Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to be a Princess: It's All in the Hair

A couple of days ago, a photo popped up in my Instagram feed of a little girl in a Rapunzel braid. It was a super cute DIY, and I knew I had to copy it for my little Queen Elsa of Arendelle. The IG poster kindly shared the YouTube video she used (thanks, Alissa!) and today I stopped by a Joann store to get the supplies.

I ended up making a gorgeous Elsa braid in approximately 15 minutes for less than $5. And now I will tell you how to do it.

(I'm sure there are several tutorials out there for a similar braid, but I can guarantee they don't all have a model quite as enthusiastic as mine.)

You need:

* a skein of yarn in the hair color of your favorite princess (you'll use the whole thing) (This cost me $2.99 because it was on sale)
* a ribbon that coordinates with your favorite princess dress (I could have used some I had on hand, but there was a roll of shimmery turquoise ribbon on sale for $2.40 so I grabbed it. I really only used a bit of it, so I'm not counting its full price in the cost of the braid--I'll use the leftover for gift wrap or other projects)
* two hair elastics (had on hand so $0)
* sharp scissors (like for cutting fabric)
* something to wrap your yarn around (this can be anything big and flat--a box, a lid, the end of a bar or table--you probably want it to be between 30" and 40" wide)

The video I watched use a piece of foam core to wrap the yarn. Alissa had mentioned on IG that she initially used a plastic lid (I'm assuming from a storage bin) but then it wasn't long enough for her little princess. With that in mind, I decided to use my dining room table, which happens to be on the narrow side for a table and measures just 36" across.

Feel free to use a dining table that still has greasy smears from a child's hand on it. This will not affect the final product.
I used a piece of tape to hold down the end of the yarn and then wrapped and wrapped it until the whole skein was would around the table. Don't stretch the yarn too much as you wrap. You want it to have just a little give.

I ran into a tangle toward the end that I couldn't get out, so I ended up just cutting it and taping a new starting point. No big deal.

Once you've gone through the whole skein, you gather it all up in one hand and cut through it with the other (no photos of this, as both my hands were full).

Keep hold of the end and wrap the hair elastic around it so you have a big ol' yarn ponytail. (It will be SUPER long. This is good.)

You can see I've just started the braid here--and Elsa is pumped!
Then you just separate it into three sections and braid it. I put mine up on a bookshelf (held in place by the OED, but anything heavy would work) just to make it a little easier. You don't want the braid to be too loose, but you don't want it to be so tight that it's stiff.

Once you get to the end of the braid, use your other hair elastic to finish it up.

You guys, seriously. She loves this SO much.
I went ahead and tied an extra piece of the yarn around each end to help cover the elastic and hold everything in place.

Then you want to cut the top end super short against the elastic, and cut the bottom just enough to be evened out and look nice.

Loop the top end around so that it fits snug around your princess's head and use your coordinating ribbon to tie it tightly in place. Knot it and then make a bow.

It was all she could do to keep her little hand off of it for this photo.
Add a matching bow on the other end to fully cover the elastic, and find a beautiful princess to model it.

I don't know about you, but I've never seen Elsa look better.

Braids are excellent for dancing. Also one of my favorite things about Zuzu is that she pronounces "ball" and "bar" basically the same and she's always asking us to go to the "bah" with her. 


  1. LOVE THIS! So precious! I need a daughter to do this for!

  2. I have to make this for Teddy! He is currently super super obsessed with Elsa and Anna braids. Thank you for the tutorial! :)

  3. THIS IS SO CUTE! I wonder if my son will want one. I'm thinking no, but I can hope, right?

  4. I love it! Also it is so nice to see the OED being put to good use at your house. :)

  5. i will be doing this ASAP. thank you for sharing!!!

  6. That is SO CUTE!!! I know some little Elsa-lovers who would love something like this!