Intro: Dwarven Yarn Beard
I love beards. I have always wanted one! I was looking at Halloween costumes for research and I came across this dwarven beard on Think Geek and really wanted one. But then I thought: I can make that beard out of yarn! BOOM. Dwarven yarn beard, here we go!
I wanted a full yarn beard that was comfortable to wear and easy to make - and I didn't want to make any trips to the store. :D My first draft was made from red yarn and I really over complicated it, but I finally figured out the best way to do it.
And then best part about this yarn beard? It's light and easy to wear (thought I can't promise your upper lip won't sweat. HA!), and you can also make it in an afternoon!
There are more photos on the last step, too.
P.S. We've got some other fantastic yarn beards around the site - if you want a more rigid and full beard, check out this instructable by Lux Mirabilis - SUCH A GOOD BEARD.
Step 1: What You'll Need:
- 2 skeins acrylic yarn - I'm using Lion Brand "Fun" yarn in brown
- matching thread
- sewing needle
- measuring tape
And that's really it! Make sure to have a camera or mirror nearby the whole time to check the fit. :D
Step 2: Make a Braided Base
Cut three pieces of yarn about 36 inches long. Knot the together at one end and then braid them together, knotting again at the other end. This braid will be the anchor that we'll build the beard on.
To be safe, make sure you've got at least 25-30 inches of braiding, or you might have to make more.
Step 3: Make the Chin Strap
Take one end of your braid and loop it up and around one of your ears. Sew this loop closed using the matching thread, making sure you're not making the ear loop too tight. The loop should easily go over your ear and not cause any discomfort. (I went too tight on the first one. Trust me, it is miserable!)
Try your best to sew the knot down especially - the flatter it lays against the braid, the better!
Now put the sewn loop over your ear and stretch the braid so it crosses your face right below your lips. Pull it slightly tight and then loop it around the other ear. Test the fit for the second ear and then knot the braid where the end of the loop is and cut off the excess.
Sew down the second knot to close the second ear loop. :)
Step 4: Make the Moustache Base
Put on the base you've already made and place the rest of the braid where you'd like the moustache to sit. You can pin it in place to test the fit. You want it to be a little tight but not uncomfortable.
I suggest making the moustache portion not nearly as wide as the beard portion of the braid - if you make it just as wide you'll have a ridiculously wide moustache. :P
Once the fit seems good, knot off the long end of the braid and sew it in place.
Step 5: Make the Moustache, Part One
At this point you'll need to start thinking about length.
I wanted fairly long braids on the side, so I cut 20 pieces of yarn 55 inches long each. 20 pieces of yarn will give you a moustache as thick as mine - so if you want a bigger moustache, cut more yarn for this part.
55 inches of yarn gave me roughly 5 inches of moustache and two 12 inch braids on each side and I could have gone a little longer but it seemed like overkill since I'm small.
Once you've decided the length, double it over and sew the very middle of it so it's nice gathered.
Step 6: Make the Moustache, Part Two
Once the middle is gathered, you can gather the sides too and complete the moustache. I used a measuring tape to determine where to sew. Since the braid base for the moustache is about 5 inches long, I sewed the ends of the moustache 2.5 inches from the center. Make sure to gather them nicely like the middle!
Once you have the gathered moustache, sew the middle of the moustache to the very middle of the braid base for it. Then sew down the sides of the moustache, too.
Try it on and make sure things are still going well. :D
Step 7: Braid the Moustache Ends
Braid them as long as you want them, and then sew the ends to keep them in place.
Don't trim the ends yet - you'll want to leave all the trimming til the end!
Step 8: Decide on Your Beard Length and Cut Loads of Yarn
For however long you'd like your beard to be, you'll need to cut lengths of yarn TWICE that length. We'll be doubling the yarn over the base to make a smooth edge so it looks nice and it's comfy to wear.
I chose a length of 36 inches and cut approximately 120 lengths of yarn.
Keep in mind that if you want a very long middle braid in your beard, you should some pieces (maybe 1/3 of the total pieces you cut) that are THREE TIMES the length you want, just to be sure you'll have enough to braid.
I went through the end of my first skein and finished the second one just cutting the yarn for the beard.
Step 9: How to Attach the Beard
Depending on how thick you want your beard, you'll be using two or three pieces of yarn for each beard addition.
I used two pieces for each addition on the sides and three for the middle of the beard.
Here's how to attach them:
- Take your lengths of yarn and double them over. Hold them in the middle and position them under the braid with the middle on the side of the braid opposite you.
- Bring up the middle loop and feed the ends through (the braid should be in the middle of this)
- Keep pulling the ends through until it begins to tighten.
- Flip it around so the loop is on the back of the beard and tighten.
You'll want to pull each addition until it's nice and tight, and also scrunch up the pieces together as you add more. This will make the beard look nice and full. This will make more sense once you see the photos in the next steps. :D
Step 10: Attach the Beard on the Sides
It's best to start attaching on the sides first, near the ear loops. That part is a good place to practice since it's less noticeable. :D
Start near the moustache braid and work your way up to the knot on the ear loop.
I used eight bundles of two pieces of yarn each per side and squished them in.
The first picture shows the front - the second shows the back. If yours looks like this you're doing awesome!
Step 11: Start Attaching the Middle of the Beard
Now repeat the process starting in the very middle of the beard.
Remember that if you want a braid in the middle of the beard, you need to be adding three lengths of yarn at a time so you have enough yarn to braid. :)
Keep trying the beard on as you add - if the bottom starts dropping below your chin (see the second photo), head to the next step to find out how to alter it before you continue adding yarn.
Step 12: Fixing a Droopy Beard
- droopy beard :(
- sewing together the excess
You might find that as you add more yarn, the bottom braid will begin to stretch.
If this happens, you can fold the lower braid on itself on both sides and sew it together to tighten it up. Put it on and pinch it to see how much you can fold over. Make sure to take in pretty equal amounts on both sides - it'll look nicer.
It'll look a little wonky before you add the yarn to it, but I promise it'll look nice once it's covered!
Step 13: Finish Filling Out the Beard
The photos above show what it should look like - loops on the back and smooth in the front!
Really cram all the yarn together to get it as full as possible. :D
Step 14: Braid the Middle (optional But Awesome)
If you'd like to braid the middle, you can take the very top layer of the beard to braid it. If it leaves large holes, try to fit in more yarn! Sew the bottom like you did the with side braids. :)
Step 15: Trim and You're Done!
Lay the beard out on a flat surface and use a nice sharp pair of scissors to trim the ends. I moved the braids out of the way for the first trimming and then laid them in and decided how to trim the ends. :)
Step 16: More Photos of the Beard
I have a set of armor I'm working on, but it's nowhere near done, so I went the "fashionable modern Dwarven lady" route. You've got to embrace your natural gifts and let them shine! ;)
I edited out all the photos where I made awkward faces. You're welcome :D