No-Sew Costume Wig

26 Oct
Madame Curie Outfit

Can’t sew? Little dough? Your costume remedy…

Need an easy (and impressive) finishing touch for that last-minute costume you’re pulling together?

Here’s a great solution if you:

Need a wig.

Can’t really sew (like me).

And don’t want to spend $40 on an itchy, ill-fitting travesty at a costume shop.

Pssst: As promised, if you want to see part three of Szaba’s inspiring women in history costume series, scroll to the bottom of this post.

No-Sew Costume Wig

What You’ll Need:

  • 1-2 pieces of felt the color of the “hair” you want
  • yarn in a matching color
  • safety pins
  • fabric glue
  • scissors
  • matching thread with needle (optional)
  • elastic (optional)

What You Do:

1. Place the felt on your kid’s head and gather to form a loosely fitted cap.

I start on the left and right sides of the forehead, making folds to fit, and holding it in place with my fingers. Then I remove it from the model and safety pin the folds in place. I do the same with left and right sides at the nape of the neck. From there, I work my way around, folding over and pinning to take care of any gaps.

Halloween Costume Felt

2. Trim with scissors as needed (off of the model).

Smooth out any jagged edges to give it a more rounded edge. If you want to shape bangs or a part, you can do that by cutting the felt, too.

3. Replace the safety pins with a few amateur tacks of needle and thread or simply smear on fabric glue.

Again, you’ll do this and the next gluing step while it’s off of your model’s head. It’s a bit ridiculous I need to keep clarifying that, but now I’m paranoid.

Halloween Costume

As you can see, my method is very precise. Who cares? No one sees this side when it’s on.

4. Fabric glue yarn in place in the pattern of your choosing.

For last year’s bun look, I glued concentric circles of yarn on the back for the bun. You can even do this on a separate piece of matching felt, if you’re worried about messing up. Then I went back and forth on each side of the imagined “part”, gluing back to the bun, back up to the part, and so on, dotting with glue as I went. Occasionally I’d veer off a bit to make it look more natural and cover any gaps.

Felt Sew Halloween Costume

This year I needed curls, so I took a highlighter and secured its lid in place with masking tape. I loosely wrapped thread around the highlighter to create each curl. Starting on one side of the part line, I drew a line of glue from the forehead hairline to the crown of the skull (which was conveniently about the length of the highlighter). Then I slipped the curl off the marker, and placed it on the glue line. After I did that across the front, I did the same for the curls on the back, working left to right in rows to make sure I didn’t have gaps.

Yarn Halloween

The masking tape is to keep the cap from popping off when you’re removing the yarn. (I learned the hard way.)

5. Safety pin or sew on a chin strap.

I use one of those stretchy clear hanger straps from the inside of shirts and dresses. You could also use a piece of elastic or nude ribbon. Or if you’re going to have a bonnet on top of the wig, you could disguise the strap as the ribbon for that.

Fabric glue probably won’t be strong enough for this, so either sew or pin it on either side, in the ear vicinity. I like safety pinning it because it’s super easy easy to adjust.

I hope this helps with whatever costume ideas you’ve dreamed up. Have a happy, crafty weekend, everyone!

And if you make a wig, please send me a picture. I’d love to see it!

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8 Responses to “No-Sew Costume Wig”

  1. adoptionista October 26, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    That costume is hilarious!! Super creative!

    • Angela Taylor Hylland October 26, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Thanks! My husband and I were cracking up when we were trying to take her picture, too. I should show the outtakes…

  2. Leslie October 26, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Great tutorial. Love the wig but better yet, the whole costume! She looks great. Sue would be so proud… I agree the princess/disney years are coming, but I’m so glad you have been able to keep with the strong infulential women theme for these past years. I hope Szaba’s willing to continue it for a couple more… or if anything, maybe come back to it when she’s a little older and out grown the fairy-tale stage. (Actually, I’m hoping you get lucky and never hit “princess” years.). Miss you guys. Happy halloween!

    • Angela Taylor Hylland October 26, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Thanks, Leslie. That means a lot coming from someone who knew Sue and who Sue adored. 🙂 I had a blast pulling it together–although I’m sure we’ll get some funny looks while trick or treating. It’s been oddly comforting to have this continued connection to Sue at the holidays. It helps make more room for happy memories than sad ones.


  1. Women in History Costumes | My Castle Heart - October 17, 2013

    […] no-sew wig with bun Old-time-y dress (a frilly adult shirt belted with a ribbon) Kids’ white lab coat […]

  2. Halloween Costume Ideas | My Castle Heart - October 21, 2013

    […] Here’s how > […]

  3. Strong Females in Literature Costumes: Year 1 | My Castle Heart - October 31, 2013

    […] of Inspiring Women in History costumes with Marie Curie the next year and finished the trio with Elizabeth Cady Stanton last […]

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