Introduction: Surprisingly Easy Rapunzel Costume

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate c…

I decided to be Rapunzel for Halloween last July. But I let time slip by, and suddenly it was a week before Halloween, and all I'd figured out was how to braid my hair really long (more on that later). So I looked in my closet, pulled out my sewing machine, and shortly thereafter, became a pretty princess.

The costume is loosely based on the Tangled costume, but a little bit more grown-up. Read as: I took artistic license and don't like pink. I'm quite pleased with the result!

Photos on this step copyright Mike Maloney.

Step 1: Materials

This costume is quick and easy if you already have the materials. However, you could probably make some substitutions.
You need:
Corset- Mine is a gold, flat-topped variety.
Underdress- should be strapless, floaty, and princessy. I used this one (the dress I wore to senior breakfast forever ago).
Overdress- caution! This dress will never be the same again! I started with this one, from Dharma Trading Co.
Extra hair! I used Afrelle Kanekalon. It comes in a braid. See this page. Get at least three of these. I used five, I think? Maybe six?
Some paint.

Step 2: Dye Overdress (optional)

I wanted a light blue overdress (not a big fan of pink, so I took some liberties).
I scrunched the dress up tie-dye style, soaked it in a vinegar/soda ash bath, then covered it all over with a very light blue dye.
Let sit in a plastic bag overnight; wash it out and remove rubber bands; dry, probably iron.

Step 3: Slit Front

Try on your overdress. You are going to make a slit up the center that ends somewhere between your belly button and your ribcage, under the corset. Figure out where that spot is and mark it somehow (a pin or fade-away marker is good).
Take the dress off.
Fold the dress directly down the center front.
Cut to your mark.
Turn under the raw fabric you just cut and sew it so that you have a nice, finished edge.

Step 4: Paint

You'll want to paint some pretty designs on the edges of the overdress skirt.

I made up my own pattern (swirls and flowers are Tangled-inspired), but this website has really good close-ups if you want something closer to the Disney version.

I wanted mine to be gold, and was willing to try anything from Acrylic paints to gold sharpie (embroidery was going to take WAY too long without a CNC machine). What I found was some gold spray paint. I sprayed some onto a paper plate. (Don't use a SOLO cup. Turns out spray paint will melt the bottom out.) Then I used a brush to freehand the designs onto the fabric. Very quick drying!

Step 5: Put on the Costume

Layer: underdress, overdress, corset. Quick and easy!

(Photo in this step copyright Jon McKay)

Step 6: Braid Your Hair

This takes a while. Leave an hour or so

Basically, you want to use my Ridiculously Long Hair instructable. Blend hair so that it matches yours (this is really important to be convincing!), then braid it in. But after you've added two extensions, keep going. Whenever you get near the end of your hair, add another folded hair extension. Repeat until you don't have any more fake hair left and/or can't walk.

It gets a bit heavy and unwieldy; I'd recommend carrying it wrapped hip-to-shoulder like a bandolier. Otherwise it drags on the ground, gets leaves in it, and- the worst- people keep stepping on it by accident. Or people steal the end of it while you aren't looking and tie it to things. Or evil stepmothers/witches use their power over you for evil.

(Photos in this step copyright Jon McKay)

Step 7: Let Down Your Golden Hair!

Photos in this step copyright Jon McKay.

Step 8: More Photos

Enjoy your lovely long hair (and the rest of the costume is fun too).
Throw your hair at things. Twirl really fast. Hoist princes.

I was part of a group costume contest (Disney princesses)- we won!

Photos in this step copyright Mike Maloney.

Halloween Easy Costumes Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Easy Costumes Contest