Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to Make a Rapunzel Wig



Let me begin by saying that this is not the definitive way to make a Rapunzel wig; this is just how I made it.  For the most part, I'm pretty pleased with the results, From the back it looked fantastic, I just wish I could have achieved the Rapunzel hair "swoop."

 Great screenshot of said "swoop"

Unfortunately, the wig I purchased was constructed in such a way (a pin head style wig? I heard that term thrown around once) that there was no way I was going to be able to achieve this. Oh well, we can't have everything we want...

So how did I make the wig?

Step 1: Buy wigs

I purchased two (yes, two) long blonde wigs on eBay. I was pretty picky about the color. Most were listed as platinum blonde and Rapunzel is not a platinum blonde. Her color is really closer to golden blonde.

Step 2: Make the side braids. In the movie, Rapunzel has little side braids that are a form of a french braid. As I am totally inept at braiding, I opted to just do two normal braids and pull them back. The wig I bought had long bangs, so that's what a braided as Rapunzel does not have bangs.

No gravity defying swoop :(

Flowers will be glued to the wig later, so one large flower will hide the short hair.

Step 3: Make hair extensions (these are so the wig can have that really fat braid look from the movie)

As I came to realize, the vast majority of wigs are pretty thin and when braided, will never be able to have that fat braid like the movie if left as is. Hair extensions need to be added to achieve this thickness. This is how I did it:

     Part A: I bought three packages (one for each braid) of loose hair braiding extensions from the web. I got them from www.ikickshins.net. Try to buy a color close to what the wig color is. I know, I know, this is nearly is nearly impossible.  This is why I bought more than one wig. 

     Part B: Use clear caulk to make the weft. Make sure to rub it in good and deep as it needs to stick to every hair. Caulk one side, let it dry, then turn it over and caulk the other. Make sure this is done on wax paper so the weft can be easily lifted off the paper. Let the caulk dry completely. This took about a day for me since I put it on pretty thick.

Only side one is caulked here

When dry, trim the caulked hair so there is a nice, straight edge.

     Part C: Make those suckers even thicker!!

To make the braids even thicker, I glued batting into the center of each extension. The extensions will lose some fullness when when braided, so this will help maintain it. Regular craft or Elmer's glue is fine here. 


     Part D: Murder the second wig. Use sewing scissors to carefully cut out the wefts of the second wig. The hair is actually sewed into the wig in long thin rows. Do not just cut the hair off all willy nilly. Keep the wefts intact. Wrap and hot glue these wefts around the top of the extensions you just made. It should look something like this:

Sort of grotesque, isn't it? I tied some string around it intermittently to keep everything neat.

Make sure to reserve some hair. It will be needed it later.

Step 4: Sew the brand-spanking-new extensions into the primary wig.

Try to position them so the hair of the primary wig hair is both above and below the extensions. It is important the mismatched extension hair as concealed as possible.

Step 5: Braid, braid, braid.

Not as easy as it sounds. A friend would be very handy handy at this stage to help. I did not have a buddy and the additional help would definitely saved me much aggravation. I would only undertake this part when you are in a very patient mood (I was not. I'm glad no one there to witness that tantrum).

Step 6: Patch the exposed spots.

At this point, use the extra hair previously saved and the oodles of flowers bought to patch the areas where the mismatched extensions are showing through. Disney did us a great favor by covering Rapunzel's hair with flowers. I used hot glue to attached the hair and flowers.

Step 7: Use some of the reserved hair to wrap where the braid is tied. That's the look she had in the movie.

Step 8: That sucker is heavy!

In all likelihood, the wig is now too heavy to stay on when worn. This can be easily fixed by sewing those little combs into the inside of the wig. One did the trick for me, but two may be even better.



And voila! The wig is done!


Okay, so there are several of things I would do differently. To begin with, I would not use long wigs. I thought it would be easier, but it's not. Much of this tutorial is based on one created by echoing-artemis at deviantart.com. She used many medium length wigs. After working with this wig, many medium wigs would have been much easier. My wigs tangled (hahaha, puns) something fierce! 90% of my time was spent untangling the stupid wigs. That was the real magic of Rapunzel's hair! The inability to actually tangle, otherwise, I'm pretty sure her hair would have been a rat's nest, lol.

Echoing-artemis' tutorial can be found here:


Since I did use long wigs, I wish I had bought one more. It really ended up be thin in areas, and was pretty difficult to fill. It would have been nice to have an additional wig's worth of weft to wrap around the extensions. If you can afford it, by extra wigs, you really won't regret it.

Keep in mind, this is not a project you can do in a day. It took me about a week. Also, synthetic hair will get EVERYWHERE!! Just a FYI so you're not horrified.

I know this probably seems confusing. You can post a comment if you have any questions about how I made my wig or refer to the great tutorial I linked to above. Good luck!






17 comments:

  1. Thanks so much! I hope you found it useful or at least entertaining. :)

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  2. Hi i was really wanting to be rapunzel for halloween this year and i was wondering if mabey u could tell me what wefts were and also how you sewed them all together? thanks for ur help! =D

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    1. Hi,

      A weft is basically a long strip of hair that hangs like a curtain and it has a seam at the top. You use this seam to sew the weft into the wig. By cutting up one of the wigs in the tutorial, I basically broke one of the wigs into it's component wefts. Also, I bought additional hair extensions to make the wig thicker, but extensions were sold as loose hair without the seam. That's why I used the caulk at the edge. It made a makeshift weft/seam. I sewed the wefts made from the butchered wig and the additional hair extensions into an existing wig. I hope this clarified things a bit. Let me know if your still confused. :)

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  3. Hi There!!
    I am a little confused with some steps :) ?
    how do you sew the wefts into the base wig?
    Also with the batting, in the picture shown did you stick the hair lying underneath to it?
    Also how did you plait the wig with the batting :)?
    Thanks! Sorry for all the questions
    Heather

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    Replies
    1. Hi! It's been a while while since I did this, but hopefully I can help make this more clear. 1) when you have the extension prepared (caulk dry, etc.), you're going to attach them to the wig. I did this basically parting the hair horizontally (perpendicular to the ground)and literally sewing the hair to the wig. Wigs are made out of netting. So you're going to take your needle and thread, pierce the caulk, then literally stitch it to the netting of the wig. Continue to stitch until you get to the end of the extension. You'll do this 3 times. Remember to position them well for braiding later. 2) Yup! I put glue on both side of the batting. 3) This is the hardest part. Have a friend help because i did it alone. Your going to split the hair into 3 chunks like you would with any other braid, with your added extension/batting in the center. My extensions weren't a perfect match, I used the wig hair to conceal that problem as much as possible. And just braid it as best you can. I will probably take a couple tries to get it looking right. I hope this helps. If this is still unclear, go the the other tutorial I referenced. My tutorial is partially based on hers.

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  4. Hello!

    So I wanna be Rapunzel for Halloween and this is EXACTLY how I want my wig to be but I don't get ANY of the steps, nothing, Could you possibly explain it more better?
    Thanks!

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    1. I'm sorry you don't understand the steps. But I can't rewrite the entire tutorial for you. Especially not having any idea what is confusing you. You can try reading some of the other comments. Also, you can try going the additional tutorial I linked to above. Her process different, but similar enough that maybe it'll help answer your questions. Also, if you don't already have your materials and wigs, you probably wont have enough time to finish this before Halloween. It is quite a labor intensive project.

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  5. wow....that is alot of work and hard right there......looks beautiful....:)
    good job sweety...

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  6. cant even begin to say how much this has helped me after my lovely thick wig disappeared to a thin rats tail once braided. Hoping to do this next week. When husband has taken kids out and i have patience!! hard to find good fake flowers in UK though which is proving a nightmare!

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  7. Wow... This Rapunzel wig is looking awesome. Thanks for sharing this steps of making it. I will definitely try this. Hope to know more from you.
    Elevate Styles

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  8. So... I don't understand the Wefts word... Could I just buy a bunch of the same wig and just cut it into strips then? Is that what your saying? Because matching all the different hair colors doesn't sound fun lol. Thanks! :)

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  9. Hi, I am trying to figure out how I would use several medium length wigs. How would you attach them into the continuous braid? Thanks

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  10. Hi!!
    Ive been working as a party princess for the last year as Princess Anna and Princess Belle, but my boss is starting me as Rapunzel soon. I'm so excited !! I just ordered my wig (https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1050949194?campaign_label=transaction_buyer_notification&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=transaction_buyer_notification_010170_10529880387_0_0&utm_medium=email&utm_content=&email_sent=1438989520&euid=4toLMLxzS5zuWehd0aKnzpg2leA5&eaid=28802281520&x_eaid=cac4db6672) and i was wondering where you got your flowers?? I can't find any online and i can't imagine they'd be cheap in store. and also, is there aany other way to attach them other than hot glue? I'd like to be able to take them off and put them back on if i need to rebraid it. If you have any suggestions they'd be wonderful!! Thank you!!
    -Savannah

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  11. Hi!!
    Ive been working as a party princess for the last year as Princess Anna and Princess Belle, but my boss is starting me as Rapunzel soon. I'm so excited !! I just ordered my wig (https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1050949194?campaign_label=transaction_buyer_notification&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=transaction_buyer_notification_010170_10529880387_0_0&utm_medium=email&utm_content=&email_sent=1438989520&euid=4toLMLxzS5zuWehd0aKnzpg2leA5&eaid=28802281520&x_eaid=cac4db6672) and i was wondering where you got your flowers?? I can't find any online and i can't imagine they'd be cheap in store. and also, is there aany other way to attach them other than hot glue? I'd like to be able to take them off and put them back on if i need to rebraid it. If you have any suggestions they'd be wonderful!! Thank you!!
    -Savannah

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    Replies
    1. You could hot glue the back of the flower to a clip or Bobby pin...

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    2. You could hot glue the back of the flower to a clip or Bobby pin...

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