25 September 2011

Yarn Wig :: Tutorial

 I love when a project you imagine in your mind materializes just the way you want it to. I am so excited about this wig! It's a little bit ridiculous, but perfect for a Halloween costume.

Here's how I did it:

Post Edit: I've recently realized this tutorial has been viewed and used by lots of people, and I also realize it needs some updating since I made it three years ago.
Hopefully these updates will answer some questions you may have...

1. Measure your child's head from the middle of the forehead to the middle of the neck - ours was about 16 inches.

2. Cut out a base strip of felt 16 inches long, 4-5 inches wide. This will be the "spine" of the wig. (Preferably you should use the same color of felt as the color of your yarn, but I was too excited to start this project, and I didn't have red. So I used light blue. You can see mine is only 1.5 inches wide in the picture, but I think wider would be better. )

3. Cut the yarn into "hair". I cut it about 55 inches long. This is a generous length, but you want to ensure that there is plenty of wiggle room. Don't worry about lining the hairs exactly side by side. Just make sure there is a good amount so there aren't any bald spots.

4. Center the hairs over the the spine.

 5. In order to transfer the hair to the sewing machine, I placed another felt strip on top, sandwiching the hair. Pin the two felt strips together.

6. Now you are going to sew the hair to the spine using a zigzag stitch.

7. As you go, press the yarn/hair flat and taut as you feed it into the sewing machine. Peal back the top felt piece as you go.

Here is what the underside of the wig will look like.

 Here is the top.

8. Take the wig into the bathroom and put it on your own head to straiten and braid. (Trust me, do not use your little girl's head; she will be way too excited and won't hold still). Trim off the uneven ends.

So...how does the wig stay on your head? Good question. Braiding it into two braids helps balance it, but what worked for us is wearing a hat on top. Some people have sewed in the crotch/waistband area of pantyhose (new of course haha). 

Here is a picture of the final ensemble.
The hat really anchors the wig into place. 

Here is another example of what you can do with the wig.
Mary (who also posts amazing things on this blog) created this whole Raggedy Anne costume.
She ended up sewing the wig onto the bonnet and giving it a hair cut.
That costume deserves a post of its own though, am I right?


  1. great idea and tut!!!! THat was easy peasy and a great idea.

  2. That is perfect!! She looks exactly like jesse. I thought the yarn would have been to thick at first, but it's perfect.

  3. haha, that's hilarious...darn tootin' (couldn't resist.)

  4. So I'm scanning and searching the net to find a yarn wig tutorial that I can understand, then, after way to much time, I come across this one. Of course I find it here, a blog I follow. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Kelli the first thing I thought of when I saw that wig was Pippi Longstockings...is coming into your world. It's cute!!

  6. thank you for such a great tutorial ! I was able to use it to make my raggedy ann wig!! Thanks

  7. This tutorial is great! I used it to make a Lalaloopsy wig (Marina Anchors) for my daughter! Thanks so much for sharing this!


  8. LOVE this! I used it to make Pippi wigs for my kiddos recent Pippi Longstocking themed party, I just slipped a wire through the "part" and then the pigtails stuck straight out! Thanks so much!

  9. what weight of wool do I need? i.e. what size of ball of wool to start off with? Looks great and have a kids party coming up & would like to make some of these :) Mel x

    1. your best bet would probably be red heart super saver. its cheap and you can get alot out of one skein

  10. How does it stay on her head? Did I miss that part?

  11. I've done this very project, but got the idea from a different blog... http://thismamamakesstuff.com/how-to-rapunzel-yarn-wig-tutorial.html (gotta love Pinterest).... but to help keep the wig on the head (which I have done for a Rapunzel wig, Snow White wig, Sleeping Beauty wig, and Cleopatra wig) is to sew it to a "cap" made from a pair of tights! To do this, take a pair of little kid tights, put it on the head, cut off the legs, sew up the whole. Then all you have to do is sew the felt strip (after the yarn has been sewn to it) to the "cap" made from the tights! It stretches over many head sizes and holds it in place!

  12. don't use velcro! it traps the hair and it's like pulling duct tape off your head. OUCH. I did this wig but instead I only used half the length of felt for the head about 7 inches. that way i could make the braid down the back...which is truely the way Jessie wears her hair. Complete with yellow ribbon.
    thanks for the idea

  13. thank goodness i found your tutorial! omg yes. now i know how to do sally ragdoll's hair. thank you!

  14. Thanks....Love it. Doing rapunzel wig for my daughter and it looks easy peasy.... :)

  15. Just whipped this out for my Sally Skellington costume this year. And it WAS pretty easy! The longest chore was measuring and cutting the yarn. Thx for the tip!

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  17. Thanks for the tutorial. A couple of things I learned while making 2 wigs today....The easiest way to measure the yarn was to wrap it around something. For the longer haired wig I wrapped it around my sewing cutting board, for the shorter wig, I wrapped it around a chair back. Worked really well and was super fast. The first wig I followed the instructions and used that second piece of felt pinning down the yarn. But the yarn would slip along a little as I sewed it. So for the second wig I actually tacked it down (basting the yarn by hand to the felt first). That actually took a little longer, BUT I didn't have the yarn slipping like in the first. So it took just a little longer, but I thought it was worth the effort.

    For the long wig I used 1.5 skeins of worsted weight 4 ply acrylic (100g). Not sure how much for the shorter wig as I used 3 different colors of left over acrylic, probably about 1 full skein. I think it would be better if I had just a bit more yarn for that one, though.

    Again, thanks for the tutorial! Your pictures are super adorable as well!

  18. I do machine embroidery and remembered a trick while reading this. To hold the yarn down while sewing, put Glad press n seal over it. It has just enough tacky to hold it and you just tear it off when finished. The needle holes will perforate it so it will rip easily.