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….
YARN WIG with SIDE PONYTAILS or BRAIDS or BUNS
• 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.
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.
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).
– 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.
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.
YARN WIG with BANGS and LONG HAIR
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.
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.
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…
YARN WIG with BANGS and HIGH PONYTAIL or BUN
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.
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!
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