Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How To Make Amigurumi Hair: Wig Method

Dumbledore's fluffy hair and beard
Here's a tutorial for the method I used to make the hair for several of my Harry Potter amigurumi dolls. Be aware that it can be very time consuming - I think I spent about three hours on each wig. I have also added a tiny bit at the end about amigurumi beards as well.

Supplies needed:
  • Your hairless amigurumi
  • Yarn in the color you want for their hair (use same weight yarn as the amigurumi)
  • Crochet hook (size depends on weight of yarn)
  • Scissors
  • Felt glue (or other non-washable fabric glue)
  • Plastic yarn needle
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing thread that matches the hair color
  • Sewing needle
Step 1 - Make a wig cap.

Crocheted wig cap
Spiral crochet a wig cap that is slightly bigger than your amigurumi's head in the color of yarn you will be using for the hair. The simplest way to do this is to recreate the top of the amigurumi's head to the point at which it stops increasing and then add one more increasing round. For example, if the amigurumi's head has this pattern:

Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring (6 sts).
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Rnd 3: [2 sc in next st, sc 1] six times (18 sts).
Rnd 4: [2 sc in next st, sc 2] six times (24 sts).
Rnd 5: [2 sc in next st, sc 3] six times (30 sts). < last increase
Rnd 6: sc around (30 sts).
Rnd 7: sc around (30 sts).
Rnd 8: [sc2tog, sc 3] six times (24 sts).
Rnd 9: [sc2tog, sc 2] six times (18 sts).
Rnd 10: [sc2tog, sc 1] six times (12 sts).
Then for the wig cap, crochet up to the last increase and add another increasing round like this:
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring (6 sts).
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Rnd 3: [2 sc in next st, sc 1] six times (18 sts).
Rnd 4: [2 sc in next st, sc 2] six times (24 sts).
Rnd 5: [2 sc in next st, sc 3] six times (30 sts) 
Rnd 6: [2 sc in next st, sc 4] six times (36 sts). < add one more increase

Bind off and leave the tails - they can be used as part of the hair.

Step 2: Add the hair.
Adding loops of hair
Starting at the center of the cap and working outwards in a spiral, use a crochet hook to pull loops of yarn through the holes between stitches. The length of the loops depends on how long your character's hair will be, but be sure to make them a bit longer than necessary so you have some extra to trim off at the end.

Unless you want your character to have a crazy-thick head of hair, don't put a loop of yarn in every single hole. Experiment by skipping one or two holes and see how you like the thickness. As long as you haven't glued or cut the hair, you can always pull it out and start over. Make sure that your skipped holes don't clump together or you might end up with bare patches on the wig.

It's a good idea to mark the front of the wig (see the red piece of embroidery floss in the photo above). Hair at the back of someone's head is usually shorter than hair at the front, so I made my loops longer when I was close to the marker.

Adding loops in outside stitches
After you've filled all the holes, do an extra round by pulling a loop through the outside strand of each of the outer stitches (see photo above). Do not skip any stitches.

When you're done, the wig will look like this:

Step 3: Glue the hair.

Glue the hair
On the inside of the wig cap, liberally apply glue to each strand of hair. Use felt glue or some other sort of non-washable fabric glue. Be sure not to miss the outside row of hair you added on the last round. While it is important to make sure every strand is covered, don't go overboard and slather every millimeter with glue or the wig cap will lose its flexibility when the glue hardens.

Let the glue dry.

Step 4: Cut the loops.

Once the glue has dried, take a pair of scissors and cut each loop on the outside of the wig into two strands of hair. Be sure to straighten out each loop and cut it at the longest point so both strands will be the same length.

For straight hair, skip to Step 6. For curly or bushy hair, go to Step 5.

Step 5: Separate the plies and brush if desired.

This is the part that will probably take you the longest. Each strand of yarn is made of several smaller strands twisted together. These smaller strands are called plies (3-ply yarn has 3 plies, 4-ply yarn had 4 plies, etc.). Start on one side of the wig and take each strand of hair and carefully separate the plies. I did this by using a plastic yarn needle to pick the strands apart. When the plies are separated, use a spare piece of yarn to tie them to the side so they won't get tangled or mixed in with the unseparated hair.

Unbrushed hair
When you're finished you will have a wig of curly like Hermione's. If you want bushy hair instead of curly, then use a wire brush (I used a wire slicker cat brush) to gently comb the strands. I recommend taking a clump of hair and holding it by the root while you brush it so that the strands don't get pulled out. Be aware that large amounts of the hair will end up being brushed out, so only do it if your wig already has very thick hair. Hair that has been brushed out will be bushy like Hagrid's:

Hagrid's bushy hair
Step 6: Sew the wig on.

You marked the front of the wig in Step 2, right? Line up the front of the wig with the middle of the amigurumi's forehead. Make sure it looks how you'd like it to then pin it in place. Use a double strand of thread on a sewing needle and sew the wig to the head. At the end, put the needle in the middle of the wig, tie off and trim the thread (that way the end bits are hidden in the hair).

Step 7: Cut and style.

Now that the hair is on your amigurumi character, it's time to cut and style it how you wish. Brush out the hair with your fingers (a real brush will mess it up) and trim any uneven ends. Cut the hair to the length you desire then style it. Congrats, your amigurumi has hair!


To create Dumbledore's and Hagrid's beards, I used the same method as outlined above except instead of creating a wig cap in Step 1, I crocheted a flat triangle , the bottom of which would become the top of the beard. After following Steps 2-5, I sewed it underneath the amigurumi's nose (or where their nose would be if they had one) and the whole thing was trimmed in to a beard shape.


Jazz said...

Thanks for shring your method!

Cat Carlisle said...

You're very welcome!

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