This post is a tutorial for a super fun project that is easy for a beginner at sewing. My friend Tracy asked me to make her a beard so she could go to a costume party as her boyfriend. I thought a beard made out of yarn would suit her needs.
Supplies you’ll need for this project:
- Yarn in the color(s) of the beard you’d like. I recommend one skein, or scraps of yarn if you have it
- 1 square of felt in a color to match your beard
- Ribbon for the tie, scrap will work if you have it
- Piece of cardboard
- Thread to match yarn
- Fabric scissors, Cardboard scissors
- Sewing machine
To start with, I cut a rough pattern for beard from paper including a mouth hole. I used the paper model to fit to my face before using the felt. Next, I cut out the beard shape from brown felt. This will serve as the base of the beard and should be fairly soft against your face. Then, I attached two pieces of brown ribbon to each corner of the felt. This will be used to tie the beard onto the wearer. It is easier to fit the ribbon length and make sure the shape of the beard is what you want at this stage, before any yarn is attached. Make sure the felt is the right size and the tie is long enough for an easy closure before moving on to the next steps.
Next, I cut a U-shaped piece from the cardboard. I suggest a deep, thin U about 8-10 inches long and up to 6 inches wide. Choose the width of the U based on how shaggy you’d like your beard to be. Each individual beard strand will end up half the length of the width of the U. If you’d like a shaggier beard, like mine, make your U up to 6 inches wide. If you’d like shorter beard strands, make the U narrower.
Once you have your cardboard U, start wrapping yarn around the U as shown in the picture. I wrapped the whole length of my U with one color, and then added an accent color. I used scotch tape to secure the ends of the yard while I was working with the U.
Once you have the U fully wrapped, cut the yarn off the main ball so you can work with it easier. Now, use your sewing machine to sew the yarn together. Start at the open end of the U and sew down the middle, catching all of the criss-crossing yarn. I had to manually feed the U through the machine since your feed dogs likely won’t like the yarn and cardboard combination. I pulled it slowly through to make sure that all the yarn was secured to each other. My yarn began to come off the cardboard as I sewed it, which was fine. After it is secured down the middle, it is ok if it falls off the cardboard since it should stitched together.
Once you are done securing the yarn to each other, you are ready to affix it to the felt backing. I took my largest strand of yarn loops and positioned it around the bottom edge of the felt backing. Once the yarn loops are stitched together, they had some flexibility so I could position them along the edge. Next, I sewed the yarn loops on to the felt backing as shown in the picture.
After sewing the line of yarn loops, I used fabric scissors to cut all of the loops to create individual beard strands. Here is what the first row of the beard looked like after clipping the loops.
I repeated this procedure to add one more row of loops in the middle of the beard and one row above the mouth to create the mustache and top of the beard. After clipping all the loops, you have an awesome new yarn beard to enjoy!
Here is me trying on my yarn beard for the first time. Since my U was pretty wide, you can see how my individual beard strands ended up being pretty long. Feel free to adjust your cardboard U to end of up with a beard as fluffy as you’d like.