Yarn Wigs

Ever since posting about the girls’ costumes last year, I’ve been excited to share this with you!


It’s the classic old yarn wig.
And there are so many ways to make it, mix it, and use it!
In fact, I’m amazed at how you can make an entire costume with JUST a wig.


If you’ve made a yarn wig before, you know these are easy.  But there are definitely some tips that will help you along the way.  And some styles are “easier” than others…..or rather…..some wigs require more finesse as you sew.
But we’ll start with the most basic wig and work our way up to four different styles.

For all of these wigs you just need a couple things…..

1-2 skeins of yarn
1 fitted cap  (knitted beanie, or swimmer’s cap, or DIY cap–info below)

Yarn: The amount of yarn needed just depends on how full your wig becomes.   For the Lalaloopsy ponytail wigs, I used one skein of yarn.  The other wigs required 1 to 2 skeins.
I used normal old craft type yarn, nothing fancy or expensive (about $3/each) but you can definitely buy chunkier yarn that would be look cool on a wig too.

Cap: You need something that will fit tight on the head.  I really like using beanies because you can buy them for super cheap $1-2 at stores like Target and Walmart.  And often they have a variety of colors.  Try to find something that’s close to the yarn color.  And use a beanie size that fits the person wearing the wig.  If it’s for a toddler, use a toddler-size cap.

And if you can’t find a beanie….


You can also use a swimmer’s cap, or….you can easily make your own!

Grab an old pair of kids tights (thicker tights work better).
Tie a knot where you’d like the cap to end, sew right below the knot (with a zigzag stitch), and cut off the knot.   Now you have a fitted cap to work with!

Let’s get wiggin….



• First draw where the hair will “part” on the cap–this is where you will sew the yarn in place.

And this is what you need to think about as you make any kind of wig.   Consider where you want/need the hair parts to be, and where you want the hair to fall.  It’s very similar to doll hair.  So if you have a hard time visualizing it, grab one of your kids’ dolls and look at how the hair is attached to the head.

I like to use a sharpie to draw it in place, or you can use a fabric marker or chalk.

• Pprep the yarn for sewing.
You’ll need big long “bunches” of hair.  And you’ll be sewing them one bunch at a time.  You’ll need more bunches than you think.

The best way to gather the yarn bunches is to go from arm’s length to arm’s length, back and forth, back and forth.  The loops don’t need to be perfect; we’ll be giving the whole thing a trim when we’re done.  It helps to keep the skein of yarn in a basket or box so it doesn’t roll all over the floor as you work.

• You’re ready to sew! (refer to the images below)
– Grab the first bunch and start with your cap upside down, and remember that you’re only sewing on one layer of the hat.  Place the yarn bunch so that’s flush with the edge of the cap, and so that the yarn is evenly spaced wit the middle of the cap (even through your part is on the side).
– Using a thread color that matches your yarn, do a forward and back stitch at the beginning (and just use a normal straight stitch the whole time) and start sewing the first bunch in place.  As you approach the end of the first bunch, grab the next bunch and push it in there, tight, so that it’s right next to the previous bunch.
This is really important.
If you don’t get the bunches close to the each other, you’ll have gaps in your wig.  It helps to lift your presser foot each time to really get the next bunch under there.

– Continue sewing all your bunches in place along the part till you get to the bottom of the back side.
Note: You don’t need to forward and backstitch every time between bunches.  Just do it once at the first bunch, and also at the last bunch.

And you’re almost done!
Easy right?

At this point your wig looks a little messy, and the beanie is peeking out in a few places.  But that’s okay.  We’ll cover it up with ponytails (or braids or buns).

So grab your model, which in this case is poor Owen.
Sorry dude.  You were in the wrong place at the right time.

– Start styling your wig!
– Use your fingers to comb through the yarn and smoothly pull it to the side to create a low side ponytail.  Hold it in place with a hair rubber band, or you can tie it in place with a piece of yarn.
– Once you have both ponytails in place, give the wig a haircut!  This is so much fun!
Trim, cut, even it all out.  And you’re done!

Add whatever accessories you’d like, and your darling wig is ready to go.
(read more about the Lala Loopsy costumes here).


Okay, what if you want to add bangs to the wig?
Well it’s not really as easy as cutting short pieces from the wig style above.  Again, you have to think about where and how the hair parts, and how the bangs will hang.

So let’s try this variation…


YARN WIG with BANGS and BRAIDS (or Ponytails or Buns)

This wig started out as Raggedy Ann.  And once I put it on my head, I immediately saw the Wendy’s Hamburger girl.  So I grabbed a blue and white shirt (which I had from this video here), dotted my cheeks, and DONE!
It’s amazing what JUST a wig can do!  Easiest way to make a costume.

Okay, here’s the diagram:

Now for the bangs, your bunches of yarn can be much shorter.  And you don’t need to leave the finished look in loops like I did.  You can always cut the bangs so they’re straight and fringey.  But if you like the looped look, you want to have even loops on your yarn bunches (I didn’t do a very good job on that—but it was my first time.  The Cinderella one below worked a little better).

The steps here are pretty much the same.
– Sew your bangs in place first, sewing them horizontally across the front.  The bangs will flop down in half where the “part” is that you’ve sewn, so you have two layers of yarn.
– Then sew your long bunches of hair in place along the part of the head.  I chose a middle part this time around.  You can part it anyway you like.

When you’re done sewing…start styling, and braiding, and pencil dotting your cheeks.

And you’re done!
Now what if we want the hair to hang straight?….without any bits of our beanie showing through?




The key to this wig is that you need to fill-in the hair all around the cap (the same way that we have hair follicles all over our head).  Obviously you don’t need to be as thorough.  But this wig definitely requires 2 skeins of yarn, and a bit more patience.  It’s not hard to make but like I said at the beginning, it take more finesse since you will have a lot of yarn squeezing its way around your machine.

Here are the part lines for the hair:

Now I chose to do long bunches of hair again so that when I sewed them in place they folded back over in half (like the bangs in the red wig above).  If you don’t want your wig to be quite as full, you can simply sew the bunches at the end of the yarn, as I’ll show in the Cinderella wig below.

Another thing to note is that I chose to make/cut my bangs first (since I was figuring this out as I went).  It might be easier to just sew in a continuous circle, as the diagram above shows and then cut your bangs at the end.  So do what works for you.

– Create yarn bunches.
– Start on the most outer/lowest ring and sew the yarn in place, all the way around the cap.
– Then sew the next ring in place, then the next, etc.  When you get to the top of the cap, create a middle part with yarn on top middle.

NOTE: I spread my bunches out more on this wig as I sewed, compared to the two wigs above so that each layer wasn’t quite as full.

And when you’re done, you’ve got options!
See, yarn wigs are for everyone.

Or you can start styling an Egyptian look.

I did not make Lucy’s costume this year–we found it at Target and she
loved it.

So I thought a homemade Cleopatra wig was the perfect touch.


Okay, one final look here.
A high ponytail is a little different than low or side ponytails, because you need yarn going up the back of the cap.  So…



This one is fun because you actually sew on the INSIDE of the cap.

And we’re going to sew in backwards order, with the bangs last.
– Prep your yarn.  And this time, cut one end of each bunch so the ends are flush with each other.
– Sew each bunch to the INSIDE of the cap, with the end of each bunch sticking in about 1-2 inches past the line that you marked on the cap.  Leave a space in the front of the cap where the bangs will be sewn in place next.


Your cap looks something like this.aa3

It helps to sew all the way around again, on top of the yarn ends, to help hold them in place.  Sew about an inch higher than the first line.

And it REALLY helps to sew a piece of elastic to the inside as well, since the beanie tends to stretch a bit as you sew.  I used 3/8 inch wide elastic and sewed it in place by stretching the elastic as much as I could as I sewed (with a zigzag stitch).  You can watch more of that technique here.

When you’re done sewing the long hair, you can see how the wig is starting to form.
Or you can dress up as Smurfette, or Rasta chick, and call it good.


But let’s finish it off by adding the front bangs panel.

Now the bangs are also going to be part of the ponytail.  So you want long loops of hair like the other wigs, but they need to be really consistent so the bangs look even in front.
– Use a large object, like the end of a table to wind your bunches.  You need about two big bunches.  I stuck a pencil in each to keep them from getting messy before sewing them in place.
– Decide how long you want your bangs and sew the bunches in place, on the RIGHT side of the cap, with the long ends pointed up toward the top of the cap.
– When you’re done, you’re ready to style!  It really helps to use a ball as your model, so you can turn it upside to create the ponytail.

There will be a lot of hair this time, so I found that tying the ponytail in place (rather than a rubber band) was easiest.
– Trim and style the ponytail.   Of course you can leave it long or cut it short.  I gave mine a trim and did a faux bun/bunch, which worked easiest since there was SO much hair–it would have been hard to make a real bun.  I just poufed the hair up and cinched it with another piece of yarn.


Then we accessorized with a headband, and Cinderella was ready for the ball!

And after breathing in small bits of yarn buzz for two days,
I called it a wrap.
I mean….I was wigged out?

Straight wiggin over here.

So now it’s your turn.
Get wiggin on me!

And if you make one, tag it to #yarnwigMADE on Instagram and tag me as well! @made_everyday

  1. 2) Sarah wade

    Well that’s just adorable!!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I love them all! Super well done and great tutorial too. Thank you!

  3. 5) Rosa

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR THIS!!! Believe it or not, ever since my girls saw your girls’ costumes from last year, they were obsessed with having the same. The wig part was where I was struggling. Thank you times a million!

    p.s. – On the offhand chance you get to this question: How did you modify the pattern to make Squirt’s costume? I have both the first day dress and shorts patterns but I’m drawing a blank. Thank you!

    • 6) Dana

      Awesome! That makes me so happy to hear!

      As for the Squirt outfit….oh man. I wish I could do a tutorial for that. I was sort of making it up as I went. But I started with the shorts pattern and drew the side seams UP, to create a romper. Then I drew some arm holes, and drew a neckline. Then I made a “circle skirt” for the collar, and folded the neckline under and strung elastic through. Then I created casings in the legs too (rather than shorts hem) and pulled elastic through the legs too.
      I hope that helps a bit!

      • 7) Rosa

        Yes, it helps a LOT, actually! Thank you so much! Also, thank you for responding. I had a fangirl moment and squealed when I saw you replied. My husband made fun of me for it. Oh well. Back to my happy-sewing-place! 😀

  4. 8) Samina

    These are hilarious, adorable & very clever! I’m going to have to make time to make a wig for Halloween this year. I certainly have plenty of yarn to spare!

    • 11) Dana

      No. They’re just a little warm!….like wearing a beanie in the winter time 🙂

  5. WOW Dana, these are really, really outstanding! I might make one of these sometime so thanks for all the details!

  6. 13) Sheree

    Wow! It’s obvious you’ve spent so much time putting this together! I’ll have to find a reason to make wigs!! (Halloween is nowhere near as big here in NZ as it is in the States) Maybe the dress-up box needs some wigs…

  7. 14) Ashley

    Great tut! Love it! I am thinking of a long Elsa side braid…of course I am 🙂

  8. This is totally AMAZEBALLS!!!!!

    You’ve got me thinking I could find some white yarn and make Clementine an Elsa wig now….hmmmmm

  9. 16) Terri Miller

    SO talented! Love this post, Dana.

  10. Casey was the best one, for sure!

  11. 18) Joanne

    This is an awesome wig tutorial ! Thanks for sharing it with us, Dana !

  12. 19) Juanita in OH

    Wow, you are soooooooooooo creative! These wigs are sensational. Brava and happy dance. Your children must be over the moon. TFS.

  13. 20) Sarah

    Thank you so much! I’ve been making your lala loopsy costume over the last week… sooo glad I saved making the hair til last, this awesome tutorial has come just in time!

  14. 21) Denice

    You rock. These are fantastic.

  15. This is amazing! I made a Lucy Wilde wig a couple of years ago in a similar way to your Cinderella wig, but I had issues with the cap showing underneath the yarn, and had to sew more yarn around the cap’s circumference higher up (like with the Cleopatra wig) to fill it in. Maybe I just didn’t use enough yarn in the first place and that’s why the cap peeped through. But what a wonderful resource! This will come so in handy! Thank you! 🙂 Lisa

  16. 23) Sandi

    your children have got to be the luckiest kids EVER to have such a talented mom. is there anything you can’t do???

  17. 24) Keri

    Thank you so much. You have saved me who knows how many hours trying to figure this out. With Halloween around the corner, my 2 daughters have been driving me CRAZY for Elsa and Anna wigs and I HATE the ones in the store. This helps tremendously!!!!

  18. Your entire family are such good sports! Especially Casey – I lol when I saw him. Too funny! I’m saving this post to refer to later. So creative! Thank you!

  19. Thank you so much for such a great tutorial! I want to stop everything and make yarn wigs for Halloween this year. Your family is adorable too!

  20. 27) Sarah R

    I’m trying to envision how you could modify the braid wig to make a Queen Elsa wig (from Frozen, with the hanging braid) and struggling. Would you make it with layers hanging down like the Cleopatra/Straight Hair wig, then just side-braid it? Or sew it on a side part and then braid like the Wendy’s wig? Help! My daughter loves Elsa and that’s all she wants to be, and a wig would be the perfect addition!

  21. 28) Sarah K

    I needed something to spice up my own costume for school this year… Now I’m thinking a wig may be in order. Thanks for the inspiration and instructions!

  22. I love the soccer ball stand-in! These are all BRILLIANT!!

  23. 31) Cat

    I love these ideas. Thanks for sharing. I’m off to buy some yarn!

  24. This is probably the cutest most brilliant idea ever! I have a 6 year old cousin who would love to make these 🙂 xx

  25. 33) patricia



  26. 34) vero

    These are absolutely great! I would never have the patience to make them (not mentioning the uncountable knots along the way) but the process is so cool! well done, you’re very talented!

  27. 35) ella

    Dumb question, but would it be possible to make a wig with long hair but no bangs, e.g. for, say, Sally from “Nightmare Before Christmas”? That’s more or less combining methods 1 & 3, right?

    • 36) Dana

      Yep. I would just do it similar as the Cleopatra one, but make the Part on the top of the head go all the way to end of the hat at the front.
      Hope that makes sense!

  28. 37) Susan R.

    This is BRILLIANT and incredibly helpful – Thank you for posting this!!

  29. 38) BeCky

    These are so great. I am trying to use this strategy to make two high pigtails and no bangs. I can’t quite wrap my head (ha!) around how to manage it. Have you done this? Or can you make a suggestion on how best to do it?

    • 39) Dana

      Two high ponytails is a bit harder….which is why I did the low ponytails for the Lala Loopsie costumes (even though Peanut is supposed to have high ponytails).
      You’d have to do it similar to the Cinderella wig, where it comes from below, but then you also need to do a middle part down the back. It would take some time, but it can be done! If you can get away with two low ponytails though, that’s SO much easier 🙂

  30. 40) Nguyên

    thank you very much !
    it is the best way to make liltle girls smile every day
    hope to see more DYI tips from you

  31. 41) Karis

    Thank you for this. My friend’s 3 yo daughter just started chemo and will soon be losing her hair. I can’t wait to make her some fun wigs!!

  32. 43) Breeann

    I am looking to make a wig to put it in a low bun like an old lady. Which pattern would I use?

    • 44) Dana

      Do the pony tail version, and then “style” the pony tail into a bun when you’re done.

  33. 45) Sara

    Would cutting the Cinderella bangs to make them a thick fringe instead of loops damage the structural integrity of the wig?

    • 46) Dana

      Nope that would work fine.
      It would look similar to the Cleopatra wig.

  34. 47) Caroline

    Clever the perfect tutorial. I need it for Halloween thank you

  35. 48) Lydia

    Have you ever actually tried making this with a swimmers cap? I just tried and it ripped right in half when I was almost done. Should’ve realized initially that the amount of holes and maneuvering would easily rip that kind of material. Maybe not a great suggestion…

  36. 49) Andrea

    Hi there,

    I love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing! My daughter wants to be Rupunzel this year so I’m going to give wig-making a try. Thanks again for the inspiration!


  37. 50) nORA

    I love this idea and tutorial, the step by step pictures made this seem doable. I followed the directions, but used tulle instead of yarn, I even made the cap out of tights. Thank you for sharing your great idea to help other mommies in need.

  38. Pingback: 30+ Easy Halloween Costumes – MADE EVERYDAY

  39. 51) V

    Thank you!!!! This is one of the best tutorials I’ve found for anything! Thank you for being thorough in your instructions and for including pictures…that helps too!

  40. 52) sarah

    Any thoughts on how to make without a sewing machine? Glue? Hand sew?

    • 53) Dana

      Yes, you could try glue. It will be VERY messy though.
      And it will be hard to get the yarn pieces to stay because they will be constantly sticking to your fingers 🙁

  41. 54) Tauna

    These are great, thank you for sharing I was stressing about how to turn my little blondie into Snow White without having to buy an expensive wig or spray nasty paint in her hair.

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