Introduction: How to Grow Your Own Epic Dwarf Beard in One Evening!

Supplies:

1 crochet hook, 2.75 mm

at least 375 yards of 5mm medium weight acrylic yarn in colors approximating hair, preferably in multiple similar colors

1 sheet of plastic canvas, at least 10.5"x 13.5", grade 7 mesh

Sharpie

Scissors

~18 inches of slender elastic (a cut-open elastic hair wrap works great)


Time: 3-4 hours

Step 1: Yarn and Plastic Canvas

I used acrylic because wool is too itchy. You want to have at least 375 yards in total but I'd recommend buying a couple smaller rolls, and mixing 2 or more similar colors, even different dye batches of the same color. Beards have varying colors so it adds texture and depth to use a  variety of similar shades.

Underneath the label is a leftover strip of the plastic canvas the beard substrate is made of.

I picked brown so it wouldn't stand out much from under the yarn but it comes in other colors too. It cost about $.50 for a sheet and you only need one per beard. Using this stuff saves you the trouble of needing to learn to knit.

It's also sturdy enough to be a solid base, but still easy to cut with scissors.

Step 2: Crochet Hook

Use this size crochet hook (2.75 mm) or you won't be able to push it through the plastic grid holes, and if you use a smaller one, it might be too fine for the yarn.

Step 3: Diagram

Hopefully this diagram is self explanatory. The only thing I left off from this diagram is the bottom 2 rows of yarn, which make up the bottom layer of the beard. I recommend starting with the bottom layer first and then moving on to the moustache, followed by the top layer of the beard, and then the mouth last.

XXXX-tra thick fill means I used 3 strands of yarn instead of 2 and I planted more yarn in that area.

Step 4: Inside the Beard

I used an entire sheet of the plastic canvas for the base. I figured out what shape it should be in by holding it against my face and drawing on it with a Sharpie.

The top lip is only 2 rows wide, and the mouth hole is 8 rows tall. You can make the shape of the mouth anything you want but a lemon sort of shape seems to be best.

Step 5: Yarn Measurement

To measure the yarn, wrap it around a piece of cardboard or plastic, whatever you wrap it around should be the same length you want your beard to be.

After you have wrapped all the yarn, cut the bundle in half and you should then have a bunch of yarn that is twice as long as you want the beard to be. This is exactly what you want, because each piece of yarn makes 2 beard strands.

Step 6: Bottom Layer

I started with the bottom edge of the plastic and looped 2 strands of yarn per hole through, then made a cow hitch. I staggered them with 2 holes between. This is the "bottom layer" and you can see I made 2 rows of hair all the way along the edge.

Step 7: More Bottom Layer

2 pieces of yarn per hole. What you see here is the middle point of the lengths of yarn.

Step 8: Inside the Moustache

Inside the moustache. I whipped yarn all the way across the top lip and it turned out to be unnecessary and extra itchy. I snipped this section off after I took this picture.

If you don't mind the smell of hairspray, it doesn't hurt to mist this area front and back once you are done braiding, and wipe the stray fibers down with your fingers so they don't pay a visit to your mouth or up your nose.

Step 9: Pin the Moustache to the Upper Lip

The center of the moustache is pinned down with a single piece of yarn that isn't tied *around* the upper lip of the plastic, but it's been stabbed through it instead, makes for a smaller tighter loop.

I originally tied a knot on the back side of the beard but a better way to do it is to tie the knot in the front, wiggle the knot down to the bottom of the moustache to hide it, and then use the trailing ends of the knot in the rest of the moustache. This way you don't have the knot pressing against your upper lip.

The moustache bundle is about 30 pieces of yarn.

Step 10: Pin the Moustache Ends Down

After I pinned the center of the moustache bundle to the upper lip, then pinned the "ends" of the moustache down, I bloused the moustache into 2 symmetric poofs. I then braided the trailing ends of the moustache into the yarn draped over the top edge so the moustache braid would look fuller.

When pinning the moustache ends down, I tied the knot in the back but then drew the trailing ends back to the front side of the canvas so they could mix in with the rest of the moustache.

Another way to cover the top edge of the plastic canvas is to drape yarn over the top and behind the moustache, and then tuck some of the overlapping drape underneath the moustache. This is instead of planting yarn behind the moustache poofs.

Step 11: Cover the Bottom Lip

To do the bit over the bottom edge of the lip. I drew 2 strands through a hole against the edge, pulled it halfway through, and just draped it over the edge of the bottom lip. Covers the plastic and looks clean.

Step 12: Check Your Yarn Thickness All Around the Edge

Look how much I didn't have to fill because I only bothered with 2 layers! Notice I left the entire bottom layer intact but included most of the XXXX-tra fill into the center braid.

2 layers means I used less yarn, and it's lighter, but there's still plenty of coverage due to sufficient thickness along the top edge, no plastic showed through at all.

Step 13: Insert Epic Braids Here

Braiding happens last! After all the braids were in, I trimmed the ends of the yarn (unevenly, on purpose), I wanted the beard to have a V-shape or a U-shape instead of being completely straight across the bottom edge.

I finished off the braids by taking an extra piece of yarn, and tying it around the end of the braid. Wrap it around multiple times for a more distinct looking knot (see the end of the center braid)

Tie the ends of the piece of yarn together and mix the loose ends into the tail of the braid.

Step 14: Epic Braid Pics

Make the center braid first, then the moustache braids, then add in any extras as you wish. If you have too thin coverage on the top layer, you won't be able to do many braids, but you might be able to fudge it by starting the braid a bit lower down.

Bonus: Thor-in's Hammer

Step 15: Elastic

I cut a slender elastic hair band open and crochet hooked it through the plastic, and tied it. One half went over the top of my head, the other half went behind my head and under a ponytail to keep it from slipping forward. I found a Scunci no-slip headwrap that had an exposed strip of sticky silicone or whatever that stuff is to help it grip hair better.

I covered the exposed plastic canvas with a hat, but you probably could cut it off completely and bury the elastic a couple rows under the hairline, inside the yarn.

Step 16: BERSERKER TIME

Go Medieval on some Goblins.

Step 17: BONUS BEARD LEVEL!

Santa Claus!

(Is in for a brief doctor visit and will be ready in time for Christmas Eve!)

Comments

author
artcompelled (author)2012-12-23

Is it comfortable? I'm wondering if this would work with a more flexible substrate like latch hook canvas. Just for more comfort.

author

Went back to the store and compared the two, latch hook canvas is way scratchy compared to the plastic canvas.

author

Oh and stray yarn fibers up the nose is probably the least comfortable thing about this beard but a little bit of hairspray and smoothing fixed it.

author

I've thought it was pretty comfortable. It's smooth plastic that just happens to breathe. I haven't played around with other substrate materials yet because I've had good luck with the plastic canvas. It's stiff but flexible, and not itchy. The yarn pretty much covers all the rough edges and I felt the plastic would keep its shape better against the weight of the yarn. If you have the opportunity, you might want to press each type of material against your cheek to see if it's a sensation you would be willing to tolerate on your face.

author
Klockkl made it! (author)2017-05-18

My son LOVED his. It took some time, but overall it was pretty straight forward. Thank you for such detailed instructions.

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Rexanvil76 (author)2016-10-17

I've been lookin for this
instead of plastic I'm going to try the drawer liner it has square holes and is flexible plus I have a ton
thank you

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jhall13 (author)2016-05-02

This is the tutorial I've been looking for. Thanks so much!

author
Shazmir made it! (author)2015-12-19

Great instructable! I've made a wizard and santa beard so far, with more to come.

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arbecas (author)2015-09-15

I don't know if you'll read this 2 years later, but will it do the same effect if instead of putting two pieces per hole I filled all the holes ? (no stagger)

For exemple, what you do is

002002002002002

but what if I do

110110110110110

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RodneyL6 (author)2015-09-15

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jrahier made it! (author)2015-06-24

like the layout i will be making another one a little longer

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JulieR4 (author)2015-04-08

I have to ask what brand of yarn you used, because the colors are great, and it doesn't look like like acrylic!

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MadreenRua made it! (author)2015-03-07

Kind of a really late "I made it!" but... Friends and I went to a convention as dwarves-in-barrels in Nov. 2013. They were a big hit. The beards got scratchy after a few hours, but I don't imagine most people will wear them for as long. We also tried to wear them again in July 2014, but it was way too hot. They were easy to make, and worked very well for us. Thanks for this Instructable!

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matisse.ventura (author)2015-01-04

Maybe this is because I've never done crafts of any kind... but how does the yarn attach? Is it super simple and once I get the supplies I'll get it?

Thanks.

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arabrab.regnizerk (author)2014-12-12

Thank you soooooo much for your great tutorial!!! This is really awesome!!! I was the greatest Dwarf in the cinema for the last "Hobbit" with my beard (...cause the only one ;) and so proud!!!

Big greetings from Germany!!! Barbara

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linrodann (author)2014-10-19

I had trouble with the elastic sliding down the back of my head, and the beard hence falling around my neck, because I neglected to leave tabs higher up (hard to describe). Solution - secure the elastic to my hair with hair clips. :) I used flat braided elastic.

Thank you for the great instructable - I'll post a photo of my beard when I have my full costume done! :)

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linrodann (author)linrodann2014-10-26

My Sexy Dwarf costume, which I debuted last night at a party and got loads of compliments on the beard. I braided some beads into it. Thanks again for the great instructable!

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wdvan5 (author)2014-10-24

So Cool! What are the measurements of the cut piece of plastic canvas that you attach the yarn to?

author

Your fantastic idea, congratulations ... I have a question: do you use for braids largest wire that the rest of the beard or the same size?

author
oobit (author)2014-07-22

I'm a viking ! (I also make a «back», hairs)
Thanks for the instructions !

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Charquidegato (author)2014-05-14

You have a glorious beard!! And I can almost hear your teeth shine. I'm making a beard for my boyfriend right now!

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Mother of Dwarves (author)2014-03-24

I used your instructions as the basis for outfitting the cast of The Hobbit at my daughter's middle school! After wearing them for hours under the lights, some of the kids were getting irritated skin, but sewing on a thin lining to cover problem spots seemed to do the trick. I also made one without the moustache, which worked out just fine. The 14 beards held up remarkably well under really tough use!

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DarkHatter (author)2014-03-11

Haha, this is awesome!

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numnut (author)2013-11-06

Can you do this with a latch hook?

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Lux Mirabilis (author)numnut2013-11-06

Not really, it would be too big for the plastic grid

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hberry dorton (author)2013-10-27

THANKS!

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MHGDK (author)2013-07-05

Thank you very much for the instruction. Great work.
I was able to make both a beard and a wig for a "Dwarf" character with a little ingenuity and a lot of work :)
Not much of a "knitting" type myself, so your approach was great.

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author

Thanks to much for this! Your beard tutorial is the BEST yet. And here I was thinking about knitting a beard...no thanks! This was a lot faster and looks wicked! I didn't make it quite as long as your's and I have a few things I would do differently the next time I make one, but overall, I am very pleased!

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Delireus (author)2013-03-04

Great instructable! I just finished this for a friend's birthday. This beard also won me tickets to my local Renaissance festival, they had a beard contest and I was a runner up! (Don't mind the shoe, it was a requirement for the contest)

Anyways, thanks again for the how-to, it was really easy to make and cheap too!

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zselter (author)2013-02-18

maybe I'm just being willfully ignorant, but I'm having trouble visualizing how the top rows are done. are they really just pulled through and looped over, they're not tied down in any way? because mine seem too loose to safely leave hanging there.

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Batness (author)2013-01-28

Pretty awesome! I'm trying to help a friend with this and have a question about the yarn; where did you find acrylic that is "rolled" not "braided" looking? Maybe you could mention the brand/colors you used? Thanks!

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Lux Mirabilis (author)2013-01-24

There's a beard-centric thread over on Craftster about this Instructable with a few more user submitted pics of their results. Fine work!

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=418780.0;all

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Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-12-21

Very awesome! Love the braids!

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You should enter this into the Holiday Gifts Contest!

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JHawkInc (author)2013-01-08

Made mine over the course of three nights, but worked on it while watching TV and doing other things that partly occupied my time (possibly including playing D&D over the interwebs; and yes, I am the party dwarf). Spent maybe $12, managed to trim the canvas in a way that will let me make a second beard. Did some things different, equal amounts intentional and by accident. My beard isn't quite as long, I tweaked and adjusted some placements of yarn, and created two long braids that extend past the rest of the beard.

All in all, great Instructable, very easy to do, with a ridiculous amount of room for customization, and fairly cost effective. Seriously, this is something I could see having its own booth at fantasy/sci-fi/gaming conventions (or even having its own "how-to" event where you teach people how to make them).

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JHawkInc (author)JHawkInc2013-01-08

Also, pictures. More to come. http://imgur.com/a/DRDmF/all

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Lux Mirabilis (author)JHawkInc2013-01-08

It's glorious! Thanks for posting pics of your results. I was not able to get a good shot of my newfound magical power ability. I also discovered that a mysterious Scottish accent manifested while I was wearing it.

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Dream Dragon (author)2012-12-29

That's a really cool look for those of you who don't already have epic beards!

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Exscaly (author)2012-12-29

Wow. The entire costume that you've set up for it is amazing - the beard is obviously the best. By Durin's Beard, that is rather splendid. Congratulations.

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clewis21 (author)2012-12-27

lol! Very cool!

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LobosSolos (author)2012-12-25

Hmm, is that Mjollnir that you have there?

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K-Dub (author)2012-12-24

I don't personally need a dwarf beard, but I'm marking this as a favorite anyway because you did such an outstanding job making yours. Very well done!

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Lux Mirabilis (author)K-Dub2012-12-24

Thanks a bunch! I appreciate it a lot.

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tjonsf (author)2012-12-24

This is super, Wow. ;-)

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evchim (author)2012-12-24

You > Awesome! I'm doing this ASAP!!!

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BeoWulfe (author)2012-12-23

This is awesome. And YOU look fabulous!!

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Lux Mirabilis (author)BeoWulfe2012-12-24

Mighty beards make Grendel pee himself. Take note good sir.

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BeoWulfe (author)Lux Mirabilis2012-12-24

Hahah! Aye that. Hence why Æskard, master of the ƒabreze, is as hairless as a eunuch!

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-chase- (author)2012-12-23

lol - That's pretty cool! Nice Job.
 - you make for a great Dwarf Warrior. Though It reminds me of Stoick the Vast (Hiccups Father in "How to train your Dragon") Don't know if they were dwarfs or not.. but either way - it looks great!

One question: Does it ich?

Thanx for posting and Happy Holidays to you and yours
- chase -

author
Lux Mirabilis (author)-chase-2012-12-23

Thanks chase! I only had itch problems when a stray yarn fiber went up my nose or in my mouth but hairspray and smoothing fixed it. It really just depends on what kind of yarn you use otherwise. There are some earlier comments regarding the same question, so you probably want to read back a little bit for additional info.
Happy holidays to you too! It's not too late to make a Santa beard :-)

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