How to Make Pasties – Jewelry for Your Nipples

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Pasties are probably a showgirl’s most used accessory. They started as a necessity to keep from being arrested for nudity, and have continued to evolve into more a part of the act.

I use a few different tactics for creating my pasties, I hope this will be helpful for you to create your nipple creations.

How to Make Pasties


I have a couple different methods for making pasties depending on the look and the sturdiness I’m going for. A core material I use in all my creations is buckram. It’s a stiff, porous material used in millinery. It keeps it shape when it’s dry, but when you wet it, it will easily mould to a different shape.

Some other materials you might consider using would be either craft foam (with sparkles if you can get it) or fabrics such as sparkle dot, or charmeuse (other fabrics like satin, crepe, or taffeta can work too, but are more expensive). If you’re making your costume, you can usually use the same material as the costume. I like to also use printed materials sometimes.

Super proud of the pasties I made while hanging out with Babie Davis tonight. Just need to add rhinestones. #burlesque

A photo posted by Phaedra Black (@phaedrablack) on

You’ll also want to gather your tools too. You need glue (I like using GemTac usually, for some applications, a spray adhesive comes in handy), scissors, a cutting board, paper or small hair clips, and if you have one, a rotary circle cutter, especially if you’re doing the traditional circle pasties. A compass can work too for tracing a circle to cut out, and barring that, a round glass or cup can also work.

If you’re going to add tassels to your pasties, you’ll also want to include fishing line-to-hook swivels.

I’ll now give you 2 different “How-To’s” for making pasties: one for using buckram and fabric for round pasties (good for if you want to use a print fabric) and one using craft foam and buckram (good for if you’re making tassels, if you’re making a shape other than circles, or you just want a bit more “heft” to your pastie).

How to Make Pasties – Buckram and Fabric

  1. Measure the diameter of your nipple so you know how much to cover. A “medium” size will be around 2″ – 2.5.”
  2. Cut out 4 circles of buckram matching the diameter of your nipple.
    1. With using the rotary circle cutter or the compass, you’ll set it for half the distance, or the radius of the nipple for those of you who remember high school geometry.
  3. Cut out 2 circles of fabric that are a little bit bigger than the buckram circles.
  4. Cut a slit down to the center of the buckram circles.
  5. Overlap the cut sides of the buckram circles to make a cone. The pointiness of the cone is completely up to you, but make sure it’s consistent among the 4 buckram circles. Use Gemtac or your adhesive of choice to glue down, then hold together with your clips.Buckram pastie bases
  6. Once they are dry, unclip and use the spray adhesive to lightly coat the tops of two of the buckram cones.
  7. Smooth the circles of fabric over these buckram cones, careful to work out any wrinkles. If you won’t be plastering with rhinestones, try to be careful not to press too hard on the fabric, as the glue will darken it.2015-08-06 16.40.30
  8. You can do one of two things here:
    1. The easier/ lazier method: cut off the excess fabric from the cones (which I would recommend if you are putting something around the outer circle to “finish” the fabric)
    2. The more difficult method that speaks to my perfectionistic self: cut slits in the fabric perpendicular to the buckram edge and glue down the edges underneath. You may want to once again clip pieces as they are drying to hold them in place. Also keep in mind that the glue will wet the buckram, which will make it bend in directions you don’t want it to go if you’re not careful.Fabric on buckram

      If you really want to cheat, you can just forget the fabric and color in with marker. Thanks for this idea Whiskey Sixx!
      If you really want to cheat, you can just forget the fabric and color in with marker. Thanks for this idea Whiskey Sixx!
  9. Use the adhesive of your choice on the bottom of the buckram with the fabric, place the other buckram circles on the bottom and clip to dry.Pasties almost done
  10. After these are dry, you might want to trim some of the buckram.
  11. Add a layer of adhesive on the bottom of the pasties and let dry. This help them retain their shape.

    Good thing I plastered these in rhinestones.
    Good thing I plastered these in rhinestones.
  12. After they are dry, decorate away!

Red pastie

Tomato pastie

How to Make Pasties – Buckram and Craft Foam

  1. Measure the diameter of your nipple so you know how much to cover. A “medium” size will be around 2″ – 2.5.”
  2. Cut out 2 circles of buckram matching the diameter of your nipple.
    1. With using the rotary circle cutter or the compass, you’ll set it for half the distance, or the radius of the nipple for those of you who remember high school geometry.
  3. Cut out 2 circles of craft foam with the same diameter
  4. Cut a slit down to the center of the buckram circles.
  5. Craft Foam CirclesOverlap the cut sides of the buckram circles to make a cone. The pointiness of the cone is completely up to you, but make sure it’s consistent among the 4 buckram circles. Use Gemtac or your adhesive of choice to glue down, then hold together with your clips.
  6. You can either cut a slit down each craft foam piece and overlap them, but if you’re anal like I am, cut a “pacman” mouth out of the craft foam, gauging how much to cut using the buckram cones.Foam pacman
  7. If you’re making these into tasseled pasties, cut a small circle at the “peak” of the cone.
  8. Glue the craft foam on top of the buckram. If applicable, insert the swivels at the peak of the cone, glue down, and hold down with clips until dry.Drying foam pasties
  9. When they are dry, coat the bottom of the buckram base with adhesive.Bottom of pastie with adhesive
  10. Now they are ready to decorate!

Do you have a favorite pastie making method that is totally different from these two method? Did you use this tutorial to make your first pair of pasties? Let me know in the comments below, or take a picture on Instagram and tag me: @phaedrablack!

Happy pastie making!

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5 Comments


  1. I never thought to double up the buckram to eliminate the foam! Have you done double buckram with craft foam before? I wonder how that works, if it is too stiff or too thick, or if it it works well.

    Thanks for sharing, these both seem like common and well tested methods.

    Reply

    1. I’ve never doubled up the buckram on the craft foam, as I’ve never felt it was needed. Craft foam + 1 buckram layer has been pretty sturdy for me. I don’t think adding another layer would make it too thick, and as far as stiffness goes, that’s all up to your preference (that’s the beauty of DIY).

      Reply

  2. This is a fabulous break down of how to make pasties.
    I’ve done mostly craft foam, hadn’t considered fabric! Great ideas!

    Reply

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