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Make a Yarn Wig for Your Halloween Costume

Updated on October 6, 2014

Create a One of a Kind Wig for Your Costume

On this page you'll find my directions for a crocheted Halloween wig, crafted yarn hair extensions, and links to yarn wigs that you can craft with no specialized skills. The best part of all these craft patterns is that you can change the look of your wig by selecting different colors and yarn textures.

Sure, a yarn wig doesn't look like real hair, but those cheap wigs that you pick up at Halloween shops or your local drug store, don't look like real hair either. By making a yarn wig, you can add a unique touch to your costume, whether it's store-bought, crafted by you, or pulled together with stuff you find in your closet.

Yarn wigs are great for fantasy and magical beings, hippies, witches, fairies, clowns, gypsy fortune tellers, steam punk looks, monsters, cowgirls, farm girls, disco looks, futuristic people and aliens, and the list goes on. You'll want at least three yarns with different textures or colors to give some variety to your look; however, if you have access to more yarn, then you can be as creative as you want by adding in lots of colors and textures.

Add your own touch to any of these patterns by changing the yarn textures and/or colors. The pattern I offer for a wig also makes a funny hat to wear to charity fun runs or any winter outdoor activities where a bit of silliness is required. Don't need an entire wig but you think a streak of color would be perfect? The yarn hair falls are incredibly easy to make and you can even work one into a ponytail or braid that you make with your own hair.

Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

The Making of a Wig Hat - Crazy fun to make and to wear

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Start by crocheting a hat.  Photo by the author.This hat covers the ears, but it doesn't have to be this long.  Photo by the author.Select an assortment of yarn with different colors and/or textures.  Photo by the author.Attach the yarn to the hat.  Plan of a few hours work.  Photo by the author.Really cover the crocheted hat base with yarn.  Photo by the author.Wear your wig!  Photo by the author.
Start by crocheting a hat.  Photo by the author.
Start by crocheting a hat. Photo by the author.
This hat covers the ears, but it doesn't have to be this long.  Photo by the author.
This hat covers the ears, but it doesn't have to be this long. Photo by the author.
Select an assortment of yarn with different colors and/or textures.  Photo by the author.
Select an assortment of yarn with different colors and/or textures. Photo by the author.
Attach the yarn to the hat.  Plan of a few hours work.  Photo by the author.
Attach the yarn to the hat. Plan of a few hours work. Photo by the author.
Really cover the crocheted hat base with yarn.  Photo by the author.
Really cover the crocheted hat base with yarn. Photo by the author.
Wear your wig!  Photo by the author.
Wear your wig! Photo by the author.

Crochet a Base for Your Wig

Beanie Pattern

This pattern is for a lightweight beanie crocheted on large needles from worsted-weight acrylic yarn (I used Red Heart Super Saver Yarn). You'll add yarn hair to this base. The directions are for a hat that covers your ears, but you can make it shorter. Keep in mind that once you add the yarn hair this hat will be incredibly warm.

You will need an N-hook and worsted weight acrylic yarn (the hat uses a fraction of a skein).

Chain 2. Work 6 sc into the 2nd chain from the hook.

Round 1: 2 sc into each st (12 st). You can work in the round, so it is unnecessary to close a round.

Round 2: *sc, 2 sc into next st. Repeat from * (18 st)

Round 3: *sc in the next 2 st, 2sc into next st. Repeat from * (24 st)

Round 4: *sc in the next 3 st, 2sc into next st. Repeat from * (30 st)

Round 5: *sc in the next 4 st, 2 sc into the next st. Repeat from * (36 st)

Round 6: *sc in the next 5 st, 2 sc into the next st. Repeat from * (42 st)

Optional round for larger heads: *sc in the next 6 st, 2 sc into the next st. Repeat from * (48 st)

Rounds 7-19: sc in each st. If you want to make the hat shorter, you can stop after round 12 or 13.

sl st and fasten off, weaving in the end.

Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

Yarn for Your Wig - Texture and color are key

You can make this wig in any color combination desired. Doing a fun run for breast cancer? You'll find lots of pink yarn out there. You can work with your favorite sport's teams colors, school colors, or colors to celebrate an upcoming holiday. If you look around, you'll find lots of yarns with different textures that will make your wig look fabulous!

Lion Brand Yarn 570-153 Festive Fur Yarn, Black
Lion Brand Yarn 570-153 Festive Fur Yarn, Black

To me, fuzzy black yarn is a great basic to have on hand, particularly if you are creating a wig that you want to give a slightly realistic look to.

 
Lion Brand Homespun Yarn
Lion Brand Homespun Yarn

One of the things I love about homespun is that when you cut the yarn the ends will softly unravel into a mass of fluffiness. Carefully cut the thread that contains the strand to select pieces of yarn to add more of this effect to your wig.

 

Adding Yarn Hair to Your Wig

Here's the creative part

The next thing you want to do is add yarn to your hat base, transforming it into a wig. Select the colors you want and look for different textures for each of the colors. My hat is Halloween colors of black and orange with purple and lime green thrown in for variety. If you make a wig from a single color, look for a variety of textures for visual interest.

You'll also find links to patterns for other style yarn wigs, this is just my example. Since the length of the strands and the size of your hat base will differ from crafter-to-crafter, I can't give you specific amounts of yarn. I'll just say that you'll probably need more than you think. Also, plan on about six-to-eight hours to decorate your hat.

Cut strands of yarn 24" to 36" long. Fold one strand in half and with the crochet hook draw the yarn through the spaces in the hat. Grab the ends with the hook and draw through the looped end of the yarn; give a tug to anchor the yarn in place.

You can attach the yarn in this way in the space created by the stitch or around the post (tall part) of the stitch. The way you attach the yarn will determine the direction the yarn falls around your face. You can work a strand of yarn into every space and in every row or every other space or row. Add more yarn up top for fullness. You can either cut and attach shorter pieces of yarn for the bangs or you can trim them while wearing the hat (or with someone else wearing the hat.

When in doubt, cut longer strands, you can always shorten them. Don't worry about cutting every piece the same length.

Since the wig is heavy, you may want to attach it to your hair with bobby pins so it doesn't slip.

Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

Wigs to Crochet - Crochet the base then add yarn

These crochet patterns give you directions for a base that you then add yarn to. Although you can follow their suggestions, you can really use your creativity when it comes to selecting colors and textures of the yarn hair.

Craft a Yarn Hair Extension

Add a fun streak with a hair fall

Okay, maybe you don't really want to wear an entire wig. Maybe you want a streak through your hair to complement your costume. Sure, you could use hair dye or that spray-on hair color, but yarn gives you something unique - color and texture. You can make a yarn hair extension in mere minutes with just a few supplies.

You will need:

Ponytail hair elastic

Yarn in assorted textures

Option: hair clips and/or bobby pins

Cut strands of yarn that are at least one yard (36") long. You can cut strands longer or shorter to suit your needs. (When in doubt, go longer as it is easier to trim off the excess).

You will want at least six strands of yarn for a slender hair extension. If you need something wider, then cut and gather together as many strands as you need.

Holding all the strands together, fold them in half. Send the looped end through a hair elastic and then pull the ends of yarn through the looped end of yarn. Tighten the knot. If you are using more than six strands of yarn, then you may want to use two narrow elastics held together or a thick hair elastic for more support.

To wear, take a small section of hair and wrap the hair elastic around it. Pull some hair over the elastic to hide where you've attached the extension. If you have a thick hair extension, then it will probably be necessary to hold the hair fall in place with a hair clip or a bobby pin or two.

Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

Scunci No Damage Effortless Beauty Thick Hair Elastics, 24-Count
Scunci No Damage Effortless Beauty Thick Hair Elastics, 24-Count

A thicker elastic, like this one, will hold more yarn without breaking when you stretch the elastic to wrap in around your hair.

 

Wigs to Craft - No knitting, crocheting, or sewing necessary

Even if you don't consider yourself crafty because you can't wield a needle or crochet hook, have no fear. If you can cut yarn and glue it to a surface, then you can make these wigs. I'll warn you, gluing yarn can be difficult so have some craft sticks or bamboo skewers on hand to press glue-saturated yarn onto a surface. And, fabric glue is much better to work with than plain white glue.

US Toy Cowboy Hat, Black
US Toy Cowboy Hat, Black

A simple cowboy/girl hat can be embellished with yarn braids or ponytails for a cute look for girl or grownup.

 
Plain White Baseball Cap Low Crown Hat
Plain White Baseball Cap Low Crown Hat

A plain baseball cap that isn't a favorite is a good choice as a base for a hat. Since you'll be gluing yarn over the hat, you want something inexpensive that you won't mind giving over to a craft project.

 

Hats for Your Wigs

Some costumes just beg for a hat. You can glue yarn to the inner brim of a costume hat and turn that hat into something that no longer looks like the thousands of other hats that were produced. If you need a hat to act as a base to glue yarn over, buy a plain baseball cap that you can cut off the brim and cover in glue (without worrying about making someone in your house furious with you for ruining their lucky hat.

Beistle Satin Sleek Top Hat - Black
Beistle Satin Sleek Top Hat - Black

A top hat is perfect for gluing yarn to the inside brim. You can add the hat to your steampunk, high society, or old-fashioned costume and make it look less serious with an attached yarn wig.

 

Costume? What Costume? - Do you still enjoy dressing up for Halloween?

Even though we may pretend that Halloween costumes are for kids, a whole lot of people spend money on costuming for this holiday.

Do you dress up for Halloween?

Yes. Why I'm even in costume right now.

Yes. Why I'm even in costume right now.

Submit a Comment

  • GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

    I`m pretty scary most of the time, but I add a little more for Halloween! lol

  • Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

    Yes I do. I look forward to it every year. This year we're planning on headless zombies! But I do love your wig! I might make one for my head.

  • anonymous 4 years ago

    I do! Costumes are one of my favorite things about Halloween. This was a lovely lens! It's so nice to come across a unique spin on crochet and I have never seen this before. I'm even thinking of trying one out for my son - he's not into traditional costumes and it's really hard to figure something out (last year - 2012 - he was a blue M&M...go figure! But it sure was easy.) This year - maybe a kooky magician or jester. I don't know. Maybe he'll like this just for pretending. Again, GREAT lens.

No. Costumes on adults look ridiculous. Pets, however, ...

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elope Grunge Witch Hat, Black, One Size
elope Grunge Witch Hat, Black, One Size

Another basic hat to add to your collection. Glue fun and fuzzy yarn to the inner part of the hat for a fabulous witchy look.

 

Crazy Hair Wig

Crazy Hair Wig
Crazy Hair Wig

Was your favorite costume one that you wore as a child or as an adult? What made that costume so special that it still stands out in your mind?

What Was Your Favorite Halloween Costume? - Did you make it or buy it?

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Yarn wig. What a terrific idea. thanks. Most costumes look better with long hair. Plus I want to make that cap to ear alone for those bad hair days. I has ben yeas since I crocheted, but I'm going to get the old yarn and needles out.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      Loved my scarecrow family, made mine, my son`s and my best friend`s costume and it was fun and easy........

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      Last year I was a witch, my son the devil and my husband a skeleton. We looked so realistic that our friends were too scared to open the door to let us in - they didn't recognize us! They'd invited us to carve pumpkins but were genuinely too scared to open the door! They were very realistic.