Pasties can be made from all sorts of materials and in all sorts of shapes and sizes. For those that would rather purchase their pasties, there are many sellers online that have various types, styles, and priced pasties. If you have money to spend, send it their way! (A few makers listed below with examples. Feel free to comment about your favorite sellers!) For those that want to venture in the land of baking pastries, I mean… making pasties, here is your basic list of ingredient options and recipes.
The base of a pastie is what will cover your nipple and form the shape of the design. Materials that can be used:
- Craft Foam
- Stiff Felt
- 3D Printed Material
I don’t recommend craft foam, even for beginners, because they will not last long (sometimes not even beyond a single use) and often have a cheap appearance to them, yes – even if it’s glitter foam. Stiff felt is a good alternative that is inexpensive and readily available at many stores.
- Decorative features for the final design (rhinestones, sequins, trim, etc.)
- Tassel (optional)
- Ball Bearing Swivel (optional)
Aside from 3D printed or other molded materials, the general idea behind pastry baking is that you’re taking a flat surface source, cutting a shape, and forming a conical form. The amount of peak depends on preference and also body type and body part. “Male” pasties or pasties used on other areas of the body like the buttocks, stomach, face, etc are best with a flatter pastie than that used for a “female” breast.
The best place to start is a basic circle. The size of the circle depends upon how big you want the end product (how much coverage you need legally or desire personally), and how flat or conical you want it. You can use mathematics and make your geometry teacher proud, or you can do some sample runs on paper. The pointier you desire, the larger you need to make your circle. The larger coverage area you desire, the larger you need to make your circle. It’s like rocket science. The initial circle is not just the size of the end game circle.
- Draw a circle on the material.
- Use a compass, or trace a cup or other object. When I’m in my messy basement costuming, it’s not uncommon to hear me mumble “where’s my nipple cup” because I have one that I use for most of my pastie making.
- Cut the circle
- Cut a radius into the circle, from the edge into the center.
- You can fold the circle in half, open, and fold in half the opposite way to identify the center point.
- Overlap your material into the desired size, factoring in that the height/peak will impact the width/diameter.
- At this point, if the peak you desire does not give you the size you want, start over with a larger/smaller circle, whichever applies. (That’s why a trial with paper is good until the circle size is right.)
- When you’ve settled on the size, then glue (or sew) the overlapped portion.
- Use a clip, bobby pin, or clothes pin to hold together if you’re using a slow drying glue.
Do you see the beautiful mind formulas that could happen? If you know the desired peak and final diameter, it’s possible to math your way into the initial circumference to cut. Most people are more into the hands on approach when it comes to nipple hats. I made a reference chart for your viewing pleasures, if viewing is your pleasure.
For non-tasseled pasties, you’re almost done!
- You can seal the material with Mod Podge, something else, or leave them as is.
- Decorate the outside.
- I start from the inside of the circle, so I can adjust any pattern as I move outward. Starting from the outside may leave you with an odd space to fill as you close into the center.
For tasseled pasties, you have an extra step before sealing and decorating.
- The ultra easy way to add a tassel is to poke a hole in the center, feed the tassel through and glue it inside the pastie. This is how I did mine in the beginning. (I would add a small grommet on the hole.)
- The disadvantages:
- The tassels are permanent.
- They are “harder” to twirl. I managed, but I’ve heard from others that without the swivel they weren’t able to twirl at all or as efficiently.
- The disadvantages:
- Another way that is still inexpensive is to add a fishing swivel with ball bearing to the center.
- The advantages:
- The tassels can be added using clips and removed or traded out with others.
- They are “easier” to twirl because of the nature of the ball bearing.
- Place the swivel in the center. If there is enough on the other side, you can glue from the inside. If they are too small, you can add something to insert in the swivel hole and then glue that to the inside of the pastie. (I’ve used a safety pin by breaking off the tip and the fastener and bent into form.)
- Cover the inside with a small circle of the material.
- Two different types of swivels are shown in the picture instructions.
- Left: Ball bearing saltwate fishing swivel size 0 (33lb) purchased online
- Center: Swivel with attached hook purchased at Walmart
- Right: same as above with the hook detached
- The advantages:
- If the tassels don’t have a clip, add a lobster claw or other type of attachment so you can clip onto your swivel.
- Tassels can be purchased or made using fringe, beads, or other materials.
- The types made from non-beaded fringe will often get frayed and misshapen over time if they aren’t stored delicately.
That’s great Bearcat, I have showgirl hats for my nip nops, now how do I fasten this to my body?! I’ve seen or heard of the following:
- Spirit Gum
- Carpet Tape
- Fashion Tape
- Medical Tape
- Medical Adhesives
- Toupee Tape
- Spray Glue
Be wary of things that aren’t skin safe, especially if you have sensitive skin. In general, avoid using lotions on the area on pastie wearing day. If you mess up placement, use fresh tape. Often, once it hits skin one time, it will lose effectiveness if you just try to shift position.
I use Supertape brand toupee tape in AA strips because it’s easily peel-able and can curve nicely onto the pastie shape, skin safe, strong, and easy to remove. (I use it to tape underwear and other costume pieces to myself. If I forget to remove it, it can get vicious and wants to permanently stay on fabric. Just take it off as soon as you’re finished, and it’s fine.)
If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with different shapes and designs. “Punchline” pasties are ones that have an extra element of relevance to your act, a final punchline in your joke! (Keep in mind, many people won’t be able to see them. It’s a bonus for those that can.) Some of my work shown here, featuring such hits as the spinning wet floor people from my “Safety First” act and my tea bags from my “Madam Hatter” act.
This lesson is to teach you how to be a fisherman, not how to steal someone else’s fish. Be inspired, but don’t copy designs of others.
Tassels: Here are some examples of tassels you can purchase – not all good ones for twirling use. If the tassel is too light or short, it won’t be a good merry-go-round the pastie ride and will leave you flat with your face in the dirt.
I make all of my own pasties, but have just a handful of pasties/pastie bases from others in my possession as examples. Check out their sites for better photos and products for sale! (Clicking photo will take you to their website.)