to fit each Padmè perfectly.)

Foundation:

Natural looking foundation, any foundation with a setting powder should work well, plus some concealer to give a finished look. It is very natural looking which is the key to most Star Wars makeup, (Padmè does not have any contouring in this look.) For the purposes of movie magic there are likely high-lights and low-lights that are not important to cover here.

Eye-Shadow:

As far as eye-shadow goes Padmè wears a warm light taupe brown only on the back of her upper eyelid.

padme Battle arena eyeshadow 2
(Attack of the Clones: Battle Arena Padmè: Warm Light Taupe Brown)
padme Battle arena eyeshadow1
(Attack of the Clones: Battle Arena Padmè: Light Taupe Eye-Shadow)

There is a very light ashy taupe color, this color is only applied to the back of the lid; there is no color on the crease and brow bone, [no smoky eye]. (Note: occasionally the taupe color appears to be blended and winged out a very little past the outer corner of the eye. It is possible that there is a second lighter sandy-brown color that is almost undetectable on the eyelids outer corner and into the crease.)

Eyeliner/Lashes:

It does not appear that Padmè wears any eyeliner on her lower lid or water line, she may be wearing either a black or brown eyeliner on her upper lid just above her lash line, but it is almost undetectable and covered mostly by the mascara. You may consider skipping eyeliner and just go heavy on the mascara near the base of the lashes. She also appears to be wearing mascara, [but noticeably false lashes do not appear to have been used].

padme eyeliner
(Attack of the Clones: Battle Arena Padmè: No Eyeliner)

Blush:

Padmè’s wears a pinky nude blush, and the application is very light and almost hard to see. The blush is applied to the apples of the cheeks and along in a narrow oval up to the cheek bone.

padme blush2
(Attack of the Clones: Battle Arena Padmè: Blush In Pinky Nude)
padme blush 3 no
(Attack of the Clones: Battle Arena Padmè: Pinky Nude Blush)

Lipstick:

Padmè wears a pinkish light raspberry color in a semi gloss lipstick is applied to Padmè’s natural lip shape.

padme lips
(Attack of the Clones: Battle Arena Padmè: Lipstick)

Images from Cap-that.com

A New Hope: Leia’s Makeup: Movie Accurate

All Lucas era Star Wars movie makeup generally follows two trends, it is semi reflective on current trends (in the time period that the film is made) and it is more or less in the natural/neutral rang.

Below are the approximations of what Leia’s makeup was like in A New Hope, from analysis of the photos. These are the basics of Leia’s makeup and can certainly be plaid around with to get the perfect look for each individual Leia. This is a general guide line for movie accurate Leia makeup colors and application. (Note: Leia wears the same makeup throughout the entirety of A New Hope.)

(Note: Leia’s makeup is done using 1970’s makeup techniques so applying it will be a little different then most people may be used to.) Links at the bottom.

Leia’s Foundation:

Leia’s foundation is done in a very natural way, and any average well color matched foundation with a setting powder over top should work well, if needed use a little concealer. The key here is to keep it light and as natural looking as possible.

It is also relevant to mention that there are most likely high-lights and low-lights added to the makeup for the purposes of movie magic which aren’t important to cover for the average Leia. (Note: Leia does not have any significant contouring in her makeup.)

Leia’s Eye-shadow:

Leia’s eye-shadow is more or less blush-pink, the shadow is only applied to the back of the lid up to the socket and eye crease. (no smoky eye, for Leia).

1leia makeup 4
(Classic Leia: Blush Pink Eye-Shadow)
end leia 2.1
(End Leia: Blush Pink Eye-Shadow)

 

Above the eye crease and below the eye-brow there appears  to be a light taupe color on the brow bone. (Note: it also appears that there may be a little white eye-shadow in the tear-duct and possibly a very thin line just above the eyelashes on the top lid. This is optional for the look as it is hard to say for sure that there is any, the white or light color in the corner  of the eye may be foundation or condenser.)

 

Leia Makeup 5.5
(Classic Leia: Taupe Eye-Shadow)
end leia 2.3
(End Leia: Taupe Eye-Shadow)
  • A powder eye-shadow for both is most likely

Leia’s Eyeliner:

The eyeliner that Leia wears appears to be black, though brown would also work; a very, very thin line of eyeliner is applied to the top lid, that is latter almost completely covered by mascara. Below the lower lashes a thin line of eyeliner  is applied under the eyelashes, (not on the water line, but below it). The liner does not extend all the way to the tear duct, but instead stopped close to 2/3rd of the way to the duct.

(Note: Leia’s eyeliner dose not have a wing or anything fancy, it is simple eyeliner that runs along the lashes both above and below.)

(Note: black mascara is worn on the lashes, which are natural look lashes, nothing special.)

Leia Makeup 5.6
(Classic Leia: Eyeliner)
end leia 2.4
(End Leia: Eyeliner)
  • An eyeliner pencil is most likely, (liquid eyeliner is general glossy and would not be as accurate.)

Leia’s Blush:

Leia’s blush is close to, if not the same color as, her eye-shadow, the blush is applied to the entire apple of the cheek. In one large oval section from the cheek bone to the apple of the cheek, keeping at least two finger widths away from the mouth.

1leia makeup 3
(Classic Leia: Blush Pink Blush)
end leia 2.6
(End Leia: Blush Pink Blush)
  • Powder blush

Leia’s Lipstick:

A ruby pink lipstick with a slight gloss to it, the line follows the natural outline of the lip.

Leia Makeup 5.7
(Classic Leia: Ruby Pink Lipstick)
end leia 2.5
(End Leia: Ruby Pink Lipstick)
  • Regular semi gloss lipstick in the right color,

Or

  • A non glossy lipstick in the right color with a clear gloss over the top

Resource Links

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Devorè Velvet In Star Wars

Devorè velvet, also known as burnout velvet, is used a lot in Padmè’s clothing, and also in many other costumes throughout the prequel trilogy. Devorè velvet us usually made by using a blended fabric such as, silk/rayon. A blended fabric of portion based fibers like silk, and cellulose based fibers like rayon have a mild acid is used to eat away the cellulose threads leaving a shire cut out panel.

DIY: Video Tutorial

Some Costumes That Feature Devorè Velvet

Classic Princess Leia: Belt Medallion Materials

(Medallion Body)

A good material to use for Leia’s belt medallions is aluminum flashing, it is inexpensive, (around 6.00$ for a 6X10 roll). The Flashing can be cut easily with hand scissors, and requires little or no sanding to finish.

Flashing

(Medallion Center)

The round center part of the medallion can be made with cover buttons, (these are buttons that you cover with fabric yourself, however, when left uncovered they make good centers for the belt medallions.) Pam’s Costumes says that 1 1/8” size works well. The Costumes and Art Work blog, uses thread and a curved needle with a backing button to go through the cover button shank to attach the cover buttons to the medallions. Pam’s Costumes, used epoxy glue to attach the cover buttons, she removed the shanks and filled the backs with resin, hot glue could make a good alternative for filling the backs.

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