The final touch for this costume was the crown, which Lady Macbeth is shown raising above her head in the Sargent painting.
That being said, the internet assures me that 1) this was supposed to be King Duncan’s crown, not hers, and 2) she never actually struck this pose in any of her performances of the play. But it’s still the most recognizable pose, so I had to make a crown to carry– and also to wear, since I wasn’t about to just carry it around all night.
Since I am not experienced in metalwork, I had three options: First, have a metal crown custom-made for me. That seemed awfully expensive for a prop. Second, make a fake metal crown out of craft foam and gold paint. That was definitely something I considered, but ultimately I wanted it to look really shiny and polished both inside and out, and I wasn’t confident I could do that in the time allotted. So I went with my last option, which was to find a reasonably decent-looking crown online and go with it.
I must say, the selection of crowns/tiaras online these days is truly staggering (my 9-year-old self, who saved up for months to purchase a $20 tiara from the local costume store, is drooling), though the fully round crowns are somewhat tougher to find. I ended up with this one (you can get it on Ebay for less but I needed it fast so ordered from Amazon), which while not really an exact match was reasonably medieval-looking and worked well with the rest of the outfit.
However, as perfectly round crowns tend not to fit my (not perfectly round) head all that well, I had to figure out how to keep it on while still making it easy to remove to strike my pose.
The answer? Magnets. Rare-earth magnets, to be precise– 1cm in diameter. I used E6000 to attach four* magnets to the already-in-place wire loops on the crown– the loops were originally intended for hairpins, but they were perfect for magnets.
Then I stitched more magnets into little pockets made out of brown bias tape– two per pocket so it would be easier to match up the magnets to the crown without looking– and stitched/glued those to the top of the wig.
Originally I’d wanted to put the wig magnets on the inside so they wouldn’t show at all, but the thickness of the wig prevented them from working well that way, so I had to settle for the outside. They do show a bit even with the crown on, but they blend reasonably well and most people aren’t tall enough to look directly down at the top of my head anyway.
In the end, the crown was securely fastened to the wig, but could be lifted off with just a bit of work for photo ops!