Welcome to dress-up days at Lasso the Moon! We have devoted the entire month to dress-up and costumes that you can make yourself. Check back often for tutorials, tips, and ideas for making your own disguises for your kids.
Today, Emma and I are going to show you how to make your own Rapunzel braid! This braid is so long that your little girl can run through the house, dragging her braid behind her, just like in the movie.
Gather supplies: 1-2 skeins of acrylic yarn, and 1 knit head band
You'll also need a pair of scissors, two chairs to wrap the yarn around, a tape measure, and a big dose of patience. This is not the fastest project I've come up with, but it's worth it. Every kid who has seen our braids has wanted to wear them for hours.
Set your chairs about 10-11 feet apart. This will be the length of your braid, minus a couple feet of shrinkage due to the braiding. Our ten foot yarn became an 8 1/2 foot braid.
Wrap one entire skein of yarn around the chairs. If you are adding a second color for highlights like we did, wrap 10-12 times in the second color. A little variegation goes a long way. A note about the yarn: You might be tempted to get a higher-quality yarn for this, that looks more like real hair. If this is for a child, just opt for the acrylic. Ours has gotten so much wear, that we have washed it a couple times in the washing machine. Nicer yarn would not withstand that. Something to consider!
After you have finished wrapping, find the center point of your wrapped yarn, at the opposite side of your cut ends. Tie a piece of string at that center point to hold all the strands together. Slip the circle off of the chairs, holding at the tied point. Stretch the circle as straight as possible, and cut all of the strands oppoisite the tie.
Keep the tie at the top, folded point of the "hair" and grab your headband. Poke the bend of the yarn through the headband, forming a loop, and pull the bulk of the hair through that loop, attaching the hair to the headband securely with no tying or sewing!
Next, loop the headband to something sturdy for braiding. I used the arm of a chair.
Finger comb the strands of yarn slightly, and separate it into three equal strands for braiding. (Don't be OCD on this. The braid will look great even if they are not perfectly even!)
Here comes the tricky part. If you just start braiding, the yarn will turn into a tangled mess. So before you start, roll your three strands into three balls for easy handling.
Then start braiding quickly and very loosely for about 2-3 feet.
Set your strands down, and go back to the top of the loose braid and braid them again tightly, smoothing with your fingers as you go. This is the only time you want to be a perfectionist, since this is how the final braid will look.
Once you get to the un-braided part, pick up your balled-up strands and loosely braid the next section, going back to tighten and smooth the braid after a few feet. If your balls keep coming undone, use a hair band to keep them together.
Once the entire length of hair is braided, tie it tightly with a piece of yarn, and cut the yarn even with the shortest strand.
As a grown-up, you may look at this braid and think it doesn't look real enough, but I assure you, kids can see past that stuff. If you want, make it to match your child's hair and braid hers around the headband for better blending. And if you have more than one child, you might want to make as many braids to keep "hair" pulling at a minimum!
If you use this tutorial to make your own dress-up Rapunzel braid, send me a picture, and I'll feature it here on the blog. I LOVE seeing different interpretations of my ideas.
Want to share this series with readers of your blog? Grab the code below for your sidebar, and come back soon for more fun ideas!