One Pasty At A Time: I Want To Break Free. The DIY Pasty Tutorial

Let’s be honest about why we are all here. We want pasties. (NSFW pics under the cut for, you know, pasties and boobies with pasties.) 

Brown Girls Burlesque in their best pasties. Image courtesy of Almost Naked City.

Yes, those sweet little nipple comforters, dressed up with the shiniest and sparkliest, the peek-a-boo, whoops-caught-you-looking, delicious bits of fabric that hold enough power to pull the eye straight down and directly into the chaos of the universe itself. It’s a swirling mist of glitter and the unknown, an eighth wonder of the world that bounces ever so gently on all bosoms alike. Pasties. They are fucking magic.

Pasties are essential to the burlesque repertoire – the icing on the cake of a performance that ends with the shimmying of those dainty bits in a way that seems to defy gravity. They emerged in burlesque and various other forms of striptease and lurid entertainment in the 1920s, when strict decency laws made performing nude a quick way to jail. Pasties became the new nipple, a way to get around a law by creating something even more visually stunning than an actual nipple, officially cementing what was on every single person’s mind. Nipples.

So if anything, it’s about time you learned how to make them.

Pasties are devastatingly easy to make, a trick that, like riding a bike or making chocolate pudding, becomes second nature once the initial hump is over. With the following pasty recipe, soon you will be on the road to becoming the best cocktail party guest anywhere (Anywhere? ANYWHERE).  The steps I’m using are based off the DIY pasty tutorial I learned, which is from The Burlesque Handbook, by Headmistress Jo Weldon.

For this you will need:


Fabric (Shiny – think big, brassy, and bright)

Fabric glue (Magna tac works well, hot glue also works, but is messy. I once used E6000, which is super toxic, but stays forever. I lost many a brain cell in the process.)

Wax Paper (though any non-stick material works)

A compass or a circle pattern (For now, we are going to stick with the basic circle pattern, but in the future, you can go buck wild and make hearts, hands, stars – the sky is the limit.)

Paper clips


A good resistant thread and a bitchin’ needle

Your favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage

Cut out a small piece of buckram. I use a netflix mailing case as a measurement guide. Lay the wax paper down on a flat, dry surface. Next, place the buckram on top and cover evenly with a thin layer of whatever glue you choose.

Buckram on top of your protective paper. Spread with a thin layer of glue.

Lay your fabric face up on top of the buckram, taking care to smooth out wrinkles or air bubbles.


Peel off wax paper and allow to dry. Begin to consume favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. Once the glue has dried, use your compass (or any circular pattern or a cut out pattern you would like to use), trace the circles on the buckram side of the material. In the middle of each circle, mark an “X.”

I used a candle to get my circle pattern

From the “X,” draw a dotted line to the edge of the circle, then, as if you were making a triangle, draw a solid line to the other edge of the fabric.

Circles with a solid and dotted line, triangular fashion

Cut out the circle. Next, cut the dotted line to where the “X” begins. Make sure the cut isn’t too large, so that your pasties are more conical. Cross over the edges of the fabric so that the dotted line cut meets the solid line. Glue down and paper clip into place to hold and dry.

My edges are a bit ragged since I used so-so scissors. Make sure yours are sharp.
Cut the dotted line, in a semi-PacMan fashion. Or PacWoman.


Dab glue along the dotted line and pull so that it overlaps in a conical fashion. Paper clip in place at overlap.

Sew the tassels onto the center point of the pasty with a loose stitch. Put a dot of glue on the back of the pasty where the stitch comes through to secure.

The finishing line! Make sure to knot your thread in the back and dab with a touch of glue.
Ta-dah! As you can see, beyond the paper clip still being on, my edges are a touch raggedy (the buckram is especially visible). To fix this, just take your scissors and give it a little shear.

Find the nearest double-sided tape, latex glue, eyelash glue, or spirit gum, stick those suckers on and look at your fine self. Go crazy and make pasties! Check out my lovely collection from my pasty-themed weekend:


Whats great is that now you can start the fun stuff – the accoutrements. Rhinestones, sparkles, ribbons; you can leave your pasties the way they are or you can go crazy and bedazzle them from here to high hell. As the wise philosopher Prince once said, “Let’s go crazy.”

Calamity Chang's sparkler pasties. Image copyright by DJ Jess at

While pasties are all one-of-a-kind creations, size and shape do a play a part in how they will sit on your breasts, as well as how they will fit under your clothing. In The Burlesque Handbook, Jo recommends to :

Try various degrees of pointedness.  In my opinion, pasties that are flat to the breast are less visually dynamic; too pointy, and they’ll distort your bra and leave too little surface to attach to the breast. It’s your aesthetic decision to make.


If your jonesing for a pattern, CraftsterGothfox, and Etsy all have nice cut-outs that you can use, but let yourself break free and make whatever comes to your mind. Treat your teats to the best of your mind and imagination.

You can make them twirl like Elvira:

You can get the restless natives twirling like go-go Amy:

YOU CAN LIGHT THEM ON FIRE (Kids, don’t try this at home. Seriously. We cannot be liable for that):

The world is your oyster, kid. Go out there and make us all proud!

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